I went through a phase a few years ago where I was trying to find the recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, I think I came pretty close with a few great recipes from my experiments, five years ago, but my appetite has not waned. I’m a sucker for a good cookie. And a good cookie will tempt me to stray from my diet, every time.
When I saw Alton Brown post his recipe for ‘ The Chewy,’ my curiosity was piqued since his approach is quite scientific.
This recipe, unlike the others I’ve tried, holds true to its promise. It is truly chewy, on the day it’s first baked, even the day after, and the day after that. It also looks almost like it came out of a bag or straight off the cookie sheet at your neighbourhood bakery. It doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the image however, it’s not quite as moist and soft, I think, as the image suggested it would be. And yet, it’s kind of hard to mess these up unless you’re truly a novice baker.
For this year’s annual cookie swap, this was one of my contributions. It was my fail-safe in case the other two didn’t work out. Maybe it was too ordinary for the kinds of cookies we usually present at the cookie exchange, but it would be a worthwhile recipe to add to your “my kids’ friends are coming over after school, halp!” list.
If you’re looking for a refined cookie to showcase the expensive chocolate you picked up at the high-end grocer, try David Lebovitz’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.
If you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser that will hold up to different kinds of chocolate and can even be used to make an ice cream sandwich, try my friend Amy Lewis’ ultimate chocolate chip cookies.
If you’re looking for the ultimate indulgent chocolate chip cookie, one with a taste profile that develops with each bite, try the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I think it’s the nutty toffee flavour due to the browning of the butter that really puts it over the top for me.
Substitutions: None. For this kind of recipe, I stick to the ingredients list and directions exactly, otherwise I can’t compare and contrast to other types I’ve made. So if you’re as neurotic about this kind of thing like I am, use the bread flour, you will notice the difference. (I used white bread flour). With that said, however, I might underbake it slightly next time because I like my cookies not only to be chewy but slightly gooey too.
Also I used the exact amount of chocolate chips the recipe called for but many of the chips completely fell out of the dough. It felt like a lot of chocolate, even for me!
Would I make this again? Maybe. I’m not sure yet. Sometimes it comes down to the kind of feedback I get and this one sat on my counter for longer than I hoped. That said, it is the time of year where there is always at least a couple of homebaked sweets on the counter and my family is often spoiled for choice.
Grade: Five stars out of five. Full points for living up to its promise!