CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Got yourself a cookie craving? Want to know how to make chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookies right now? Well look no further! I’ll show you MY “perfect” chocolate chip cookie, so you can satisfy that sweet tooth in no time at all.
This chocolate chip cookie recipe is easy to make and is the perfect combination of crisp biscuit crust and chewy, fudgy centre. Ready to be whipped out at anytime for a sweet treat, dessert or late night snack.
If you can resist the urge to eat all the dough raw, you will be rewarded with freshly baked cookies that far surpass any that you can buy in the shops! Soft enough to remind you of the soft, chewy cookies you get in your local bakery, but sturdy enough that if dunking in milk is your thing, you can just keep dunking again and again!
I use a combination of two different sugars, to give these cookie the texture we love. I also use dark chocolate 70% to make sure the finished cookie isn’t overpoweringly sweet. But this can be replaced with any type of chocolate that you like.
Give this recipe a go and see what you think. Is it your perfect cookie? If not, have no fear, I’ll tell you what you can do to make this your go-to favourite cookie dough!
— Al Brady
250g bread flour
1g baking soda
170g unsalted butter
220g light brown sugar
100g white sugar
15ml vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
335g chocolate chips
Place the butter, brown and white sugar into a bowl. Using an electric whisk beat the butter and sugars together on a high speed, until the butter mixture is soft, light brown and fluffy.
Add the whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract to the bowl and whisk into the butter mixture on a high speed, until completely emulsified and smooth.
Sift the bread flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the bowl. Gently fold in the bread flour into the butter and egg mix, until just mixed (so a little dry flour is still visible). Add the chocolate chips to the dough and continue to fold gently, until the chocolate is evenly distributed and the dough has come together.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. The dough can be kept at this way for up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Spoon portions of the cookie dough onto the baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges but still soft in the centre. To ensure even baking of the cookies, turning the baking sheet around halfway through the cooking time.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and leave to one side and allow the cookies to cool for 3 minutes. Once cooled slightly, the cookies will be easier to move from the baking sheet to a cooling rack.
Now all you have to do is try to leave them to cool completely and firm up. But if you can't possibly wait that long, then about 10 minutes should do the job!
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Now, we think this recipe is great, but we know the idea of the “perfect” cookie, differs from person to person! With this knowledge we are willing to concede that as good as our cookies are, they may not be your ideal cookie.
But these cookies were destined to evolve! You can tweak this recipe in an endless number of ways in order to produce your dream cookie. All you need to learn is what role each ingredient plays, in order to adjust it just the right way, to get the result you are after.
CRACKING COOKIE CHEAT SHEET
Flour’s main role in a cookie is to provide structure, meaning the more flour you add the denser the cookie becomes. This affects the spread of your cookies when they are baked. Cookie dough with a small proportion of flour, in relation to the other ingredients, will become quite widespread and a higher proportion will spread much less.
The gluten content of the flour used, will also affect the texture of the cookies. Plain flour, which contains a very low gluten content, produces a soft, cakey like texture, whereas bread flour (or strong flour), which has a much higher gluten content, creates a sturdier cookie, that has chewier texture. The gluten is also affected by how much the dough is mixed; the more you work the dough, the more the gluten is developed, resulting in a tougher cookie.
This is the reason we use bread flour and then fold in the ingredients gently. To have the benefit of more gluten, providing structure and chewiness, without over-working the dough and making the cookie tough.
Fat inhibits the development of gluten, which helps keep our cookies nice and tender, giving the cookies that chewy characteristic. The ratio of fat also affects the way the cookie spreads, meaning a cookie with a high fat content spreads further than one with a low content.
The type of fat you use also affects the flavour of your cookies. This is why we use butter, as it gives a better flavour than we would get with vegetable shortening or margarine.
How you incorporate the butter will also determine the final outcome of your cookies. Creaming the butter will help aerate your cookies giving them more of a rise and a slightly firmer texture whereas using melted butter creates heavier denser cookies.
Believe it or not the sugar doesn’t just determine the sweetness of your cookie but the texture as well. Using white sugar results in cookies that are thin and widespread, in contrast using brown sugar creates cookies that are soft and moist.
We like to use a mixture of the two to get an nice balance between these two textures. The brown sugar also provides a little acidity which activates our raising agent, softening the texture. White sugar does not, resulting in a flatter, wider spread cookie.
Egg yolks and egg whites have different effects on the cookie; egg whites cause the cookie to rise more and as the main source of water in the dough, allows gluten development. Egg yolks provide more fat to the dough, keeping the cookie tender and fudgy, with a denser, brownie like texture.
We use an egg and an extra yolk to get the best of both worlds. The gluten development gives us that chewy texture, with the added benefit of extra fat, which keeps the cookie nice and fudgy inside.
There are two main raising agents commonly used in cookie dough; baking soda and baking powder.
Baking soda is a powder that needs acidity to activate and start working, to produce a denser cookie with a cracked appearance.
Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and powdered acid which on contact with liquid, dissolve and react with each other, producing cakier, more risen cookies with smoother tops.
We don’t like our cookies cakey and we have added acidity in the form of brown sugar, so we choose to use baking soda.
Phew! Who would have thought so much could be going on inside a simple chocolate chip cookie. To be honest if you have made it this far, you deserve to treat yourself to a whole batch of cookies!
With this information in your back pocket you can adjust just about any cookie dough to become your ultimate cookie recipe!
Like a nice thin crisp cookie?
Substitute the brown sugar for white!
Like a fudgier texture?
Why not try replacing the whole egg with 2 egg yolks instead.
Like your cookie light and cakey instead of dense chewy?
Swap out the bread flour for plain and use baking powder.
It may take a few trial runs before you come across your combination for the perfect cookie. But in the meantime, while you’re figuring it out, you will have some delicious rejects to deal with! Because in our experience even the most unsuccessful of test cookies, are still going to be pretty damn tasty!
Why not try this recipe first, then see where to go from there!