adapted from a Cooks Illustrated recipe that I found to be too fussy but had the perfect answer to attaining that melt in your mouth cookie.
I like my cookies to have a chewy quality to them. Don't care too much for thin and crispy chocolate chips cookies. I guess I just like the feel of oozing chocolate and chewy dough like my mouth is being assaulted by all this goodiness.
The next batch is going to be partially whole wheat to see how that goes as far as affecting texture and adding more teeth to the cookie.
1. Place oven racks in the upper and lower 1/3's of the oven. Pre-heat oven to 325º F. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Blend together butter and sugars until smooth.
4. Add egg, yolk and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
5. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
6. Stir in chips and optional nuts.
7. Form your balls whatever size you like, CI recommends 1/4 cup as these will give more structure to your cookie. I use a 1 1/4" cookie dough scoop. Evenly space on each cookie sheet, approximately 2" apart.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating front to back and top to bottom after 6 minutes. Adjust according to how large your cookie balls are. Cool on sheets to maintain chewy texture.
one of the keys to this recipe is melting the butter as opposed to the usual method of creaming it. if you cream it, you will get more of a cakey texture. but allowing it to cool to the desired consistency also effects the structure and texture. if you immediately mix the melted butter in, you will get an oily gob of cookie dough not at all desired for that nice good-mouth-feel I want. if you allow it to cool a bit until it almost becomes opaque, you will get a chewy cookie with a crisp exterior.
another key ingredient is the brown sugar which adds more moisture. the brown sugar also provides the acidic, catalytic ingredient for the baking soda to leaven.
if you don't have dark brown sugar on hand, sub 1 cup of granulated sugar and 3-4 tablespoons of molasses (1-2 tablespoon of molasses for light brown sugar). you might also want to adjust the vanilla for this and just use 1 tsp.
and most important of all, remove them right bCookies
ou think they are done. edges should just be turning golden and the top is no longer "wet" but the dough should still be tender. they will continue to cook as you cool them down.
you can freeze the uncooked dough and store in freezer for that quick hot cookie
fix. i place the dough balls on a
cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until they are set
enough that they don't stick together. takes about an hour or 2. store
in ziplock freezer bags. i pop them out of the freezer and straight
into the oven. you might want to adjust the oven temperature down 5-10
degrees and/or increase the time, a bit, to ensure that the cookies are
properly baked through. i've never really had to adjust but there might be a difference from oven to oven.
if you want to look at a breakdown of the dynamics of cookie making, the blog Dessert First has an entire post comparing 4 different recipes with luscious images.
interesting article from Simply Recipes about snickerdoodles which mentions using cornstarch to change texture of cookie. will have to test this out perhaps with whole wheat to give it more tenderness.