How to Bake the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, According to Science
Cookie Monster’s got nothing on Brit + Co when it comes to wolfing down the chocolate chips. We always wan’ cookie — and we’re always looking for the very best recipe for this most classic of sweet treats. Preheat your ovens, people, because OZY‘s got a slew of expert tips from around the web to help us all bake the best homemade chocolate chip cookies ever-ever.
Cookies are like steak (just go with it, mmkay?) — everybody wants theirs cooked a little differently. Some like ’em soft and chewy, while others prefer a thin, buttery crisp. OZY used data and tips from bioengineering grad student Kendra Nyberg (who co-taught a UCLA class called Science and Food), TED and chef and blogger Tessa Arias (who writes about cookie science and shares extensive research on her site, Handle the Heat).
Just as Arias did in her dough experiments, OZY starts with the original Nestle Toll House recipe as their control and offers up adaptations depending on your personal preferences. Here are their top tips to create your perfect cookie!
If You Like Your Cookies…
Ooey-Gooey: Add two cups more flour for a softer texture.
Golden Brown: To give your cookies a nice tan, set the oven to 360 degrees. Caramelization occurs above 356 degrees, according to Stephanie Warren’s TED Talk on the subject.
Crispy, With a Soft Center: Use 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
Chewy: Substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour.
Store-Bought Style: Trade butter for shortening. Arias notes that this ups the texture, but reduces flavor. She suggests using half butter and half shortening.
Thick and Soft: Freeze the batter for 30 to 60 minutes before baking, which solidifies the butter and keeps it from spreading thin.
Cakey: Use more baking soda. According to Nyberg, baking soda “releases carbon dioxide when heated, which makes the cookies puff up.”
Butterscotch-y Taste: Use 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (instead of the same amount of combined granulated and light brown sugar).
Uniformity: If looks count, add one ounce corn syrup and one ounce granulated sugar.
More, Just More Flavor: Chilling the dough for at least 24 hours before baking deepens all the flavors, Arias found.
And, just for good measure, we suggest checking out Aria’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Handle the Heat (pictured above and second from the top). After all that experimenting, she knew exactly how to create her own best of the best. This “ultimate” cookie has a rich, caramelized butterscotch flavor, with thick, super chewy texture — crisp and brown on the edges, with an ooey-gooey center. She says, “I would want these cookies to be part of my last meal on earth, that’s how much I love them!” In other words, they’re to-die-for.
What are your tips and tricks to making the perfect cookie? Let us know in the comments!
(Images via Handle the Heat)