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!