Sunday, January 16, 2011

Three Chips for Sister Marsha

Above: Post-refrigerator but pre-oven. Below: The slightly over-finished product.

I chose this chocolate chip cookie recipe (found on p. 166 in the book) not because I need another one but because of Alton's claim that it would help me understand how to change other cookie recipes. I'm not quite sure I learned that because I'm still deciding on how this went, but anyway, here goes:

I followed his recipe with these exceptions: I didn't use bread flour, I had 1% milk and used that instead of whole milk.

I came up with the gloopiest, wettest cookie dough I have ever seen--there will be no skipping the step of a one-hour refrigeration, I'm afraid. I refrigerated mine probably double that. Even so, the last cookie I popped into the oven should have gone back into the fridge first. It was too gooey and came out as flat as a pancake and didn't look appealing at all.

Since Alton recommends against doing half-batches, I decided to take his advice to make a full batch and freeze a bunch of dough instead. I plan to pop those straight from the freezer into the oven later this week and see how they turn out. (If I haven't eaten all the dough straight out of the freezer yet, that is!)

But back to the batch at hand: I overcooked them a bit. Alton says 15 minutes for two sheets in the oven at a time. I only put in one and forgot to adjust the baking time. We ate them warm and I didn't think they were that great and pronounced myself disappointed. I wouldn't have guessed I was eating a cookie called "The Chewy." However, the next day I ate one and I liked it very much! I shouldn't have been surprised because I usually like cookies better the next day, after the chocolate is hard again (am I the only one??) and it was the case with these too. The leftover ones were chewy, just like Alton claimed they should be--and this in spite of my having overcooked them!

Overall I'd say I had a successful cookie experience, but I don't know yet if I'll be making these again.


Melanie said...

I decided to watch the episode on youtube (I'm more of a visual person, so I didn't want to read the transcript). I took notes on the three varieties of cookies while I watched. I found it quite interesting and educational to learn about how to change cookie texture!!

Based on what I learned, I have an idea of why your dough turned out so wet. I bet if you switched to bread flour it wouldn't have been quite as wet, because bread flour is supposed to soak up more moisture (thus creating more chew). If you were to try again, see if the bread flour makes much of a difference, and maybe add a little bit less milk.

I think I'm going to try the puffy, though I don't have the shortening on hand.

Maren said...

Thanks for your advice, Melanie! I would like to try this with bread flour sometime.

As for what I froze this time around, I did manage to do a few batches and these cookies did wonderfully going straight from freezer to oven and I feel much more pleased with this cookie experiment than I did at the outset. I'm glad to see that some of you agreed that they're much better the next day! :)