VICTORY IS MINE: I accidentally-on-purpose made my perfect chocolate chip cookies

I grew up in a divisive chocolate chip cookie household. I wanted to just sit around and eat raw cookie dough, but my mom wanted to bake them and then keep baking them: thin, crisp, what we might even call “burned” or, as a friend has it, “culinary brown”.

Only the perfect chocolate chip cookie. You’re welcome. Also, where are we on this nail color? It’s Revlon’s Sheer Petal.

As a younger lass, I was always a Nestle Toll House acolyte. But in recent years (and I blame this entirely on shitty ovens), I’ve been disappointed. I want my cookies to not be flat as a pancake, be appropriately chewy but still with a little snap, and be a touch extra salty. Because what is sugar without salt, really?

I would not say I did effort to seek out the perfect recipe. Rather, riffing off of a reliable staple, I thought about what I wanted, and I modified to suit.

Mark Bittman’s veritable one-stop bible, How to Bake Everything, provides the foundation.

(This is from memory so excuse any errors.)
2 sticks butter
3/4 cup each granulated and brown (I like to use dark, for extra chew) sugars
2 eggs
vanilla (what are measuring spoons, even?)
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
chocolate chips (I think there is a measurement but TBH who measures chocolate?)

I will not tell you how to go about making the cookies actually because if you don’t already know what goes with what and in what order, I really can’t help you. Plus, this is the more old-school way to do it.

The basic directions say the oven should be preheated to 375˚, but the wonderful thing about this book is that it also provides details on how to modify the basic directions to achieve the cookie that you want, including a flow chart of cookie characteristics and how to achieve them. I boosted the oven up to 425˚, because I knew my oven tended to melt cookies flat (i.e. is cold), and I wanted them to have some heft and volume, like my voluminous hair (lol) and not be see-through lacy-ass bullshit cookies.

I was only making a half-recipe, so halve all that. (Er, except the chocolate.) I also am always weirded out by chocolate chip cookie recipes’ insistence on only using baking soda (there’s simply not that much molasses in brown sugar, I’m convinced), and the cakeier-cookie instructions suggested using both soda and powder. So I did about a short quarter teaspoon of each (remember, halving the recipe). What I did not do is halve the salt. I use kosher anyway, which you should about double as compared to table salt, and I know I like a saltier cookie, so I used just shy of a full teaspoon.

And then I baked them for the recommended time (for the first time in recent memory the oven actually didn’t take twice the time). And they were gosh darn delicious. Perfect, even.

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