ANATOMY OF A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE


There is much debate about what makes a good chocolate chip cookie. Some like 'em crisp all the way with gooey morsels of melted chocolate running through. Others, like myself, prefer a golden edge with a soft center. That's what this is. Some odd years ago, I stumbled upon the original chocolate chip cookie that I have slightly modified for use today. I don't have a single clue where I got the original recipe, so if this looks at all familiar, please feel free to link back. I'm not sure why I haven't posted this recipe before. Likely because I've strayed from including recipes that use refined sugars, which are a rare occasion in my diet. However, once I got a request last week to make these again, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to share.

So, the perfect chocolate chip cookie. There are a few variables that make this so: the chocolate, the vanilla, the sugar, and of course, the butter.

Let's start with the chocolate and vanilla. My main point on these two ingredients is to use the highest quality that you can find. For the chocolate, I suggest at least 70% fair trade cocoa. The same goes with vanilla. Throw out the artificial vanilla or even pure vanilla extract that you can get at any supermarket. Find something better, something local is great too. The importance of using high-quality ingredients in baking is of the upmost importance. It is more expensive, but the payoff is worth the extra bucks.

For a chewier cookie, you'll want to have a higher brown to white sugar ratio. The reason for this comes down to the chemistry of the sugars. Modern day brown sugars are most commonly made by using a refined white sugar and adding molasses. The addition of molasses, a liquid sugar, will increase the moisture content of the sugar (think of the texture between white and brown sugars). For the purpose of this cookie, we'll be using a 3:1 ratio.

Finally, the butta'. There is some speculation about American vs cultured butter in baking. To get the right texture for these cookies, use American butter. While cultured (or European) butter is more flavourful, it contains a higher fat content (82% vs 80%). For the flour in our cookie batter to fully absorb the fat, you're going to want to go with the lower, American-style butter. It's cheaper than cultured butter too, which is a bonus. In regards to temperature, you'll want to bring the butter to just above room temperature before creaming. To do so, cut into chunks to speed up the process. DO NOT let the butter get too warm.

Allow the dough to rest for at least one hour, and upwards of 36 hours. For a very tasty cookie, go the whole mile and let it rest for 36 hours. Giving the dough time to rest gives the flour a chance to soak up all the liquid and lends to a firmer consistency.

Roll dough large enough so as to have a crunchy exterior and a chewy interior. I'd recommend measuring out a tablespoon.
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Original source unknown, modifications made // Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 cup (227 grams) American-style butter, brought to just above room temperature
1 1/2 cup (300 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, brought to room temperature
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
2 cups dark chocolate, finely chopped
Sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Cream butter and both sugars together for four minutes. Start on low speed, and once incorporated increase to medium speed. Do not go above medium speed, or else butter will heat up. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat two minutes. Add baking soda and flour. Dough will be thick. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Mixing will develop the gluten, allowing for a chewy cookie. Careful not to mix too much though. Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to 36 hours. Preheat oven to 350F. Drop 1 TBSP dough rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt to create a lasting flavor. Not TOO much. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Enjoy with a tall glass of almond milk.

1 comments:

  1. your chocolate cookies really are the best.
    i very much enjoyed this post.

    ReplyDelete

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