cookies with code names
I have three large cookie jars downstairs in my kitchen, filled to the brim with three different types of chocolate chip cookies. A good friend of mine has asked me to make a few cookies that he’ll use to “resurrect” (if I may say) a retro dessert for his business. I can’t give details just yet or give his name, since he’s scheduled to be featured on this website very soon.
Anyway, I’ve been tasked to come up with a cookie that’s flat yet sturdy and chewy. “Keep the cost down, Lor, so that it can be sold at a fair price,” my friend tells me, as we discuss the merits and benefits of the perfect cookie for his needs.
Looking through my cookbook library, I finally come up with four different recipes that match the criteria of “flat-sturdy-chewy.” Having familiarized myself with ingredients and how they interact with one another, it’s now easy for me to scan a recipe and have a good idea of how it’ll turn out. Of course time clocked in the kitchen is important too, since baking is a very technical skill ”“ use it or lose it.
The chocolate cookie above is the first cookie I make. I mistake it for another recipe and realize it too late, but I decide to forge ahead anyway. The fact that this cookie is made with the creaming method (sugar + butter creamed together, eggs beaten in, dry ingredients + liquid added alternately), a method often used for achieving maximum volume in cakes, I pretty much knew that this cookie was going to end up with a cakey texture, too soft for the dessert my friend would be making.
Here’s the baked cookie. As you can see from the photo above, the crumb of this cookie is similar to that of a mamon (soft, round cake). It even has a fudgy middle, something only found in soft(er) cookies.
This is the same chocolate cookie only this time I flattened it a little before baking. In baking, it’s the little things that matter. Result: a drier, more evenly-textured cookie with smoother edges. These cookies are so soft that they have to be stored in between sheets of wax paper to avoid sticking to one another. Upon trying this, my friend says, “It’s like eating cake and ice cream.”
This is a chocolate chip cookie recipe designed to make flat yet sturdy cookies: melted butter is mixed with both brown and white sugar until creamy, the eggs + vanilla extract added, followed by the dry ingredients.
The cookie on the left is part of the first batch that went into the oven. The cookie on the right is part of the second batch, which I flattened a bit before baking. The un-flattened cookies (left) baked up with deep crevices around the edges, while the flattened cookies (right) baked up with a smooth surface and even edges. Because these are made with melted butter, the cookies have good “bite.” The additional egg yolk also gives them a nice crumb and color. I like these cookies, but my friend lays down his judgment: “These cookies are too chewy for what I need.”
ridged vs. smooth
Because I’m curious, I also bake these cookies on parchment paper and then on ungreased baking sheets. I see no discernible difference except that if these cookies are to be baked without parchment paper, the sheets must be greased otherwise the cookies will stick.
Unlike the second recipe, the butter here is creamed with the sugar, resulting in a crispier cookie. I also didn’t flatten these cookies before baking.This last recipe spreads a lot. I thought that I had allotted enough spreading space in between each cookie, but obviously, I’m off the mark. Baking these cookies three across and four down result in a misshapen cookie man with no hands. Er, not what I want. These cookies are also too dark, evidently overbaked at 18 minutes. They’re still good eating, though. At least in baking, the mistakes are edible — sometimes.
The second batch is lots better: this time I lay the cookies two across and four down. I leave plenty of space for spread, which is what these cookies apparently like to do. I also decrease the baking time from 18 minutes to 15 minutes. Ultimately, this is the cookie that my friend deems perfect for his dessert. “This is the winner right here,” he affirms.
One more thing: although my oven is big enough to bake three batches of cookies at one time, I’ve learned that it’s best to bake one batch at a time. After almost four hours in the kitchen, I’m eager to do something else. In my rush, I bake the last batch of cookies on the lower third rack of my oven and mold the remaining batter into a super-sized cookie (above), which I bake on the top rack. After 15 minutes of baking (my standard baking time for this recipe) the super-sized cookie was done but the cookies on the lower rack hadn’t colored properly yet. I had to bake them for another three minutes. Patience has its virtues, even when I’m hungry.
Below, the three faces of Boo as she attempts to bite into this bigger-than-a-cd chocolate chip cookie:
A Damn Good Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe