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Friday, October 21, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookie Woes

I would consider myself a pretty decent baker. I don't made overly fancy things but I can make cupcakes or a cake or brownies well. I also make a mean banana pudding and tasty refrigerator pies.

But the one dessert that evades my skill is the basic-yet-incredibly-delicious chocolate chip cookie. I've tried every dadgum way to make these things and they still come out wrong. Mind you, "wrong" just means I didn't get the intended texture/consistency/color/flavor. None of my cookie experiments resulted in inedible cookies. That would be a travesty!

I want my cookies to be soft and chewy with slightly firm/crunchy edges. Much like a Tollhouse cookie if you've ever had the privilege of eating one (they are usually in food courts or malls). Every cookie I've made is usually cakey or it puffs up like a little dome and is more dense and melt-in-your-mouth than chewy and soft. OR, it spreads very thin on the pan and the edges get very crunchy (almost hard) like an overcooked pancake. Like I said, not bad, just not the intended goal.

I've tried just about every variable imaginable. I've refrigerated the cookie dough, tried a baking stone versus a regular cookie sheet, used room temperature butter, used melted butter, used baking powder, used baking soda, used all purpose flour, used self-rising flour, more white sugar than brown and then more brown sugar than white. I've beat the eggs in one at a time and beat the eggs in all at once. I've used an electric mixer and I've mixed by hand. I've tried baking at 350, 325 and 375 degrees.

Despite all of this, my cookies are just meh. Perfection, in this case, evades me. My beloved friend the chocolate chip cookie laughs in the face of my defeat with each failed dozen. See below the example of a recent experiment and how I got two different versions of the cookies from the same dough!



I've deduced it down to a number of factors that could be responsible for my cookie fails.
1. I'm using the wrong pan. Currently I switch back and forth between a Pampered Chef pizza/baking stone and a Pampered Chef cookie sheet that's light metal. Maybe it should be a dark non-stick cookie sheet?
2. Spray or paper? Currently I just use a coconut oil spray to spray the pan. Maybe I shouldn't spray at all? Maybe I should use parchment paper? I never have before but I'd be willing to try.
3. Baking soda vs. baking powder? Maybe I should just be using one of them. But which one?
4. Forming? Should I be forming into balls or just scooping and leave to the natural shape?

Do any of you have a foolproof chocolate chip cookie recipe? I seem to be coming up short here. Or any expert baking tips? Help meeeee!

6 comments:

  1. 1) Your metal pan should be fine.
    2) Parchment paper for the win.
    3) Baking soda, always. Get the kind in a plastic container (or store it in an airtight container of your own). If you store it in the cardboard box, it can lose its leavening power.
    4) Natural spoon shape.

    My other suggestion would be using a mixture of butter and margarine. I use the Nestle Tollhouse recipe for CCCs, which calls for 2 sticks of butter. I always use one stick of butter and one of margarine. The combo of the two gives me a crispy on the edges, chewy in the center texture.

    This is the recipe I use:
    https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/original-nestle-toll-house-chocolate-chip-cookies/

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You need to talk to my mom. I'm going to send her this link and ask her to comment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! Baking soda. I use the nestles chocolate chip recipe and tweak it to a cup each of brown sugar and white sugar. I use a less expensive cookie sheet and spray with Pam
    I always melt my butter in the microwave. I have a convection oven. I bake at 375 for 11 -12 minutes and it works better for me if I do not preheat. Also- humid days can make the cookies 🍪 not come out right. I would never over bake. Hope this helps. My email islms619linda@aol.com! Feel free to send any questions. Love. Steph's. Momma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you!! I will try this next time I experiment!!

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  4. I always mix brown and white sugar to make the cookies taste even better & baking soda is a must! Great for the fluffy factor ;) Try to use a nonstick pan with parchment paper. Helps to keep the cookies from sticking no matter what. And ALWAYS preheat! I have tried to make cookies before without preheating the oven and they were not yummy haha. I always scoop and use the natural shape rather than rounding out the dough! Next time you try some cookies out, let us know how it goes and what all you tweaked!

    Glad to have found your blog! xo

    ReplyDelete

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