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total eclipse of the tartTotal Eclipse of the Tart
chocolate sprinklesHomemade Sprinkles
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Sunday June 3, 2012

Best Case Scenario

Grab a few sticks of off-brand butter from the depths of the fridge and that yellow package of crappy chocolate lurking in the pantry. Follow the recipe on the back of the bag and in under thirty minutes you’ll have a batch of Worst Case Scenario chocolate chip cookies.

But you know what? If I found myself in your kitchen, I’d pour myself a glass a milk and snag one as soon as it came out of the oven. Even the worst chocolate chip cookies, in terms of the ingredients used, will fill the house with a nostalgic smell that puts everyone in a good mood.

Making a good chocolate chip cookie makes you a hero but a great one makes you a legend. Think about it. How many homemade chocolate chip cookies have you eaten in your lifetime? Now how many do you actually remember?

The ones you’ve forgotten no doubt hit the spot while holding you under their chocolatey spell. We all need the quick and dirty magic of a warm chocolate chip cookie from time to time. But sometimes we don’t want to make a cookie, we want to make an impression.

dark and milk chocolate chip cookies

Here’s how, no matter the recipe, to bake a better chocolate chip cookie.

1) Spring for good chocolate. Chocolate chip cookies pretty much taste like Tollhouse or Ghirardelli, the two most widely available bagged chips in America. Using any other chocolate will automatically grant your cookies an intriguing je ne sais awesome. All the more so if you get the good stuff. Grab some of your favorite chocolate bars and chop ‘em up, or find chocolate discs in the bulk aisle of your local coop or Whole Foods. While you’re at it…

2) Diversify. A 12 ounce bag o’ chips demands monogamy, but chocolate bars let you play the field. Don’t take home three or four bars of the same thing, spread the love! Using more than one type of chocolate means no two bites of the cookie taste alike. Remember that old dieting tip, the “three bite rule”? The theory states that after three bites, our taste buds become desensitized to a flavor and our enjoyment reaches a point of diminishing returns. Yup. I just turned dieting advice into a diabolical method for making chocolate chip cookies even more irresistible. You don’t need to use milk or white chocolate to take advantage of this principle (although you could, you saucy minx); simply splitting the chocolate between brands or cocoa percentages will do the trick.

3) Spring for good but— nevermind. You know what? I don’t like chocolate chip cookies made with fancy butter. There. I said it. It costs exponentially more but doesn’t make the cookies exponentially better. When you swap regular butter for European style without otherwise changing the recipe, the cookies wind up with more fat than the flour can reasonably absorb, giving them a greasy mouthfeel.

chewy chocolate chip cookies

4) Use a pinch of nutmeg. Nutmeg makes butter taste butterier (hence it often turns up in gnocchi and mashed potatoes, béchamel and other butter laden dishes). You don’t want to use so much you actually discern the nutmeg, just enough to cash in on the butter enhancing qualities. Try using a 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg in your next batch.

5) Don’t overbeat ‘em. Cake recipes have brainwashed everyone into believing the inevitable goal of creaming butter and sugar is “light and fluffy.” Noooooooo! The point of creaming butter and sugar until light and fluffy is to incorporate an extreme amount of air so a dense batter can transform into fluffy cake. But in drop cookies, the point of creaming butter and sugar is simply to combine the ingredients. Chocolate chip cookies just don’t have the structural integrity needed to hold all that air aloft. When the butter and sugar are overbeaten, the cookies puff up gloriously in the oven only to collapse into thin, wrinkled heaps. Cream only until the butter and sugars are homogenous.

6) Chill the dough overnight. Dough that’s had 24 hours to chill spreads evenly, rather than melting too fast and getting too thin around the edges. Chilled dough bakes up thicker and chewier and all around better. I’ve literally baked chocolate chip cookies six days a week for the last two years. Trust me?

7) Portion control! Use a scoop or a scale to make sure each cookie is the exact same size. It sounds a little compulsive, but it ensures each cookie bakes at the same rate and you won’t have rogue cookies with underdone centers or overbaked edges.

8) Don’t bake them all at once. Save a few portions of cookie dough to bake off later in the week or, better yet, put a few balls of dough in a zippy bag and stash them in the freezer where they’ll keep for months. Pull them out whenever a craving (or cookie emergency!) strikes and by the time the oven comes to temperature, the dough will have thawed enough to bake.

gooey chocolate chip cookie breaking in half

9) Sprinkle each cookie with kosher salt. Hear me: you don’t want salty cookies and you don’t even want enough to warrant calling them “salted chocolate chip cookies.” What you do want: a touch of salt on the exterior of the cookie. In How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science, Paula Figoni explains that salt changes the rate aroma molecules evaporate, resulting in a longer lasting flavor. So why sprinkle the salt on the outside rather than mixing extra into the dough? So your tongue will take advantage of that hint of salt the second it touches the cookie, before you even start chewing.

10) Garnish your cookies. About a minute after the cookies come out of the oven, top each with a few pieces of chocolate. The heat of the cookie will melt the chocolate without causing it to lose its temper. That means even after the cookies cool, they’ll have that fresh-from-the-oven gloss that looks so inviting.

These pointers will help your cookies live up to their full potential, whether you like ‘em thick and fluffy, thin and crispy, or soft and chewy.

If you want a cookie that provides all of the above, tender-crisp around the edges yet soft and chewy in the center, look no further.

Recipe:
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Fork!
posted byStellaand filed under:  Chocolate  Cookies  Sarah Jane


68 comments and counting

Jun 04, 2012 · 12:38 AM

Wowza you made me feel pretty smart yet I learned a new trick, like there is never enough chocolate. Top the fresh from the oven cookie with more chocolate. YAY I’ll try it. Makes me want one right now.

 · AmyRuth · www.AmyRuthBakes.com

Jun 04, 2012 · 12:48 AM

I never would have thought to add nutmeg to chocolate chip cookies! The smell of nutmeg always makes me think of fresh donuts and I can only imagine that combined with the smell of cookies…Mmmm

 · Jackie · 

Jun 04, 2012 ·  1:12 AM

I do some of these but had no idea about the others! Seriously great post! One question, sprinkle the sea salt right before going into the oven or right when you remove them? I’m assuming right before baking but just thought i’d double check PS. I love using different brands and percentages of chocolate!

 · amrita · www.thesweetart.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  3:52 AM

Wow, is that why my chocolate chip cookies are a bit greasy? Thanks so much for solving this mystery! I am an American in Europe, and so I only have European-style butter. The greasy problem gets much much worse after refrigerating the dough for 24-36 hours. Yech. Should I add more flour, or a bit less butter?

 · Christina · 

Jun 04, 2012 · 10:11 AM

@AmyRuth, oh yeah! A little glossy chocolate = instant craving.

@amrita, yeah, right before baking them. That way a little salt falls on to the parchment and winds up on the underside of the cookie too. I use plain kosher salt rather than sea salt or Maldons, because it has smaller grains that don’t jump out as salty. (Iodized salt is the worst because the grains are too small...)

@Jackie, if you like nutmeg, you can add more, but the real point is for the flavor to be super subtle. I did a taste test at work with people who said they didn’t like nutmeg, but every time they chose the nutmeg laced cookie as their favorite. They couldn’t taste the nutmeg strongly enough to identify it, but enough that it made the cookie taste better.

@Christina, try adding an extra ounce of flour to your recipe and see if that does the trick. Let me know how they turn out!

Stella

Jun 04, 2012 · 11:27 AM

“Yup. I just turned dieting advice into a diabolical method for making chocolate chip cookies even more irresistible.”

I heart you. that is all.

 · jodi · biscuitsandbobbins.wordpress.com/

Jun 04, 2012 · 12:30 PM

I throw in a bit of espresso powder (tell me you’re surprised), portion the dough out, then freeze it.

For years, after I first got my Kitchenaid, it was impossible for me to make a cc cookie. A light bulb went off when you mentioned over-beating, because I absolutely couldn’t figure out why. Before the KA, I mixed cookies by hand. Now I make dough in such ridiculous quantities that the KA is the only way to go.

 · Melissa · nytefalle.com/blog

Jun 04, 2012 ·  3:52 PM

Stella you are a wonder! I always love reading your posts because they help me understand the art of baking much better. I’ve never used real butter for making cookies, they’re rather too expensive for my pocket at the moment, and the chocolate chips I usually use are from the bakery store, not some famous brand, but that hasn’t hindered me from enjoying chocolate chip cookies.

 · Sumaiyyah · everylittlecrumb.blogspot.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  5:48 PM

I LOVE this article! Great tips! And fabulous looking cookies! Love, love it!

 · Valentina · www.cookingontheweekends.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  6:06 PM

I love these tips! I also now want a chocolate chip cookie real bad. I particularly like the suggestion of sprinkling the cookies with extra chocolate chips after they come out of the oven.

I’m also a (Canadian) expat living in Europe, and not only is the butter different (thanks for explaining the greasy cookie phenomenon) but the gluten content of the flour here is vastly different (much lower) from what I was used to baking with before I moved here. Moving overseas has been an adventure in ingredients, much more than I expected!

 · Katie · www.themuffinmyth.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  6:24 PM

“Making a good chocolate chip cookie makes you a hero but a great one makes you a legend.” Truer words have not been spoken. OK, maybe they have, but those words, ya, you hit the nail on the head!!!! Thanks for all the tips, this is an amazing post, as always!

 · Julia · www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  6:26 PM

That nutmeg tip is just genius, I add it to quite a lot of savoury dishes but it never occurred to me to do the same to cookies. Plus I’m pretty sure I overbeat my last batch. Oh well, at least now I know!

 · Kathryn · www.londonbakes.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  6:40 PM

Wish I read this post before baking some last weekend!

 · Stephanie · munchimunch.blogspot.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  6:40 PM

This is a great article with lots of information about the infamous chocolate chip cookie. Another thing to do is to make your own chocolate chips. Make a ganache with your favorite chocolate, put a thin latyer in a sheet pan, freeze, and then cut into chunks for your cookies. It’s delish!

 · RodneyBedsole · blog.rodneybedsole.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  7:14 PM

I’ve been making “worst case scenario” cookies for years Thanks for the enlightenment! I look forward to making better cookies in the very near future.

 · Tracy {Pale Yellow} · paleyellow.net

Jun 04, 2012 ·  7:58 PM

@jodi, thanks for loving my brand of evil.

@Melissa, mystery solved! I always make huge batches of cookie dough because it’s easier than doing it twice and duh more cookies.

@Sumaiyyah, bakery-store chocolate chips are pretty awesome, so it sounds like you’ve found a good in! Don’t worry, if springing for butter isn’t in your budget now, a pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkling of salt will still work some serious mojo for your cookies.

@Valentina, all the thanks goes to miss Sarah Jane. That girl knows how to take a picture.

@Katie, I didn’t realize that about the flour; thanks for sharing!

@Julia, haha. I mean for real. So long as you have a chocolate chip cookie in your mouth, the person who made it for you is a godsend.

@Kathryn, ah, that’s perfect! It means you already have the nutmeg and grater ready to go.

@Stephanie, I guess that just means you have to bake something two weekends in a row??

@RodneyBedsole, you’ve got some serious DIY spirit! I do find that semi-crunchy texture of the hardened chunks to be a big part of the allure, but soft ganachey businesses would be pretty killer in some chocolate-chocolate cookies!

@Tracy, I firmly believe there are no bad chocolate chip cookies (frowny face not required). But sometimes it’s fun to take things up a notch.

Stella

Jun 04, 2012 ·  8:51 PM

More decades of baking than I care to admit has taught me most of these tips but I still learned something. I’ve never thought to garnish with additional chocolate!

I live at altitude so have to do even more; for me I’ve found that turning up the temp 10 degrees and baking for less time results in fewer ‘bas relief’ cookies.

The freezing thing? My kids are on their own now but they and their friends all know that I keep bags of frozen cookie dough all ready for baking in the freezer and they are only minutes away from home baked goodies when they stop by!

Very nice post Stella.

 · Barb · http://www.creative-culinary.com

Jun 04, 2012 ·  8:55 PM

What a cool collection of tips!

 · Russell at Chasing Delicious · chasingdelicious.com/the-classics-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Jun 04, 2012 · 10:39 PM

This is phenomenal! I had never considered most of these things—thanks for the advice.

 · Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray · chipchiphooray.wordpress.com

Jun 04, 2012 · 10:58 PM

Love these tips. I can’t wait to try them at home – maybe this weekend! The weather here in Sydney is perfect for warm choc cookies. I can taste them already.

 · Luscious Delights Blog · www.lusciousdelights.blogspot.com.au

Jun 04, 2012 · 11:34 PM

These tips are really helpful. Choco chip cookies are the national anthem of Cookie Country, if I may say so. This post is definitely a keeper. =)

 · myfudo · www.myfudo.com

Jun 05, 2012 · 12:38 AM

I just followed a bunch of these tips (nutmeg, salt, don’t over mix, extra chips) and it took my regular cookies to an entire new level. Thank you! I have some dough chilling so I can make more and try yet another tip.

 · Tastefully Julie · tastefullyjulie.com

Jun 05, 2012 · 10:12 AM

@Barb, thanks for the High Altitude Tip! Sometimes people write to ask me about stuff like that, but I have no experience at all with high altitude baking. I’ll pass it along! And also? What a great reputation to have among your kids & their friends.

@Russell, thanks!

@Tara, chip chip hurray? That is way too cute. xoxo

@LDB, Chocolate chip cookies are especially irresistible when the weather’s cool. It’s starting to get warm enough here that rather than eat the cookies straight outta the oven, I want to turn them into chipwiches. Mmm…

@myfudo, Any country that has an edible national anthem is OK by me.

@Tastefully Julie, that’s so cool! I am so happy to know there were more chocolate chip cookies in the world today because of this post, even happier that you thought they were better than ever. Hurray!

Stella

Jun 05, 2012 · 11:42 AM

Tip number 10, brilliant! I can’t believe I needed that pointed out, but it’s just brilliant. Garnish the darn things!

I don’t enjoy using bake stable choc chips (well, not store bought anyway, and my source of bake stable couverture is at least a 3 day delivery wait, not good when you want cookies NOW) ‘cause I just don’t think they taste great, so I like to use good quality choc in the cookie, but have always wanted those lovely buttons of chocolate to speckle the cookies which you just don’t get when you bake with normal choc, not to mention the temper issues.

Anyway, I love it.

Love the other pointers too, thanks for this!

 · MandyM · www.mandymortimer.com/

Jun 05, 2012 ·  5:02 PM

Nutmeg! Different brands/types of chocolate! Garnishing with MORE CHOCOLATE! I’ve come up with a pretty good CCC recipe over the years that rarely fails me, but I can’t wait to incorporate some of these tips. Thanks!

One question: what are your thoughts on shortening? When I use all butter, my cookies tend to be flatter and crispier than I like. When I use half shortening (or coconut oil) and half butter, they are usually chewier. Maybe there is some other factor I’m overlooking?

 · bethany actually · bethanyactually.com

Jun 05, 2012 · 10:10 PM

I love this. It is very informative and unfortunately made me want chocolate chip cookies, even though I had about 10 last week! Eee!

 · Rachel · thegirlwiththecupcaketattoo.com

Jun 05, 2012 · 11:02 PM

@MandyM, have you checked at your local Whole Foods/Fresh Market/TJs type of place? Many of those upscale grocery type places do sell the discs. Someone also told me that Cadbury makes discs too, so you might try checking that out too. No one should wait three days!!

@bethany, okay, so this is totally evil, but: leaf lard. Using half butter and half leaf lard makes the most insanely delicious and beautifully textured cookies. I’d make that my go-to cookie at the restaurant if not for the problem of an unsuspecting pork product on a dessert menu causing trouble for our patrons. And, well, I’m allergic to pork. But it’s crazy delicious.

@Rachel, hey, you always need more vitamin C(hocolate chip).

Stella

Jun 05, 2012 · 11:13 PM

Wish I’d read this sooner! I’m trying to bake less, and eat less sugar & flour (because I just don’t exercise as much as I used to!), but oh man!! Baked goodies are my weakness and vice. I’ve gotten the hand-mixing part down (actually using my hands), but I will love trying the other tips in this recipe next time I make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Thank you! Yum!

 · Nicole · 

Jun 06, 2012 ·  6:13 PM

Great post Stella. I always learn so much from you. Never knew that high fat butter would result in greasy cookies, but I guess it makes sense. I am going to give the nutmeg a try in my next batch.
I discovered a great recipe from Ashley, (Not Without Salt) that uses 3 kinds of sugar (white, brown and turbinado). It gives the cookies a little crunch and they are really quite fantastic. I added a bit of caramel to them.
http://saltandserenity.com/2011/12/12/holiday-baking-day-2-chocolate-chunk-caramel-cookies/

 · saltandserenity · www.saltandserenity

Jun 06, 2012 ·  6:29 PM

Yeah, AS IF I’ll be able to let all that gorgeously-diverse chocolatey cookie dough sit in. the. fridge. for 24 WHOLE hours. Without eating it. Those of us who live on planet earth & don’t bake cookies 6 days a week will be perfectly content with floppy non-chilled cookies, thankyouverymuch.
Great tips. You’ve revived my interest in this good old standby. I think they’d go perfectly with the homemade coffee ice cream I made last night. Cheers!!!

 · Kristi · legallybaked.wordpress.com

Jun 06, 2012 ·  6:59 PM

@Nicole, sorry to be the evil temptress, but it’s kind of my job.

@saltandserenity, Ashely is such a genius, no? That’s a great tip too, I love it!

@Kristi, hahaha, I know, I know, I have gained zen-like patience in this job… I think the cookies will go fabulously with your ice cream, perhaps even as chipwiches? zomg.

Stella

Jun 07, 2012 ·  1:26 AM

Dare I say, these tips were better than the one the NY Times ran a few years ago. Not sure about the premium chocolate though. I feel bad putting it in the oven. Won’t the heat kill the delicate flavors (like cooking destroys fine olive oil)?

 · Jessica "Su Good Sweets" · sugoodsweets.com

Jun 07, 2012 · 10:22 AM

@Jessica, chocolate isn’t quite that fragile, otherwise we’d never have amazing chocolate souffles, brownies and other chocolatey baked goods. Despite the oven being preheated to 350°, air is a very poor conductor and the chocolate (especially insulated by chilled dough) won’‘t reach a temperature higher than 140°, which isn’t terribly concerning. Bake in good conscience!

Stella

Jun 07, 2012 ·  9:23 PM

LOVE this! I’m sure I’ll refer to it often.

 · Krissy's Creations · www.krissys-creations.com

Jun 08, 2012 ·  7:27 PM

“Je ne sais awesome”— hehe, that totally made me chortle. Seriously, wonderful tips. And now I want chocolate chip cookies.

 · The Cozy Herbivore · http://thecozyherbivore.blogspot.com

Jun 10, 2012 · 12:29 PM

Just when I thought we knew enough about making a good CC cookie… Some really great tips! Next time we make cookies I’ll have to try the sprinkle of salt! As a lover of good chocolate, I agree that you can’t use crappy chips. Chocolate is the hero of the cookie, after all! Thanks a bunch

 · Frank S · sugarandsnapshots.com

Jun 10, 2012 · 10:22 PM

@Frank, chocolate is the hero, yeah! I think you’ll love the pinch of salt on top, it really does something magical to the cookies. Happy baking!

Stella

Jun 11, 2012 · 12:49 PM

I want to be a legend! Thanks for those useful and easy tips you have here. My kids would definitely love this.

 · sam @ web design · dnndesigner.com/

Jun 16, 2012 ·  3:52 PM

Thank you thank you, these are next on my list!
xo

 · Ally · allykayler.blogspot.ca/

Jun 18, 2012 · 12:42 AM

You are such the pro! I’m forwarding this to my teen who is the official cookie baker around here.

 · Mary @ Fit and Fed · fitandfed.net

Jun 18, 2012 · 10:26 AM

@sam, oh, the legend is about to begin!

@Ally, happy baking!

@Mary, that’s too cool! Glad to know that baking starts so early in life in your family.

Stella

Jul 08, 2012 · 10:02 AM

Just curious what you mean by ‘European style butter’? As I live in Europe this is the only type I know, how do I need to adjust the recipe so they don’t end up greasy?

 · @cuicasolo · 

Jul 08, 2012 ·  2:27 PM

@cuicasolo, American butters have a lower fat content compared to their European counterparts, so that makes our cookies a little leaner. We do have “European style” sold in our groceries too, and often people will buy that to bake with because it’s richer. 99% of the time it’s okay, but in some doughs (like chocolate chip) it just adds too much fat and the cookies can turn out greasy. You can compensate by adding a little extra flour, though I haven’t experimented in order to determine the appropriate amount… But the photo you tweeted me look fabulous, so I’d say you’re all clear!

Stella

Aug 30, 2012 ·  6:40 PM

Yummy! Do you by chance have a recipe for a great chewy oatmeal cookie as well?

 · Zashee · 

Aug 30, 2012 ·  9:52 PM

Hey Zashee! Would you believe that I don’t? I have one that’s okay but I’ve yet to perfect one that gives me all the chewiness I’m longing for. Stay tuned, I hope to crack the code someday.

Stella

Oct 04, 2012 ·  1:21 AM

Just found this post and love the tips. Chilling the dough, cookie scoop, etc..I am a fan. Now what you suggest about NOT overcreaming is in direct oppostion to say, Christina Tosi/momofuku milkbar who advocates like a 8min+ creaming process but I never get the puffy cookies I want with her recipes. Very interesting…hmmm. Love this post!

 · Averie @ Averie Cooks · www.averiecooks.com

Oct 04, 2012 ·  9:49 AM

Hi Averie! I’m all about a nice, long cream-time for cakes and things, but generally speaking cookies can’t handle it. I haven’t seen Tosi’s recipe, but it may have enough flour to support that kind of structure. I wonder…. Thanks for the kind words!

Stella

Oct 11, 2012 · 10:09 AM

Awesome tips! I like the idea of using different kinds of chocolate, I’ll definitely put that into practice!

 · Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic · www.confessionsofachocoholic.com

Oct 11, 2012 ·  6:42 PM

Hi Bianca! Your cookies will launch straight to the next level as soon as you do.

Stella

Jan 12, 2013 ·  9:45 PM

… I thought Ghiradelli was pretty good— so what do you mean by “the good stuff”? Yes, I know a lot of it has to do with personal taste… but I’m also not in the cooking industry— homemaker sort here. Chocolate tasting isn’t in my budget, unless it’s December.
I already make pretty amazing cookies and baked products according to my family, with all of a few years of experience at it… these tips should cement my Empire— uh… I mean… heh…

 · Silver_Shadow · 

Jan 13, 2013 · 12:11 PM

Hey Silver_Shadow! Ghirardelli is definitely a step above Toll House, but at 60% cocoa solids, they just don’t taste chocolatey enough for me. And (to me) they have an acidic flavor that tastes harsh, but my “acidic” may be someone else’s “fruity” and totally yummy.

I like using chocolates in the 70% range because that extra 10% makes them more chocolatey, and thus less sweet, which help give the cookie a better balance of bitter to sweet. But many people are so used to a super-sweet cookie, they don’t want the extra intensity. There’s a case to be made for mild chocolates too. It is, as you said, very personal.

Your best best, if you’re looking to get some darker chocolates, is to buy in bulk or online. A lot of groceries like Whole Foods will sell one pound chunks of higher grade chocolates in their bulk aisle, or with their cheese and “gourmet” products, which means buying them at a much better rate than the little 3 or 4 oz bars. You can get 2 pounds of Callebaut 70% for about $12 on Amazon, which is a real steal when you do the math compared to the 12 oz bags. Your Empire is all but guaranteed!

Stella

Jan 30, 2013 ·  8:58 AM

Thank you for all of the wonderful tips for making chocolate chip cookies. My daughter usually makes them and complains because of the greasy way they turn out. I am going to make them today with all of your tips as my grandson (10 years old) that lives with me said the other day as I was making dough for sugar cookies, “grandma, when are you going to make some chocolate chip cookies?” Hope to amaze the family.

 · Cookiemom2 · cookiesforyou

Apr 12, 2013 ·  7:30 PM

I have been trying to find an answer for a simple yet, seemingly unanswerable question. All the really good chocolate chip cookie recipes (like yours) say to chill the dough. But they don’t say whether you should let the dough come to room temperature before scooping and baking. I’ve tried scooping straight from the fridge and my poor scooper nearly died!

Do you let the dough come to room temp?

Thanks! From a long time lurker, first time poster.

 · Snow White · 

Apr 13, 2013 · 11:22 AM

Hi Snow White! I know exactly what you mean, and that’s why in my recipe for chocolate chip cookie I have the dough formed into two longs. So instead of having to scoop the hard dough, you can use a knife to portion out the cookies. You could also scoop the dough while it’s still soft, arrange it on a baking sheet in the fridge until it hardens, then toss it into a zip-top bag overnight. I can’t speak to other recipes, but with mine the dough goes straight from the fridge to the oven. Well, minus the few minutes it takes to slice up the logs of dough. Hope that answers your questions!

Stella

Apr 13, 2013 ·  3:46 PM

Stella, you are a gem! Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, although now I realize it was in the recipe the whole time and I missed it! (form dough into logs and cut). Ah, the unfortunate results of “skimming” over a recipe!

On another note, I have your Peanut Butter Pots de Creme in the oven right now. Can’t wait to taste the results tonight!

 · Snow White · 

Apr 13, 2013 ·  9:10 PM

Hi Snow White! No sweat. I think it’s always wonderful to be thinking of questions to ask, because thinking about how a recipe turns out helps make each of us a better baker. Hope you love the PB PdC!! (Say that three times fast, haha)

Stella

Apr 20, 2013 · 12:21 PM

The PB PdC (my husband and I had a good laugh over that) turned out awesome! You were right the chocolate and coffee work to enhance the peanut buttery goodness! Yum!

 · Snow White · 

Apr 22, 2013 ·  9:03 AM

Oh, hurray!! I’m so glad you liked it, they’re sort of an out there choice for getting the job done, and some people get a little nervous about following through. Haha.

Stella

Aug 22, 2013 ·  7:20 AM

Thank you so much for the wonderful instructions – I feel like I will bake in a wiser way this afternoon!

 · Florence · www.flossieteacakes.blogspot.com

Aug 25, 2013 · 12:36 AM

Hey Florence, hope your cookies turned out better than ever!!

Stella

Dec 27, 2013 ·  3:21 AM

Hi Stella: So here’s a question for you. I live in Beijing, and pretty much all we can get is the “fancy” high fat butter—and New Zealand butter at that, which is to die for. If cookie recipes need to be adjusted for the fat content, what is it that needs adjusting exactly?

 · trav45 · 

Dec 27, 2013 ·  3:25 AM

Oops—sorry! Just read your answer to that in a comment above. Doesn’t add only flour throw off the leavening? Or isn’t it enough to make a difference?

 · trav45 · 

Dec 30, 2013 ·  1:02 PM

Hi trav45! Apologies for the delayed response. Yeah, usually a little extra flour to soak up the fat isn’t enough to throw the leavening agents off. I hope you’re able to tinker with the recipe so it can suit that New Zealand butter!!! Funny you mention it— I honeymooned in NZ and their butter left a HUGE impression on me, I was buttering my croissants just to get more. Haha.

Stella

Jan 07, 2014 ·  3:54 PM

lol It is great stuff. Next time I come home, I’ll try to remember to bring some with me and mail it to you!
: )

I made the cookies—they are fab! The fake neiman-marcus recipe has been my go-to chocolate chip for YEARS. I’m switching to these. Less work and every bit as filled with that yummy caramelized chocolatey goodness.

Though I will say, I baked half right away and the other half after refrigerating overnight. Right away wins for me. I love those crispy edges and chewy centers.

 · trav45 · 

Jan 07, 2014 ·  7:10 PM

Oh, that’s so exciting! (The NZ butter fix and the good results, haha.) I agree, it’s really hard to resist baking a few off right away, and those edges are pretty grand. So happy you got it to work!

Stella

Feb 23, 2014 · 12:28 PM

I’ve been making my own version of the Neiman Marcus cookies for years as well. They are always a favorite amongst My Loves. Howeeeeever,…I just baked a batch recently and made a couple of adjustments per your recommendations: added a pinch of nutmeg, beat the butter/sugar mixture less, refrigerated overnight and added a touch of kosher salt to each cookie prior to baking. Ohhhhhh my goodness did everyone rave about them! I think it’s the kick of salt. Really I do. But it took the cookies from really good, to the “best cookie I’ve had in forever”! Thanks for yet another success!

 · WanderLust · 

Feb 24, 2014 · 10:30 AM

Hi WanderLust! I loved hearing that these tips helped spruce up your favorite recipe! Thanks for taking the time to report back with your success. Happy baking!

Stella

Dec 05, 2014 ·  3:43 AM

Hey Stella, Tried most of these tips – couldn’t believe how much better my cookies were! The sprinkle o salt was a huge upgrade. This time, I’m going to try the nutmeg (I had trust issues before) & use leaf lard — very excited that I have some for once.
Question: the addition of chips after baking is amazing but also messy when layering them in a container. How do you keep yours from looking like a smeary mess?
Thanks for all your help & fab recipes!

 · MA · 



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