A little bit of Chocolate Chip Cookie adventure happened on my Instagram feed a little while ago, when a baker I follow compared the bakers’ percentages of ingredients between the OG Toll House, Jacques Torres’ (the best*), and their own version of it. The post, from what I remember, actually had a bit more to it than just the comparisons of bakers’ percentages and included a lament following the publicization of a new “perfect” chocolate chip cookie recipe that didn’t pay homage to the history of chocolate chip cookies and those that came before this new recipe, but I’m not here today to dwell on the erasure of chefs and innovators in kitchens**. We’re here to talk about how to get to the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie for you (or for whomever you’re throwing them to – from a distance, of course, so throw them you must – this upcoming Valentine’s Day).
As a result of the tiny bit of digging I did to write this article, it came to my notice that some of you might remember a time when chocolate chip cookies… did not exist. You might even remember when they came into existence. Isn’t that incredible?
Here’s Ruth Wakefield, the inventor (!!) of the chocolate chip cookie. Could you imagine? Being the person who invented the chocolate chip cookie. And then also somehow falling into obscurity over the years (because did you know who Wakefield was before this moment?) even though you invented the chocolate chip cookie, which, need I remind you, has not fallen into obscurity whatsoever.
*Fight me. I know the OG Toll House chocolate chip cookie is up there on the list of best chocolate chip cookies, but let’s be real: Jacques Torres’ puddles of ooey gooey chocolate, with enough salt to bring it all together, all held together by less dough than chocolate really than you’re used to seeing in a cookie? Sweet dreams are quite literally made of this. (I usually substitute in a mix of bittersweet wafers, semisweet chips, and bittersweet chips for the variety of textures between puddles and dollops. I also generally forgo the cake flour and replace it with AP flour – as one of the commenters mention, the protein content ends up around the same as with just straight up AP flour.)
**This would make a fine subject for another post.
This article from Serious Eats breaks down all the ingredients present in your regular ol’ chocolate chip cookie recipe and talks about what they’re doing in the recipe, how they affect the final outcome, and how to make your own perfect chocolate chip cookie. I have to say, I respect this amount of experimentation quite a bit – I am both in awe of and also slightly disgusted by how many cookies I imagine the author must’ve made in order to publish this article. ALL IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE! (I should note: disgusted only upon thinking about having to actually ingest so many cookies. There is such a thing as too many cookies.)
While the Jacques Torres cookie is basically perfect for me, I do appreciate having a variety of different textures in my cookies once in a while, from chewy, almost fudgy oatmeal cookies to all different types of flavours of non-chocolate chip cookies… knowing what each of the ingredients in the recipe is doing helps you customize any recipe you approach to make it more suited to your tastes. And what better time than in lockdown to journey into batches upon batches upon batches of cookies, in the pursuit of the perfect cookie? Your roommates, friends, or family will love you for it, and you get the answer to all your cookie-shaped fantasies!
That being said, I can only imagine the possibility that chocolate chip isn’t necessarily someone’s idea of a good cookie, so I’ve listed a few different cookie recipe books for you here in this post to browse through and take inspiration from! One of my non-chocolate-chip-cookie repeat cookie recipes is this Turmeric Sugar Cookie on Food52 by Emma Laperruque. Just be sure to keep a napkin on hand to wipe the turmeric off after you eat one!
What’s your favourite cookie? Do you remember a time before the chocolate chip cookie? If you have any recipes you swear by, do share with us below in the comments!