Bouchon Chocolate Chunk Cookies are everything that chocolate chunk cookies should be: crisp and buttery on the edges, soft and chewy in the center. One bite is nothing short of heaven.
Ready or not, Fall makes its official debut on Tuesday. As much as I love all things autumn (I usually jump into “harvest” mode with both feet from Labor Day onward), I’ve been fighting it this year. The leaves may be turning and the mornings may be crisp, but the 80-degree afternoons keep melting my autumnal spirit. One of these days, a cool breeze will persist long enough to make sandals an entirely inappropriate shoe choice and I’ll embrace fall with open arms (and a cider doughnut in hand). For now, on those chilly mornings and nights, I’ve been turning to the warm, comforting aromas of Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regardless of the season, there are few days in life that an exceptional cookie can’t improve.
I spent years searching for a chocolate chunk cookie recipe that I could call a favorite. After an odyssey of batches that were too this or not enough that, I was starting to feel like the Goldilocks of the baking world. Knowing how amazing the cookies are at Bouchon Bakery, I decided to pick up a box of their mix from Williams-Sonoma. The cookies were ridiculously good. When the bakery’s cookbook was published a few years later, I could hardly contain my excitement to find the recipe in the first chapter. I made a beeline back to my kitchen that day and started baking. Finally, the from-scratch cookies that emerged from my oven were “just right.”
On a side note, at the risk of redundancy in my admiration of all things Chef Keller (as I mentioned here and again, here), I can’t say enough about the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Co-authored with Keller’s Executive Pastry Chef Sebastien Rouxel, the book is elegant, yet accessible, with beautifully written recipes, anecdotes, and delectable photographs. As with all of Chef Keller’s books, the recipes carry a high degree of specificity, but by the same token, all of those I’ve tried have been successful (and delicious). I keep promising myself that one of these years, when my schedule frees up a bit, I’m going to bake my way from cover to cover. Better break out the stretchy pants!
As with most things in life, good chocolate chunk (or chip) cookies are a personalized endeavor. Some people like thick, chewy cookies; others like them thin and crunchy. For me, these are everything that a chocolate chunk cookie should be: crisp and buttery on the edges, soft and chewy in the center. The addition of molasses to both dark brown and granulated sugars lends the dough a warm, rounded toffee flavor (without the addition of vanilla). As delicious as the base is, the use of two types of chocolate (chips and chunks) yields a rich chocolate profile that steals the show in both texture and flavor. One bite of these cookies, still slightly warm from the oven (with a glass of cold milk, of course) is nothing short of cookie heaven.
Bouchon Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These are hands-down, my favorite chocolate chip/chunk cookies. As Keller and Rouxel note, the baked cookies are best enjoyed fresh (I love them slightly warm from the oven, when the chocolate is still a bit melty), but can be stored at room temperature for a few days in a tightly-sealed container. I usually don't let them sit for more than two days.
Recipe adapted, in language and notes, from Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel (Bouchon Bakery, 2012)
- 1-1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (238 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (2.3 grams)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (3 grams)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (134 grams), lightly packed)
- 1-3/4 teaspoons unsulfured blackstrap molasses (12 grams)
- 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (104 grams)
- 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks (107 grams)
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (107 grams)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, preferably European-style (167 grams), room temperature
- 3 tablespoons + 2-1/2 teaspoons eggs* (60 grams, or 1 jumbo egg)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl, stir together the brown and granulated sugars. Add molasses and stir to combine. The molasses will not fully incorporate at this point, but it's best to break up any large lumps that form.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar mixture and cream until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl. Add the eggs and mix on medium-low just until combined, about 15 seconds. The mixture might look curdled; this is normal, do not over mix.
Scrape the bowl and add the flour mixture in two parts, mixing until just combined. Scrape the bowl once more to ensure that all of the flour is incorporated from the bottom. Add the chocolate chips and chunks and give the mixer about 10 short pulses to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees (convection or conventional**), with racks in the upper and lower third positions. Use a large ice cream scoop to divide the dough into 12 equal portions.*** I like to roll the dough into a ball and flatten just slightly (as pictured above) for the best shape. Place on two parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheets.
Bake until cookies are golden brown on the edges and just set in the center, 12-14 minutes convection, 16-18 minutes conventional, rotating pans halfway through. Remove from oven and allow cookies to rest on the pans for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.
*If you don't have jumbo eggs and are using large or extra-large, break two eggs into a small bowl and lightly beat before measuring the amount needed for this recipe.
**As Keller and Rouxel note, convection ovens will brown the cookies more evenly and they will not spread as much. The cookies photographed here were baked using convection.
***The original recipe is written for very large, bakery-style cookies that are double the size of those photographed here. To make gorgeous "gigantic" cookies, divide the dough into 6 equal portions and bake them 3 cookies to a sheet pan for 14-16 minutes convection, or 18-20 minutes conventional.