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Oomph Chocolate Chip Cookies?

I've got a good starter recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and when I bake them, they're good. That's all, just... good. The M&Ms give them a nice touch of whimsy and provide a nice crunch. (But they're not mandatory.)

However, I want outstanding cookies, stellar cookies, cookies good enough to make men tremble and women swoon. Cookies with "oomph"!

In a nutshell, I want more from my cookies. How do I do that?

Here's my recipe:

2 1/8 c AP flour (I use Pillsbury)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
12 T unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 c light brown sugar
1 lg egg + 1 lg egg yolk
2 t vanilla extract
1 bag (about 12 oz) milk chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (ditto)
4 oz chocolate M&Ms

+ Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl.

+ Whisk melted butter and sugars in large bowl until combined. Add all egg, vanilla and mix well. Fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; don't overmix. Fold in chips and dump batter into prepared pan, either as cookie bars or individual circular cookies.

+ Bake at 325 F in middle of oven until top is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, anywhere from 15 minutes for cookies to about 30 minutes for cookie bars. Remove from pan and transfer to wire rack for cooling.

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  1. my crazy tip for chocolate chip cookies (and honestly i just use the tollhouse recipe with extra vanilla) is to use bread flour instead of regular flour. they're awesome. they get chewy and crispy but don't have that undercooked soft texture that i hate. really. people go crazy and it's all i do - other than use high end butter and vanilla and eggs. try it and see if it makes a difference in this or other recipes. good luck - i can fully appreciate the desire for perfection in a cookie!

    7 Replies
    1. re: AMFM

      I am so with you on the chewy texture. Even in the midst of a serious sugar craving, I will throw away the chewy soft cookies that taste like they were not baked. They are especially bad from coffee shops, grocery stores, etc. I will try your ideas, they sound great!

      1. re: AMFM

        You know, I actually *like* chewy cookies. Is there something wrong with me? My Grandma makes some delicious chocolate chip cookies which are crispy, but when I make them myself, I prefer to bake to ensure that soft, chewy texture. I mean, I'm baking drop cookies, not biscotti. Do you people also bake brownies that could serve as paperweights?

        My favorite recipe is actually an oatmeal CC cookie. It's Quaker's "Choc-Oat Chip Cookies" recipe. Google that and you'll find the recipe with no problems. The oatmeal isn't that noticeable, it just gives it a richer texture. Also, I like chunks of chocolate instead of chips, so I cut up a bar of 70%.

        1. re: AMFM

          Is the texture slightly gritty? sandy? The reason I ask...my best friend, and fabulous cook, known far and wide for her cookies, sometimes pops up with cookies that have an interesting sandy/gritty texture. I can't figure out what it is. Last week she made choc. chip cookies, and some that were like a chocolate shortbread. Both had the indefineable "sandyness" I'd like to ask HER what it is, but I can't think of a polite way to say "what is it I don't like about these cookies?"

          I'm in the soft and underbaked camp, BTW.

          1. re: danna

            i don't think it is but...

            they kind of puff up in the middle (i guess like bread!) and are denser but not mushy. i've never noticed gritty. my husband loves the soft kind (including those disgusting softbaked brands :) - ugh!) and he still really likes mine. it's just a very homemade tasting texture. i think that's the difference. there's NO way you'd mistake them for store bought. i like crispy but sometimes crispy cookies get too thin and you lose the wow yum factor. these don't.

            1. re: danna

              For shortbread i always use rice flour as part of the flour. It gives them the sandy grittiness you mention.

              1. re: danna

                No, the texture is fine. It's not a soft cookie like those wretched "soft-baked" commercially baked things, it's...hmmmm...'average' is the word. (I have little baking experience although I'm a good cook.) It's the taste--it just tastes blah. Not bad at all, and way better than any cheap storebought, but the taste doesn't excite my mouth. I want a gourmet cookie, please, something several steps up from average.

                Am I expecting too much? Has anyone tried a ccc and said, "Wow!"?

                1. re: danna

                  would you ask her what the secret is? this reminds of me of the chocolate chip cookies at the Bellevue Whole foods (in case they don't ahve them everywhere). They are called carol's chocolate chip cookies. They are like 4 inches tall in the middle, not at all chewy, crumbly like shortbread, pale, but not doughy... and I AM OBSESSED with them. I need to recreate them at home as there is no Whole Foods here. THis way you can find out what it is you don't like while making a request for me!

              2. The scharffenberger webiste as a fantastic recipe modestly entitled "The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies" -- but seriously think they might be on to something. Using their chocolate really kicks the whole thing up a notch -- and using chopped up chunks instead of chips gives the cookies a stronger chocolate punch. (But I just use a butcher knife and not the "Chipper" they suggest)

                Perfect texture. Crisp around the edges but chewy in the middle -- without the gross soft texture AMFM so rightly reviles.

                http://www.artisanconfection.com/stor...

                ********
                THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
                When a recipe calls itself "the best," it always raises some questions. But since this recipe came from The Baker's Dozen Cookbook (HarperCollins 2001), a cookbook compiled of recipes from some of the San Francisco Bay Area's top pastry chefs, that claim piqued our interest.
                After testing, we agree that these are darn good cookies. Since we do not currently offer either chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, we recommend using our 62% Cacao Semisweet Home Baking Bar. Together with a special product called a chipper, you can make your own chocolate chunks for these cookies.
                Ingredients
                2 cups all-purpose flour
                1 teaspoon baking soda
                1 teaspoon salt
                12 tablespoons (1-1/2 ssticks) unsalted butter, softened
                1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
                3/4 cup granulated sugar
                2 large eggs, at room temperature
                1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                1-1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks (approximately 8 ounces), try either our 62% Cacao Semisweet or our 70% Cacao Bittersweet
                3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted nuts (your favorite), optional
                Method
                Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
                Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
                In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes; scrape down the bowl.
                Beat the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl.
                Add to the butter mixture and blend well; scrape the bowl again.
                On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until just mixed; scrape down the bowl.
                Add the chocolate and optional nuts and mix until incorporated into the dough.
                Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
                Bake, switching the position of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the cookies are golden brown but the centers seem slightly underdone, about 13 minutes. Do not overbake or the cookies will be crisp throughout instead of chewy.
                Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely. The cookies will crinkle as they cool. (Store at room temperature in airtight containers for up to 1 week.)

                1. I made a pecan-walnut chocolate chip cookie which was STELLAR. And I like....don't bake! The recipe is from The Metropolitan Bakery cookbook and it made a load of cookies. They froze really well, too. Here's the recipe, method and pics. Enjoy!
                  http://houndstoothgourmet.com/2007/08...

                  1. This is a good thread on chocolate chip cookies.

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/447850

                    I like both the Williams-Sonoma ones near the bottom and the ones where you cream cold butter. For large cookies, I love the Best Recipe Thick and Chewy CCC. As ccc go, I like a crispy outside and soft inside. While I like my silpat mats, they don't allow the cookies to get that nice crispy outside so I use parchment paper. And, FWIW, while M&Ms look pretty in a cookie, I don't like how they taste in them.

                    1. I would ditch the milk chocolate chips and only use bittersweet or semi-sweet ones. Then I would add some coarsely-chopped dried cherries.

                      Chocolate and cherries: divine!

                      AMFM: thank you so much for the bread flour tip.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: debit

                        let me know if you try it what you think the differences are.

                      2. This may be a bit to different from typical chocolate chips, but I like to keep mine soft, but add chopped Nestle Crunch and Rice Crispies to the batter. You get soft texture, but some crispy surprises inside. It's very nice.

                        1. The inclusion of some espresso powder has been known to elevate my cookies to a nirvanic level.

                          I also like the Neiman Marcus technique of subbing some finely ground oat powder for the flour.

                          Finally, cookies that include instant pudding have also won me favor, as they create a crunchier exterior and chewier interior. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Moms-Cho... This is a good starter recipe.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Emme

                            I use Cake flour instead of regular-makes them cakelike but not too cakey-just right. I also use 1 t of baking powder. Then along with the flour, I ground up oatmeal (1 cup) and add that-Just gives the cookie some texture. I also use equal parts butter-flavored crisco-gasp and unsalted butter. That way, the cookies don't spread to the edge of the sheet. I will include my exact recipe here: BTW, I am going to try others recipes as well as I am always in the search of the perfect cookie-but I think mine comes pretty dang close if you are sick of the chewy flat cookies. :)

                            Brendan's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

                            1/2 cup unsalted butter
                            1/2 cup butter flavored crisco
                            3/4 cup sugar
                            1 cup brown sugar
                            2 eggs
                            1 T vanilla
                            21/4 cups CAKE flour
                            1 t salt
                            1 1/2 t baking powder
                            1 t baking soda
                            1 cup oatmeaL
                            2 cups to one bag Ghirardelli bittersweet chips
                            walnuts optional ( I toast mine for 5 minutes at 400 degrees)

                            Cream together butter, crisco and sugars.
                            Add eggs and vanilla
                            Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda
                            Process oatmeal in food processor until fine
                            Add flour mixture and oatmeal and chocolate and walnuts last.
                            Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes.
                            Let cool slightly on sheet. Remove to wire rack to cool.

                            I adapted this recipe from AB but added oatmeal and changed all the butter to part crisco. My husband never wants me to experiment with anything else. Recenlty I tried adding a cup of peanut butter to the butter/crisco and it made a great peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. Hope you all like! Randi