252: Chocolate Chip Cookies (Joy of Baking)

Another Thursday, and I decided to bake. This time, I asked Alex for suggestions on what I should make. After a few suggestions that would take too long (I wanted to eat it that night!), he said he’d like chocolate chip cookies.

I love chocolate chip cookies, but it’s been a while since I’ve made them. I go back and forth about what I really want in a chocolate chip cookie. I don’t believe in crunchy chocolate chip cookies – I prefer mine soft. Aside from that, do I want them soft in the center and golden around the edges? Do I want them just barely set? It’s tough to decide, and I think it depends on the recipe. I’ve made one out of the Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for a few years, and I somehow make delicious, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth cookies that are just set and incredibly soft. I also make chocolate chip cookies at my parent’s house every Christmas, using the same recipe we’ve made for 20 years – cookies that, although they flatten out a lot and brown particularly well around the edges, are still soft in the center.

I like them both, but sometimes I’m disappointed the next day with the cookies. I haven’t been able to figure out why. That’s what’s led me to want to try other chocolate chip cookie recipes.

I’ll end up trying out several over the next few months, I’m sure, but I decided to start out with the Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from the Joy of Baking website. Notable things about this recipe: it calls for 2 eggs, rather than 1. Only 1.5 cups of chocolate chips, rather than a full bag (2 cups). 1.5 teaspoons vanilla. Equal parts brown and white sugar, a total of 1.5 cups. Actually, this ingredient list is identical to the recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook except that it takes a little more vanilla, 1 more egg, and fewer chocolate chips. The Joy of Baking recipe also says to bake for 12-14 minutes, rather than 8-10 as the cookbook calls for.

The first batch I baked a full 12 minutes. The second batch I baked only 11. I tried the third batch for 12 again (the cookie sheet had already been warmed up a little), and the fourth for 11, although those few spread so much that they’re not worth talking about. I made a total of 41 cookies, rather than 48.

[Oops. I forgot to take a picture of these.  Sorry!]

If I made 48 cookies, and if I baked them 12 minutes, these would definitely be crunchy cookies. I thought that might be the case after the first batch, and after I compared the recipes above. Mine were a little larger than the recipe called for (although it didn’t have great instructions on how large to make them), and were baked the minimum time, so mine are a little softer than normal. That said, these cookies did have a good flavor. The second egg gave the cookies more structure, keeping them from spreading out too much. The first batch baked at 12 minutes turned out fine (I ate the first one warm), while the third batch, also baked for 12 minutes, seemed a little crunchier than I liked, although the center was still chewy. The batch baked for 11 minutes was golden, but still had a very solid texture. While these weren’t crunchy, they were more chewy than soft. I thought that the softer ones were still pretty good the next day.

Overall, I think that this recipe is fine as long as you know how long you should bake your cookies. I liked the thickness and texture of the 11 minute cookies, and I think that whenever I test this recipe again, I’ll try to make them a little smaller (for a total of 48) and bake them for 10 minutes.

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