Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New and Improved Chocolate Chip Cookie

There are so many different recipes for chocolate chip cookies. There is, of course, the one you get off the back of the bag of chocolate chips. That is the one I had been primarily using. There is one I've tried where they advise you to put some dry instant pudding mix in the batter, but I felt that this produced cookies with a weird aftertaste. I've done "diet" chocolate chip cookies, swapping out some of the real butter with Smart Balance Butter Blend. Yeah, that one didn't work out too well, either. It seems like some things just aren't meant to be tampered with.

Until now, that is. I had been reading all about this recipe for chocolate chippers that had been created by Alton Brown. Alton is, of course, one of the few food personalities on TV that can actually keep Andy interested and engaged. I think it's because each episode is a sort of science experiment, where Alton goes on a quest to perfect something or other, and he is super educational about food. We even got to meet him nearly two years ago at a book signing, and we were very impressed with his patience with and dedication to his fans. He just seems like a cool guy all around.

Anyway, so I found out that he had done an episode of his show, Good Eats, where he made chocolate chip cookies three different ways. He had made a thin version, a puffy version, and a chewy version. Well, I just had to try the chewy version. I don't like my chocolate chip cookies to be crunchy. I like them to be soft and tender and melt in your mouth. That is exactly what you get with this cookie. They are absolutely delicious. I don't know exactly what component of the recipe makes them so soft, but I was intrigued by the use of bread flour rather than all-purpose. Also, he has you melt the butter rather than soften it, and use an egg and a yolk, rather than 2 eggs. Whatever the cause for the chewiness, I really dug these cookies, and the boys all did too. The only complaint I would have, if any, is that they didn't rise enough for me. They spread in the oven, and the chocolate chips became these lumps that stuck out on top of the flatt-ish cookies. Didn't affect the taste, though!

One last thing. Andy became fascinated with the fact that I stored the cookies with a slice of bread. It totally keeps the cookies moist and soft while in the tin. I didn't think it was that big a deal, but he kept going on and on like it was the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread!

The recipe for The Chewy can be found on Food Network's website, here. There are about 685 reviews, and the star rating average is 5 out of a possible 5. So they are definitely worth trying!

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