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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Better-than-Toll-House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Note to readers: I am now putting the recipe first and the commentary at the end.  

Old Biddy's Dollar Store meets Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

2 cups and 2 tbsp flour (10 oz)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted + cooled slightly
1 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate (chopped chocolate seems to work better)
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 cup Ghiradelli caramel chips (even more optional than the nuts)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.  Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix well.  Mix the melted butter and sugar well, then add the eggs and beat until blended.  Add the flour blend and mix, then add chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop heaping tablespoon sized balls of dough onto the cookie sheets.  Bake for 9-10 minutes, then pull pans out of the oven briefly and smack the pan onto the counter to deflate the cookies somewhat.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 4-9 minutes, checking them often.  Remove when cookies are golden brown around edges but still somewhat soft in the middle if you like them chewy, or until they start to firm up in the middle if you want them crispy.
Makes 24-30 cookies

I have a confession to make.  I have never had good success with the famous Toll House chocolate cookie recipe.  Maybe it's my oven, maybe it's my technique, maybe my butter is always too cold when I cream it, but they never have the proper texture.  Or maybe other people have been using a different recipe all along and I just didn't know it. They always end up too poofy, or, if I take them out early to get the ooey gooey texture,  they end up too gummy.  Of course, chocolate chip cookies are like pizza, and they taste good anyway, but that hasn't stopped me in my pursuit of a better and more reproducible recipe.
I found my Holy Grail on the back of a bag of some Ghiradelli caramel chips that I got at the dollar store.  Combined with a few hacks I learned from Cook's Illustrated, the recipe is easier and a lot more reliable than the standard one.  The recipe is almost the same, but has slightly less fat, sugar baking soda//baking powder relative to the flour.  Rather than making it dryer, they will be chewy in the middle if you take them out earlier, and uniformly crispy if you like them more well done.  The other difference is that the butter is melted rather than creamed.  This is more convenient since you don't have to have softened butter.  For extra textural improvements,  I take them out halfway through, smack the pan on the counter to deflate the poofiness somewhat, and put them back in.
On putting the commentary at the end.  I started recipe blogging in 2009.  At the time, everyone was putting amusing commentary at the beginning and the recipe at the end.  Since my friends were the only ones reading my blog, it made sense for me to do it that way too.
Now it's 2019.  The novelty of food blogs has worn off and I read them more for the recipes than the commentary.  I get most of my recipes from the internet now, and there's nothing more annoying than having to scroll through lots of commentary and pictures to get to the recipe at the end, or, worse yet, on a separate page.  So I'm putting my money where my mouth is and switching up my format.

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