Do you aspire to make the world's best chocolate chip cookies? Everyone has a different opinion of what that means, but whether you like them chewy or crisp, fluffy or flat, there's always something you can do to make this classic cookie even better.
High-quality unsalted butter, preferably a European-style butter, gives a better flavor and texture and lets you control the salt.
The fats or oils you use for your cookie play a big role in flavor. Shortening simply doesn't taste as good as butter does.
Use a fine-grain sea salt to avoid the chemical-like flavor of ordinary table salt.
Using real vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla will enhance your cookies' flavor more.
Skip the cheap chips, and use high-quality chocolate if you can. Try chopping chips out of a block or bar.
You can use multiple types of chocolate (even white chocolate) in the same batch for a more interesting cookie.
Beat eggs lightly, and then stop before adding them to ensure a soft, not stiff, cookie.
Make sure all your ingredients, including the eggs and butter, are room temperature.
Incorporating plenty of air while creaming your butter and sugar together helps the cookies rise.
Add the eggs one at a time before adding the flour to make sure the batter stays nice and emulsified.
It's easier to control the proportion of flour (and avoid overdeveloping gluten) if it's the very last thing you add.
Your cookies will be chewy on the inside with a crisp crust if you use a high-gluten flour.
For chewier cookies, use more brown sugar than white.
For crunchier cookies, use more white sugar than brown.
Using dark brown sugar (instead of light brown sugar) gives your cookies a subtle but distinct butterscotch flavor.
If your cookies spread, that may mean you used too much butter. It can also happen when you don't chill your dough before baking.
For soft yet structured cookies, melt the butter a third to halfway in the oven while it preheats, then let it come back to room temp before making your dough.
Add an extra egg, remove about 1/3 cup of sugar, add a tablespoon of milk, and use more flour for cookies with a more cake-like texture.
There's no rule that you have to follow the amount of chocolate chips in the recipe. Add more or fewer depending on your preference.
Things like humidity can affect how a recipe turns out, even in the same kitchen. Adjust the flour as necessary. Remember, you can add more, but you can't remove it, so add slowly.
You know you have enough flour when the dough is soft and doesn't feel too wet or sticky.
While gluten gives a chewier texture, it can be a double-edged sword. Overdeveloping the gluten can make cookies tough, so mix only until the flour is just combined.
Halving your recipe makes it easier to avoid overdeveloping the gluten.
It's vital to let the dough completely chill to avoid cookies that spread. Letting dough rest at least 24 hours also enhances the complexity of flavors.
A spring-loaded ice cream scoop helps you measure out cookies that are all the same size so they finish cooking at the same time.
Heavy-duty light aluminum baking sheets lined with parchment help prevent cookies from burning on the bottom or sticking.
Cookies spread out as they bake, so make sure there's plenty of room for them to do so without becoming one big cookie.
Put only one batch in the oven at a time for optimum baking. If you have to bake two batches at once, swap their locations halfway through cooking.
Chocolate chip cookies are done when the edges are golden brown.
A light sprinkle of fleur de sel or salt flakes really enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
It's tempting to eat right away, but letting cookies rest for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack optimizes the texture.
Let the baking sheet cool completely between batches for best results.
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