Dear ErinCooks: I have a chocolate chip cookie conundrum: try as I might I can’t get my cookies to the consistency I like. I am a fan of chewy chocolate chip cookies, not cakey or crunchy, just chewy. I think it must be a butter issue. Should I try margarine or shortening? Maybe it’s too much mixing? Or maybe timing? — Julia
Dear Julia: This is your lucky day! While I can’t honestly speak coherently to the science behind chewy, over cakey, over crispy chocolate chip cookies I do have a fabulous recipe to share with you. According to the recipe’s author, this particular cookie dough contains less butter than the standard recipe, which prevents the cookies from spreading too much in the oven. So you’re right on track about butter having something to do with a cookie’s texture.
Please give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. It’s one of my favorites and right up there with the artichoke dip in the category of “super top secret.” I honestly can’t believe I’m telling you guys how to make all of my best recipes! On a side note The Got Milk? Cookie Book has excellent cookie recipes. The Peanut Butter cookies from that cookbook are some of my favorites too, and if you’re into crisp and crunchy, or thin and chewy, rather than thick and chewy, there’s a recipe inside for you.
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Originally published in the Got Milk? Cookie Book by Peggy Cullen)
Makes 12 large cookies
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons white sugar
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup nuts (Note: optional. I never add nuts, but it’s totally personal preference).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the egg. Scrape down the bowl using a rubber spatula and beat for a few more seconds.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix on low speed just until absorbed. Combine the chocolate chunks and nuts into a small bowl and stir into the dough.
Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and drop them about 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets (Note: I use a silpat. I don’t have a lot of faith in leaving my baked goods ability to be removed from a pan up to chance). For perfectly uniform cookies, scoop the dough using a 1 1/2 inch diameter ice-cream scoop, leveling the dough off across the top before dropping onto the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely (Note: I never bake my batches for more than 12 minutes. If you over bake the cookies they obviously wont be chewy).
Doubling: I should warn you all that I’ve never had very good luck when I double this recipe. Sometimes they come out really flat, sometimes they come out thin and chewy, and sometimes they’re just a big mess. Once in a while they come out like they’re supposed to, but not often. You’re better off making two complete batches of the smaller original recipe.
Need some advice? You can always Ask Erin Cooks.