Jul 19, 2007

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Here’s the thing: I’ve always thought of myself as a thin, crispy cookie kind of person. The kind that go really well with a nice cup of coffee in the afternoon. Ladylike cookies, wedding shower cookies, you get my drift. But lately, I’ve really been in the mood for chewier cookies, the kind that totally deserve an ice-cold glass of milk if you’re really going to do it right. And because I’ve been doing a lot of baking-related research as of late (a post dedicated my my current reads coming very soon), I wanted to apply some of the things I’ve learned about how certain ingredients and the handling of them create different baked results. So enter the following recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I’m sure most everyone reading this blog is familiar with the classic Toll House Cookie recipe. If you’re using that recipe as a frame of reference for how these cookies turn out, you’ll notice a couple of things. First, this recipe calls for melted butter rather than just creaming softened butter with the sugars. Melted butter is one of the things that give this cookie it’s moist, chewy quality. Because, doncha know, when you melt butter, the water and fat in the butter separate, and the water binds with the flour to produce more gluten, which is stretchy and, ta-da…chewy!

The other thing is the high ratio of brown sugar to white sugar. Brown sugar is higher in moisture than white sugar and it contains molasses, which keep it from becoming hard and brittle when it cools, also equaling a chewy cookie. And the feather in the proverbial chewy cap in this recipe is an extra egg yolk, which means a little more fat, a little more moisture, and a rich and yummy texture, not to mention a pretty, more golden color. Chew-wheee!

Things I love about this recipe: since it has melted butter, you can do this whole recipe by hand, no mixer required. However, since I very recently FINALLY got a KitchenAid mixer, into the mixer this recipe went. Something else I love is that it is a classic, but with the best texture ever, which makes it seem a little more special than other chocolate chip cookies. They are great for everyday or for parties, depending on the size you make them.

I have recently become a total baking geek and have started weighing my prebaked portions so the cookies will be uniform without having to handle the dough too much. For this recipe, I made the portion around 50 grams for the husband to take to a work party, but when I made a batch to send to my very pregnant sister and my awesome brother-in-law, I made them awesomely sized at about 75-80 grams. She is, after all, growing a person.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Alton Brown

Makes 18 to 24 Cookies

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugars. Beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture, followed by chocolate chips.

Drop by scant 1/4 cups onto the baking sheet and pat lightly so the cookies are an even thickness. They’ll spread when they bake (so I only do about six cookies per sheet), and this makes them an even thickness at the end.

Bake for 15-17 minutes until just turning light brown all over. The edges should be only very slightly light brown, if at all, from the rest of the cookie. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

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