Like so many home bakers, the first time I made chocolate chip cookies I used the recipe from the back of the Toll House Chocolate Chip package. I was probably 10 years old and my mom watched over the process to make sure I didn't burn the house down. I didn't, and the cookies became a staple in the Chang household. Once I started baking professionally, I was in a world where no recipe was ever good enough—and the idea of baking chocolate chip cookies from the Toll House package was like suggesting to Bill that he read Software for Dummies—way too elementary. So I tested every other chocolate chip cookie recipe out there (or so it seemed). Every pastry chef and his/ her mother has a version of this cookie that is purported to be a vast improvement on the classic Toll House. Then, in 2000, I had to pick a final recipe for our chocolate chip cookie for Flour Bakery. You know what? There's a reason why everyone loves the Toll House cookie recipe: It makes an amazingly swell cookie.
So I used that recipe as my starting point, but I did make a few small adjustments to bring it from good to great. First I substituted some of the all-purpose flour with bread flour which gives additional heft to the final cookie and makes it chewy rather than flat and crispy. I stirred some chopped milk chocolate to the dough, which adds a nice caramelized note. The dough can be baked immediately after it's mixed, but for the best results, I always wait at least a day so the dough firms up in the fridge and all of the ingredients have a chance to get to know each other—this makes for a much better cookie, believe it or not. And finally, most importantly, use the best chocolate you can. This is the key to making this recipe shine. Thank you, Toll House for your recipe but ixnay on the Nestle Chips please. Use a high quality 62- to 75-percent cacao chocolate and you will taste the difference.