I just finished making an enormous batch of cookies. I like to bake chocolate chip cookies, but at the same time, I find them finicky. It seems like when I make them, too much depends on exact cirumstances: the exact amount of flour and leaveners, butter temp going into the bowl, how much of what kind of sugar, mixing time for each step, baking time, how many times you turn the pan, how many pans are in the oven. It all determines how the cookie will turn out. Too much white sugar and the cookie will be crunchy, too little baking soda and they wont spread very well.
I find that I like my cookies soft and chewy, so I add more brown sugar than I do white sugar, as well as add a bit more flour to prevent excessive spreading. Sometimes I add too much flour, so they barely spread at all. It's a little frustrating. I've been assisting with and baking cookies since I've been old enough to stand on a chair. I haven't perfected this yet?
I'm trying to see what works. So far, I've found that pre rolling the dough into balls and chilling between each baking batch slows the spread, but lengthens the cooking time, but you end up with a nicely baked cookie, that's usually a bit softer than crunchy. More brown sugar than white also helps, but the ratio is delicate.
Now the best part, the chocolate chips, is a delicate balance too. You want to have a nice ratio of cookie to chocolate, without going overboard or looking too skimpy. This may or may not take a while to perfect. I've been baking these so long it lacks needing measuring (the idea that baking is so exact makes me wonder about the things I've been baking my whole life, and all the mothers and grandmothers out there who scoff at measuring and turn out the best food imaginable) I don't know the exact amount of chips I use, I add and add until it looks right to me,but I like to think anyone with any eating sense would do the same, and the probably do.
This batch made a ton of cookies, over sixty. I made a batch and a half so my boyfriend could take some back to school with him, but I just hope they'll remain fresh until then.
I had one or two, and they are a little inconsistent in coloring, but overall good. They have a brown sugary crisp on the outside with this tiny hint of sea-salt in the background, and chewy on the inside. The bottom bake is nearly perfection of the color of darkly toasted coconut. Many of them are thick and puffed, while some deflated and are a little more crunchy than I might like. The chocolate chips are still melted and are scattered throughout each cookie, lending a perfection of chocolate and dough with each bite.
Chocolate chip cookies really are simple to make, but getting them just the way you like takes time, practice and patience. There are so many different ways to make it, so many different fillings to add in, but whatever your version may be, the chocolate chip cookie is the closest thing I've found to the perfect cookie.