Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Melange A Biscuits Avec Morceaux De Chocolat

I usually don’t do this; I’m not America’s Test Kitchen who methodically ranks food and kitchen equipment, but I have some very strong feelings about this so please stick with me on this post.

I was in Williams Sonoma yesterday doing my usual thing, browsing the cookware. In the back of the store there was a display with Thomas Keller’s cookie and cake mix along with some silicon bake ware and the Bouchon cookbook. I was elated and disturbed at the same time; I was thinking “noooo, not Keller too, endorsing pans and cookie mixes, aren’t there enough celebrity chefs doing this same thing?”

I then thought that if Keller was putting his name on something, and I’ve bought everything with his name on it, that it must be the best. Surely he wouldn’t just sell his name to some soulless dry mix company who cranks out millions of pounds of flavorless crap.

Please don’t let this be true, please don’t let the purist, Thomas Keller, join the throngs of celeb chefs selling their name on food, cookware and the menus of mega-chain restaurants serving food that doesn’t even come close to the acclaimed chefs style.

I must have looked like a nut job, starring at the display, walking away only to return and stare at it some more. “Can I help you sir” was said on multiple occasions… bet you can help me I’m thinking, help me understand how this is possible. “Are you looking for anything in particular?”……you bet I am, I’m looking for deep answers to deep questions.

OK, enough with the conflicting thoughts, I bought it because I’ve constantly been looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and at $18.00 for 12 small or 6 large cookies this was either going to be everything I would expect from Keller or it was going to be a huge failure that would lead to me undoubtedly hurling the cookies through the air.

Even as I checked out they said “is this all?”, as if to say, good god man you’ve been in here for a half hour and all you can find is a box of cookie mix? “Is this all?” it’s much more complicated than you might think, this will be a test with huge ramifications, does it have sole?, or is it a box of well marketed crap? I’ve eaten at several of Thomas Keller’s restaurants and I know how high the standard should be.

The mix.

The raw dough rounded up.

These were the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten, I was making moaning noises as I ate them, it was pure pleasure. Add butter & egg to the packets in the box which included Callebaut chocolate chunks, sugar blend, flour packet and molasses. Now the work begins to develop a cookie with the same qualities. There are very few things as rewarding as a great chocolate chip cookie. Like most things that are great, they are simple; it just comes down to the quality of ingredients and the cooking process.

Today I’m a happy man because I realized that not everything that has a celeb chef’s name on it is mediocre. Keller has found a way to put high quality into a box and send it home with you so you can have a little piece of the Bouchon Bakery in your own kitchen.