This weekend, I made a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch using an old recipe that I remembered as being very simple. When they came out dry and really flat tasting, I was pretty upset that I had made such a giant batch of sub-par cookies. At first I thought it was just too much flour. The recipe called for 3 cups, but I’ve noticed that most other recipes call for about 2 cups with the same amount of the other ingredients. After exasperatedly ranting to Danielle about it, she pointed me to this article which goes super in-depth about every single aspect of the chocolate chip cookie. With this article, I had suddenly entered a new stage of my life.
I realized that there were so many things I could be doing to make my cookies better. However, instead of just following this author/mad scientist’s recipe or the Jacques Torres recipe to which he refers, I decided I still wanted to experiment and make my own unique recipe that wouldn’t take too many ridiculous steps. By taking different components of these superior recipes, perhaps I would be able to make my own special recipe that tastes just as good. Even if I’m not able to produce something as divine as those cookies, it would still be a fun adventure and I’d have a lot of cookies, so why not?
I melted 1 stick of butter and creamed it with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (a mildly flavored one), 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1 tbsp of molasses.
Even as I strive for a mind-blowing chocolate chip cookie, there’s still that little part of me that’s like “try to make it a little healthier!” (I think it’s my mom’s voice.) So I stubbornly continue to substitute some of the butter for oil. This will almost certainly hinder me from reaching full cookie potential, but there’s something satisfying about substituting some of the butter out and getting the interesting addition of olive oil and still producing a great cookie, so h8rs can h8.
In traditional cookie making style, I added 2 eggs one at a time and then 2 tsp of vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, I whisked together 2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt. I mixed this dry mixture into the wet mixture in three installments (inspired by this Food52 recipe which tells you to stop between each batch and scrape down the sides). Then, before the last batch of dry mixture is fully mixed in, I folded in 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips by hand so as to not overmix the batter. After refrigerating the cookies for 20 hours (couldn’t wait the extra 4 hours), here’s what the batter looked like.
The cookie came out pretty well! I baked them at 350℉ for 13 minutes. Straight out of the oven they were crisp on the edges and soft and chewy in the middles. The crispness faded after they cooled down, though, so I still have some tweaking to do.
I had baked a few cookies from this batter the previous day before refrigerating at all and kept them for comparison. The flavor of the cookies made from refrigerated dough was undeniably and considerably darker. With the fresh-batter cookies, I mostly tasted the chocolate chips (another change that must be made is either less chocolate chips or changing to chocolate that’s not Nestle and has higher cacao content), but with the cookies made from refrigerated dough, I could really taste how much richer the flavors had gotten, especially with the help of the molasses.
They were a bit more moist than I would’ve liked and didn’t have the craggy effect that Mr. J. Kenji López-Alt describes so fondly. This is probably because of the ratio of brown sugar/molasses to white sugar, so I will be changing that next time. Furthermore, if I’m set on using oil in my cookies, it would probably be wise, or at least more interesting texturally, to cream the butter at room temperature rather than cream melted butter.
This was my first batch of highly experimental cookies. Let’s see if my predictions on how to fix this recipe are correct.