I’ve baked a lot in my days. I’m only 23 but I’ve baked a hellllll of a lot…However chocolate chip cookies scare me. I try to stay away from them because I feel like people judge you based on your ability to make chocolate chip cookies, and I think if you can bake solid chocolate chip cookies, then you can bake anything. It’s the most classic cookie yet somehow so easy to screw up.
Over the years I’ve tested countless recipes to find the best chocolate chip. I’ve read tips and tricks and researched the difference between using melted butter vs solid butter for instance, or white vs. brown sugar. And now…after ALL THESE YEARS I’ve realized what I’ve been doing wrong.
Now I’m here to share my findings because a chocolate chip cookie is the most loving and heart warming piece of food you can give to someone. Here are 5 reasons why your cookies are not reaching their potential. Then try my recipe here.
You Don’t Chill Your Dough at Least 24 Hours
Every good baker knows that chilling cookie dough is essential to a great cookie. Not every recipe tells you to do this but you should anyway. It gives the ingredients a chance to rest and get to know each other and gets you the most uniform looking cookie. When you mix the dough, all the ingredients are warming up because they are constantly getting mixed and moved to come together. Even though the butter and eggs may have been slightly cold when you started, chances are when the batter is finished mixing, your dough is much warmer then when you started.
Don’t bake your dough when it’s warm. Everything will melt and spread more then you think, creating a wide and too big and thin cookie. Then the chocolate chips are all over the place and one side is super buttery while the other side is too dry and the ingredients are all over the place. You want an evenly distributed cookie to create the perfect bite. I say to chill the dough at least 24 hours but if you don’t have enough time then just throw it in the fridge for a few hours at least. The longer the dough sits, the better it’ll be but 24 hours is a good solid amount.
You Overmix the Batter
This is also huge. Many times a recipe will tell you to not overmix the batter, often included in one of the last steps. Baking is a science…combining ingredients and putting them in a hot oven creates reactions, which is why you’re able to eat things like flour and baking soda. If you notice when you are making a batter, the final step is to combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend or stir together.
The main ingredient in flour is gluten, and when gluten is exposed to liquid, it reacts in a way that brings the rest of the ingredients together to create structure and ultimately give your baked good that beautiful shape. It also creates elasticity and by overmixing the batter, you break down the gluten too much, giving it too much elasticity. Your cookies will be tough.
My advice – mix just until there are no streaks of flour then stop.
You Bake the Cookies the Recommended Time
Isn’t that what a recipe is for? Yes, duh but sometimes recipes will be too accurate. Here is an example of something you’ll need to test out yourself because all recipes and ovens are different. Normally, cookies are to be baked any where from 8-12 minutes at 350 F, so that’s just kind of an idea to follow.
What the important thing to note is that you should underbake your cookies slightly, just a couple of minutes MAX. With anything you cook or bake, when you take something out of the oven or turn the heat off on a stove, it’s not going to stop cooking immediately. The pan is still hot and will continue cooking the item. Once you start to notice the cookies browning slightly on the sides, take them out of the oven and let rest a few minutes before putting on to a cooling rack. As the cookies cool, they will also harden, so you’re cookies will be golden brown with just the right texture.
For example: on the top is when I took them out at 10 minutes, underdone ever so slightly. On the bottom I took them out at about 13 minutes. Wayyy too much.
You Don’t Flour the Chocolate Chips
I’ll keep this super simple. Don’t just throw the chocolate chips in last to the batter just to have some chocolate in there. Toss them in a little of the dry flour mixture just enough to coat them before adding the rest of the ingredients together. This creates a little elevation so when the cookies are baking, the chips don’t all sink to the bottom.
You Don’t Use Enough Chocolate Chips
What is a chocolate chip cookie without chocolate chips??? Nothing is more depressing then when you bite into a chocolate chip cookie and all you get is a mouth full of DOUGH and SUGAR. Could possibly be more depressing then that whole raisin/chocolate chip confusion thing.
Load up your cookies with chocolate to ensure you get some in every bite, because if you think about it, those things are tiny. When they get mixed into the batter, sometimes they’ll get lost. In this case, more is better.
Inspired?? Check out my chocolate chip cookie recipe HERE.
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