I’ll Stick with the Spring Chicken

iStock_000006527849SmallMuch has been made about the idea of “aging” chocolate chip cookie dough. A NYT article highlighting this very thing swept the web a few years back, and this practice has since become the new trend in the world of chocolate chip cookies.  I made their sited Jacques Torres recipe, even using the prescribed cake flour, and it was nothing special.  The rested cookie dough (aged, I believe, 48 hours) was strictly mediocre:  the toffee flavors of the dough were muddy and obscure; the chocolate lacked punch and distinction.  I decided this technique was not for me, and I thought nothing more of it.

Tonight I pulled a few unbaked balls of my chocolate chip cookie dough out of the freezer and baked them off.  Now this was frozen dough, not rested dough, and I wasn’t expecting much difference in flavor from the original.  But I ate them with disappointment.  As noted in that prior post, the dough should have a salty, buttery, toffee-like flavor, and the chocolate should be dark and intense against that background, creating the perfect marriage of two contrasts.  This was no longer the case.  The toffee flavor was, I have to say (and I know I repeat myself) MUDDY.  The chocolate’s intensity had dimmed and was now non-descript.  The pecans had a mealy texture.  This is not an appealing description — especially for the so-called “Second to None” chocolate chip cookie I was so formerly excited about.

I often recommend freezing as the best storage method for maintaining freshness of already-baked goods (as opposed to refrigeration or room-temperature storage), and I’d counted on that to hold true for cookie dough, too.   I’d thought that freezing dough would preserve the original character, not alter it.  But I was mistaken.  The aged/frozen dough still made a tasty cookie, but — if you are like me, and are judicious about your consumption of cookies, wanting them to deliver supreme satisfaction — stick with the freshly-made dough.   And then freeze already-baked cookies, to be thawed as needed.







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