Building a better cookie

2 Sep

My friend Lee sent me a couple fantastic articles by J. Kenji López-Alt over at Serious Eats:

The first is a lengthy article describing what each ingredient actually does in a chocolate chip cookie. Slight alterations in each ingredient can make a big difference in the finished cookie. This goes for everything from the type of sugar you use, to the type of flour, to the temperature of your oven, to the age and temperature of your dough. As a diligent student of Good Eats, I already knew some of what is written in the article, but it was still amazingly informative. If you don’t feel like reading through the ingredient analysis, the second link is the end result of all his research and what he feels is the best chocolate chip cookie. Everyone has different tastes, so his ‘best’ might not be your’s. If you’re serious about your cookies like I am, you’ll enjoy the first article and I’m sure there will be some ideas in it for you.

One of the most intriguing ideas I got from his article was browned butter. My go to chocolate chip cookie recipe has always been Alton Brown’s “The Chewy“, so I’ve been working with melted butter for years. Melting the butter always helped to make a very dense and chewy cookie, but I never thought of browning the butter to add even more flavor. I tried it out this weekend and it was amazing! It added a caramel, nutty, slightly butterscotch flavor that was fantastic.

For this weekend’s batch of cookies I started with Alton’s recipe, browned the butter, added 2-3 extra tbsp of milk, and sprinkled some kosher salt on top right after them came out of the oven. I think I needed the extra milk because I browned the butter very slowly and cooked out most of the water from the butter. I’ll try to add some pictures of the new cookies next time I made them. I was in a rush to make them this weekend and didn’t have a chance.

Pictures as promised:



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