A quest for a Cookie

So, I know that every self-proclaimed baker in the world has a story about their personal search for the “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie”. (yes, in quotes and capitalized) And, boringly enough, I am no different. My journey started my junior year of college when I finally had my very own kitchen (which I shared with three other roommates and one stowaway). I just decided one day that that was the year I would perfect the chocolate chip cookie. That was the year that I would find the missing ingredient, the lost chip, the final pinch of something-or-other to make what no one had ever made before–the ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE.

On a side note, can I just mention that fact that if you google “best chocolate chip cookies” or “ultimate chocolate chip cookies” you get over 5 million recipes claiming to be the greatest ever. How does that even work? Obviously, 4,999,999 of those recipes are lies. Right? Only one can actually be the best. And silly little naive Erin, with no baking experience whatsoever and no clue what it takes to make a chocolate chip cookie besides chocolate and sugar, decided to try her hand at it.

I don’t really think I ever succeeded. Well, I know that for awhile I thought I had. I developed my own recipe (yeah! that’s right! I made up my own recipe!) based on several  of those aforementioned recipes which called themselves The Best. But then, after a year or so, the cookies started not being the best anymore. They all started turning out flat and greasy and kind of bleh. Not that people didn’t enjoy eating them; every time I made them they practically dissapparated* off the table, but they certainly weren’t Ultimate.


So recently, I started the search again. I read other’s stories about their searches. I hoped that their copious testing, their trials and errors, could save me some trouble. And some butter, which by the way, is ridiculously expensive. I tried my old recipe again. Meh. I tried these Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies from Korena in the Kitchen, which were surprisingly good despite their healthy sounding ingredients. I would make those again. But still, not the ultimate. I had some that my cousin made which were the recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House chocolate chips bag–delish. But still not..something. So I tried again. And that’s when I found these: HOLY-COW-YUM chocolate chip cookies. They are the Shoebox Kitchen’s new favorite. And I think they’re mine too. 

My perfect chocolate chip cookie is not too thin, a tiny bit crispy on the outside and ooey and gooey and soft on the inside. It’s loaded with chocolate chips, and it’s not too big, because you have to be able to eat at least 3 without feeling bad about yourself.

Some of the things that I found that lead to chocolate chip cookie perfection:

  1. Make sure your butter is not too soft. Don’t be like me and get impatient waiting for your butter to soften and microwave it. Melted butter means melted cookies, which means yucky greasy thin cookies. If you are ever in doubt, or if your kitchen runs hot, refrigerate your dough for a bit before scooping/slicing the cookies to bake them.
  2. Extra brown sugar. The more the better. Brown sugar is what gives chocolate chip cookies a different flavor that sugar cookies (well, that and the chocolate..) and it is what makes them sooo extra delicious. So if you’re out of white sugar, pile on the brown. If  you’re out of brown sugar, make another kind of cookie, or go to the store pronto.
  3. Chocolate chips vs Chocolate chunks. I think i prefer chips; unless you keep your chunks very chunky. They make extra-large size chips, which are probably the best. Nothing is better than a bite that is at least half chocolate.
  4. If you’re feeling like you want a chocolate chip cookie with something extra: add some cinnamon. This was one of the things I did in my made-up recipe that made it really yummy. Just a dash, and you’ll taste it. Cinnamon and chocolate are a perfect combination. 
So, am I finished with my search? For now. This most recent recipe is good enough for me. Will I ever try another cookie recipe? Probably. My Grandpa always said, “There’s always room for improvement.” 

*in fact, that was not a spelling error. Dissapparated is a clear reference to HP.


2 responses to “A quest for a Cookie

  1. Great post, Dad is right there is always room for improvement, and in cooking and baking it can be an evolution, as we always need to eat.

    So I am thinking that one of the things we need to do is preserve some of those tastes we so fondly remember as kids but have since lost. For me it is Mom’s Russian Hamburgers. Now we have the recipie, and some have tried to find that same taste using the words on the card but it is not the same. So a real effort this year to find the missing, what ever it is, would be great.

    Love Dad

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