Make Your Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate chip cookies are a staple of the baking and  pastry arts. It seems that every family has a go-to recipe depending on how they like their cookies. Undercooked and gooey? Crunchy and browned? Flat? Fluffy? Have you ever wondered what determines how your chocolate chip cookies turn out? Food blogger and cookbook author Tessa Arias from Handle The Heat took it upon herself to figure that information out by using the classic Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe as a control and tweaking various ingredients and baking techniques to find out what makes a cookie soft, crumbly and any other variation you can think of. It turns out that your cookies are affected by much more than how long they’re baked. Arias’ discoveries included:

If you like your cookies to have a cake-like texture:
Substitute baking soda for baking powder.

If you like your cookies to be crispy on the edges and soft in the middle:
Use equal parts baking soda and baking powder.

If you like your cookies to be little and thick:
Use extra flour and keep the rest of the recipe the same.

If you like browned, crispy cookies: 
Substitute room temperature butter for butter that’s been melted and cooled.

If you like flat, chewy cookies:
Use all granulated sugar instead of part brown sugar.

If you like your cookies to be thick and very sweet:
Use all brown sugar instead of part granulated sugar.

If you like browned, thick, chewy cookies:
Chill your dough for 24 to 48 hours before baking.

If you like your cookies to be crispy, but not brown:
Add two teaspoons of cornstarch to your dry ingredient mixture.

If you like very soft cookies:
Add an extra egg yolk and keep the rest of the recipe the same.

If you like thick, chewy cookies: 
Replace your all-purpose flower with bread four.

If you like your cookies to be crunchy on the bottom:
Use a dark nonstick pan instead of a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

If you’re looking to eat healthier or have dietary restrictions,you don’t have to give up on chocolate chip cookies. Arias also experimented with healthier ingredients and found that a gluten-free cookie doesn’t have to be sad looking and if you bring whole wheat chocolate chip cookies to a party, nobody will notice. Her other findings included:

  • Cookies made with whole wheat flour rather than all-purpose flour will be chewy and firm.
  • Cookies made with gluten-free flour will have a bit of a grainy texture, but will be flat with crispy edges.
  • Cookies made with coconut oil instead of butter will have a greasy texture, but will be very moist.
  • Cookies made with maple syrup instead of sugar will be thick and small, with a cake-like texture.
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