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(Serious Eats)   Man finds the secret to baking the best chocolate chip cookies after using science (and 1536 experimental cookies)   (sweets.seriouseats.com ) divider line
    More: Spiffy, chocolate chip cookies, studios, baking soda, baking powder, chicken eggs, Cook's Illustrated, brown sugars, sheet pan  
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3809 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Dec 2013 at 10:14 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



39 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-12-23 10:25:49 AM  
I bet this guy is a real blast at parties.
 
2013-12-23 10:30:21 AM  
 
2013-12-23 10:36:24 AM  
Best are here (and I know the vanilla pudding sounds weird, but they are AWESOME).
 
2013-12-23 10:42:26 AM  
I like a little science behind the recipes (Good Eats, America's Test Kitchen) but that might be overkill.
 
2013-12-23 10:45:17 AM  
I have a fruit cake from 1536.
 
2013-12-23 10:52:39 AM  
I stopped reading when I noticed every cookie sprinkled with SEA SALT. Sorry, I don't like my desserts tasting like a farking pretzel.
 
2013-12-23 10:53:56 AM  
Beakman? Or Bill Bye? Or the weird guy from UHF?
 
2013-12-23 11:03:44 AM  
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2013-12-23 11:11:13 AM  
As long as someone else cooks 'em, I'm game for whatever weirdness you think improves the flavor.
 
2013-12-23 11:11:35 AM  

WorkingInParadise: I stopped reading when I noticed every cookie sprinkled with SEA SALT. Sorry, I don't like my desserts tasting like a farking pretzel.


I did the same exact thing. I like the idea behind these things, but come on with the salty desserts already. Am I the only one who doesn't like salted caramel anything??
 
2013-12-23 11:15:10 AM  

Grither: I did the same exact thing. I like the idea behind these things, but come on with the salty desserts already. Am I the only one who doesn't like salted caramel anything??


If mixed with the right flavors of chocolate, it's actually quite good (as long as you don't overdo it)
 
2013-12-23 11:16:46 AM  
Yeah but did he click them?
 
2013-12-23 11:34:19 AM  
OCD perhaps?

Here's what works for me

(I like very sweet choc chip cookies, but compensate by keeping them small - just a couple of bites in each)

Add half a tin of sweetened condensed milk
White chocolate (or a mix of dark and white if all white is too much for some)
Cram in as much chocolate as can while still holding cookies together

I got bored with just making standard recipe so I've started sticking other things into top of prepared cookie - fruit jubes from packet are quick and easy, but best are variations of snowball recipe

(snowball: icing sugar, butter, coconut + a flavouring - cocoa, raspberry or orange. Roll into very small balls then freeze. When set push into top of cookie. We're going OTT here.)

Chill in fridge - stops them spreading, plus I can make one batch then bake fresh each day

Fresh baked cookies taste so good, particularly to people used to only getting packet biscuits.
 
2013-12-23 11:37:59 AM  

A Cave Geek: Grither: I did the same exact thing. I like the idea behind these things, but come on with the salty desserts already. Am I the only one who doesn't like salted caramel anything??

If mixed with the right flavors of chocolate, it's actually quite good (as long as you don't overdo it)


I think the key there is not to use so much salt that things become salty. You're just trying to cancel out the excessive sweetness from all the sugar.

Anyway, this has me wondering: how would cookies taste with a dash of rum and whiskey in the dough?
 
2013-12-23 11:41:52 AM  

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: A Cave Geek: Grither: I did the same exact thing. I like the idea behind these things, but come on with the salty desserts already. Am I the only one who doesn't like salted caramel anything??

If mixed with the right flavors of chocolate, it's actually quite good (as long as you don't overdo it)

I think the key there is not to use so much salt that things become salty. You're just trying to cancel out the excessive sweetness from all the sugar.

Anyway, this has me wondering: how would cookies taste with a dash of rum and whiskey in the dough?


Quite good actually.  Made some a couple years ago.
 
2013-12-23 11:43:59 AM  
 
2013-12-23 12:01:33 PM  
Anyone else think that all these detailed recipes for exactly the best way to cook everything are part of the problem with the obesity epidemic?

Used to be, you didn't know how to cook, it tasted bad, you didn't overeat.  Not true anymore, anyone can cook a ton of whatever they're craving.  That can't be good for their weight.
 
2013-12-23 12:13:05 PM  
I've developed my own chocolate chip cookie recipe over years, and my end result is similar to his, and I've come to some of the same conclusions.  Major differences are I don't put salt on the top and I don't let the dough sit overnight.

I've found that soft butter works best.  Let it sit out at room temp for a couple of hours if you can, but trying to get it just right in a hurry with a microwave can be iffy.  Sometimes I don't have the time so I need to soften it via microwave, and then I soften it 5 seconds at a time so that I don't over-do it.

Milk chocolate chips make the best cookies, even if you like the flavor of semi-sweet.

More vanilla = more flavor.  Double or triple the amount you put in.
 
2013-12-23 12:20:38 PM  
Just follow the recipe on the Nestle Tollhouse bag. Then the only variable is whether to add nuts.
 
2013-12-23 12:30:01 PM  
"butter and sugar (a mix of white and brown) are creamed together with a touch of vanilla until fluffy"

That's his problem right there.  The butter and sugar mixture shouldn't be creamed until fluffy, it should be stirred just until mixed.  Even better if there are still small chunks of butter to get that toffee-like sensation he is looking for.

But, most people aren't looking for that perfect chocolate chip cookie.  They are looking for that cookie that reminds them of their childhood.  If your mom made you awful cookies made with crisco, then that's what you think is the best cookie.

/30 years in the cookie biz
 
2013-12-23 12:30:02 PM  
For those who don't know, Kenji used to work for Cook's Illustrated. So the obsessiveness in finding the perfect recipe come naturally. His blog is a good read especially since there are no more new episodes of Good Eats and Cook's Illustrated's web site is too damn expensive.
 
2013-12-23 12:47:03 PM  

Donkey Hodie: I've developed my own chocolate chip cookie recipe over years, and my end result is similar to his, and I've come to some of the same conclusions.  Major differences are I don't put salt on the top and I don't let the dough sit overnight.


Sea salt is fad.  We have one customer who demands it, but it will go away at some point

I've found that soft butter works best.  Let it sit out at room temp for a couple of hours if you can, but trying to get it just right in a hurry with a microwave can be iffy.  Sometimes I don't have the time so I need to soften it via microwave, and then I soften it 5 seconds at a time so that I don't over-do it.

Respectfully disagree, chilled butter and chilled dough works better and is why most bakery kitchens are temp controlled or refrigerated.

Milk chocolate chips make the best cookies, even if you like the flavor of semi-sweet.

If you like semi-sweet, you should do the opposite of milk chips.  Try 60% cacao for a less sweet cookie but with more natural chocolate flavor.  Even if you don't like dark chocolate, in a cookie it's totally different

More vanilla = more flavor.  Double or triple the amount you put in.

Instead just use double fold vanilla.  Or, try mexican vanilla first.  Greater vanilla flavor without overpowering
 
2013-12-23 01:18:51 PM  
I just use Captain Morgan instead of vanilla when I make chocolate chip cookies.  Works perfectly.
 
2013-12-23 01:32:09 PM  
I'm talking chocolate cookies that are barely crisp around the edges with a buttery, toffee-like crunch that transitions into a chewy, moist center that bends like caramel, rich with butter and big pockets of melted chocolate.


Those are two different cookies, if you've watched Alton Brown's Three Chips for Sister Marsha.

I was expecting a combinatoric Monte Carlo approach. As far as I can see this guy just tried narrowing down and tweaking.
 
2013-12-23 02:26:07 PM  

Bruce Campbell: I just use Captain Morgan instead of vanilla when I make chocolate chip cookies.  Works perfectly.


That actually sounds good. I use Mexican vanilla, it's good stuff.
 
2013-12-23 02:34:01 PM  
I use the basic Toll House recipe and I've never had any complaints, that is other than being asked, "Why don't you bake these more often?".
 
2013-12-23 02:43:30 PM  

Eustacia Vye: Just follow the recipe on the Nestle Tollhouse bag. Then the only variable is whether to add nuts.


This. Wtf is wrong with this guy?
 
2013-12-23 03:07:31 PM  

A Cave Geek: Grither: I did the same exact thing. I like the idea behind these things, but come on with the salty desserts already. Am I the only one who doesn't like salted caramel anything??

If mixed with the right flavors of chocolate, it's actually quite good (as long as you don't overdo it)


I enjoy sea salt chocolate bars. The sweet and salty work well, but that's crunchy bits of salt in the bar, like nuts.

And I clicked on the link and got about as far as the butter before going 'no'. Don't care if it's the best recipe in the world, not worth it.
 
zez
2013-12-23 03:49:16 PM  

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: A Cave Geek: Grither: I did the same exact thing. I like the idea behind these things, but come on with the salty desserts already. Am I the only one who doesn't like salted caramel anything??

If mixed with the right flavors of chocolate, it's actually quite good (as long as you don't overdo it)

I think the key there is not to use so much salt that things become salty. You're just trying to cancel out the excessive sweetness from all the sugar.

Anyway, this has me wondering: how would cookies taste with a dash of rum and whiskey in the dough?


Not a cookie, but I made these last year and they were damn good!
http://foodbeast.com/2013/03/10/heres-how-to-make-irish-cinnamon-rol ls -with-guinness-baileys-jameson/
 
2013-12-23 05:54:02 PM  

Ned Stark: Yeah but did he click them?


I left my office computer running over my vacation which started last Wednesday.  I'll be back next Thursday.  It's making 1,050,xxx,xxx,xxx. per second after the 4th reset.  Stupid, stupid, stupid game.
 
2013-12-23 06:37:05 PM  
So after all that (and I did read through the whole FARKING thing) there's no recipe for the ULTIMATE chocolate chip cookie? I figured that we'd get some kind of payoff from him saying: "This is what I found, here's how to make what I consider the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, but if you'd like to change it to suit your tastes, here's how to do that, too." In short, give me a recipe that's a baseline for what you think is ideal, then I can fine-tune it to what I want if we don't agree.

Instead I just go the fine-tuning crap without the recipe and I'm just back to making the stupid recipe on the back of the bag.

Not what I hoped for.
 
2013-12-23 06:41:00 PM  
Dang, nevermind. I just realized I had NoScript working and it didn't show the recipe link. Disregard. I'm off to the kitchen.
 
2013-12-23 07:24:43 PM  
This guy is great. I get updates from his site all the time.

If you enjoy Alton Brown and America's Test Kitchen, you should check it out.
 
2013-12-23 07:27:25 PM  

WorkingInParadise: I stopped reading when I noticed every cookie sprinkled with SEA SALT. Sorry, I don't like my desserts tasting like a farking pretzel.


Sweet without salt tastes terrible.

You could just leave the salt off.
 
2013-12-23 07:31:53 PM  

Iszael: Anyone else think that all these detailed recipes for exactly the best way to cook everything are part of the problem with the obesity epidemic?

Used to be, you didn't know how to cook, it tasted bad, you didn't overeat.  Not true anymore, anyone can cook a ton of whatever they're craving.  That can't be good for their weight.


Cookies don't make people fat. People with no self control make themselves fat.
 
2013-12-23 07:37:09 PM  

Watubi: "butter and sugar (a mix of white and brown) are creamed together with a touch of vanilla until fluffy"

That's his problem right there.  The butter and sugar mixture shouldn't be creamed until fluffy, it should be stirred just until mixed.  Even better if there are still small chunks of butter to get that toffee-like sensation he is looking for.

But, most people aren't looking for that perfect chocolate chip cookie.  They are looking for that cookie that reminds them of their childhood.  If your mom made you awful cookies made with crisco, then that's what you think is the best cookie.

/30 years in the cookie biz


This isn't for most people. Most people think The Olive Garden is good Italian food.

This is for people who want to make the perfect cookie with the attributes they enjoy the most.

/42 years in the cooking eating biz...mmmm cookies!
 
2013-12-23 09:34:06 PM  

daisygrrl: Eustacia Vye: Just follow the recipe on the Nestle Tollhouse bag. Then the only variable is whether to add nuts.

This. Wtf is wrong with this guy?


Agreed, but follow the high altitude directions if over 5,000 feet.

/Denver
//Mom approved
///mmm...cookies
 
2013-12-24 10:59:45 AM  
I sat down and made this guy's recipe yesterday.

Holy hell, those are damn good chocolate chip cookies. 

He's done his homework.
 
2013-12-24 01:26:13 PM  

Pentaxian: For those who don't know, Kenji used to work for Cook's Illustrated. So the obsessiveness in finding the perfect recipe come naturally. His blog is a good read especially since there are no more new episodes of Good Eats and Cook's Illustrated's web site is too damn expensive.


I didn't know that, but it explains how he hooks me up with that pure, uncut, Cook's Illustrated fix.

Farking love him.
 
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