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The way my cookie crumbles


On Sunday night, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies on a whim. I thought it would be a great idea to use the recipe on the back of the Ghirardelli bag, because, you know, that's fancy. Surely the recipe is extra-good.

Yeah. Not so much. I like my chocolate chip cookies thin, gooey, chewy - certainly not puffy or cake-y. And cake-y these were. So if that is your cup of tea, well, go nuts. That recipe will be your best friend. But it is so not my thing. I took it as a personal challenge to figure out what the heck was wrong with that recipe. After a little research and experimentation, I think I've got it.

You see, the Ghirardelli recipe dough was wetter, runnier than I am used to, but I figured that would be a good thing. I figured it would spread out and make that nice thin cookie I so desire. Obviously, my theory was flawed. It turns out, the idea is to have dryer dough. And the way to get that dry dough, it seems, is to not only start with a stiffer, more flour-y dough, but also to let it sit in the refrigerator - the longer the better. Up to 36 hours in the refrigerator. I guess during that resting time the liquids become more and more absorbed into the batter, and that is a very good thing.

Wet batter tends to "steam" in the oven, causing it to puff up and get cakey. Dry dough spreads, and "melts" in the oven, and this is a desirable attribute. Because eggs are thicker and more viscous than water or oil, they take longer to completely absorb into the dough. So if you can stand it, let it rest.

People, when it comes to cookies, I do not have this kind of time. I do not think two days in advance, "Hey, I bet tomorrow a hot chocolate chip cookie will sound good." No, my cookie baking is all dependent on a mood, craving or impulse. I don't bake often, and I am not the kind of woman who always has a jar of homemade goodies sitting on the cabinet. I bake when the notion strikes me, because that browniecakepielemonbarcookie sounds SO GOOD I HAVE TO HAVE IT RIGHT NOW.

So on Monday, I gave it another go, tweaking a recipe together that sounded "right" to me. I did put the dough in the refrigerator for awhile, but I could only hack a two hour wait.


Here's the result.

Megan's Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Beat the sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs together until well-combined. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt and soda, and gradually add them to the wet mixture, beating continuously until everything is well-incorporated. Add the chocolate chips, and refrigerate as long as your little heart can stand to, and don't eat all the raw dough.

Drop by teaspoons full onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until golden brown. I prefer mine a bit under-baked.

There is nothing in the world like a good chocolate chip cookie, and nothing sadder than a bad one. You can thank me later for saving you from the dejection and disappointment I felt on Sunday night as I surveyed my puffy, ugly chocolate chip cookie disaster. And you can thank me also for your new-found patience and fortitude, while you wait for that dough to absorb its liquids in the refrigerator.


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