Home > Uncategorized > Oooooh, I’m so angry!

Oooooh, I’m so angry!

I have spent the past month developing the perfect chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe. More than 20 batches of cookies later, I’ve got it. I have gained like 5 lbs. but I got the damned thing. It’s rich and buttery but not greasy, with an astonishing depth of flavor and a nice chewy texture, even four or five days later. Not wimpy pallid soft under-baked, which is what most Americans mean when they say “chewy” but actually chewy.

I might as well tell you the secrets. Melt and then brown the butter. Use mostly or all brown sugar. Reduce the eggs from two to one and a yolk (and add a tablespoon of milk).

It’s perfect. Phenomenal. I was thinking of throwing a chocolate chip cookie cook off just so I could win it. The browned melted butter is really the trick… it adds something that’s just amazing.

Then, today, I got my May/June copy of Cooks Illustrated, which trumpeted that it had the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. “Ha!” I said, flipping to the relevant page. “Bet mine’s better. They didn’t brown their butter…. Fuck.”

Not only had they browned their butter, they had done the thing with the eggs and the brown sugar!

The didn’t add the milk, because they wanted a crisp edge, but it’s basically very similar to my recipe.

And since every wanna-be foodie in the world reads Cooks, now everyone will know my secret and no one will believe that I did it first.

It’s petty, I know. But I have come to peace with that aspect of my personality. Grumble bitch snarl.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. elcynae
    March 25, 2009 at 1:00 am

    I believe you! You were so happy about it! So do I still get your recipe, or should I try to figure out how to find it online, since only members can read their magazine? πŸ™‚
    I’d suggest being happy that you did it on your own, and whatever dedicated staff they have couldn’t do any better, but you might snarl at me too, and then I’d have to figure out what recipe you were making these changes to. πŸ˜‰

  2. March 25, 2009 at 4:06 am

    and now you know how any number of scientists feel when they’re putting the final touches on their papers and find SOMEONE GOT THERE FIRST. it sucks. it just sucks.

    brown the butter? melt and brown the butter? never would have occured to me. all brown sugar, yes of course, but melted browned butter? hmmm… must ask my daughter about this, the chemical reason this would increase chewiness. she and i discuss the relative gluten levels of flour and how that affects bakes and breads. sometimes having a college kid is great. sometimes it’s agony.

    i have to try this. after pesach, i have 8 batches of mandelbrot to make.

  3. jamanda
    March 25, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    OOOH! Cooking science question! I’m happy to answer!

    Butter has about 18 to 2o percent water (in the U.S.) When the butter is solid, the water is in an emulsion with the fat, and inaccessible to the gluten in the flour. (By the time the butter melts, the flour has already started to set up.)

    When you melt it, the water becomes available to create gluten — chewiness — in the cookies.

    The browning doesn’t increase the chewiness, it increases the the flavor. (Hooo boy does it ever.) The act of browning actually decreases the amount of water in the butter, so you don’t want to brown all the butter. Only about half. I like to add that extra two T of milk, too, to make up for it.

    Bonus science geekery: Sugar is hygroscopic and brown sugar is more so. (Hygroscopic = attracts water) With more brown sugar, you get a moister and therefor chewier cookie. If you don’t have brown sugar, use a quarter cup less white sugar and include a quarter cup of molasses.

  4. elcynae
    March 25, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I heart geeks. πŸ™‚

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