Lately I’ve been experimenting with different cookie recipes, trying to find what I like and what I don’t like. I came to the realization that I had no idea how to make good cookies when, a few months ago, I quickly baked up some sugar cookies that came out thin, bland, and burnt around the edges. Not exactly my favorite type of cookie.
A somewhat recent issue of the Food Network had a great piece on chocolate chip cookies, and how to make them exactly how you want them – thick and chewy, thin and crispy, cakey, etc. I, like many others out there, love thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies, so I eagerly read on.
I learned a lot, but I think these are the two most important things to know when you’re trying to make really good thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies:
- Using a high brown sugar to white sugar ratio will yield a chewier texture, because brown sugar has a higher moisture content than white sugar.
- Chilling the dough is pretty essential to making thicker cookies. This hardens the dough and prevents it from spreading out too much in the oven as it bakes.
And another tip that I personally find makes a different: Use good chocolate, if accessible, and buy it in bar form. You don’t have to go out and buy expensive chocolate from a local chocolatier or anything, but opting for a slightly higher quality brand such as Ghirardelli or Lindt over Nestle can really make a difference. Freshly chopped chocolate is more moist and your cookies will have a deeper, more intense flavor.
Knowing this new knowledge, I made a second attempt at chocolate chip cookies. I found a recipe for Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures (love that blog!) and immediately knew I had to try them. I do love my coffee.
They were seriously some of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve had. Thick, moist, slightly crispy on the outside and extra chewy on the inside. Though I do love the flavor of coffee, I decided the particular type of espresso I used left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth, so the second time I made these I left it out. I also added some cinnamon and nutmeg, but otherwise the recipe remained pretty much the same.
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies at Tracey’s Culinary Adventures – find the original recipe here
makes about 24 cookies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature (or pop it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (yep, that’s right, only 3 Tbsp!)
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg
- 1 4 oz. bar semisweet Ghirardelli or other quality chocolate (I used 60% cacao)
- 2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional – just for fun)
- In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to incorporate everything.
- In a separate large bowl, add butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Cream butter and sugars together, just until combined. Add whisked egg and vanilla, and stir again.
- Add flour mixture to butter and sugar. It may be easier to add a few small portions at a time rather than all at once. Stir until well-incorporated.
- Using a mallet, pound unwrapped bar of chocolate for about 30 seconds, or until it seems to be broken up into lots of little pieces. Carefully unwrap chocolate and stir into cookie dough. (Also add in mini chocolate chips, if using)
- Cover bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results.
- When ready to cook, remove dough from fridge and preheat oven to 300°F.
- Form dough into roughly 1 inch balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. I used a tablespoon to measure mine out.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy with a tall glass of milk. 🙂
Knowing how to make really good chocolate chip cookies is convenient but also dangerous. Dangerously convenient. To me, there are few things better than a warm cookie fresh out of the oven. Better stick to making these just for special occasions. 😀