Recipes with Julie Van Rosendaal: The cookie of your dreams

The internet is full of chocolate chip cookie recipes – a Google search produces around 130 million results – and many of them claim to be the best. But what makes the best chocolate chip cookie is subjective.

Whether you like them thick and chewy or thin and chewy, knowing how to adjust the amounts of each ingredient will allow you to customize the cookie of your dreams.

Virtually all chocolate chip cookie recipes call for the same ingredients: butter, white and brown sugar, egg, vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate. It is the ratio of these ingredients, especially butter and sugar to flour, that makes the difference. A cookie that has a higher ratio of butter and sugar to flour will spread more and be more chewy than one that has less butter and sugar to flour.

A cookie with more flour will be thicker and more doughy and less spread. We talked about it in more depth this week Calgary Eyeopenerbut here are the basics of how each ingredient will affect the taste and texture of your cookies.

Calgary Eyeopener9:08Julie van Rosendaal on chocolate chip cookies

Our culinary guide Julie van Rosendaal explains how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie – for you. 9:08

Letting the dough rest for a few hours, or even refrigerating it overnight, gives the flour a chance to hydrate – it absorbs the dough’s moisture and some of the sugar dissolves, so even with the same recipe, you end up with a very different cookie. A cookie baked after the dough has had time to rest is denser, spreads less, and has a smoother texture and more complex caramel flavor. It also browns faster, so you need to take your batch out of the oven sooner so you don’t overcook it. Keep in mind that a cookie will firm up as it cools, so most chocolate chip cookies should be golden around the edges but still paler and softer in the middle if you want them to stay moist when cooled.

In general, cookies made with melted or hazelnut butter are denser. (Recipes with Julie Van Rosendaal)

Butter

This adds flavor to your cookies and the fat acts as a tenderizer, inhibiting gluten formation. Because it melts in the oven as your dough heats, more butter will result in a more spreadable cookie. If you use shortening, which is a solid fat (butter contains some water), you’ll have a softer cookie – more doughy, less chewy.

How you process the butter also makes a difference – if you melt it, and especially if you brown it (which takes longer to cook), the moisture will evaporate, leaving you with oil of butter. This means you won’t be able to incorporate air into your dough by beating your butter and sugar, as many recipes start with. Less moisture also means less gluten development and makes it harder for sugar to dissolve, so you can get less caramelization. In general, cookies made with melted or hazelnut butter are denser.

Cookies with a higher sugar content will spread more and be more chewy. (Provided by Julie Van Rosendaal)

Sugar

Granulated sugar will make a cookie thinner and crispier, making it more spreadable. Brown sugar, on the other hand, will make for a thicker, chewier cookie. Brown sugar has more hygroscopic qualities – meaning it absorbs moisture from its surroundings – and is more acidic, so it will react with the baking soda to create more bubbles of carbon dioxide which will cause yeast to rise. dough. It also melts faster than granulated sugar, which means it caramelizes faster when your cookies bake. Overall, cookies with a higher sugar content will spread more and be more candy-like. (If you’re using brown sugar, keep in mind that darker brown sugars will give your cookies a more molasses flavor – I usually use golden brown sugar in a chocolate chip cookie.)

Eggs

Eggs are mostly made up of protein and water, especially the egg white (the yolk is mostly fat). A cookie that has more eggs in it will be doughier, with more lift, and that extra moisture will allow more gluten to develop (when flour comes in contact with moisture, gluten will expand).

Flour

A higher flour content to other ingredients will produce a thicker, doughier cookie. Most of us use all-purpose flour (unbleached all-purpose is my default) – if you use bread flour, which is higher in protein (gluten), you’ll get a fluffier cookie, while cake and pastry flour will produce a more tender cookie.

Chocolate

Of course, chocolate chips are great for chocolate chip cookies, but I like to chop dark bars (about 70% chocolate) to get a range of small and larger chocolate chunks in each cookie. (If you want to make a chocolate chip cookie, substitute about ½ cup flour for cocoa!)

This is the key! Oven temperatures vary… so if your cookies spread too much, the amount of butter may be higher than the flour, but it could also be that your oven is cold and the dough will melt before it has time to set. chance to Position. If your cookies won’t spread, your oven may be too hot, which means the dough is hardening before it has time to melt and spread a bit. Make sure not to overbake your cookies if you want them to be soft when cooled.

Instead of chocolate chips, chop dark chocolate bars to make these chocolate chunk cookies. (Provided by Julie Van Rosendaal)

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate chips are perfectly fine here, but I like to chop up dark chocolate bars or chocolate couverture discs to get a range of big chocolate puddles to little chocolate chunks in each cookie.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (I prefer golden)
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (or more) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla for about two minutes, until pale and light. Add flour, baking soda and salt and stir until almost combined; add chocolate and stir until combined.

Drop the spoonful or large spoonful onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden around the edges but still quite pale in the middle – keep in mind They will firm up as they cool. Transfer to a rack, if you have one.

Makes about 1 ½ dozen cookies.

These chocolate chip cookies have a higher ratio of butter to sugar to make them chewy. (Provided by Julie Van Rosendaal)

Thin and soft chocolate chip cookies

These chocolate chip cookies have a higher ratio of butter and sugar to flour than most recipes, which makes them very thin and chewy, almost like candy, with a crispy edge.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups packed golden brown sugar
  • ½ cup) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 to ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars for a minute or two, until pale and fluffy. Beat eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt and stir or beat on low speed until almost combined; add chocolate chips and stir until combined.

Drop the dough in large spoonfuls, spacing them at least a few centimeters apart (they spread a lot!) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Use a thin spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 1 ½ dozen cookies.

Use boiling water and baking soda in place of egg to make these cookies vegan. (Provided by Julie Van Rosendaal)

Vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

A soft oatmeal cookie with chocolate chunks is a beautiful thing. These use boiling water and baking soda instead of the egg. If you don’t mind them being vegan, you can use regular butter.

  • 1 cup vegetable butter or coconut oil
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp. fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 ½ cup old-fashioned or quick oats
  • 1 cup (or more) chopped dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugars and vanilla for 1-2 minutes, until pale and light. Stir in flour and salt (or beat on low speed). Mix the baking soda into the boiling water and mix it in too, along with the oats, chocolate chips, and nuts (if using).

Drop the dough into large spoonfuls (or roll into balls) and flatten slightly with your hand. (I also like to push a piece of chocolate on top of each, to make sure each cookie has one and to make it look more chocolaty.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden around the edges but still tender in the middle. Makes about two dozen cookies.

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