Certain baked goods, like chocolate chip cookies, are so enduringly popular that they never go out of style. Instead, different recipes for and variations on this beloved classic tend to rise and fall, from giant soft cookies to smaller, thin and crispy ones.
The firm yet light and airy type of chocolate chip cookie has seen a recent resurgence, thanks in part to the rise in availability and popularity of brands like Tate's. Bon Appétit called the most popular product of this Long Island-based bakery a cult classic in 2012, and it's only increased in popularity and availability across the country since. Let's look at how students at pastry arts schools can incorporate this type of cookie into their repertoire and what makes it so special.
What makes this kind of cookie so good?
The flavors of a well-made thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie can be much different than a chewier or densely crunchy cookie of the same type, despite all of the similarities in terms of appearance and ingredients. In a discussion of the Tate's cookies recipe, Serious Eats noted the specific ratios of ingredients and order of assembly are crucial for creating a crispy, buttery final product. It also explained that a good final product will be delicate as opposed to sturdy.
The key to that delicate nature is to limit gluten development, because that contributes to a sturdier, less crispy structure. Using a flour that has a low protein content is important here. So is the process of mixing the ingredients. In this case, Serious Eats suggested starting with combining the dry ingredients in a food processor, then adding cold butter and mixing further. The next steps are to combine the chocolate chips and then add the wet ingredients as the last step.
Bon Appetit shared the official Tate's recipe, which makes it that much easier to create a close replica of this classic cookie. However there's much more for pastry arts students to explore than just replicating a recipe for an existing treat. Let's look at how to take this basic concept and make it more unique.
A crispy cookie to call your own
Variations of chocolate chip cookies and cookies in general are plentiful. Some people add chopped nuts, others combine the classic oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips as opposed to raisins. When adjusting an existing recipe or crafting your own from scratch, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
- This type of cookie relies strongly on a buttery, sweet flavor that is a foundational element, yet not overpowering. Complementing this rich taste should be an important consideration.
- Despite the name, this kind of cookie isn't usually loaded with chocolate chips. It has plenty of chocolate flavor, but it works best when striking a balance between that taste and buttery crunch.
- These cookies are generally more manageable in a smaller size than a larger one. From a practical perspective, they're easier to bake and eat in the smaller format.
There are plenty of easy ways to start experimenting. You can consider incorporating cinnamon, ginger and a variety of other spices to craft a more complex flavor. A variety of different chocolates can also be used, from white chocolate to very dark. You might also want to add something slightly more unique, whether it's chocolate-covered candies like M&Ms, butterscotch chips or something else entirely.
If you're looking for additional inspiration for your baked goods, consider an online pastry arts program that allows you to learn valuable skills, no matter where you live.