Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lesson 2

Here they are, as promised.

I made these ones following the recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini, which is a simplified version of the NYTimes cookie that I blogged about last month. Again, too thick and cakey. The only change I made to Clotilde's version is that I used Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips instead of the very expensive chocolate fevre (disks) recommended in the recipe.

Still no clue about why the cookies aren’t coming out right. They look good, if a bit plump and dry where they should have flattened and gone all chewy, and the flavor is close to what I’m aiming for. What’s strange is that I made the NYTimes cookie several times in Mesa, AZ for my brother and his family at Christmas and they were just as advertised – a little crispy at the edges, chewy in the center.

I checked these recipes against the good ol’ Nestle Toll House recipe (the great-great grandmother of these gourmet recipes) and the ratio of flour and sugar to butter is about twice the Toll House recipe. This may explain why they aren't spreading out when they bake.

Another difference is that the ratio of chocolate to dough is astoundingly decadent, so much so that I’ve still never used the full amount of chocolate called for in the newer recipes. I would think more chocolate chips would mean more gooey-ness, but maybe their bulk is just keeping the dough from flattening.

Hmmm. So many factors to consider, and not a baker's bone in my body to help me make sense of them.

My brother says he can see the problem with my cookies, but is daring me to figure it out for myself. Will I continue to rack my brain, looking for answers within (or in my food science textbook)? Or will I give up and bring the Toll House recipe back into the fold? Stay tuned for more cookie drama...


  1. There is a lot more moisture in the air here than AZ. Maybe that has something to do with it? I know that when I make bread here, I use a lot more flour than I do in OR/CA for the same recipe. Just a thought...

  2. Maybe it was the consistency of the butter. How soft/melted was it? I think it makes a difference in how the fat is distributed throughout the dough and therefore, how it spreads during baking.

  3. My brother says that my problem is that I cooked the dough. It's as simple as that.