Thin and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thin and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Makes about 5 dozen not-huge cookies

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Count me among the thousands of bakers in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. For me, it’s a thick, two-to-three-inch cookie with milk chocolate chips and a chewy, just-this-side-of-dough middle. To be frank, when I make chocolate-chip cookies, I find the dough to be the best part, raw eggs be damned. Maybe it’s because of childhood deprivation: when I was a kid, my teenage brother Tim would whip up a batch of cookie dough, throw some plastic wrap over it, and then leave in the fridge as a snack for himself. Had I been allowed to get my darling little hands on it, I’m fairly certain I would have eaten it all at once. But alas, any time I pointed at it with a whimper and pleading, glassy doe-eyes, my mother would chide me and say “That’s Tim’s. He made it for himself. Here, have an apple.”

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Maybe that’s just the teensiest bit of revisionist history, but seriously, that’s what I see in my memories. Now, my mother hardly deprived me of treats (I practically learned to bake in the womb), but it seems that giving her 7-year-old a spoon and access to an entire batch of cookie dough was out of the question. So now? Now I can eat cookie dough with aplomb and gusto, and, um, I do. But I’ve also discovered that part of the fun is seeing what tweaks I can make to result in my ideal thick, doughy cookie. I haven’t quite found it yet, and I wonder if the times that I’ve come close were just flukes. Usually I follow the Toll House recipe, adding more flour and using milk chocolate chips. I use room temp ingredients and refrigerate the dough, but it still seems to be hit-or-miss for me to get the texture I want in a finished cookie.

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This newest recipe is another from Dorie Greenspan, whose cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours has a dedicated following of food bloggers. Maybe someday I’ll try to join in the Tuesdays with Dorie baking adventure, but for now, I’m starting small and enjoying simply paging through this massive cookbook full of treats. Anyway, in the recipe notes, Dorie explains that these cookies are the result of her own tweaks and adjustments to the classic chocolate chip recipe over the years. The result? Delicious-tasting; the cookies were chewy, buttery, and caramel-fragrant, and the dough was freaking amazing. But I still want a thick and chewy cookie, and these weren’t it. I do recommend the hand-chopped chocolate and the pecans, though. They flecked the dough and the chocolate melted into the cookies to create a streaky, chocolatey result. One suggestion: keep the pecans coarsely chopped. Too fine and they lose their oomph.

Definitely give these a try, but also, tell me: what’s your favorite chocolate-chip cookie recipe?

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Dorie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 C. flour
1 t. salt (1 1/2 t. if you really like salt)
3/4 t. baking soda
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips (or whatever variety you like best), or 12 oz. hand-chopped chocolate
1 C. pecans, coarsely chopped

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. By hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter until pale and fluffy, about two minutes. Add sugars and beat until well-incorporated, another 2 minutes or so. Beat in the vanilla.* Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a full minute after each addition. Turning the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients in three portions. Fold in chocolate and pecans. Chill the dough for an hour or up to three days.**

Preheat the oven to 375. Scoop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets, leaving about a 2 inches of space between each dough lump. Mmm… dough lump. Bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes, until the edges are golden and the middles just slightly set. It’s okay if they don’t look completely done. (This is supposed to be a surefire way to get that chewy-soft consistency.)

Pull the cookie sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheet for 1 minute. Gently transfer cookies to wire rack to cool to room temperature.

*I had all the ingredients beautifully mixed together and had folded in the chocolate and pecans to create a nicely flecked dough, when I realized I forgot to add the vanilla. Perhaps I would have let it go, but I realized the omission after I tasted the dough and thought something was just a little off. Plus, I am a huge believer in the importance of vanilla. It just rounds everything out. So I turned the mixer on low and added the vanilla, and then spilled the rest of the bottle’s contents all over the counter. But I’m still glad I added the vanilla.

**This made a lot of dough, so I spooned out two-dozen doughballs onto cookie sheets, froze them until firm, and then stored the frozen doughballs in freezer bags. I’m finding this to be tremendously convenient — when I get a craving for cookies or want to force the Mister to eat some dessert, I just pop a few cookies into the oven. No need to defrost — just cook ’em a minute or two longer.

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7 responses to “Thin and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. I just bit my computer screen. Those cookies look delicious! I personally enjoyed the chocolate chip cookies you make a while back with the flecks of sea salt on them. Those were soooo yummy! We also use the Tollhouse recipe, but we undercook them by a 2 minutes (at least). Then the middle is doughy and tender (and almost falling apart) but the outer edges are nice and crusty. Mmmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking of it 🙂

  2. Being able to eat the dough myself was my main impetus for learning how to bake chocolate chip cookies growing up. I think it’s one of the first things I learned to cook, and definitely the one that my sister and I made together the most. And, yes, most of the dough usually ended up inside of us rather than on the baking sheet.

    I like my cookies thick and chewy, and not overloaded with chips. My standard is the Toll House recipe, but with 1/2 stick less butter and 1/2 cup more flower (this seems to make them thicker and chewier), as well as about 1/3 less chips than they call for. Excellent texture for dunking in milk!

  3. Mmm…now I want cookies. What’re the chances they’ll be at the engagement party we’re attending tonight?

    I’m with Joel on liking my cookies not overloaded with chips. And I usually use semi-sweet. This recipe is my new fave (don’t tell my mom) (I made it w/out nuts and less choc. chips, but it was a fab consistency, very chewy): http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/01/chocolate-chip-cookies/

  4. Ooh, good suggestions! My mom and I experimented with the Toll House recipe by decreasing the butter to almost-ideal results… I’m going to have to try your version, Joel.

  5. Try Joel’s changes and bake at a lower temp, maybe 325 or 350 degrees, experiment with the baking time. I ‘m thinking that will result in a really good thick and chewy chocolate cookie.
    Sorry about your brother’s cookie dough, Jill.

  6. I use the Jacques Torres chocoloate chip cookies from the NY Times. Caramelly, soft, and not thin:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/091crex.html

  7. Was searching for perfect chocolate chip cookies and I believe I’ve found them. Just made a batch of these, and substituted mini choc. chips instead, which made them super thin. They’re fantastic.

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