Chocolate Chip Cookies a la Anna Olson

I loooooooove chocolate chip cookies. The problem is that baking… Well, I like baking, but baking doesn’t like me. I always find a way to mess things up a bit.

So while I was intrigued by this month’s Recipe Challenge, I was leery to actually attempt the recipe. But a boring afternoon finally prompted me to give it a try.

One of my peeves are chocolate chip cookies that start out chewy when they’re fresh from the oven, but which turn into little bricks after they’ve cooled and been stored for a few days. This recipe, which calls for corn starch, promised chewy centered cookies. Another peeve/issue I have is burning. Usually my cookies either end up burned on the bottom no matter how I adjust racks and baking times. I think it might be our cookie sheets, but even new sheets didn’t solve that problem. I’ve started using a silicone baking mat, which has almost eliminated the burning problem, but cookies that were meant to “spread” – like chocolate chip – don’t. I can live with that.

As I usually do when baking, I followed the recipe to a “t.” The only change I made was to the chocolate. Rather than chopping up a bar of bittersweet chocolate, I used 60% cacao dark chocolate chips instead. As a lot of other people trying the recipe found, I needed to bake them for a bit longer than the recipe called for: I left them in for about 12-14 minutes, rather than the 8-10 that the recipe called for. And, because I used the silocone baking mat, they didn’t spread out at all. It was only once they were on the baking rack cooling that they slowly turned from rounded dough-shapes into cookies. Odd. But I decided to turn that into a plus, since I was able to stick toothpicks into them to test if they were done.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The result: chewy delicious cookies. Even after they’ve been stored for almost a week in a cookie tin, they are still chewy and not crumbly at all. Success! I’ll be putting this recipe into my cookie cookbook for reference when Christmas rolls around. My one complaint – which probably shouldn’t even be a complaint at all – is that I can only have one or two at a time. These are heavy cookies. One fills me up in a way that a handful of my old cookies wouldn’t. I’m going to mark that up as a success, too… These cookies have built-in portion control. You can only have one!


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6 Responses to Chocolate Chip Cookies a la Anna Olson

  1. Whether the cookies spread or not is more a function of ingredients then cooking surface. For a wonderful dissection of each ingredient in a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and its role on the finished product, I highly recommend Shirley Corriher’s Cookwise.
    The short version:
    High-protein flour – darker in color and more flat
    Low-protein flour – pale, soft, and puffy
    Fat with sharp melting point, like butter – cookies spread more
    Fat that maintains the same consistency over a wide temperature range – cookies spread less
    Reduced fat spreads – cookies are browner
    Brown sugar and honey (hygroscopic sweeteners) – cookies soften on standing
    Baking soda – cookies are browner

    Corriher’s advice (as consultant to the Food Network’s “Good Eats”) led to my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” cookie.

  2. Sarah

    Hmm, interesting. I’m trying to synch that with what I’ve experienced. We have never changed our flour or our butter, but I noticed a distinct change in how cookies baked on the silicone.

    …maybe it was just because they don’t burn quite as often. >.<

  3. Thanks for the info.

    I also hate it when chocolate chip cookies cool and turn into gravel.

  4. Lisa

    I just tried these cookies…after everything was mixed, I put the bowl in the fridge for a bit to harden up the dough….using room temperature butter made incorporating the ingredients easy, but I felt the dough was left too soft for forming the balls. They taste good, but look nothing like the picture. They didn’t spread out at all. When cutting the chocolate chunks, I think I made the pieces too small… my cookies are heavily spotted in black, until Anna’s picture-perfect cookies.

  5. Pingback: October Cooking Club Results V: Chocolate Chip Cookies - Cooking Club Challenge - Food Network Canada

  6. This has been my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies for over a year now… They are the very best I have ever tasted; and I have tested major chocolate chip recipes. They are consistently yummy and chewy.

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