Adapting A Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


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Everyone has a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, whether it's the classic Toll House one we've all tried at least once, a cookbook recipe, an Internet find or something passed down from grandma.

Eventually, however, we get bored making the same recipe all the time. Sure, the cookies are great, but the chocolate chip cookie, like the sugar cookie, is a blank slate ripe for creativity. Sooner or later, you're going to want to “fiddle" with your formula and try something different. You might be tempted to abandon your old favorite recipe completely, but that's not always necessary!

If you know a little kitchen chemistry, you can take your original recipe and produce several different types of cookie. Alton Brown, in his “Good Eats" show titled “Three Chips For Sister Marsha, " shows three ways to make the traditional Toll House cookies that can provide a starting point for your own explorations.

For instance, if you like your cookies thin and crispy, increasing the amount of baking soda and replacing one of the eggs with a quarter cup of milk will decrease the “puff" in the finished product, giving you those thin, crispy cookies with the sweet crust on the edges and the chips standing up high and proud in the center.

Like ‘em chewy? Melt the butter used in the recipe and switch to bread flour from all-purpose. This changes the way the proteins knit together in the cookie and give you that chewy, dunkable cookie that the big cookie companies wish they could replicate.

And for you puffy cookie lovers, who like your chocolate chip cookies roughly the consistency of marshmallows, use butter-flavored shortening rather than butter and switch to cake flour. This will let the cookies puff up more as they cook, and your resulting recipe will be the envy of the light-cookie crowd.

These are just three ideas. There are thousands, and the exploration will be delicious!

Ann Marie Krause has been making cookies for over 30 years, at persent I am retired, for over 23 years I owned a Gourmet Bakery called The Cheese Confectioner. You can visit my site at

NOTE: You are welcome to reprint this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the about the author info at the end).


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