DAY 1 (LEARN)
Learn Everything You Need to Know About The
Chocolate Chip Cookie
A classic staple in the cookie world, chocolate chip cookies are downright iconic. Now because they’re so popular, there is a sea of different recipes to choose from. Some will have a base that’s a little fluffier than other cookies. Others have no leavening and will consequently be a flatter, chewier cookie. Some are moist and fall apart in your hand while others are crunchier and ideal for dipping in a tall glass of milk. Yet others add a wide variety of chocolate chunks, pieces, nuts and sprinkles to the cookie dough. Whatever you decide to make, it will no doubt be delicious, because really, it’s all about the chocolate chips anyways.
Difficulty Level: Easy
What you need to know:
Before you scurry off to the kitchen and start making your very own homemade chocolate chip cookies, you have homework. I need you to articulate what your dream chocolate chip cookie looks like. If you’re unsure, close your eyes and imagine it. Taste it on your tongue and answer me this: Do you prefer soft, pull apart cookies? Or crisp cookies that crunch when you bite into them? Or maybe you prefer a healthier version made with oats, dates, and whole wheat flour? Now open your eyes. What attributes made your mouth water?
The whole point of this exercise is to figure out what you like in a chocolate chip cookie. That way, you can find a recipe that thrills you. Because the exciting and overwhelming truth about chocolate chip cookies is that there is a recipe out there for everyone! But they are so popular, there are literally thousands of variations out there. And until you know what you’re looking for, you won’t know where to start.
Of course, if you’re feeling bold, you don’t have to search endlessly to find your ideal recipe. Just start with any old chocolate chip cookie recipe and experiment to make it your own. One trick that makes cookies softer is to add an instant pudding mix to the dough. While the flavor doesn’t matter (personally I’d recommend sticking to either chocolate or vanilla) this addition makes for a softer, moister cookie. However, I do want to caution you that experimentation involves a lot of trial and error. If you decide you want to go this route, try not to get discouraged if you don’t experience instant success.
If presentation is important- and you want to bake a picture perfect chocolate chip cookie- this next trick is for you. Simply press a few bonus chocolate chips into the top of each cookie before baking them in the oven. This seemingly simple action packs a big impact, making your cookies prettier than they would be without your intervention.
And speaking of chocolate chips, it’s totally ok to add more chocolate chips to the batter than the recipe calls for. The only caveat is that you can’t overload the batter. You see, you need to keep the ratio of cookie dough to chocolate balanced. If you don’t have enough cookie dough to hold your cookies together, then you’ll end up with a goopy, chocolaty mess. Not good. And this advice holds true non-chocolate additions too. If you’re adding nuts or multiple types of baking chips to the cookie dough, you still need to preserve the ratio of dough to goodies.
Lastly, be careful with your cookies in the oven. Overcooked chocolate chip cookies can have a dried out, crumbly texture. Which can be super disappointing if you were trying to make a soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookie. So, if you’re aiming for a softer cookie, consider removing it from the oven a minute or two sooner than the recipe suggests. Alternatively, if you want a crispier cookie, let it bake a minute or two longer. Just bear in mind that- just like all the other cookies we’ve talked about- they can quickly transition from ‘not ready yet’ to ‘overcooked’ so stay vigilant and check them often. Then, once you’ve baked a tray to perfection, reuse that same cook time for future trays of cookies you need to bake.
Ready to give it a try? Head on over to the next section and make our Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe! This basic recipe is easy to follow, comes together quickly, and makes one tasty chocolate chip cookie. As long as you follow the recipe and refer to the video, I’m confident that you’ll be eating freshly baked cookies in no time! And don’t forget the glass of milk!