I’m embarassed to admit I had the ultimate fail yesterday with my chocolate chip cookies. I think it was the butter. It was too soft. Plus, I apparently can’t divide by two correctly, so I tried to cream WAY too much sugar with my butter (despite my gut feeling that it was too much) and then added more butter later. I think that messed it up too.
So, because of that, I decided to post on here what I don’t normally post, and that is a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Kind of. I researched ways on how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies. This isn’t exactly a measure-and-mix recipe just because “perfect” means so many different things to different people. Instead, I’ll let you know what combination you’ll need to have to obtain the cookie you want. (Hopefully.)
1. The most loved chocolate chip cookie is the chewy type (thick and full of moisture).
- One of your goals is to bake the cookie before it has a chance to flatten out; you can achieve this partly by refrigerating the dough and placing it on a cold cookie sheet (NEVER bake cookies on a hot cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator between batches.)
- Turn the oven up and bake the cookies for a shorter period of time.
- Use a higher proportion of brown sugar (which contains molasses) to white sugar.
- My favorite Food Network chef, Alton Brown, suggests replacing one of the eggs with just egg yolk + 1 oz of milk since egg whites tend to dry out cookies.
- Most importantly, don’t overcook the cookies. Take them out when they seem a little less than done.
2. Crisp and crunchy cookies have their place in the world too.
- Allow the cookies to spread out and then bake; smaller rounds of dough as well as a lower temperature / longer baking time will make this happen.
- A higher ratio of white to brown sugar will make the cookies crispy.
- Alton Brown suggests increasing the amount of baking soda, which will reduce the acidity of the dough and raise the temperature at which it sets, allowing the cookie dough to spread farther before the cookies cook.
Some important things to note are that you can’t exactly replace butter and margarine as a 1:1 ratio. Margarine has more water, and thus will give you more moisture in your cookies. You can use margarine; just correct the other ingredients accordingly. Place the freshly baked cookies on a cooling rack so that your cookies don’t get soggy on the bottom. Brown sugar needs to be packed while measuring; white sugar doesn’t pack, so you can skip this step with white sugar. It’s not a good idea to pack flour, but rather one should spoon the flour into the dry-goods measuring cup and then leveled out with the back of a knife for an accurate amount.
Of course, you’ll have to do a few batches for trial and error to get your own unique recipe. Use the Nestle Tollhouse recipe (on the back of chocolate chip cookies; also found here) for a standard, really good cookie recipe to start with, then add in your own variations. You won’t even need a cookie jar — just cooling racks!
Sources: Experience, http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/techniques/perfect-chocolate-chip-cookie-00400000012170/ , http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/7/18/755008/-Whats-for-Dinner:-Controlling-Your-Cookies