Leave it to The New Yorker to produce a charming article on the history of the famous Chocolate Chip Cookies known as Toll House.The recipe is an historic, uniquely American keeper. And yet we’ve all been to that bake sale with a plate of chocolate chip cookies that didn’t quite work out – pancake-like, melted out, or sometimes a little “over baked” (burned). Here are 5 chef’s hacks to make the classic chocolate chip cookie work every time:
1.) Use bread flour instead of all purpose flour. It improves the structure.
2.) DON’T overmix the butter! Start with cold butter and mix it very lightly. This keeps the cookies from spreading during baking.
3.) Once all the ingredients are in, chill the dough before scooping it onto a baking sheet. Or, shape the dough into a log, chill it, then slice & bake.
4.) Underbake the cookies just a little – pull them from the oven when the rims are golden brown and the centers are still a little moist.
5.) Don’t eat one as you wait for them to cool – haha – just kidding. Taste that cookie!
Use the recipe from Toll House (with Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips or the newly-released dark chocolate chips) and make the adjustments above. Here’s a video that does just that. Also remember that these types of chocolate chips are formulated to hold their shape while baking – chopped couverture will become more (and usually …too…) liquid.
Cookies are featured as layers for Candy Bars in the second book, HAND-CRAFTED CANDY BARS.
… and here’s a recipe from the first book for chocolate chip cookies with cocoa nibs and extra nuts:
Other techniques: as mentioned above, you can shape the cookie dough into a log, slice it, then wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use it. This technique works well on the occasions where you just need a few fresh cookies, not a whole batch. I always do a double batch and bake half, freeze half.