Baking Recipes,  Cookies,  Experiments & experiences,  Timeless Treats

The Chocolate Chip Cookie they call ‘The Chewy’

Let it be known, before anything else, that I am torn about these cookies.

Taste-wise these cookies are perfect. They have that clearly ringing caramel flavour that doesn’t feel too overwhelmingly sweet. The chocolatey-ness of the chips adds a very nice touch. All the flavours are brought out more by the salt, which on occasion you can actually taste deep within every bite. Taste-wise these are nearest to my ideal chocolate chip cookies among all the cookies I’ve made.

My only problem is the inconsistency of my results.

I have made this recipe twice, each turn months apart. I remember loving it the first time, but I couldn’t remember exactly how they tasted like, so I had to make them again in order to write about them. And now there is a lot more to write about after the second time. (Also, I can’t help but notice how different my photography now looks! What a difference a few months make.)

The first time I made these, I got harassed for days by people from the office who kept asking if I had time to bake more because they wanted to buy some from me. Anyway, I thought the cookies were better the next day. It was a tad too sweet for my taste when eaten straight out of the oven, probably because the flavour hasn’t settled yet. It also developed a harder, slightly crunchy shell, and still retained that soft chewy inside. Fresh, it was verging on cakey, but after a day, it became very clear why it was called “The Chewy”.

The second time I made these, I had to keep it under wraps to protect myself. But one bite reminded me of just why I love these (probably the same reason why everyone else did too). The taste was still wonderfully addictive, making it impossible not to go back for seconds. The only problem was, while my first batch of cookies were fat and lovely, my second batch was so flat and so soft that they were nearly impossible to hold upright, especially on the day they were baked.

My brothers/taste-testers didn’t complain and asked me for seconds- they were that good!- but because I am the way I am, I had to understand what it was that made the cookies turn out differently this time. Besides, I am planning to make these again and I really do not appreciate odd-looking cookies. What I’m trying to say is: I’m on psycho baker mode tonight, and I have to write this to make myself feel better about everything. *Sniff*

The steps I took are exactly the same all-throughout.

There really isn’t a lot of ways to mess up the process itself, that is, until I got to the last part. This is a shining example of how one seemingly insignificant and careless action can dramatically affect the outcome of a thing.

You see, the trick is not to handle the dough too much. Once you are ready to bake your cookies, do not- and I repeat, do not!– roll the cookies in your warm hands and reverse the effects of cooling them in the fridge before baking them! My warm hands even managed to smudge the chocolate chips all over the cookie dough rounds and make them come out darker in colour.

How could I have been so dumb?!

'The Chewy' chocolate chip cookie

One of my favorite versions of chocolate chip cookies, this has a melodious caramel flavor with a firm crunchy crust and a soft chewy center.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks, 1 cup or 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups 12 ounces bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup 2 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups 8 ounces brown sugar*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • 1. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • 2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda on to a paper plate. Set aside.
  • 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  • 4. Meanwhile, whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
  • 5. Using the paper plate as a slide, gradually integrate the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, drop the speed to "stir" or low and add the chocolate chips.
  • 6. Chill the dough for 1 hour.
  • 7. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and place racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • 8. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-ounce portions onto parchment-lined half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet.** Bake 2 sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
  • 9. Once golden brown, remove from the oven. The cookies will still be slightly soft but will look cooked. Slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack and wait at least 5 minutes before devouring.

Notes

* The darker the brown sugar you use, the chewier your cookies will be.
** I used tablespoon-sized scoops and was able to fit 9 cookies per sheet.
Adapted from Alton Brown
Anyway, that’s a good lesson learned. Simply use a cookie scoop if you want you cookies to be perfect, or just use two spoons to scoop out mounds of dough onto the cookie sheet.

Either way, yummy is still yummy right? Even though you can’t feel how chewy The Chewy actually is when it flattens out into a thin disc like this (which kind of misses the point since this would’ve been a wonderful contender in the chewy versus crispy cookie battle), you can still enjoy it and all its marvelous flavour!

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