The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies
November 6, 2014 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Handle the Heat has a series on adjust chocolate-chip cookie recipes to make your favorite kind of cookies. (1) (2) (3) (4); photo of results.

If you just want the results without reading through the articles, Brit + Co posts the changes you need for your desired results..
posted by insectosaurus (20 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

I love it when the Internet overthinks a plate of cookies. We all win in the end.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:10 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

Looks like I'm going to be making more than a few different batches of cookies this weekend. Yum!
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:16 AM on November 6, 2014

They missed my favorite, browned butter.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:22 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

This reminds me of a great quote from Tim Sandlin- "I've never trusted people who call them Toll House Cookies. These are the same people who call gravy 'sauce.' "
posted by jonmc at 12:45 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

That photo, with all the variations side-by-side, is the perfect infographic. Every Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen piece should include that...
posted by twsf at 12:59 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seriously though, I wasn't a believer until I actually made Kenji's recipe. It may have cost him a bit of his sanity but those cookies blow me away.
posted by Carillon at 1:35 PM on November 6, 2014

I have never been able to make Kenji's cookies work. Separating yolks from whites might be for other desserts, but they were not meant for chocolate chip cookies.
posted by subversiveasset at 1:51 PM on November 6, 2014

Disregard previous comment. I am thinking of another cookie catastrophe.

I have also never been able to make Kenji's cookies work, but his recipe doesn't call for splitting whites from yolks. Still, I get far better results with the standard creaming method than with his.
posted by subversiveasset at 1:57 PM on November 6, 2014

This looks great! I always ask for CC cookies for my birthday (don't like most cake these days) so I'll pass this on to my better half. I will say that I've had various cookies with fancy chocolate or variations on the ingredients but I keep coming back to toll house morsels and the recipe on the bag. Those are darn good and they taste like childhood. Cook's Illustrated disagrees with me though ... you know the shtick: "Chocolate chip cookies: Often dry and tired, a commoner's dull dessert. Could we rescue this once-beloved treat from the depths to which it has sunk? We set about crushing cacao beans with a mortar and pestle to find out." Those guys love to solve NON EXISTENT FOOD PROBLEMS (sorry derail)
posted by freecellwizard at 1:59 PM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

I also see now that the toll house recipe is the control in the linked article. Good work!
posted by freecellwizard at 2:02 PM on November 6, 2014

I'm going to have to try the chill the dough overnight method. Yum yum yum.

I like to through in a whole bag of cheap store bought chips with a couple of handfuls of super deluxe oversized 60% cacao chips.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:28 PM on November 6, 2014

This post came at a perfect time! I made chocolate chip cookies last night, but they did not turn out to be the buttery crispy things that I get when I bake in America. I'm in China (using a toaster oven) and mine turned out too fluffy. I was planning to spend some time today searching for a solution, and here it is.

(I figured I would try reducing baking soda, if I couldn't find anything else. I may reduce flour a bit, too.)

The brown sugar here has a stronger molasses smell and flavor than in the states. I wonder if it is real brown sugar, because I understand that a lot of the brown sugar in the U.S. is white sugar coated with molasses. Anyway, I'll reduce the brown sugar next time, too.

Wait, jonmc, I don't understand what's wrong with calling them tollhouse cookies? The tollhouse recipe seems a lot butterier than the Betty Crocker recipe I had used before, so they are distinct from other chocolate chip cookies, in my mind. Not like snickerdoodle/sugar cookie different, but different.
posted by MsDaniB at 4:52 PM on November 6, 2014

MsDaniB, is the flour different? I initially had trouble with that when baking in Japan. Differing gluten content, I think.

Anyhow, I would like to vouch for the toll house recipe, rest overnight in fridge, sprinkle sea salt on top. A winner in the chocotaco household.
posted by chocotaco at 6:54 PM on November 6, 2014

That's a good question, chocotaco. It wouldn't surprise me, but other things have turned out as expected. There are lots of flours that seem like they're probably different, but I can't read much at all, so I just make sure to get a bag that has a picture of wheat on it.
I will def rest the dough next time, too.
posted by MsDaniB at 10:12 PM on November 6, 2014

If you just want the results


*sees nothing*

*frowny face*
posted by soundguy99 at 10:46 PM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

My go-to recipe is from this Ask. I substitute whole wheat flour for white flour for an earthier taste. As described above, browning the butter is key.
posted by euphorb at 5:38 AM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was hoping that all of these variations might lead me to a clue about how to re-create the best chocolate chip cookies I'd ever had. The dough was basically a thin, soft, buttery membrane that just barely held the chocolate chips together, and the ratio of chocolate to dough was high. Unfortunately, none of the results look or sound remotely close. And the shop that used to make them is closed forever.
posted by creepygirl at 9:36 AM on November 7, 2014

I didn't see this mentioned in the link, but one trick I discovered recently is adding 2 teaspoons of cornstarch along with the flour. It sounds kind of weird (at least to me), but it has a great effect on the final texture of the cookies. It makes them pillowy and chewy in the best possible way, and they stay that way long after they've come to room temperature. I've also heard of a similar trick using vanilla pudding mix, but I have yet to try that.

I've tried several variations, but recently I've been sticking with this recipe from smitten kitchen, with the addition of the corn starch as noted.

Also, I definitely have found that the chilling the dough overnight thing makes a difference. Usually what I do is make the dough, maybe chill it for 30 minutes to an hour, then I bake a couple of "test cookies" and then bake the rest the following day. And when I say "test cookies" I mean not-enough-self-control-to-wait-24-hours cookies. But I can vouch for there being a discernible taste and texture difference. The caramel flavor comes through much more after waiting overnight.

Now all I want to do is bake...
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:09 AM on November 7, 2014

I didn't see this mentioned in the link, but one trick I discovered recently is adding 2 teaspoons of cornstarch

It's in guide 2, just after the dark nonstick baking sheet.
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:14 AM on November 7, 2014

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