I’m not gonna lie. Subway cookies are amazing. They are raw and gross in the centre, which doesn’t matter because I don’t think they are made with anything that could go off (ie. sawdust and cornsyrup), you can bend them in half before they break and their edges have a slight crispness to them. I won’t eat them because I know they aren’t food.
When I was a kid I loved those super soft Chips Ahoy! despite them not actually tasting like anything. Not even sugar. But they were so, unnaturally soft. Needless to say, I firmly believe the best cookie is an unbaked cookie.
For years I have been trying to find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that satisfies all my cookie needs:
- Tastes like delicious; by this I mean it has a good strong chocolate flavour, but the dough can stand on it’s own — slightly sweet, with vanilla and maybe a pinch of nutmeg.
- Soft and slightly underdone on the inside, doesn’t dry out when cooled. No sharp edges to scrape the roof of my mouth.
- Spread to a large disk and awesome, but not pooled and over-mixed.
Okay, so most of these things can be easily controlled. If you over-whip your butter and sugar, your cookies are going to spread. If you bake them on low heat for longer then instructed and remove them when the centres are still light, they won’t be dry inside.
But the first one is tough, because it’s based only on ratios.
At work I make a good chocolate cookie. I think I amended the David Lebovitz recipe. These cookies sell almost faster then I can make them, for good reason. They are very handsome and very tasty
As far as gluten-free, I’ve had fair success with Kate Zuckerman’s recipe she offers in The Sweet Life (amazing book, by the way), which is soft and dry rather then greasy. Like the President’s Choice cookie but good.
Migoya says his is the best. He says if you make it properly, deliciousness will ensue, and thus the blog-name is revealed.
Here it is:
212g butter – 21 degrees
143g brown sugar
90g eggs – room temp
4.5g vanilla paste, whisked in with eggs
4.5g baking soda
317g chocolate chunks (I used Cocoa Barry 66% Cocoa Mexican Pistolles because I didn’t have enough block-form Callebaut. Note: I made these again two days later with the Callebaut and they were still great, but if you’re looking for a big, rich chocolate flavour, go for a high-quality dark chocolate bar if Cocoa Barry isn’t around).
Cream butter and sugar, just until combined. Scrape sides.
Add egg little by little, scrape down sides as you go.
The only strange thing about his cookie is the baking soda and the salt are added to the egg-butter-sugar goodness, not the flour. I’ve never seen this before. Why? I don’t know. Baking soda starts doing its business right away. Is this to keep it from levening but still acting as a brown-ing device? He doesn’t say.
Fold in chocolate.
Scoop with a #16 scoop. I don’t know what this is. I only have a yellow japanese scoop I bought at an antique store, so it has no numbers. If the recipe actually yields 50 cookies which would be unlike every other recipe that claims to make three dozen and you actually get eight, then my scoop is 200% too big. But nobody hates giant cookies.
I made a batch of normal people cookies and gluten-free cookies. Right from the get-go, the batches behaved differently. The butter for the gluten-free batch wouldn’t mix with the sugar. It actively refused. I’ve never seen that before, at least with 21 degree butter. 4 degree butter is defiant against almost anything, but this was just confusing. Then the butter wouldn’t play nice with the eggs. What. The. Fuck. I had already made the normal people batch, and it was great! Whatever. I kept going. The dough ended up soppy. Sigh.
Bake at 347 degrees.
Really? Problem the second. This is my stove dial:
On top of being the most vague stove ever, it is gas and non-convection. This has proven to be a problem in the past. Almost all the time. And I never remember because I’m so excited to make things that it isn’t until disaster strikes that I recall how horrible my oven is. This is not a cookie oven. No matter how many cookie sheets I stack in there, the bottoms will always burn and the tops will never bake. And now I had to figure out what the non-convection cookie-burning oven temperature equivalent is to 347 degrees.
Here are the results.
On the left the gluten-free guys, all flat and over mixed. FAIL.
On the right are the regular guys. My crazy oven took 20 minutes to bake them. Probably because I did not press them as much as I should have and they were likely too cold since I was so excited I just shoved them in the freezer. I am impatient.
Here’s a more intimate view.
Okay, we know who wins. This is a good cookie. It has a surprisingly audible crunch, like when you eat rice crispies. The crunch isn’t thick and full-on crunchy. It’s totally a light crisp shell that mainly serves to protect the soft inside and provide a bit of an exciting mouthfeel, like the characteristics of a great baguette. And if you use Mexican chocolate I used, this cookie won’t be crazy sweet, but it will be incredibly rich, so a glass of milk or black coffee is a must.