When I told a friend I was writing a post about making chocolate chip cookies, she commented, “Why bother? My mom always just used the recipe on the side of the bag.” And, certainly, if you do a search on “chocolate chip cookie recipes” you’ll find more recipes that you could make in a lifetime, all claiming to be the very best!
If you click on this picture, you’ll be taken to the “Original Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie” recipe by Nestle. Okay, everyone raise your hand if your mom’s recipe box included the recipe cut off the back of the bag, but your mom used the cheaper, generic chocolate chips. These days we can just google for a recipe – but it never seems quite the same. That’s okay – my purpose in writing this today is to give you a few insights on making your cookies a little chewier and tastier, just like Mom’s.
Let’s assemble all our ingredients! Or, if you have a really small kitchen like mine, just clear the counter around your mixer so you have room to work.
A cook is only as good as her ingredients.
Make sure all your ingredients are fresh. I tend to bake in phases – I might go months without baking anything. But when the holidays roll around, you know you’ll find me shifting through my cookbooks to find the perfect cookies for that season. At that point, I’ll be checking the expiration dates on baking soda and baking powder (which has a relatively short shelf life), and always buying fresh flour. A lot of these ingredients are not very expensive – when in doubt, throw it out.
I have no particular preference for salted vs unsalted butter. This recipe is not so sensitive that the salt in a stick of butter will cause it to fall apart. What is important is that you melt the butter before creaming it with the sugars. Some folks will tell you to avoid melting in the microwave, but I haven’t had problems. Whether it’s melted on stovetop or in the microwave, use liquid butter in this recipe.
Eggs vs egg yolks…
What makes this recipe a little chewier and moister is
- There is more brown sugar than white, and
- We threw in an extra egg yolk. Egg whites will add a certain stiffness. Yolks add chewiness.
Now you know.
This is not a Nestle commercial! These are just the chocolate chips I happen to have in my cupboard at the moment – they were on sale. You can use any chocolate chips in your cookies – dark, white, M&M’s, caramel, butterscotch. Go for it! Use a mix of different flavors. And use plenty of chips! If your bag is slightly more than what you need according to the recipe – use the whole bag!
Don’t be a skimpy chipper!
Mixing the rest of the dough is fairly straightforward. Once it’s all together, it’ll be thick and sticky. Drop a third or a half of the dough onto a section of wax paper and shape it into a log. Okay, I know, the picture has parchment paper! That works, too. I think waxed paper releases the chilled dough a little easier. Use whichever you have on hand. The key is to have this log of dough wrapped well and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Overnight, if you want.
Next up you’ll cut your chilled log into sections.
Shape them into balls and space them out on the cookie sheet/pan. I like to use a silicone baking sheet on my pans – makes cleanup a little easier. Or you can use parchment paper (not wax paper!). Or just bake on an ungreased sheet/pan.
Yes, my friends – these are chewy, puffy chocolate chip cookies baked at altitude, in the Mile High City! It can be done!
“…Every time she puts another batch in the oven
There’s 15 minutes for some kissin’ and a-huggin’…”
— George Straight
I am searching for the other side of the next hill where I am certain I will find new recipes, new sights and new fabric.