Have you ever had one of those weeks when it feels like it should be 5 o’clock on Friday but it’s only Tuesday?? Oh right, of course not 😉 Just humor me on this one then. I was running short on time last night and needed something to calm my mind and satisfy my sweet tooth. My go-to in times like this is to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies (and pour myself a glass of wine). Baking is such a release for me. I love taking the simple disorder of all the separate ingredients and turning them into something yummy. Especially with chocolate chip cookies because who can resist that fresh-out-of-the-oven, burn-a-few-taste-buds experience.
For years, I would make the same cookie recipe with varied results and it was driving me crazy. Along the way, I have worked out a few tricks to help with consistency. The best (and probably most annoying one) is that the batter is really best if you refrigerate overnight before baking. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of occasions where I don’t have the patience, but it really does makes a difference. Chilling the dough solidifies the fat, which causes the cookie to spread less when baked. When a cookie doesn’t spread thin in the oven, you are left with a more substantial, chewy, cookie rather than a flat, hard cookie. If you don’t have the time for a full overnight chill, than just through the dough in the refrigerator for as long as you can wait 😉 Any bit of time to get the dough colder than room temperature will certainly help.
Now, the other trick is to line the cookie sheets with parchment paper. What you may have experienced before (because I know I have) is when you follow the recipe with timing but then you pull the cookies out and the edges and bottoms look burnt. Turns out that the baking time can greatly vary based on color and type of metal of your cookie tray. To avoid that burnt cookie bottom, you can choose to alter baking time based on your cookie sheets OR you can simply follow the recipe timing and line the tray with parchment paper. One certainly sounds easier….. And don’t forget- using parchment paper also makes clean up a cinch!
Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® recipe)
- 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- A dash of sea salt to sprinkle on top