COOKIE WATCH: How to Make Your Chocolate Chip Cookies Better

Chocolate chip cookies are the king of all cookies. Full stop🚦. So I thought it would be fitting to write about them in my first cookie post here on Cookies and Music. That, and “we” (I use that term loosely here because, let’s be real, I sat on the couch while my husband made them) made them today!! What a day. 🍪

I can’t say that I’ve come up with the recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Au contraire, my favorite recipe is the one right there on the Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips bag. Pssst, those words link to the recipe. They weren’t joking around with that recipe. It’s better than the Tollhouse one, in my humble opinion.

However, recently I have managed to come up with an amazing recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re so good, you have to try them!

For general chocolate chip cooking making, I can also say that I have a few choice technique notes on how to make your chocolate chip cookies better. I’ve gathered these little tips over the years and my/our cookie results have been PRETTY SOLID.

1. Soften your butter the right way. This is probably obvious to most, but either let your butter come to room temp on its own (cut into pieces if you’d like to speed up the process by a teensy bit – it should take an hour), or, if you truly do not want to wait, you can still get decent results by microwaving the butter on low for 10 seconds at a time until just softened. Never let the butter melt in the micro (or anywhere else), not even a little (unless of course it’s a special recipe that calls for that, apparently it’s a thing now).

2. Cream your butter and sugar together thoroughly until, yes, creamy and fluffy-looking. If doing this by hand, it will probably take longer than you think. Don’t skimp here because it affects the final texture! Science. But if it gets creamy and then starts to look clumpy, you’ve gone too far!

3. Adjust to your taste. Different textures (crispy, chewy, soft) require different amounts of ingredients (extra flour, all brown sugar, etc.). You can also add certain ingredients for unique flavors. Experiment and make the cookies of your dreams! Check out this post by the Handle The Heat where she tested different ingredients and showed exactly which results they produced.

My secret ingredient is almond extract. I usually sub 1/2 of the vanilla extract for almond extract. I LOVE almond extract so this is a no brainer for me. It gives the cookies an interesting little oomph that makes people go, hmmm what is that flavor??? It’s almond extract.

4. Don’t skip the chill. This applies to life as well as cookies. Straight up confession – I freeze my dough for about 20-30 minutes. Even 15 is pretty good. Yes, in the freezer. It’s sooooo much faster than refrigerating it for an hour or whatever ridiculous amount of time many recipes suggest. I am a) lazy and b) impatient and just can’t fathom waiting a full extra hour for my cookies to be ready. Me Cookie Monster. For real. The cookies come out just as good as when I have refrigerated it, too. HOWEVER, a big however, I have found that for ideal texture and flavor, you can’t really skip the chilling part altogether. So that’s kind of a bummer (see points a and b above). But if you’re good at waiting, chilling overnight actually gives the best flavor (according to The Food Lab).

5. Check your cookies for doneness early. Start checking on them (using the oven light only!!!!) at 1-2 minutes before the recommended baking time is up. Pull them out when they are just beginning to brown around the edges. They will look like they are not done. But they are (do not quote me). They will also continue baking a bit once you take them out of the oven.

6. If you suspect you might be lactose intolerant (you’ve had suspicious incidences in the past, you’ve thought about it, but you’re in denial about the cold, hard, truth), do not enjoy your cookies with a tall, frosty glass of milk. Otherwise, you’ll be up at 1 am with a really sad stomach writing blog posts in an attempt to ward off the inevitable. That sounds like my stomach is writing blog posts. In a way it is….

That’s it! I leave you with a quote from the very wise Cookie Monster himself: “Me Cookie Monster. That all there is to it. Me love to eat cookie. Sometimes eat whole, sometimes me chew it.” Indeed.

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