My mister has very specific taste when it comes to desserts. He likes chocolatey chocolate chocolate. He likes cheesecake. And he likes chocolate chip cookies. So of course one evening when I found myself with a hankering for some cookies he requested chocolate chip.
I usually make the Tollhouse bag recipe, but I didn’t have any chips and was planning to use a chopped up Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bar so I headed off to the interwebs to see which recipe I wanted to make. Bridget over at The Way the Cookie Crumbles came through big time with a chocolate chip cookie comparison post. Reading through her comments, I decided on the Cook’s Ilustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies. She described them as “cookie flavored bubblegum” which doesn’t sound like a glowing recommendation, but I have a thing for chewy cookies. And chewy they were. I’m a definite fan, but I have three quibbles:
1. The instructions involve a ridiculous forming, ripping, rotating, reforming process instead of just normal balls. I tried it, saw absolutly no effect and decided that I was A-OK with my usual scoop and plop method.
2. Freezing had an interesting effect. I froze about half of the dough and when i cooked it later it came out as a very different cookie. Still tasty, but it lost a lot of its chew. Mister actually liked them better this way.
3. The dough tasted strongly of vanilla extract. I actually didn’t mind that, but Mister did and that meant that when i grabbed a chunk of frozen dough to eat while watching Mad Men on Netflix he handed his piece back to me and I was stuck eating it all on my own. (ahhhh…first world problems)
So all in all, they were good. If you want chewy cookies and want to freeze the dough, make something else. And if you want to eat frozen dough and don’t like the idea of a slight alcohol flavor, make something else. But if you want warm from the oven, giant, soft and chewy chocolate chunk cookies? Go for it.
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Cooks Illustrated via The Way the Cookie Crumbles
Makes 1½ dozen giant 3-inch cookies
- 10.5 oz flour (2 1/8 cups.)
- ½ tsp salt (I used kosher, because that’s what I have. I increased it to 3/4 tsp to account for the increased volume of kosher salt)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
- 1 c. brown sugar
- ½ c. white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1.5 cups chocolate chunks (semi or bittersweet)
Preheat oven to 325 deg F.
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda.
In your stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, mix butter and sugars well. Add in egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chunks.
Original Instructions: Form scant ¼ cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Seriously America’s Test Kitchen? I know overly complicated recipes are like, your thing, but still. Ridiculous. There was no discernible difference between cookies made using this method and the scoop and plop below.)
My Version: Scoop into balls using a large spring loaded scooper or two tablespoons. Make the balls big. Giant cookies are better than little cookies when it comes to chewy. Places the balls onto silpat lined cookie sheets, about 9 per sheet.
Bake, switching your cookie sheets top to bottom halfway through baking if you are lucky enough to actually have an oven that will hold two sheets at once, 13 to 18 minutes. They will be lightly colored, and set and crispy around the edges but still soft in the middles. Leave them on the sheets to cool and then eat while still slightly warm. With a glass of milk.