Thursday, June 30, 2016

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Bon Appetito

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies - made dough June 11, 2016 from The Bon Appetito
You’d think after making so many chocolate chip cookies, one recipe after another in a fairly short period, that I would get sick of them, become really jaded and elevate “The Best” category to some Holy-Grail-like stature. I am really jaded and I am super picky but I’m not yet sick of chocolate chip cookies. Hey, I sacrifice for my craft and if that means trying out more cookie recipes and eating them, I’m all in.

I was going to end this series with the copycat LevainBakery recipe from Broma Bakery but this was a late entry of “hey, let’s try just one more” and I’m glad I persisted because this also ended up being an amazing cookie. Can’t really articulate which this was so good/great/the best that would differentiate it from the Broma Bakery recipe other than it also makes big, thick cookies and I love the flavor. I’m not going to question it too closely.
You’ll notice some of the cookies look like they had milk chocolate chunks and others like they had semisweet chocolate chips. I didn’t made two batches but ran short on the chocolate chunks towards the end of scooping out the cookie dough so I had to supplement with the chocolate chips. You make do with what you have. And now I’ve ended up with 3 more recipes for chocolate chip cookies to add to the 4 that are already on my go-to list. You can’t have too many great recipes for awesome cookies.
So let’s recap some key learnings from my highly unscientific study. I deliberately didn’t go into how certain ingredients might make a cookie more this or less that. Because this isn’t science class and I’m no scientist, just a baking hobbyist. But here are some common sense learnings:
Baking the cookies at high heat initially is fine to help it set quickly and not spread too much but don’t leave it at that high temperature for more than the first 5 minutes or so. Preheat it high then lower the temp to 350-365 degrees, depending on your oven. I found even baking at 375 degrees the whole way through still burns some of the chocolate chips.
Cookies with slightly more brown sugar than granulated sugar tended to taste better. A more prevalent amount of granulated sugar tends to make the cookie sweet without adding to the caramelized brown sugar overtones in a good chocolate chip cookie.
Always bake from frozen dough if you want thicker cookies. 
If you want more even thickness in your cookies versus a dome in the middle, shape the cookies into thick discs rather than golf-ball dough balls. This is strictly a personal preference decision only you can make. Just know if you bake as dough balls, the edges of the cookies will be thinner and bake to more crispness while the middles will be chubbier and more chewy. Baking as thick discs allows for cookies of a more even thickness and texture all around.
Always underbake – bake just until the edges are golden brown and the middle is no longer raw dough. Cookies continue to bake on hot cookie sheets even after you remove them from the oven and they’ll set as they cool.

Lastly, optimum cookie eating is when the chocolate chip cookies have been 10 minutes out of the oven. This gives them enough time for the edges to cool to crisp while the middles are gooey, the whole cookie is still warm but not hot and the chocolate is melty. Most importantly, enjoy every bite.
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used milk chocolate chunks and semisweet chocolate chips)
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, creamy together butter and sugars.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until just combined after each addition.
  3. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla; mix until just combined. Add in chocolate; do not overmix.
  4. Scoop dough into golf-ball size balls and chill, covered, or freeze for several hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Evenly space dough 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned and middles are no longer raw, about 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

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