Crispy or Chewy? Where do you Stand?

Do you like your chocolate chip cookies chewy or crispy? It's a question I hadn't given much thought until I recently tried a new-to-me chocolate chip cookie recipe.

I hosted a bake-with-Sara session and tried out this recipe (Double-Tree by Hilton Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe) with two other bakers.

The recipe, while new-to-me, is from a source I'm sure you've tasted at some point. Back in February, Double-Tree by Hilton Hotels released their recipe for their famous chocolate chip cookies. I decided to give the recipe a try, as it uses a few interesting techniques.

This was my first time making the recipe. A rule of thumb I follow, during my first time trying a recipe, is to stick to the directions as closely as possible. My changes involved eliminating the walnuts (not a fan of any kind of nut in a cookie), and the salt. I also used a smaller cookie scoop (that's what I had), so the cooking time was a little less than indicated in the directions.

Back to my original question, chewy or crispy? This recipe uses a cooking technique that leads to a soft middle and crispy-edged cookies. For me, the combination of chewy and crispy, was like heaven, in the form of a cookie. I didn't know that this is how I love my chocolate chip cookies until I ate one, then another.

After our class, one of the bakers messaged me to let me know that she'd done some research. She'd found that "lower temperatures create a crisper cookie and removing them quickly from the tray, will lead to a chewy cookie." The DoubleTree recipe bakes the cookies at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, then instructs you to leave the cookies on the baking tray for a full hour, while they cool. Based on these directions, it seems like they were definitely trying to create a crispy cookie. Typically you bake cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and remove them from the tray after 10 minutes of cooling.

Here are some of the things we noted as we made these cookies:

The recipe calls for rolled oats. One of the bakers asked if we should pulverize them to make the pieces of oats smaller. There was nothing in the directions to indicate we should use smaller oats pieces, so we didn't. The finished cookie had large pieces of oatmeal. I think I would have liked the texture better if the oats had been processed and were a bit smaller, fading into the cookie more.

Another step we discussed was the direction to use 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar. We figured it came from the conversion of the original commercial recipe, but questioned if the extra tablespoon was needed. I found the cookie to be a tiny bit sweet and could see eliminating that tablespoon plus maybe some additional sugar.

We were intrigued by the 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice. We noticed the dough curdled a little when it was first added, but smoothed out as we kept mixing. I've never used lemon juice in a chocolate chip cookie recipe before. I'm curious to know what the acid does.

We found the dough to be very sticky and hard to shape. (It is important to note that it was warm and humid while we were baking). One of the bakers added walnuts and noted that hers seemed less sticky as it sat a few minutes. We discussed whether or not the cookies needed to chill a bit before baking them. Chilling can help cookies take shape and prevent too much spread. I opted not to wait and also noticed that the dough seemed more workable after sitting for a few minutes. I decided to make a trial half dozen and freeze the remaining dough for another time.

I formed the cookie dough balls using a cookie scoop and tried my best not to touch the dough. I put them into the middle of my oven and the waiting began. While they cooked, they spread a lot. Once I took them out, I put the tray on a cooling rack. They smelled amazing. My son came into the kitchen after 45 minutes, wanting to eat a cookie. I told him he had to wait another 15 minutes. Torture. We waited the additional 15 minutes and tasted. They were warm, with oozy, melty chocolate, and crispy edges, as amazing as they looked.

These cookies are definitely meant to be enjoyed warm. I think we could have even eaten them after 45 minutes of cooling. Thank goodness I have more dough in the freezer, ready to go for the next time I get a crispy, chewy chocolate chip cookie craving.

Try out the recipe and let me know what you think. Would you make any changes? Would you make them again? And most importantly, do you like crispy or chewy chocolate chip cookies?

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