I love Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines! I always look forward to studying the latest issue! Each is filled with tried and tested recipes, practical, time-saving (and $$$)) tips, and one of my favorite parts: food and equipment reviews. It’s like having a mini-intersession class in culinary arts every month!
My brother first introduced me to the magazine through a birthday present ((talk about the gift he keeps giving!)). I stick with each and every number, now I have a large collection and use the recipes often.
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One of my recent favorites is a recipe from Cook’s Country (April/May 2014)): “Thick, chewy chocolate chip cookies.” This recipe can be viewed by signing up for a 2-week free trial subscription to America’s Test Kitchen online. I’d love to share it with you on Food for a Year, but the editor of Cook’s Country hasn’t given me permission to share it with you (and maybe never)). Go!! He gave me permission to share! Yippee!! The executive food editor at Cook’s Illustrated allows me to share this recipe with you! The subscription is useful, I mean the website several times a week at least. They have excellent equipment reviews, food product reviews, tips and technical instruction. ((I don’t make $$ telling you this, it’s just my opinion.))
What’s interesting about this recipe is that the ingredient list is exactly what you’d expect it to be if you’re making chocolate chip cookies. Vanilla, eggs, butter, 2 types of sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.
Where does this recipe come from tradition? Instructions on how ingredients are handled. Apparently, the perfect cookie is born from the details. So, in this case, we SHOULD sweat the little things.
Here are some of the differences
This tip is the most interesting for me: melt the butter completely and cool before beating it with the sugar. If the target is a dense, thick, chewy cookie ((mmm, actually)) – then we melt the butter. Why? “The water contained in melted butter is available to combine with flour to form gluten. Too much gluten would make cookies hard, but butter increases gluten formation enough to promote chewing.”
Oooh!! I love food science, it finally puts that Master of Science to good use, haha!
The amount of yolk to the white is also important! For this recipe, the test kitchen uses a whole egg and a yolk. Why?? “One less egg white leads to a denser, chewier cookie,” that’s what I’m talking about. ((NOTE: I double the recipe every time I make it))
Chewiness is helped by using a 2:1 ratio of brown sugar to white sugar. Why? “Using twice as much brown sugar makes a cookie more chewy” – wow, another tip for a more chewy cookie!!
Finally, once you divide the cookie dough, roll it into a tight ball in your hands ((as if you were making a playdoh ball)). Why? “Rolling the dough into a ball instead of just falling from a spoon makes the cookie stay thick” – sorry, no photo of this step, my hands were crazy messy!
After all this, were they thick and chewy? Did these additional tricks work? Were they worth it? Yes!! Yes!! and yes!! Just the way we like them! Kids love them! I keep a batch of dough in the fridge, we can put 6 in the oven and have a cookie with sparks of hot and fresh chocolate, thick and chewy, anytime we want. This could be dangerous!
This recipe and many more tasty recipes can be found at America’s Test Kitchen. I have requested permission to share the recipe with you and am waiting for a response from the editor. I hope the answer is YES!
Great news! He said yes! The executive food editor of Cook’s Illustrated magazine responded to my request to share my favorite cookie recipe in Food for a Year… And he said yes! ((I know, I already said it, but I’m so excited I can’t help but say it again))
* Reprinted with permission from Cooks Illustrated Magazine. For more information about this magazine or other Americas Test Kitchen publications, call 800-526-8442. Selected articles and recipes, as well as subscription information, are also available online at www.cooksillustrated.com