Blog Post #1 

The Secret to the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie — Spoilers Ahead

Think back to the last time you ordered your usual cup o’ joe at your favorite coffee shop. The hustle-bustle of the busy city outside, the hushed murmur of people chatting amongst themselves, and even the click-clack of students typing on their laptops.

Yes, the atmosphere of the coffee shop has been perfected. And so has that oat milk caramel macchiato, too. If you’re anything like me, you like consistency; the idea that you’ll get the same result time after time. But when it comes to baking, consistency is a fiend and it troubles home bakers.

We all can agree that the one thing that hasn’t been *perfected* (unlike the old-fashioned coffee shop) is the delicious chocolate chip cookie, which pairs ideally with your coffee, might I add.

But with such simple ingredients and directions, shouldn’t it have been perfected by now? It’s not difficult to toss some sugar and butter together with chocolate to create a cookie, so why isn’t there one fool-proof recipe out there that will defeat this kitchen conundrum?

Well, it might be because the secret to the perfect chocolate chip cookie isn’t in the ingredients themselves…it’s in the ratios.

And your taste buds.

So how do you get that perfect cookie your stomach growls for each time you see your daily coffee shop barista? Well, it depends on the type of cookie you wanna make. Let’s go over the basics of making the three most popular and sought-out cookies: cakey with a fluffy texture, thin and crispy melt-in-your-mouth, and soft and chewy.

And the trick is all in your sugar and butter ratios.

Yes indeed! It’s that simple.

But before we start with how to make each version of America’s favorite, we have to review how a cookie is even born. And to do that, we start at the beginning. Ever wonder why we cream the butter and sugar together in the first place?

Well, this gives it time to become homogenous (a fancy term describing the moment two ingredients become one). Beating the butter and sugar together incorporates air into the dough to act as another sort of leavening agent, and it allows the sugar to dissolve into the butter. No one likes a grainy texture, am I right?

Another huge part of a cookie’s foundation is that beautiful spread that they do in the oven as they bake and that crinkle top exposing silky smooth chocolate chips still melted and warm.

What, your cookies don’t spread? Are they still looking like a lump of dough after they bake?

Well, that might have to do with your baking soda, not to be confused with baking powder. These two fluffy, white powders might be sisters but they cannot be any more different. There is a very easy way to remember what ingredient does what, all thanks to Joseph from the Kitchen Conundrums series on YouTube:

Soda spreads, powder puffs.

This means that your baking soda will cause your cookies to spread in the oven and your baking powder will cause your cakes to rise. Using baking soda and your cookies are still looking like hills?

This might be because your baking soda is expired and can’t perform well, or another common mistake is just using too much flour and so the structure of your dough is thrown off. Even with the proper amount of baking soda, too much flour in the dough can cause your cookies to hold their shape a little too well.

So next time you’re baking, spoon your flour into the cups, or for an even safer bet, use a scale.

Now onto the actual cookies:

Cakey: cookies with a cake-like texture are created from lots and lots of air, and very low sugar content, alongside a smaller butter quantity as well. The scarcity of sugar doesn’t allow the cookie to caramelize as much which results in a fluffy cookie rather than a chewy one.

Reducing the sugar and butter also leaves more room for the dry ingredients which is why this particular cookie’s results resemble more of a cake than a cookie.

Thin and Crispy: a thin and crispy cookie is made from lots and lots of butter and higher sugar content, but more specifically, white sugar.

The molasses in brown sugar gives cookies a nice chewy texture, which isn’t what we want here. The white granulated sugar is what gives this cookie its snap!

Soft and Chewy: If you’re like most people, a soft and ooey-gooey cookie is your glass of milk’s best friend, and yours too! The richness of the cookie, the melt-in-your-mouth morsels of chocolate scattered throughout; it’s a match made in heaven, and you have brown sugar to thank for that.

Brown sugar has molasses in it, which helps cookies and cakes become rich and soft. Thus, adding it to your chocolate chip cookies will make them chewy for days instead of rock hard like a biscuit. As for the butter ratio, it’s right in the middle of cakey and crispy. It’s literally the perfect combination!

But here’s the best part about all of these cookies…nothing changes after the butter and sugar aspect. The dry ingredients can stay the same! This way, it’s not so complicated.

So if you’re craving cake but don’t want to deal with the layers and buttercream frosting, use less sugar and butter and find it in a cookie instead. Want that super crispy “Chip’s Ahoy” take on a classic? Add more sugar, baby!

Because they’re so versatile, you can make a chocolate chip cookie fit for you and you alone.

Diana Still