The Science Behind Making Choc Chip Cookies Exactly How You Like 'Em


Is there anybody who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies? If we didn't love chocolate chip cookies, why would they be available in so many different forms, such as chocolate chip cookie ice cream or unbaked cookie dough? Multi-million dollar empires have been built on the humble chocolate chip cookie.

And what do realtors do when they want to make a house seem warm and inviting? They bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies; the chocolate scent is intoxicating and welcoming. Chocolate chip cookies are difficult to resist, and we all have varying ideas on which is the best way to have one.

In an article on Ozy, writer Anne Miller looked into the various methods to achieve chocolate chip cookie perfection, and gathered some scientific help from the experts. On another post on Science and Food, Kendra Nyberg shows us how to accomplish two different textures.

Miller also references the blog Handle the Heat's ultimate guide to chocolate chip cookies. And if that wasn't enough, Miller suggests watching the TEDTalk "The Chemistry of Cookies."

After doing the research and using the classic Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, Miller came up with these no-fail methods to get your chocolate chip cookie just the way you like it.

  1. Ooey and gooey: Add an additional two cups of flour to the basic recipe.
  2. Nicely brown: Raise the temperature of the oven to higher than 350 degrees. You want the cookies to caramelize a little and this occurs above 356 degrees.
  3. Crispy on the outside, soft and oozy in the middle: You're going to want to add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and decrease the baking soda from one teaspoon down to 1/4 teaspoon.
  4. Deliciously chewy: Substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour, as the dough will become elastic due to gluten formation.
  5. Just like Chips Ahoy that you can buy at the store: Instead of using butter, use shortening. However, while cookies made with shortening bake up taller and are more tender, they have less flavor than those made with butter.
  6. Thick, not thin: Put your dough in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes before baking, solidifying the butter. This way the cookies will spread less while baking.
  7. Cakey: Use more baking soda which releases carbon dioxide gas and helps to leaven the dough, creating a soft, cakey cookie.
  8. Butterscotch flavor: Use all brown sugar instead of a mix of granulated sugar and brown sugar.
  9. Uniform: If you want your cookies to all look the same, add one ounce of corn syrup and one ounce of granulated sugar.
  10. Intense flavor: Chill the dough for at least 24 hours before baking.

Since cookies are almost mandatory during the holidays, why not whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies just the way you like them? And even if you're not in the mood, think of how much your neighbors or a sick friend would enjoy some homemade chocolate chip cookies. You'll still get to enjoy the wonderful smell of cookies baking in the oven.