So… a few months may have passed since I started this chocolate chip cookie bake-off series. While it has been on the back burner for awhile, I really would like to find my “go-to” chocolate chip cookie recipe, so I am going to commit to a bake-off at least once a month. If nothing else comes from it, I will have a happy husband as he loves freezing dough in mini pie pans so he can have hot chocolate chip “pizookies” topped with ice cream whenever a dessert craving strikes. I may need to invest in a few more mini pans
In summary, I started this off as a way to bake through all the chocolate chip cookie recipes that I’ve accumulated without having to bake 20 recipes in the same day (way too many cookies!). I am pairing two recipes up, side by side and baking them on the same day. The “winner” of the round goes on to face the next recipe, basically eliminating recipes until we are left with one at the end. As explained, this bake-off starts with the winner from last time, the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. The competitor (or second recipe) is the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Baking Illustrated. I was excited to see how this bake-off would turn out. We basically fell in love with the NYT recipe last time, but the description of the Baking Illustrated recipe is completely my type of cookie. I want my cookies to have some heft and to have just a bit of that underbaked goodness inside.
I won’t share or describe the NYT recipe again. It can be found in this post if you are interested. I used the recipe found on Brown Eyed Baker for the Baking Illustrated recipe. The Baking Illustrated cookies stay pretty true to their name as a thick and soft cookie. The differences in the recipe primarily are that it starts with melted butter and uses an extra egg yolk in addition to the whole egg in the recipe. Many of the ingredients are listed as weight measurements, and I made the recipe accordingly, using the weights. The cookies end up a bit raggedy on top, on purpose, due to the specific instructions on shaping them, and while it seems like a minor detail, I really like how they look. As far as storing, the cookies lasted well for a day or two but started to dry out significantly more as the days progressed. Here’s the recipe.
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. of unbleached all-purpose flour (10-5/8 ounces)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 Tbsp.), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup packed brown sugar (7 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3-1/2 ounces)
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or by spraying them with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer until lighter in color and thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the tips of your fingers with both hands on each side. Pull apart into 2 equal halves. You should now have 2 balls of dough with one jagged edge. Set the balls so that the jagged edge is up. Stick them back together to form one cookie being careful not to smooth the uneven surface of the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and place the cookies on the prepared pans.
Bake until the centers are light brown with outer edges that are starting to harden but with centers that are still soft and puffy, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets for several minutes until they start to set-up. Remove and continue cooling on a baking rack.
So which recipe was the favorite? The NYT recipe won again for us. The depth of the flavor in those cookies was amazing. The Baking Illustrated recipe does produce a substantial chewy cookie, but the texture will begin to dry out as they are stored. I do like the Baking Illustrated recipe better as a quicker recipe, especially if it is one that will be eaten rather quickly after they are baked. I believe I said this about the Levain copycat recipe too, but I am favoring the Baking Illustrated recipe over the Levain one for quick purposes (although it truthfully has been awhile since I’ve made the Levain version). Overall, it is still the NYT recipe for us. Guess I better start planning ahead for those chocolate chip cookie cravings!