My oldest brother has a theory about food. All food, with one exception, is on a bell curve. Raw food starts off tasting poorly but as you cook it the better and better it gets. Eventually it reaches optimum tastiness. After that point, the tastiness declines the longer you cook the food.
This graph may help explain.
But like I said there is one exception: cookie dough (sorry sushi lovers, it really is the only exception). Cookie dough is not on a bell curve. Cookie dough is a straight line. It starts out at optimum tastiness and the longer you cook it the worse it gets (refer to the graph below). Overcooked cookies are the worst. In my opinion crispy cookies belong in the garbage.
Now I tend to agree with my brother on this one. There are few things better than raw cookie dough. I like to daydream about heaven where obviously salmonella won't exist. We'll all sit around eating cookie dough without fear of raw eggs or processed sugar or gluten. Unfortunately we're not quite there yet. So I wanted to share with you my secret to the perfect chocolate chip cookies (which are not gluten, egg, or sugar free. Sorry). In my opinion, they are only slightly less delicious than raw dough.
If you’ve ever watched the Friends episode where Monica goes crazy trying to recreate Phoebe’s lost cookie recipe you already know the best recipe belongs to Nestle Tollhouse (with one tiny tweak.) This post isn’t about a recipe. No, I want to share with you my method, taught to me by my mother. Believe it or not, the key to perfect chocolate chip cookies is how you mix it. If you want fluffy, moist cookies, crispy on the edges, and gooey in the middle you need to follow these steps.
But first here’s the recipe. You’ll note I sub Crisco in for half the called for butter. Butter provides great flavor and the Crisco ensure the cookies are fluffy. I find using all butter makes them a little too crispy for my liking.
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup Crisco
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Don't even think about putting in those "optional" nuts. What kind of crazy person ruins a perfectly good cookie by adding nuts? We need to write Nestle and tell them to take nuts off the recipe on the bag. I mean honestly...
Now for the process:
Step 1: Let your butter soften slowly. DO NOT MICROWAVE! This is very important. Melted butter will ruin the texture of your cookies. Set your butter on the counter and let it come to room temperature.
Step 2: Cream your butters and sugars. You want to use a hand mixer or KitchenAid so that the butters and sugars combine and become nice and fluffy.
Step 3: Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Step 4: In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt.
Step 5: VERY SLOWLY mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not use hand mixer or KitchenAid for this step. Hand mix the flour mixture little bit by little bit until totally combined. You don't want to beat out all of the air from your batter!
Step 6: Mix in chocolate chips.
Step 7: Spoon dough onto a baking sheet. I highly recommend a Silpat baking mat which you can find here. These mats evenly distribute the heat for even baking. They’re also non-stick, which makes clean up a breeze.
Step 8: Refrigerate the dough for 15 or so minutes. This helps them cook slower and not spread out and become too thin and crispy.
Step 9: Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. I recommend taking the cookies out before you think they’re done. The biggest mistake people make is leaving them in too long. The cookies will keep cooking after you take them out of the oven so it’s important to remove them when they still look a little gooey. Remove cookies from baking sheet to cool.
Step 10: Viola! Perfect cookies. Enjoy and do yutry not to eat them all at once.
That’s it. Those are my tips for perfect cookies. Of course, if you want to just stop at step 6 I won’t judge you. And neither would my brother.