Chocolate chip cookies
Did you know that the original chocolate chip cookie was the result of a
kitchen mistake? A housewife decided to pour melted chocolate into a cold dough
to make a chocolate cookie. Instead the chocolate cooled and broke up into
little chunks. These days most kitchen errors arenít half as awesome or lucky.
This post is here to help you prevent any chocolate chip cookie baking problems
in your kitchen. How many different times have you seen a recipe calling itself
ďTHE PERFECT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIEĒ? I know Iíve seen it more times than I
can count. Is it the same recipe, printed over and over again? No, theyíre
often different (albeit only slightly.) How can this be? How can there be
multiple perfect cookie recipes? Are all of these recipe writers wrong save for
one? No way! The perfect chocolate cookie is totally subjective. I like mine
dense and chewy, my boyfriend likes them light and crunchy (he is wrong, but I
digress.) So here, instead of giving you another impersonal recipe I am going to
show you how you can tailor the recipe to be your perfect cookie,
be it chewy, crunchy, dense, sweet, or however you like it.
There are many different components at play when making cookies. Letís break
them down. Most cookies call for:
sweeteners, like sugar or brown sugar
butter, softened and creamed, cold and cubed, or melted
flavoring, like vanilla extract
Flour, usually all-purpose
and a leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder.
Letís take a deeper look at each of these components and the roles they
White sugar dissolves easily and quickly in the water that is released from the
butter as the butter begins to melt while the cookie bakes. This creates a
cookie that spreads out thinner than one made with brown sugar or a mix of the
two. A thinner cookie on a hot cookie sheet is also a crispier cookie. If you
like your cookies thin and crispy try to cut down the amount of brown sugar in
the recipe and replace it with white.
Brown sugar does not attract the water from the butter as much since it already
has itís own moisture. This moisture also eventually turns into steam, which
makes for taller, more cake like cookies. The brown sugar also gives the cookie
a deeper caramel like flavor and helps the cookies to stay fresh tasting longer
Both sugars in some combination seem to work the best. You get the softness of
the brown sugar cookie but the spread and crunch on the outer rims of the white
Now letís talk a little bit about leaveners.
Baking soda is great and your cookies will most likely call for either only
baking soda or a mixture of soda and baking powder. Baking soda is a base and it
works the minute it comes into contact with an acid so if you are using
only baking soda you will want to bake your cookies immediately. You will
also need some type of acid (think yogurt, vinegar, baking powder, buttermilk,
etc) in your cookies to activate baking soda. Cookies made only with baking soda
are crunchier and flatter, with cracked tops.
Baking powder however is an acid on itís own. If you have double
acting baking powder your cookies will benefit from two different rises. The
first is a reaction between the baking powder and the moisture in the cookie.
The second is a reaction of the powder to the heat, giving it a second rise in
the oven. Cookies with higher amounts of baking powder than baking soda create
taller, cakier cookies with smoother tops.
Chilling the dough overnight absolutely gives you a leg up on the competition.
The resting period allows the moisture in the butter to soak into the flour
completely. This helps to spread all of the flavors, in essence deepening the
true cookie flavor. No matter what you do, if you want perfect cookies, chill
your dough overnight.
A combination of baking soda and baking powder is ideal as the baking soda will
react off of the baking powder.
Melted butter cookies must be chilled. When chilled for four hours they come out
like this. Melted butter cookies are flatter and crisper than other cookies.
This is due to moisture loss that occurs when you melt butter. The butter breaks
down and spreads a lot faster after youíve melted it. The faster a cookie
spreads the crisper it will get as the cookie has a chance to spread a thin
layer on still hot cookie tray. Melted butter cookies come out the crunchiest,
but I found the flavor to be heavier than I like.
No matter how you like them here are some tips to better chocolate chip
Rest the dough overnight! But we already went over this.
Use the nicest quality chocolate you can comfortable afford. The
butter flavor gets lost easily in chocolate chippers but the chocolate stands
out, so use the best you can.
Use at least two different types of chocolate! Preferably in different
sizes, like small chips and large chunks. This means each and every bite of each
cookie will be different, new, and exciting!
Cut the salt in half and sprinkle some on the top of the cookie. The
salt on the outside will help your tongue create more saliva, which helps to
spread the flavor of the cookies over all of your cookie hungry tongue.
If your cookies are spreading out too much try adding a couple tablespoons
of flour to help combat that and bake only a couple at a time until they no
longer spread too much.
Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (feel free to personalize!)
1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling on the cookies
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped dark chocolate pieces
1 cup milk chocolate chips
- In a large bowl or using a stand mixer cream together the butter and
sugars on medium speed. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so
that everything is combined.
- Turn the mixer onto high and slowly add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides again. Add the remaining
ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Rest the dough in the fridge over night. When ready to bake preheat oven
to 365įF. Scoop out the cookies and do not flatten them. Lightly sprinkle
them with salt. Bake on a parchment lined cookie tray until the middles look
underdone but the edges are browned, about 12-14 minutes for an average
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