After “32 pounds of flour, over 100 individual tests, and 1,536 cookies”, Kenji of Serious Eats’ The Food Lab finally settled upon the “best chocolate chip cookie” recipe. Of course I had try this recipe worthy of a superlative, especially after such extensive experimentation. Nothing like trial and error to yield the best results, am I right?
My verdict? Short answer: not the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. The long answer is as follows.
1. Spread too thin: when I first baked these cookies after a night of refrigeration, they ended up spreading and gave nowhere near the crackled, chunky effect of Kenji’s version. I then put it in the freezer and ended up the texture as shown in the pictures. The cookies have a bit more height, but still don’t have an attractive texture.
2. Too salty: So I used Sel de Guarande, a French sea salt – which is not Diamond Crystal kosher salt, as was recommended in the recipe. From what I could tell based on my research, the fleur de sel I had was similarly, if not more coarse than Diamond Crystal – and thus shouldn’t over-salt my cookies. I was wrong. It ended up too salty for my taste and diminished the sweetness, and I am glad I didn’t garnish the cookies with more salt – that would have been overkill. Perhaps I didn’t brown the butter enough, but I thought that there wasn’t a strong enough toffee/caramelized flavor, and the taste was simply too salt-centric for a chocolate chip cookie.
3. Fluffy texture: A fluffy texture might be a boon or a bane depending on who you ask, but personally I prefer a denser, more chewy cookie. Because the eggs and sugar are beat on medium-high for five minutes, a lot of air is incorporated into the dough, lending lightness and airiness. I didn’t really care for that, personally. If I had let the butter solidify completely after browning it, that might have helped with giving a denser texture that I personally prefer.
I don’t think I’ll be making this again, since clearly it doesn’t fulfill my vision of what a chocolate chip cookie should be.
Click here for the recipe I used.