August: The Power of Flour in Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sponsored Content

Flour is the building block of all baked goods. But how does it affect your baking? Using the classic chocolate chip cookie as our sweet key, we’ve got six different flour combinations to show you how to unlock the power of flour. There’s a reason the chocolate chip cookie is an icon. It offers a cookie with the golden ratio of chewy in the middle and crispy on the edges, with decadent chocolate packed into every bite. Featuring recipes that make the most of Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour, Artisan Bread Flour, Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, Cassava Flour, Super-Fine Blanched Almond Flour, and Semolina Flour, each recipe in this lesson yields distinct benefits in texture and taste while maintaining the simple pleasures of a great chocolate chip cookie. In addition to giving you a crash course in flour, this module gives you an in-depth look at cornerstone cookie techniques, like creaming butter and sugar, chopping chocolate, and properly scooping and portioning dough. Because learning to make your perfect chocolate chip cookie is beyond fun—it’s fundamental. Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson, or keep scrolling to view our digital lesson.

Before you get to baking, be sure to enter our Instagram giveaway to win a prize pack of baking essentials you’ll use in this lesson. The giveaway closes on August 31, 2020, so hurry to enter!

Ingredient Breakdown

Great recipes require great ingredients. Find out how each ingredient helps make the perfect, tender chocolate chip cookie.

UNSALTED BUTTER: Butter brings tender, rich milk fat to your baked goods, but it does so much more than that for these cookies. Some chocolate chip cookie recipes call for melted butter, which will help melt your sugar before going into the oven, creating cookies that spread much more. For our recipe, we cream softened butter and sugar together, a classic technique that whips air pockets into the dough. Cookies that use the creaming method will be puffier and hold their shape during baking, ensuring a melt-in-the-mouth interior.

LIGHT BROWN SUGAR: The added molasses in light brown sugar imparts a caramel undertone to the cookie dough. Brown sugar is more hygroscopic than granulated sugar, which means it retains moisture from the air. So, in addition to bringing a touch of caramelization to the cookie dough, it also makes the cookies chewier and keeps them from going stale after baking.

GRANULATED SUGAR: Many chocolate chip cookie doughs call for a blend of granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Why? An all-granulated sugar cookie dough will spread more, be crispier, and have a pale appearance, like your standard sugar cookie. An all-light brown sugar cookie dough will be dense and molasses-forward in flavor, like a gingerbread cookie. Together, the sugars mellow each other out, creating the ideal cookie that pairs crisp edges with a chewy interior.

EGGS: Eggs provide most of the moisture in cookie dough. In addition to binding everything together, eggs enrich and tenderize the dough. The more eggs you add to a cookie recipe, the cakier your cookie becomes. We found two eggs give the dough just the right amount of fluffy texture.

VANILLA EXTRACT: Vanilla complements the molasses-tinged brown sugar in the dough as well as the rich chocolate that studs each cookie. A bit of vanilla extract rounds out the flavor of your cookie dough.

BAKING SODA: Reacting to the slightly acidic light brown sugar, baking soda encourages the cookie dough to spread in the oven. It also helps the cookies caramelize, raising the pH level in the dough for peak browning.

KOSHER SALT: Our salt of choice, kosher salt is a pure, mined, additive-free salt that dissolves readily and has a crisp, clean taste. It is flaked rather than granulated, which allows for more even distribution.

46% CACAO SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS: The classic ingredient to chocolate chip cookies is, of course, chocolate chips. Chocolate chips often have chemical stabilizers that help them keep their shape during baking. The semisweet categorization means that the chips pack enough sweetness without being cloying or bitter.

66% CACAO ROUGHLY CHOPPED DARK CHOCOLATE: This addition of chocolate serves two purposes. The first is a sophisticated flavor boost from dark chocolate, imparting intense cocoa richness like no other chocolate can. The second is its contribution to texture. Chopped chocolate is easily distributed within the cookie and is more likely to create melted pockets within and on top of the cookie. The chocolate we use, féves (“little trinkets” in French), are oval- shaped chocolate pieces that have very few chemical stabilizers. When melted, they pool and spread with mesmerizing results.

Flour Breakdown

Discover how each flour combination creates wildly different—and wildly delicious—chocolate chip cookies.


 
BOB’S RED MILL STONE GROUND WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR: One cookie recipe uses 100% whole wheat flour. Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour has a protein content of 13% to 15% and is made from dark northern hard red wheat, with all of the nutritious bran and germ still intact. While this cookie definitely packs nutrition, think of the added protein as a boost to both flavor and texture. The high protein content keeps this cookie from spreading as much as the all-purpose flour cookie, making it chewy like the bread flour cookie. The bran and germ bring a nutty, whole-grain taste, complementing the caramel flavor of the brown sugar and rich chocolate. We raise the oven temperature from the standard 350°F (180°C) to 375°F (190°C) to bake this compact dough. In addition to bringing flavor, the whole wheat flour brings dark color to your cookie, which can make it hard to tell when the cookies are done baking just by looking at the tops. Instead, the bottom of the cookie is your signal for doneness. Use an offset spatula to lift the bottom of a cookie to check for golden bottom edges. The baker in search of chew and earthy, whole-grain flavor will find this is the ideal cookie.

BOB’S RED MILL ARTISAN BREAD FLOUR: Another recipe uses 100% bread flour. Your brain may think, “That’ll be one tough cookie,” but your taste buds will prove this is a fallacy. This premium flour is milled from US-grown wheat and mixed with malted barley flour, which helps yeast breads rise. The high protein content is better than white flour for gluten development, which is especially desirable for chewy breads—and the chewiest cookies! The power of chew: more time chewing is more time to savor pools of chocolate. Our bread flour cookies spread very little during baking, making for a compact cookie. The extra protein in the flour creates more gluten strands in the dough, binding the cookie more tightly together than the 100% all-purpose dough. Long story short, this is the recipe for those looking for the superior chewy cookie that doesn’t skew tough.

BOB’S RED MILL ORGANIC ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR: Our base chocolate chip cookie recipe features the flour you are probably most familiar with. Bob’s versatile all-purpose wheat flour has a protein content of 10% to 12%, creating cookies that are tender but have enough gluten structure to form a satisfyingly chewy interior. All-purpose flour doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of flavor, meaning the chocolate, butter, and sugar shine the most in this cookie recipe. When making the dough, we stir in the flour just until combined because the less you work your dough once you add the gluten-filled flour, the more tender the cookie. The perfect baking temperature for plain chocolate chip cookies is 350°F (180°C). Too low a temperature and the cookies spread too much and and become uniformly crisp with no chewy contrast. Too high and the cookies spread too little and never get a crisp, golden edge. The cookie recipe that uses only all-purpose flour is for the baker yearning for the true classic.

BOB’S RED MILL SUPER-FINE BLANCHED ALMOND FLOUR: Featuring 50% almond flour and 50% all-purpose flour, this cookie gets the best of both worlds: pillowy texture from the all-purpose flour and nutty flavor and chew from the almond flour. Almond flour is made from blanched whole almonds that have been ground down. A 100% almond flour cookie was tasty in testing, but so many other ratios of the cookie dough have to be tampered with to keep it from burning (almonds are high in fat and more sensitive to heat) and being too dense and crumbly. To keep it simple, we replaced half of the almond flour with all-purpose flour and added a little bit of baking powder. Why baking powder? Almond flour is much heavier than traditional wheat flour, weighing down the cookie and keeping it from puffing. Baking powder helps the cookies rise with bubbles of carbon dioxide, making a lighter, fluffier cookie. Because of almond flour’s tendency to go from golden to burned quickly, use the bottom of the cookie to tell if your cookies are done baking. (They should be golden at the bottom edges.) A tribute to the almond lovers out there, this cookie brings the nuttiest flavor, with a relaxed, tender chew.

BOB’S RED MILL SEMOLINA FLOUR: Using a blend of half semolina flour and half all-purpose flour, the semolina cookie is a gold star treat. High in gluten and fantastically elastic, semolina flour is made from durum wheat. Traditionally used in pasta-making, semolina has a golden hue that comes from carotenoids, a compound that gives carrots and apricots their signature color. In the cookies, the carotenoids transform into an appealing buttery color, making this the most “golden” of our recipes. A cookie that uses all semolina flour would be significantly crunchy and crumbly. In other words, still delicious but definitely not the chewy-yet-crisp chocolate chip cookie standard we’re going for. Incorporating all-purpose flour takes it back to that happy medium. The main difference between this recipe and the others is the high baking temperature (400°F/200°C). Semolina is denser than either all-purpose flour or even bread flour, so a higher temperature is needed in order to set the cookie edges faster so the cookies don’t spread too much and become flat and crunchy. Reach for this recipe if you’re looking for a cookie with the sunniest color matched with elastic chew.

BOB’S RED MILL CASSAVA FLOUR: And now for our tasty chocolate chip cookie that just happens to be gluten- free! Made up of 70% cassava flour and 30% almond flour, this cookie has tender texture and chew—no gluten necessary. Cassava flour’s neutral flavor and fine, light texture make it an excellent choice for gluten-free baked goods. Like its cousin tapioca starch, cassava flour is created from the cassava root, a longtime staple crop throughout South America, Asia, and Africa. During testing, we found a pure cassava flour cookie was a little soft, lacking an element of chew. When we added a touch of almond flour to the mix, we created a cookie that packed more of that traditional toothsome crumb. As a bonus, almond flour also brings in some rich, nutty flavor. We add baking powder because this cookie, by nature, has less structure than a gluten-packed cookie and is denser, so the baking powder helps make it fluffier. These cookies won’t spread much during baking and will be paler, so check the bottoms of your cookies for golden color to tell when they are done baking. Final take: this is a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie without compromise.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookies: 100% All-Purpose Flour
 
This baseline cookie delivers all that you expect and demand from a chocolate chip cookie: chewy middle, crisp edges, generous amounts of chocolate. Bob’s Red Mill Organic All- Purpose Flour lends enough protein and gluten to create a cookie that holds its shape but keeps a tender crumb.

Makes about 26 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (170 grams) 46% cacao semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (150 grams) 66% cacao roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • Garnish: flaked sea salt
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate just until combined. Using a 3-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough (about 50 grams each), and place on prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Press dough balls into 2¼-inch disks, making sure edges are even. Place at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans.
  6. Bake until golden, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookies: 100% Bread Flour
 
Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour is the not-so-secret trick to making these superiorly chewy cookies. These cookies don’t spread much during baking, so flattening your dough balls before baking is especially important in this recipe.

Makes about 26 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (381 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (170 grams) 46% cacao semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (150 grams) 66% cacao roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • Garnish: flaked sea salt
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate just until combined. Using a 3-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough (about 50 grams each), and place on prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Press dough balls into 2¼-inch disks, making sure edges are even. Place at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans.
  6. Bake until golden, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired.

 
5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookies: 100% Whole Wheat Flour
 
These are our heartiest chocolate chip cookies, thanks to Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour. Packing earthy whole wheat flavor and a robust protein content for plenty of chew, these cookies bake at a higher temperature than others. Make sure you check the bottoms of the cookies, not the tops, for signs of doneness.

Makes about 26 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (170 grams) 46% cacao semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (150 grams) 66% cacao roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • Garnish: flaked sea salt
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate just until combined. Using a 3-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough (about 50 grams each), and place on prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Press dough balls into 2¼-inch disks, making sure edges are even. Place at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans.
  6. Bake until bottom edges are golden, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookie: 50% Almond Flour, 50% All-Purpose Flour
 
Nutty, rich Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour brings a boost of flavor and texture to these chocolate chip cookies. Keep in mind that this recipe, unlike others, calls for the addition of baking powder, which helps the heavier almond flour dough rise to the occasion. Plus, there’s no need to flatten your dough balls into disks; they spread well all on their own.

Makes about 26 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (192 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour
  • 13⁄4 cups (219 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 cup (170 grams) 46% cacao semisweet chocolate chips
  • Garnish: flaked sea salt
  • 1 cup (150 grams) 66% cacao roughly chopped dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate just until combined. Using a 3-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough (about 50 grams each), and place on prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans.
  6. Bake until bottom edges are golden, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookies: 50% Semolina Flour, 50% All-Purpose Flour
 
A blend of all-purpose flour and Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Flour transforms this recipe into a golden-hued standout. Semolina pumps up the buttery color and flavor of our chocolate chip cookies, in addition to giving them a toothsome crumb. With a heavier, chewier dough requiring a hotter bake, the main difference between this recipe and the others is your oven temperature, which should be 400°F (200°C). This high temperature also helps the cookies spread more, so you can keep your cookie dough balls in mounds.

Makes about 26 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (180 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (170 grams) 46% cacao semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (150 grams) 66% cacao roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • Garnish: flaked sea salt
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate just until combined. Using a 3-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough (about 50 grams each), and place on prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans.
  6. Bake until golden, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired.

 
5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookies: 70% Cassava Flour, 30% Almond Flour
 
This is the gluten-free game changer. Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour makes up the bulk of this flour combo, a fine, slightly sweet flour made from cassava root and that mimics all-purpose flour in many ways. Then almond flour comes in to help introduce the chewy bite you want in a chocolate chip cookie. Like the almond/all-purpose flour recipe, this has the addition of baking powder for fluffiness. Use the bottoms of the cookies to indicate doneness, as the tops of the cookies will remain quite pale even when they’re ready.

Makes about 26 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups (301 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour
  • 1 cup (96 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 cup (170 grams) 46% cacao semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (150 grams) 66% cacao roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • Garnish: flaked sea salt
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate just until combined. Using a 3-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough (about 50 grams each), and place on prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Press dough balls into 2¼-inch disks, making sure edges are even. Place at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans.
  6. Bake until bottom edges are golden, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired.

 

Before You Mix

A straightforward look at what should be prepped before you make your dough.

SOFTEN YOUR BUTTER

The Science: Our recipes often call for softened butter, but what does that mean exactly? It’s not butter straight from the refrigerator (usually temping at 38°F/3°C), which will be too difficult to cream with the sugar, limiting the fluffy air you can whip into your dough. And it’s not “room temperature” butter (traditionally 75°F/24°C), which is so soft that any air bubbles you beat in will pop as soon as heavier ingredients are added. Softened butter is the happy place in between, clocking in at roughly 65°F (18°C) in the center. It should give slightly when pressed with a finger but should still show resistance, keeping you from making a sizable indentation.

The Method: How to get the butter in the softened sweet spot? Let the butter sit at room temperature. Depending on what the temperature of the room is—say, from 65/18°C to 75°F/24°C—your butter will be softened in 45 minutes to 2 hours. There are hacks to doing it faster. You can wrap the butter in a warm towel, but the surface can end up warmer than the interior. You can flatten it with a rolling pin, creating more surface area to speed up the softening process, but talk about a workout! You can submerge it in tepid water, but again, the surface gets too warm while the interior doesn’t get much warmth at all. In short, none of these will yield better results than tried-and-true patience.

CHOP YOUR CHOCOLATE

The Science: We have the quintessential chocolate chips represented in our dough, but chopped chocolate make the cookies go from classic to legendary. We specify a rough chop for our chocolate, which basically means no two pieces of chocolate are the same size. Chop the chocolate too finely and you’ll miss out on generous pools of chocolate and muddy the color of your cookie dough. Keep the chocolate too large and the pieces will overwhelm the dough, lodging on the top and bottom of your cookie dough balls, never quite nestling in the dough. These hefty chocolate outliers are more likely to burn in the oven, lacking protection from the dough. Roughly chopped chocolate will have some fine chocolate slivers and large pieces intermixed with the majority medium chunks, giving you all the benefits with none of the setbacks.

The Method: Fan your chocolate out evenly on a dry cutting board (any moisture on the board will cause the chocolate to stick during chopping). Then, grab a large, sharp kitchen knife, but don’t use serrated— that’ll chop the chocolate too finely. Place the handle of the knife in your dominant hand and apply pressure with your other hand on top of the blade, pushing downward to cut chocolate. Work from one end of the cutting board to the other, starting with more intense, fine chopping and lessening as you go along. Our photo shows you the ideal chop, a gradient that goes from fine to medium to large pieces.

Making the Dough

Creaming butter, incorporating eggs, and adding flour are all simple but key parts of making chocolate chip cookies. Here’s how to execute each step flawlessly.

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. This step is known as creaming butter, where softened butter and sugar are beaten not just for the purpose of mixing them together but to incorporate precious air into the dough. Science- wise, the sharp sugar crystals break into the dense fat of the butter, creating little pockets. The mixer simultaneously fills these voids with air, creating microscopic bubbles that expand and lighten the butter-sugar mixture. Every minute you mix, more air is incorporated—but take time to scrape the bowl. Certain spots of butter will stubbornly stick to the sides, not getting proper creaming attention. If not scraped before creaming is done, these leftover spots become dreaded butter streaks in your cookie dough, creating greasy pockets in some cookies.

Regarding consistency, properly creamed butter and sugar will be fluffy like whipped cream and pale tan in color (pale yellow if using just granulated sugar). Creamed too little, it’ll look and feel like gritty clumps of sand, making cookies that’ll spread more and have a denser texture. Butter that has been creamed too much, say 6 minutes, will look soupy and greasy, as the butter will begin to separate from the mixture. This will lead to gummy cookies. You can’t salvage over-creamed butter, so pay attention to the changing consistency of your creamed mixture carefully.

2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. The cleanest, easiest way to add eggs to your batter is to place them in a measuring cup and then pour them in one at time. The spout of the measuring cup helps direct the egg flow gradually and directly into the batter so they don’t hit and cling to the sides of the bowl or pour out all at once. Why beat them in one at a time/gradually? Eggs are emulsifiers, which means they help bind ingredients together to create a homogenous mixture. However, if you add them all at once, they emulsify with each other first, creating a large, scrambled mixture that resists smooth incorporation. Make it easier on your dough and add them gradually.

3. Beat in vanilla. The last thing to add to the wet batter is your vanilla extract. The extract won’t distribute as smoothly in the thicker, flour-incorporated batter. You’d have to mix longer, creating a tougher cookie.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. There’s no need to sift your dry ingredients together for these cookies. A bowl, a whisk, and a quick stir are all that’s needed to make sure the dry ingredients are blended together well. Keep in mind that if you’re making the cassava/almond flour cookies or the almond/all- purpose flour cookies, you will also whisk in the baking powder here.

5. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. We’ve all been there. Your mixer speed was still on medium, you added the flour, and the rapid movement caused the flour to fly up into your face and out of the bowl. So, gentle reminder, reduce the mixer speed to low.

The process of “just until combined” is quick but gentle. It might not even take a minute for your dry ingredients to be properly incorporated into the batter. Once no more streaks of flour remain, stop mixing your dough, as every second mixing activates more gluten in the flour, making the dough tough.

6. Beat in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate just until combined. Incorporating your chocolate will be another lightning- fast process. Mix until the chocolate has had a chance to be folded and worked into the dough evenly, but don’t be so thorough that you overmix the dough.

Before You Bake

You’ve made the dough, but there are still a few things to do before it’s ready for the oven.

1. Using a 3-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough (about 50 grams each), and place on prepared pan. A spring-loaded scoop is a baker’s best friend. It creates evenly portioned cookie dough balls without using your hands directly. To scoop, dig your spring-loaded scoop into the dough and then scrape the cookie dough in the scoop alongside the wall of your mixer bowl, removing excess cookie dough from the lip of the scoop and pressing the dough in tighter (think of packing brown sugar into a measuring cup). Then release the cookie dough ball from the scoop and onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. When scooping dough, make sure 2 medium or large pieces of chopped chocolate are on top of the dough balls. This will ensure that you get nice pools of chocolate on top of your cookie during baking. Pack the dough balls as close together as you want. This is the pan used for chilling, not baking, dough.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. A chill in the refrigerator does so many fantastic things to cookie dough. First, it allows the different flavors to mingle and intensify. Second, the butter will firm back up and the sugar will absorb more water, meaning that when these cookies are baked, the butter will melt slower, the cookies will spread less, and the texture will be significantly better. Third, the flour will have time to hydrate, which will also keep the cookies from spreading too much during baking. Two hours is the minimum amount of time needed for the chill to work its magic, but a full overnight rest gives time for maximum flavor- and texture-boosting. Think of it this way: resting time for the dough is also resting time for the baker.

Bring on the Bake

Your cookie dough has rested. Now’s the time to preheat your oven and bake.

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Keep in mind that your baking temperature will depend on the cookie recipe, but make sure your oven is good and hot before you pop in the cookie dough. If the oven hasn’t had time to preheat properly, the chilled dough balls won’t bake evenly.

2. Press dough balls into 2¼-inch disks, making sure edges are even. Because you’ve creamed your butter  and chilled the dough, these cookies are fundamentally opposed to spreading too much, which is good. Two of the recipes, featuring the almond/all-purpose flour blend and the semolina/all-purpose flour blend, can be baked as regular dough ball mounds, no flattening required. But if you leave the other four cookie doughs as mounded balls, they’ll bake into domes with a raw, cookie dough interior. For an even bake, we flatten those dough balls into 2¼-inch disks. You can do this two ways: you can press and flatten the dough ball between your hands, or you can place the dough ball onto a flat surface, applying pressure with your palm until it flattens into a patty.

3. Place at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Many cookie recipes suggest leaving 2 inches of space between cookies because they will spread out. Our cookies don’t have the spreading issue, but leaving space between your cookies is still key. When cookies are overcrowded on the pan, they have to share too much heat, making flatter cookies. So, let them breathe.

4. Bake until golden, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Depending on your recipe selection, you’ll have one of two ways to check cookie doneness: “until golden” and “until bottom edges are golden.” Either way, the time will always be 8 to 12 minutes, and you should always rotate your pans halfway through baking for even heat distribution.

5. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired. The 5-minute rest on the still- hot pans will help set up any lingering softness to your cookies. But after that, get those cookies cooling on a wire rack. The wire rack allows your cookies to release excess steam so they can set up and get crisp. If you cool your cookie on a plate or other flat surface, you’re trapping that moisture inside the cookie, making it gummy.

Freeze Now, Bake Later

The Science: Very few things are better for a deep freeze than cookie dough. Chunky cookie dough, a.k.a. our chocolate chip cookie dough, is best frozen when already portioned out because scooping from a frozen block of cookie dough is liable to get you a dislocated shoulder. But you can’t just place room temperature cookie dough balls into a bag and freeze them. In the tight, precious space of a freezer, the bag is bound to get pressed and jostled, mashing the dough balls back together before freezing sets in. And if you have frozen your cookie dough for a while, there’s the issue with recipe recall—what temperature do you bake it at and for how long? Our method for freezing cookie dough sidesteps these pitfalls and will leave you with most enviable resource: cookies on demand.

The Method:

After your cookie dough balls have chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours as described at the end of step 3, flatten dough balls into 2¼-inch disks. If you’re making the almond/all-purpose flour blend recipe or the semolina/all-purpose flour blend recipe, leave them as dough balls. Freeze the chilled cookie dough balls or disks on the pan until they are frozen solid, about 1 hour. While the dough is freezing, use a marker to label a resealable plastic freezer bag with the recipe’s required oven temperature and bake time. Once the cookie dough balls or disks are frozen, place them into the labeled plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can bake these directly from frozen, adding 1 to 2 minutes to bake time. Alternatively, you can let the cookie dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake as directed

2 COMMENTS

    • Hi there, you can click “Better Baking Academy” on the menu across the top of the page and it will take you to all of the modules. Happy baking!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.