Monday, December 05, 2011

French Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Another French bone of contention today. I got steamed up reading RP's evaluation of the best chocolate chip cookies in Paris(!?) You're looking at a Laura Todd 'classique' (burp) chocolat noir here.

Here's your basic New York chocolate chip($3.) from City Bakery. OK maybe the sugar is too carmelized etc. but the texture and surface is day and night from those Frenchie chocolate chips.

How could it be otherwise, when the flour, water, eggs, bla, bla, bla are completement different. Even the altitude counts I was told in France. Not to mention the chocolate...ahem
These sad looking samples were being sold dans le rue in Montmartre.

Chocolate Chip CookiesFor a celebration of terroir/regional products. OUCH

I know the French love new trends and maybe choc-chip cookies are 'cool', but I'm very chauvinistic about these. Disclosure: I'm not a chocolate chip cookie connosisseur. I'll eat a chocolate-chocolate chip before I go for the classic. My fav is at Cafe Petrossian but they were cleaned out by 2 pm on Saturday (and they're a FRENCH cafe). Even mass-market Whole Foods cookies look better than the Fr samples. Wish I'd gotten the pumpkin-walnut.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Union Sq. Farmers Market gets them right.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Laura Todd is a huge very clever chain that introduced choc chips to France. I broil when I see their stands at the salon du chocolat or Galeries Lafayette Gourmet. Grrrrr
Chocolate Chip Cookies HMPH
Did you know New York cheese cake is big in Paris?

Chocolate Chip Cookies Fortunately our pound cake (or is it British) they will never get but that's another post...
Why the French can't be satisfied making the most seductive pastry on the planet.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Is beyond me. If you want to know the 10 best choc chip cookies in New York here's a list from Serious Eats.
Au Revoir French Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Chocolate Chip CookiesPhoto by Robyn Lee


  1. AGREED!
    They looks so pasty and pale
    Looks are everything in a choc chip cookie.
    Bet they don't use Nestle chips either

  2. Anonymous9:51 AM

    The reason chocolate chip cookies turn out "differently" when made in France is that French flour is different...from the source to the mill--it will not produce the same puffy and chewy cookie as American flour.

    You have to truly play around with the flour/butter proportions when baking from an American recipe. It's not just a matter of converting US to metric.

    It's best, in the end, to leave the cookies to the US bakers, and the eclairs, etc, to the French ones.

  3. ... and when (if) I buy such cookies in my little supermarket, they are made in the U.S.! Seems somehow logical as it corresponds to their origin, I suppose.

  4. Exactement Anonymous!!
    I am so with you on this!!!

  5. Lucinda10:04 AM

    LOVE the pic of the Fr chefs studing the chocolate female sculpture!!!
    So FRENCH!

  6. Whats so wonderful about this is that the lady who first made these did it 'on the fly' at her Inn. (Toll House Inn) and I'm sure she is loving the controversy from her kitchen in Heaven!

  7. The whole story is in the NYTimes article of Toll House cookies-Simply a case of a big choclate bar falling and shattering into a mixer!

  8. My favorite choc chip recipe is from Cooks Illustrated and it can be made, shaped and frozen so that a fresh hot cookie is only 10 minutes of preheating the oven and 25 minutes of baking time away...and my freezer ALWAYS has a bag of cookies ready to bake. I alternate between the Toll House chips and Valrhona chopped up.
    I now consider it my patriotic duty to uphold the tradition of the true American chocolate chip cookie! Carol, you keep "research" covered; I'll cover the chocolate chips!

  9. COOKIN' Jeanette!
    I knew you were THE ONE in the know!
    merci buckets of chips
    wish I lived closer to KC for a yummy heated-up chip

    Cook's choc chip recipe is HERE
    *though they don't seem to let the dough REST 36 hrs like City Bakery suggests..Hmmm

  10. This post reminds me that I'd better get in gear to make my Dad his annual Christmas present of 18 dozen of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Which he calls "lard biscuits." Which contain, in each batch, a cup of shortening AND a cup of oil.

    And which he puts in the freezer in a container that LOCKS so nobody else can steal them.

    Let's see the Parisians beat that.

  11. Ah, those cheeky French people! How dare they try and make the all-American chocolate chip cookies-- and poorly at that!? I tell you what: French Girl in Seattle will immediately email/text/write/call all of the suppliers you listed above as soon as all the "French-labeled" - and cardboard-tasting baguettes/croissants/pains au chocolat, etc. have been removed from Seattle's bakeries and supermarket aisles. Deal?! -- Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  12. YOU got it Bienvenue chez French Girl!!!

    we own em

  13. Just let me know when you're coming and I'll preheat the oven!!!

  14. Seeing those two Frenchies casting the chocolate female reminds me of when my son and I did a body cast of his 7 month pregnant partner, from head to mid-thigh. He took her left side, I took her right, and we slathered the plaster onto her nude body, really fast.
    Mmmm...maybe her negative mold is waiting to be filled with gallons of chocolate, for the holidays...?

  15. Dear Carol,

    I totally agree the cookies that were sampled in the raid did not look at all like authentic American cookies (I wish you were here for this raid!), so the subject was not at all "French cookies are better than American" but "where to find the best cookies in Paris" :) For sure I have to go to NY to taste the ONES :)

    PS: Cafe Petrossian recipes were made by Philippe Conticini from the Pâtisserie des Rêves :)

  16. Wow, how patriotic!
    You hit a nerve, Carol, we all love chocolate chip cookies, but not French ones!
    I've never had a French chocolate chip, so I can't compare them. But I will certainly take your word for it!

  17. Le chocolate chip !
    Oh, Carol, Since I am in a festive mood and doing a bit of homemaking today I was wondering if I could send a few treats your way and your chocolate chip entry inspired me a bit.

  18. My favorite cookie is Chocolate chip.. preferbably the ones I make with lots of chocolates it them. Toll House of course. :))

  19. oops.. lots of chocolte chips in them that is.

  20. Nothing like the original Toll House!!! I did add some Kraft caramel bits ( not the chocolate chip shaped ones of another brand ) ,left from making another not yet perfect macaron attempt,into a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Now they are my DH fave! those French ones don't look done. Let them stick to what they do best!

  21. Exactly Jeri-ann
    There are no good macarons in NY...
    Even Lad are flown in so who knows how many days old..

  22. I can't disagree. We are absolutely spoiled with chocolate chip deliciousness in NYC. From City Bakery to Levain to Momofuku, there's a monstrous beauty to bite into on nearly every corner.

    The best I found in Paris - not counting mon amie's special order-only company, Lola's - was at Eric Kayser. Delicious Valrhona chunks. But, like you said, tres different from our American specimens.

    Miam miam.

  23. Ah Ha!
    You are the expert here Amy, and you agree!
    I AM right on this one :)

  24. Just a little note:

    Quatre Quarts = Pound Cake

  25. Cheesecake?
    Knowing that you're always on the lookout for sweet things in Paris, here is a bakery that was mentioned in this past Saturday's Madame Figaro, specialist in (you guessed it) - cheesecake!

    She's Cake
    20 avenue Ledru Rollin 75012


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