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A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE "AH-HA!" MOMENT AND OTHER COOKIE EPIPHANIES

Today I decided to let the Google gods reveal a new chocolate chip cookie recipe for me. I chose the "Best Chocolate Chip Cookies" recipe and went for it. They turned out so, so good. For once, my chocolate chip cookies are thick, not flat. Yes! Puffy even!
The thing that was quite different to me was that the baking soda was added like a slurry. I mixed 1 tsp. baking soda with 2 tsp. warm water, then added to the batter.
Genius.
Just thought I'd share!
Any other cookie epiphanies?

Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/best-cho...

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  1. In addition to the baking soda slurry, this recipe has more sugar (both white and brown), and more flour than the standard Toll House recipe, which is probably why they are thick...

    1 Reply
    1. re: roxlet

      I've had cookies puff in the oven, but they fall into themselves on the cooling rack. I thought it was cool they have some presence.
      The brown sugar really makes it.

    2. Interesting. It does have a lot more flour for the butter which would make a taller cookie but I wonder if warm water causes a bigger reaction with the baking soda to cause more rise. Were they as tall as the picture? Was it a cakey cookie or chewy?

      5 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        As tall as the pic (don't they look good?!). Crispy outside, chewy inside. They've only been out of the oven an hour, so they may crisp up more.
        I too think the warm slurry activated the rise. My second batch rose a little more.

        1. re: chowser

          "bigger reaction with the baking soda to cause more rise"

          That was my first thought, more rapid activation for a higher initial rise. They look gooood. I like crispy outside and chewy inside; the walnut addition is a big plus for me. A Saturday project for me this weekend!

          Thanks, monavano, for this link. The google cookie gods were smiling on you.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            The slurry certainly will help the baking soda to distribute evenly throughout the batter.

            1. re: Joebob

              True, but proper mixing technique should do the same.

        2. Another cookie epiphany circulating over the foodsphere is the hard boiled egg cc recipe. Makes a thick, chewy cookie.
          http://clumbsycookie.blogspot.com/200...

          4 Replies
            1. re: guilty

              Currently there are three recipes circulating with the hard boiled egg idea. And all three are outstanding.

              1. re: HillJ

                I think this must be the secret to the chocolate chip cookies I used to get from the Greek diner of my youth . . . which I *think* qualifies as a chocolate chip cookie "A-Ha!" moment!

          1. i am an extremely picky cookie lover, believing that 99.9% of cookies in the U.S. are too sweet. Given that, the only great choc chip cookie recipe i have ever seen and eaten- is from Boston's own Rick Katz, whose recipe includes coffee powder to cut sweetness and give coffee flavor, and dried apricots to give chew(you can't taste them). The recipe for Mocha Choc Chip Cookies is in Baking with Julia Child.Hope you'll try them and love them!

            10 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              anytime i use chocolate in a recipe, i include coffee powder. you don't perceive the coffee flavor at all but it substantially amps up the chocolatey goodness, without exaggerating the sweet.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Does anyone have a source for decaf coffee/espresso powder? I'm caff-free and would like an alternative to adding liquid coffee.
                Thanks!

                1. re: monavano

                  I always use instant espresso powder, never liquid coffee, in my cookies. Café Bustelo makes a very good one that's 97% caffeine free (if that's good enough for you) that's available in my local supermarket.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Thanks! I looked it up on Amazon and they have it, but in 4-packs. Is it good drinking coffee too?

                    1. re: monavano

                      Lol! Never tried drinking it. I use it strictly for cooking.

                      1. re: monavano

                        I've yet to find any instant coffee/espresso that's drinkable but it's great in any baked chocolate product. I like the Neiman Marcus ccc recipe that calls for espresso powder (the NM recipe on their site, not the one from the urban myth)--more of an adult tasting ccc.

                        1. re: chowser

                          chowser you didn't care for the Starbucks instant under the Via label?
                          http://www.starbucks.com/coffee/via

                          1. re: HillJ

                            I haven't tried it but the price turned me off. I've sent it to troops to Afghanistan and Iraq and they're a big hit there!

                            1. re: chowser

                              Amazon sells the twelve packs for under a dollar a cup. During free s/h days, it might we worth it. I use the VIA's in baked goods and the quick liquid for all sorts of cocktails when I nab a box. How nice of you to send them to the Troops!

                              1. re: HillJ

                                That's good to know--thanks. I've just picked them up from grocery stores and can't get over the cost. I can brew a cup for so much less!

              2. p.s. mona, you might be interested in this blog- the chef went through all maida heatter's cookie recipes, w/ photos and detailed comments. cool, huh?!

                3 Replies
                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  Hi -- I love Maida Heatter...and would love to see this blog...what's the link? (sorry if I'm missing it...)

                  1. Must be both the warm slurry and the additional flour, because other than that, the recipe is surprisingly similar to my new favorite CCC, the Flat-and-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from the NYTimes (http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/112... ).

                     
                    1. The original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from 1940 called for a baking soda slurry

                      "How To Make Famous Toll House Cookies", Nestle's Ad, May 7, 1940, Milwaukee Journal.
                      (Link to ad with original recipe in Google newspaper archive)

                      http://tinyurl.com/44n5dz4

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Antilope

                        That IS interesting. Someone seems to have resurrected the idea!

                        1. re: monavano

                          I wonder why it disappeared from the original.

                          1. re: chowser

                            The original Toll House cookie recipe was published in the cookbook "Toll House Tried and True Recipes" in 1936, after the recipe was accidentally invented, intentionally developed or however you want to believe the recipe came to be, according to the few differing accounts surrounding it's birth in 1930. The original name for the cookie was "Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie" and was made with chopped chocolate rather than chips.

                            During W.W 11, solders from Massachusetts got care packages of CCCs, shared them with their fellow G.I.s and the cookie gained rapid popularity, spreading the already popular recipe even further across the nation. Antilope's recipe link is the original, original recipe from the very popular cookbook. I remember many mention of the book when I was a kid. The original owner got a lifetime of free chocolate chips in exchange for the recipe when she sold it to Nestle; not a bad deal.

                            There are so many variations of the recipe; pick up any brand bag of semisweet chocolate chips and there's one on the back of the package. Almost every baking book I own has a recipe variation of a chocolate chip cookie. This thread, or many of the other CH chocolate chip cookie discussions would hardly be necessary if there weren't.

                            As far as the technique disappearing from the recipe, who knows; my feeling is a marketing exec for Nestle or a recipe tester shortened the recipe, for baking ease; maybe that individual preferred a flatter cookie or one less step. Recipes modify over time, consumer's tastes change, maybe a G.I.s mom forgot the slurry step, or felt it wasn't necessary, and her version was better liked than the original.

                            The truth may well be buried in history; the recipe bears repeating.

                            Btw, I only knew some of this cookie's history, I had to do a little research.

                              1. re: monavano

                                No, thank you! Interesting fun thread, on an wonderful subject.

                      2. Not cccs but you could add the minis (watch out, dangerously good cookies without) - the browned butter morsels from 150 Best AmericanRecipes...http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8073...
                        - the best new (to me) cookie recipe in a long time. Similar to Heidesand but less hassle to make. Devastatingly delicious.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: buttertart

                          butter, that intrigues me but the link doesn't work.

                          btw, here are 2 more choc chip cookie links w/ v good info:

                          http://www.squidoo.com/comfortcookies

                          http://www.well.com/~vard/cookies.html

                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                            Yeah, kind of a teaser--I was excited about checking it out!

                            1. re: chowser

                              Oopsie as my Iowa father-in-law used to say...(especially cute coming from someone 6'4" and upwards of 280 lbs)...

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8073...

                              They are too delicious.

                              With the choc chips they would be similar to Harbord Bakery (Toronto) ccs circa 1972 (one of my favorites ever).

                              1. re: buttertart

                                butter, this link is to a thread w/ 200+ posts. weren't you wanting to link a recipe for brown butter morsels? i'm confused.

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  Buttertart's link seems to be working now. But if not, the cookies she's referring to, called Brown Butter Dream Cookies in 150 Best American Recipes, were originally called Nancy's Brown Butter Buttons and are from Flo Braker's Baking for All Occasions. You can find the original recipe here: http://www.projectfoodie.com/spotligh...

                                  In the original, there was no salt; the 150 women added an optional quarter teaspoon.

                                  They really are marvelous cookies. So simple, and good keepers, too.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    I like that you can make them entirely by hand. Damn they're good.

                          1. i love this chocolate chip cookie recipe from smitten kitchen's great blog
                            http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/cri...

                            but - the thing i do is i refrigerate the dough for at least a day, up to 3-4 days even - and just make a couple at a time. its amazing. refrigerating dough gives the cookies a depth and complexity of flavor - the actual cookie part minus chocolate is so delicious. one friend asked me, is there caramel in this??

                            plus, the benefit of refrigerating dough is you get to eat cookies straight out of the oven whenever you want... for days!!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: elnora

                              This. Aging your dough for 48 hrs makes an amazing difference.

                              1. re: elnora

                                nora, you are right on the money about this ageing practice. The very smart Alice Medrich includes it in her brownies recipe (best I've ever had after i add more coffee , candied orange peel ,and some black pepper). Thank you for your very pertinent reminder (i'm about to make my cardamom walnut cream cheese cookies)!

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  Those sound superduper too, have you posted the recipe? If not, why not? ;-)

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    tart, did you see my question, above,about the link to 200 posts?

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                      Thought the repost worked. Here's the text and link:

                                      "And I made some cookies (brown butter dream cookies) from "The 150 Best American Recipes" that should be ILLEGAL. You brown 2 sticks (8 oz) sweet butter (I used half salt), allow it to cool, beat in 1 c sugar and 1 tsp vanila, then 2 c a-p flour mixed with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Roll into small balls (I weighed them, 10 g each, or about 2 tsp) and bake at 350 deg F until golden on the bottoms, colored a bit on the tops, and firm to the touch. They are supposed to crack a bit but didn't much. I may go a bit heavier on the baking soda next time. The recipe says baking should take 12-14 mins, but it was more like 18 in my oven, which despite the thermometers inside always seems to run a bit cool to me (at least I always have to bake cookies longer than recipes call for).

                                      I ate part of one warm and oh my goodness, how anything this simple could be this good...they're similar to the German cookie Heidesand but easier to make. A definite keeper."

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8073...

                              2. my son is allergic to eggs so i'm always thinking ways around the ubiquitous egg in cookie recipes.

                                i've tried applesauce and it makes cookies taste too 'blah' if you know what i mean. life is no fun when cookies tastes like something you 'should' eat.

                                so i've been making cookies with egg replacer. it tastes fine and like the soft texture but it certainly is missing the richness that eggs impart in a recipe. there had to be something better then...

                                AHA! came across this wonderful persons blog who is a professional baker but has to also work around her child's allergies. she plops a whole 8oz cream cheese and man these cookies are great! the richness is all there and the flavors are great. however, i took her recipe and took it a new level by melting and browning the butter. i recommend this for those avoiding egg (certainly not vegan) or if you just happened to not have eggs or if you just want to try something new. AND batter is free game for eating without the threat of salmonella (which is pretty rare anyway even with raw eggs...)

                                http://artofdessert.blogspot.com/2008...

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: trolley

                                  What a great tip for making batter to go into cookie dough ice cream!

                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                    yes, absolutely! cookie dough ice cream! what a great idea. i'm actually a big fan of the raw egg. in fact, my favorite thing to eat when i was a youngster was a raw egg dumped on hot rice with shoyu. however, that was in the 70's and the egg came from the urban farmer who had chickens in his backyard in suburban tokyo. the yolk was the bright yellow/orange kind.

                                    i live to tell about it without incident but even if my kiddo didn't have an egg allergy not sure if i'd encourage eating a raw egg now. i'd hate to be responsible for him or any of his friends getting sick.

                                    the batter is great with the browned butter. it has that nutty taste that almost reminds me of gianduja....mmmm. i can imagine how good it would taste in ice cream...

                                    1. re: trolley

                                      Raw Cookie Dough that's egg free

                                      This raw cookie dough contains no eggs. This is for eating raw, not baking.

                                      2 Cups all-purpose flour
                                      1/2 tsp salt
                                      3/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
                                      1 Cup packed brown sugar
                                      1/2 Cup white sugar
                                      1 Tbsp vanilla extract
                                      4 Tbsp milk

                                      Optional: Mix in chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips,
                                      peanuts, pecans, walnuts, raisins, crasins, etc.

                                      Mix all ingredients in a big bowl and enjoy.

                                      1. re: Antilope

                                        this is great. pretty similar to the recipe i linked to but without the cream cheese and baking soda. and why would you need soda if it's not for baking? and why would you need the cream cheese? i'm all for reducing calories in something already pretty indulgent. however, i do have to say the cream cheese adds depth to the raw dough.

                                        sounds great for mixing into softened ice cream to make cookie dough flavor!

                                2. I've found that even bad chocolate chip cookies are good! ;-)

                                  One of the worst things you can do is over cook them. Dark bottom chocolate chip cookies just make you want to cry.

                                  1. I never make chocolate chip cookies anymore. Even when I don't use backing power/soda, they come out like muffins. They're pretty awful lol.

                                    1. Does everyone but me like soft/chewy cookies? I love cookies that are less sweet, have better-quality bittersweet chocolate, toasted pecans, and are thin and crispy. Am I alone????

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        I love this recipe for crisp texture and bittersweet chocolate taste (though I think the baking time is way off). It's much more of an "adult" tasting cookie. Nuts are a good addition to them. But, I also like the crisp outside, chewy inside thick cookies.

                                        http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/ser...

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          "baking time way off"

                                          It certainly is.

                                          Chowser, did you use semisweet, or bittersweet?

                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                            Whatever I have in the house. I prefer the darker chocolates but it's hard to find bittersweet chips sometimes (other than Ghirardelli and I'm not a big fan of their chips). I have been buying Trader Joe's big blocks and chunking them, in which case it's the bittersweet.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              I prefer bittersweet as well, and prefer the chunks over chips. Just don't like chopping or chunking chocolate that much; I've chopped my fill over the years.

                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                I take the wrapped bars of thin bittersweet chocolate and smack them all up and down on the edge of the counter, then open one end and pour it out, I may have to break up just a few larger pieces, but I like the shortcut. Wouldn't work with thick thicker chunk chocolate, however.

                                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                  I, too, have an intense dislike for chopping, chunking large blocks of chocolate and have begun buying the TJs Swiss 72% bars instead. Yes, it's somewhat more expensive than buying in bulk, but so much easier to chop that I'm willing to pay for time and aggravation saved.

                                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                    I don't like chunking them either which is why I go between chips and chunking my own. The advantage of chunking my own is that they taste better than chocolate chips when I'm sneaking a few pieces. And, I always have some good edible chocolate in the house for cravings.

                                          2. http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandfor...

                                            While I was over at the BA website, I thought I would share this nifty cookie trick. So many possibilities while you're working that perfect cc dough!

                                            1. Update: These are very good CC's. I followed the recipe to a T. The dough goes together very quickly, I made them by hand in literally 7 minutes. Bit of crispy edge, softer, almost cake-like interior but with some chew, very pleasant. The spread was minimal, there was more of a rise than anything; I used a 1/2 oz cookie scoop and the dough pretty much kept it's dome shape. 11 minutes to golden brown, no greasing sheet pans, I like that. Finished cookies were about 1/2" thick. 2 cups of chips and 1 cup of nuts is plenty for choco + nuts in every bite.

                                              2 1/2 hours later, they are still quite tender.

                                              They were a bit sweet, you could cut back of the sugar a 1/4 cup or more. All in all, a big success; this one will stay in the file. Mrbushy was pleased, so were my neighbors. Thanks, monavano!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                YW! And my experience reflects yours to a "T". DH is just loving them.

                                              2. I'll have to try this. Recently, I made ccc with browned butter, really gave it even more of that toasty-caramelized flavor. I may try it with this, since melted butter means a flatter cookie. The slurry may counter that somewhat.

                                                1. Seeking the perfect chocolate chip cookie - Sunset magazine 1995
                                                  • Thick, Soft, and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

                                                  • Thin, Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

                                                  • Thin, Crisp, and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

                                                  • Thick, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

                                                  http://web.archive.org/web/2002060616...

                                                  1. My favorite CCCs use melted butter and more pecans than chocolate chips (2 c to 1.5 c). The recipe is adapted from a Joanna Fluke cooking mystery, and the cookies turn out chewy and nutty and chocolatey.

                                                    1. THANK YOU!! I gave up on CC years ago because mine were always flat! I just made these today and they are beautiful! I did not chill the dough and I used dark cookie sheets. I used an ice cream scooper (not sure the size) and I cooked them for 14 minutes instead of 10 because of their size. Came out perfectly golden!