Subway Cookies: The CCCC Quest (Recipe 3)

I'm still on my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest (as attempted here and here)...

One of my roommates from university (there were 5 of us - can you imagine?) is now a pastry chef. I don't know why I don't call on Kim's expertise more often, but she sent me an Email with some tips for my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest. Shall I share her wisdom with you?

"Try the first recipe you posted on the blog with half butter and half....shortening!!!  All of those types of cookies are mostly hydrogenated fat which yes is bad, but makes for a better fat to sugar ratio as shortening is 100% fat whereas butter is mostly fat with some salt, water, and milk solids naturally making up the rest of the bulk.  The shortening should give you a bit more of a "soft chew".  And if you want to get really bad...buy the fake butter flavoured shortening.  Also the chips they use aren't of great quality, but what they lack in authenticity of chocolate, they make up for in added sugars and flavourings (ie. try all the bins at bulk barn and pick the one you think is closest without looking at brand or ingredients.)  Other tips...freeze the batter like your mom used to send to you in university. (It's true...Mom would send me back to school with frozen homemade cookie dough. She rocks!)  It gives the structure of the cookie enough time to meld together.  Let them come to room temp before you bake them off though. Make absolutely sure that all of your ingredients are absolutely room temp.  You want a really "homogenous mixture".  You know when you add the egg to the sugar and butter and it looks curdled sometimes??  Avoid that at all costs.  Put your eggs in a little bowl of warm water to take them a little more than room temp.  Cream your fat and sugar very well, but don't beat the heckout of it when you put the egg and vanilla in.  You don't want to beat the egg so much that it "souffles" in the final baking of the cookie...this will take away from chewiness and add to dryness.   Cookies are all about balance. Scrape the bowl and paddle very well between butter/ sugar creaming and adding the egg/vanilla.  You are creating a network of fine bubbles from the creaming and allowing the sugars to melt into the fat. Try these tips and we'll go from there.  We can also get into types of sugars (brown versus white, and even adding a little corn syrup) and also types of flours (most commercial cookies are made with bread flour not AP)"

So with those thoughts in mind, I got back in the kitchen!

1 C brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C butter, at room temperature (not microwaved for 15 seconds, like I usually do)
1/2 C golden shortening
2 eggs, at room temperature (or a little warmer with Kim's water trick)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour (measured properly, and not scooped like I often do)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips

Cream sugar and butter very well. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Blend in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Empty bowl onto wax paper or plastic wrap. Form into a long skinny log, and place in freezer until well frozen (several hours). Remove from freezer and slice dough into 1/3" thick rounds. Place on baking sheet. Allow to come to room temperature (about as long as it takes to preheat the oven.) Bake at 375` for approximately 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! 

In the words of my taste-tester husband: "These cookies are serious." Since they are sliced, they look a lot like Subway cookies, which I think gives them some major bonus points. The only thing I will change next time is to form the dough into two skinnier logs to get smaller cookies. I might try bigger chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips to make them more like Subway cookies too. (And by next time, I might mean tomorrow. How pumped will the other moms be when I bring these to playgroup?)





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