Chocolate Chip Cookies - Tips for the Best Ever!
We found some awesome information on our search for the best chocolate chip cookies, and wanted to bring our favorites together here. Links below are directly to the articles we found these tips. The Food Lab is incredible impressive and jam packed with information - down to the science of the cookie. Looking for something simpler, an easy breakdown in picture form? Check out Handle the Heat!
The Food Lab
Handle The Heat
Add powdered milk for an extra-chewy cookie.
Momofuku Milk Bar owner Christina Tosi swears by this unassuming pantry staple, which she says adds a delicious chewiness to cookies. "That's one of my secrets when I'm just making a classic chocolate chip cookie at home," the chef said in a 2015 interview with InStyle. "Add two tablespoons of milk powder to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and watch your eyes pop out of your head."
Use cold butter to help your cookies bake evenly throughout.
Few chocolate chip cookies are more iconic than those made by Mrs. Fields; her famous recipe always yields perfectly round, evenly cooked treats. Her secret? Swapping a softened stick of butter for cold cubes of the stuff. "A cold butter is going to give you a little bit different texture, and it's also going to keep the temperature nice and even," Mrs. Fields baking expert Rachel Matheus said in a recent interview with POPSUGAR.
For a firmer cookie, let the dough chill for 24 – 36 hours.
When you quickly whip up a batch of cookie dough and throw it straight into your oven, you're not giving your ingredients much time to truly combine. That's why Jacque Torres, a.k.a. Mr. Chocolate, lets his dough chill for 24 – 36 hours — or even multiple days, according to The New York Times. This trick allows the dry ingredients to fully soak up the wet ingredients, resulting in a drier and firmer dough.
If you like 'em thin and crispy, use more white sugar than brown.
Food Network chef and food scientist extraordinaire Alton Brown once made an entire iconic episode of his hit show Good Eats explaining how to alter a chocolate chip cookie recipe to create different textures and qualities. His Chewy recipe might be the biggest hit of the three featured in the episode, but be sure not to overlook the pure genius behind his Thin cookies: By adding more white sugar than brown (white sugar has less leavening power than brown, according to Serious Eats), these cookies end up spreading instead of rising, which creates a thinner, crisper treat.
Use more brown sugar than white to get a rich, caramel-y flavor.
Aside from giving cookies a more cake-like texture, brown sugar can also add a richer, more intense flavor, Serious Eats reports. The best example of the magic that brown sugar can work on cookies? DoubleTree Hotel's iconic walnut-filled chocolate chip cookies. Fun fact: Even though the actual DoubleTree recipe is considered "Top Secret," our friends over at Delish have an amazing copycat recipe that's just as good as the real thing.
Chop your own chocolate chunks to make your cookies more rich and dynamic.
Have you ever wondered why Food Network chef Ina Garten (a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa) uses hand-chopped chocolate chunks in her favorite cookie recipes instead of plain ol' chocolate chips? Well, here's your answer: When you chop your own chunks of chocolate, the pieces come out in all different sizes. The variety of these chocolate chunks means a surprise in every bite — plus the pieces often melt more and end up better distributed throughout the cookie than standard chips, which are designed to retain their shape when baked, the Huffington Post reports.
Sprinkle cookies with salt to create a more complex flavor.
Several of our favorite bakers suggest sprinkling a bit of salt on top of your chocolate chip treats — see Jacque Torres and Ina Garten above — and Sharon Franke, the Director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, agrees that adding a pinch of salt is an excellent way to bring out the flavor of your cookies. Sprinkling salt on a sweet treat like cookies sounds counterintuitive, but science says it actually might make your cookies taste better: Salt helps you to better taste the intense sweetness of sugar.
Melted Butter = Denser Cookies
Creamed Butter = Cakier Cookies
Cookies Need More Salt Than You Think
Salt (and quite a bit of it) is essential to balance the flavor of caramelized sugars, and a good amount of vanilla is a must (though, as our recent taste test has shown, even imitation vanilla flavoring will do just fine).