CRISP COOKIES: (example: tuile and shortbread cookies)
-Low moisture/liquids (like eggs)
-High sugar and fat
-Longer baking time
SOFT COOKIES: (opposite of a "crisp" cookie; example: chocolate chip cookie)
-Low sugar and fat
-Contains a hygroscopic sugar ("absorb moisture" type of sugar), such as honey, molasses, and corn syrup.
-Low bake time
CHEWINESS: (example: oatmeal raisin cookies)
-High sugar and liquid
-High egg content
-Strong gluten (flour/dry goods) development
-High sugar content
-High baking soda content
-Creaming the fat and sugar for a long period of time
-High liquid content
-Strong gluten flours (like bread flour)
MY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE:
Below is my favorite, all time chocolate chip cookie recipe with details at every step. They come out soft and delightful!
-Pre heat oven to 325 degrees F. Have 2 parchment-line sheet trays ready to go! (no grease or pan spray is needed!)
1) In a Kitchen Aid mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream 2 sticks of soft, unsalted butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of white sugar.
-Cream until light and fluffy, approx. 10 mins.
-Stop the machine and scrap down 3 times during the creaming process.
-Make sure to "pack" the brown sugar when measuring it.
2)In a microwave safe container (like a mug), whisk together 2 large eggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Microwave for 10 seconds, just until the "chill" is gone. With the mixer still going on medium speed, SLOWLY add the eggs/vanilla mix.
-Stop the machine half way adding the eggs and scrape again. Why? You're making an uniform batter!
-If the mixture looks like it "broke" or "too wet," you added the liquids too fast or the liquids where too cold. Add a bit of the flour to it.
3) Sift all the dry ingredient together in a large bowl: 2 1/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Stop the machine. Add the dry ingredient and 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies (and some chopped walnuts if you're like me). Mix on SLOW until just combined.
-Mixing too fast and long will cause a strong gluten-development in the cookie dough, which will cause the cookie to be chewy...if that is what you want.
-Scrape again! Esp. at the bottom where flour chunks tend to hide.
-I love using an ice-cream scoop to evenly portion out my cookie dough. About 9 cookies will bake on an average/medium size sheet pan.
-Bake for 8 mins, and rotate the pan half way for EVEN cooking! The cookies will be done when the edges are slightly brown and the middle is "almost" done, yet still soft.
-Cool the cookies directly on the pan. Eat, share, and SMILE!
Re-Read these past blog posts for more info on cookies:
"Baking powder vs Baking soda"
"To sift or not to sift"
"The creaming method"
"Know your oven"