I waited eagerly for the 4th batch of chocolate chip cookies to bake, not daring to look into the oven window to make sure they were developing the faint cracks that were a hallmark of that particular recipe. When the timer went off a few minutes later and I opened the oven door, all hopes of perfecting the recipe were lost. They were still the round balls of dough I had put in the oven 10 minutes earlier, now baked. Puffy, browned, and crackless, the cookies were the ugliest ones I had ever made. I couldn’t understand why they weren’t spreading and cracking like the ones I made a couple of weeks earlier. I had used the same recipe after all. Frustrated, I set them on the wire rack to cool, because their dark butterscotch-y flavor remained unchanged.
I traced back through my memories to the first time I encountered this problem. It was back in February, maybe January. I couldn’t quite remember. My friend E – was at home sick, and T- suggested we bake something for her.(I wrote about it here once before). Somewhere along the way, something must have gone wrong. It might have been the fact that I was baking with different ingredients and an unfamiliar oven, but if this were the case, the cookies would have turned out better this time.
I still haven’t figured out why I keep producing batch after batch of puffy cookies. I have tried everything I can think of, from new baking powder and baking soda, to baking them in different ovens. Nothing works. But thankfully, I hate having to waste so many ingredients when there are tons of perfectly good recipes, probably even better than the recipe that has failed me, waiting to be tried out.
This is why I have waited so long to post a chocolate chip cookie recipe on my blog. I believe that everyone should have a good recipe for chocolate chip cookies, so I’ve tried out loads of recipes. Well, not loads, but everything from recipes that use bread flour like Alton Brown’s The Chewy, to simple recipes with simple ingredient that almost everyone has on hand, baker or not.
Would you be annoyed if I confessed that I’ve had this recipe up my sleeve since before I even started blogging? I’m truly very sorry! Let me explain. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I had a good, reliable recipe before sharing it with you. In my opinion, chocolate chip cookies should not be tooth-shatteringly hard, but instead crisp around the edges, chewy towards the center, and soft in the middle. The recipe I wrote about was exactly that, until it turned out puffy, over-browned cookies. This is probably due to something I’m overlooking, but I have no idea what. I’m confident that the one I’m sharing with you now will be reliable. If you take into consideration the following tips.
1. Have all your ingredients at room temperature. In this case, the eggs and the melted butter.
2. If the dough looks shiny and feels sticky after mixing, let it chill in the fridge until it becomes manageable, about 30 minutes.
3. I like to bake an unrefrigerated cookie and a refrigerated one as a test to compare them and decide which I like best. (This greatly depends on you oven).
4. With this recipe, because the butter is melted, be sure to whisk it with the sugars very well, until the mixture becomes homogenous.
5. I find that baking the cookies for 13 to 14 minutes works best. You will want them to be under-baked a little and very soft in the center for them to become chewy. After baking, they will still be a little raw, but if you let them cool for 15 minutes on the hot baking sheet, they will continue baking until they have the perfect texture.
I know that chocolate chip cookies are pretty basic, but after that one recipe that I still can’t get to turn out right, I thought I would save you the frustration of turning out batch after batch of hard or puffy chocolate chip cookies by writing out these tips.
Best, Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 18 large cookies
Recipe from allrecipes.com
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (make sure that your brown sugar is soft and moist. Do not use raw sugar instead or else your cookies will turn out dry and hard).
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. I roll out a walnut sized ball in my hand, not a 1/4 cup of dough. You will want a fairly large dough ball though, or you won’t get the variety of textures a big cookie offers.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. ( I bake mine for 13 minutes, but it depends on your oven. Cool on baking sheets for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.