The last time we indulged my chocolate chip cookie obsession, we looked at the Nestle Toll House recipe. Though I ate those for many years I was never completely satisfied. I always thought that, with a bit of tinkering, the recipe could be altered to produce a better cookie. The problem was that I didn’t understand what modifications could be made to get different results. All of that changed when I saw an episode of Good Eats, Three Chips for Sister Martha. In that episode, Alton Brown makes three different cookies-a chewy one, a puffy one, and a thin one-each using the Toll House recipe as a template.
Let’s get the recipes in your hands and review the cookies before we analyze the changes and why they matter. The first three of the next four cookie posts will be reviews and recipes of each of the cookies. The fourth will be an explanation of the science behind the changes. Let’s start with the Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie.
This recipe results in a bready, chewy cookie. As you can tell by the photos, the cookies are mounded and thick. Personally, though it was a good example of what a chewy cookie should be, it didn’t knock my socks off. But that’s just me. Some of my friends disagreed, and believed that the thick, chocolaty cookie was one of the best they have eaten. I’ll let you be the judge.
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Add the melted butter to your mixer’s work bowl (or into a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer). To this, add the sugar and brown sugar and cream on medium speed.
- Add the egg, yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
- Incorporate the flour into the mixture slowly as to not spray flour everywhere. Once all the flour has been added, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Chill the dough.
- Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets. AB suggests putting only 6 cookies per sheet and using a #20 disher (each cookie will weigh about 1.5 ounces).
- Bake for 14 minutes, checking after 6. (Rotate the cookies about half way though for even browning.) Once they are just turning golden brown, remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.