Out of everything I bake, chocolate chip cookies are always the most requested. Even though I think Cook's Illustrated has the best CCC recipe, I'm always thinking of doing things differently to make them better ie. how long should I be whipping the egg/sugar/butter mixture (even though it's all liquid), should I let refrigerated dough come to room temperature, how high should I shape the dough, brand of all purpose flour, type of pan.. yep.. I'm starting to sound crazy. If I could eat an unlimited amount of cookies, I would have already tested all these variables by now!
When I first started baking, I used jelly roll pans from Baker's Secret.. you know.. the kind that sells for 2 dollars at the supermarket? I would end up with the hardest, driest cookies, although it's probably not fair to blame those hockey puck like cookies solely on the cookie sheet especially since I had just started baking then. During Christmas, I got my first insulated cookie sheet and voila! it was the beginning of the best CCC's ever, but I also switched to the CI recipe and began to line my sheets with parchment. Ever since those insulated sheets, I've never baked any cookies on jelly rolls for fear of failure.. seriously! If it works, why change it? Well, I just couldn't help wondering what the CI recipe would be like baked on a jelly roll so I baked half on an insulated pan and the other on a jelly roll.
On the left, the cookies were baked on an insulated sheet and on the right, the cookies were baked on a jelly roll. The insulated sheet led to more spreading, which I actually prefer even though they are slightly paler. The jelly roll produced cookies that were thicker, drier and slightly more cake like. Even though I've read that insulated sheets are not actually the best for cookies and to use the lipless baking sheets, I'm just glad they end up working for me.
Next, I would really to to try baking with dare I say... margarine and shortening. I can't eat shortening frostings yet when embedded in a cookie I'm thinking it won't gross me out as much. Nothing beats the flavour of homemade cookies, but I'm still after the thin yet chewy texture that is not a result of oversoftness with a crunch on the outside. I'm not sure if anyone knows what I mean, but for those who have had a Tim Horton's or a Mark's and Spencer's bakery cookie that is the texture I would like.
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
By the way, I always reduce the white sugar from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup to cut down on the sweetness. And as always, these were refrigerated before baking.