I made perfect cookies yesterday. I first made these cookies in Fall 2013 and I loved them, as did everyone who tasted them. Since I’ve now been able to replicate my amazing success, I’m declaring them my favorite cookies. They are soft and sweet and fall apart when you eat them straight out of the oven, but are still delicious once they firm up.
The recipe is Chewy Chocolate Cookies from Food.com. I initially decided to give them a go because they have very good reviews, and I’m a sucker for good reviews. With recipes especially, I love knowing what other people’s experiences have been and if they recommend any modifications.
Modifications. These cookies are full of them. I have a tough time following recipes exactly and it hasn’t really burned me yet, so I keep experimenting. I’m sure that this cookie recipe is amazing as written, but I’ve tweaked it both times I’ve used it. I’m going to discuss the changes I made, and why, so that if you’d like to make these cookies my way, you can.
- Reduce butter and sugar by ¼ cup each. I’ve done this both times I’ve made the recipe because several reviewers recommended it. If I can get away with reducing butter and sugar, I will.
- Increase flour by ¼ cup. This was also recommended by several people.
- Use ¾ cup white sugar and ¼ cup brown sugar. I only had ¾ cup of white sugar in the open bag. Rather than open a new package, I topped it off with brown sugar. I don’t know if this improved the cookies at all, but the cookies are amazing, so I don’t think it hurt!
- Let about half of the butter melt rather than just soften. I don’t actually recommend this, but it may have affected the outcome so I want to document it. In order to soften the butter, I microwaved it, and for a bit too long, so half of it melted. I put it in the freezer for a bit, but not for long enough to make a difference.
- Use Dutch process cocoa. Substitute 2 tsp baking powder for 1 tsp baking soda, and omit the salt. I didn’t do this to be fancy. Rather, I realized that all the cocoa powder I have is Dutch process/alkalized, and while I didn’t know exactly what that meant, I knew enough to decide to do some research before proceeding. In a nutshell, I learned that Dutch process cocoa won’t react with baking soda because it’s not acidic, and therefore Dutch process cocoa is generally used in recipes calling for baking powder rather than baking soda. This recipe calls for baking soda. I didn’t want flat cookies, so I decided to substitute baking powder for baking soda. I conservatively used twice as much baking powder as I would have baking soda. I also omitted the salt. I based both of these decisions upon this article. In my opinion, this was my most significant tinkering with the recipe, and I was a bit terrified that it was going to produce dozens of awful cookies. I was so relieved that they weren’t ruined!
- Substitute chocolate chunks for some of the chocolate chips. I love Trader Joe’s Pound Plus of Belgian dark chocolate, and I thought it would really enhance the cookies. I borrowed a hammer from the garage and smashed up some chocolate. I need to work on my technique, because I had some issues with the chocolate getting flattened rather than fragmented. No matter. I just slammed it some more. I used 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips along with enough dark chocolate chunks/powder to get to about 2 cups total.
There you have it. A road map to flavorful, soft cookies. Maybe I should mention that I didn’t think I was making my cookies particularly small, but I ended up with over 100, double what the recipe is supposed to yield. I’m not complaining. My final word of advice: do NOT over cook them! I took the cookies out of the oven at exactly 8 minutes, and they didn’t look cooked. Don’t be fooled. For my final batch, I did make big cookies with fistfuls of dough, and those got to cook for 9 minutes. This is also up to your personal preference. I love gooey, barely cooked baked goods.
You may be wondering what the best cookies on the planet have to do with fiber arts. Well, yesterday I got the urge to cake up a bunch of yarn. Then I decided I should bake cake while I caked the yarn. I only made it as far as looking up cream cheese frosting recipes before deciding I’d rather try to re-create my favorite cookies of all time. Caking yarn -> baking cake -> baking cookies. See? These cookies were brought to you by knitting. Kind of. Never mind the fact that I never even set up the swift.
Do you have a recipe you swear by? Please, share! I’d love it if you could convince me that there are cookies out there that are even better than these.