Breakup Cookies

by mjcarney

I once read that Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar fame said that she didn’t attempt to do a regular ole chocolate chip cookie because everyone already had a favorite recipe. I always found this to be so true, that is, until my friend Rebecca texted me, “I’m craving a Breakup Cookie. Want to meet me at Church Street Coffee?” I’d never heard of this Breakup Cookie that she texted of, but obviously I was in. Fast forward a hour and I’d officially become a full out Breakup Cookie Addict. One text to my friend Kelly and I’d secured the recipe–it was none other than the Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that was featured in the New York Times a few years ago. I’ve made several batches of these since, each time swearing to myself, mouth full of freshly baked cookie, “I promise I’ll blog these next time.”

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content*
Sea salt (I prefer Maldon)

*Church Street’s Breakup Cookies are made with half Ghirardelli chocolate and half Nestle. But Ina always told me to buy the best ingredients I could afford, so I’ve been loading mine up with a box of 60% E. Guittard discs and a one pound bar of 70% Valrhona chocolate, both available at Sur la Table. This is a little pricier, but I promise you won’t care when you bite into them.


1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
*Brownie points for baking these cookies in a bathing suit. It’s an effective way to remind yourself not to eat too much cookie dough.