Mixed Review »

We bake from the box.

Mixed Review: Bouchon Bakery Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix

"These are, without a doubt, the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever baked from a mix."

20091204-bouchon1.jpg

[Photographs: Lucy Baker]

I have a confession: I don't like Christmas cookies. I find plain sugar cutouts boring, rum balls sickeningly sweet, and gingerbread men frequently over-baked around the edges. I would much rather munch on an everyday snickerdoodle or oatmeal raisin with my mug of eggnog, and I suspect that I'm not alone.

So to give you a break from those stacks of sticky macaroons and piles of fruitcake shortbread, I tested Bouchon Bakery's Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix for this week's Mixed Review. Then, I attempted to recreate it from scratch.

In SENY's Chocolate Chip Cookie Championship: Uptown Edition, Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery received extraordinary praise. Fortunately, you don't need to be in New York to sink your teeth into the cookie's chewy edges and molten, gooey center: a mix is available at Williams-Sonoma stores nationwide.

Unfortunately, one box will set you back a whooping $18. So are they worth it?

20091204-bouchon4.jpg

The Bouchon Mix contains premium Callebaut chocolate and Nielsen-Massey vanilla, plus white and brown sugars, flour, and molasses. All I needed to add was 10 1/2 tablespoons of butter and one egg. With only a few quick turns of a wooden spoon, the dough was ready to be scooped and baked.

After 12 minutes in the oven, my cookies emerged thick and golden and the size of tea saucers. Each bite was bursting with melted bits of dark and semisweet chocolate. The bottoms were bronzed and the centers were moist, tender, and scented with molasses and vanilla.

My one complaint? They tasted the same all the way through. I like my chocolate chip cookies to go through stages: from a buttery, crispy edge to a melted chocolate middle. Still, these are, without a doubt, the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever baked from a mix.

The cost worked out to more than $1 per cookie! As I sat on my couch, dunking one into a glass of milk, I couldn't help but wonder: could I approximate the results of the mix from scratch? Using the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Tomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home as my guide, I set about creating my own version.

Making Them From Scratch

20091204-bouchon3.jpg

The results? Pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself. My cookies weren't quite as thick or chunky as the ones from the Bouchon mix, but the edges were crisp and buttery. The molasses imparted a deep, almost spicy flavor, and the two kinds of chocolate ensured a gob of melted, gooey fudge in every bite. Best of all, they wont break the bank.

Continue here for Best Guess Bouchon Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies»

Comments

Add a comment

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: