Monday, October 4, 2010

A Tale of Two Cookies

Google instant search is messing with my head. It tells me what it thinks I should think, but it assumes my mind is wondering - what I should be wondering since everyone else is wondering it. Are you with me? Didn't think so.

Type in "Why do my cookies..." and the four suggestions that come up are "come out flat," "go flat," "spread" and "flatten." Well google, shows how much you know. Turns out, I want to know just the opposite! I love thin, flat, spread out cookies. Always have. But mine always end up lumpy, uneven thick blobs. Sounds appetizing. In truth they usually taste pretty good, but that is not what I'm going for.

So I set out to find the perfect chewy chocolate cookies, with high hopes. They were soon dashed. Many piles of dirty dishes later, I think part of my problem lies in generally using margarine, instead of butter. I'll have to think about that one. I also got to thinking that I should check my own recipe archives first, because now I'm dreaming about these and these.

The first cookies I tried were called Chocolate Brownie Cookies, which sounded pretty good to me.

They were OK, but whoever named them must be a bigger fan of cakey brownies than fudgy brownies. I felt that they were more of a soft chocolate cookie than a chewy chocolate cookie.
Next up were these buttermilk chocolate cookies. The first batch, were of course, lumpy and uneven. When I say lumpy, I just mean that they basically took the form of however I dropped them out of the cookie scoop.
In the second batch, I decided that one way to get flat chocolate cookies is to...flatten them. I pressed down on them with a glass before baking and got slightly better results. I think I'm going to have to keep looking though.

Tip of the Day: You can buy a cookie scoop for evenly sized cookies, or use the bowl of a tablespoon measurement - it also helps to spray it with Pam while scooping.


Chocolate Brownie Cookies: (via

2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips

Beat together the shortening sugar, water and vanilla.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda until just mixed in.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 350 F for 7 to 9 minutes.
Cool on the sheet for two minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies: (via
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Melt the butter, and mix with the cocoa powder until smooth.
Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and buttermilk.
Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt until just combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop dough in 1-inch balls onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
Bake on 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. I switched from margarine to butter a few years ago and never looked back. I find butter gives everything a richer texture.

    It also sounds like we should swap traits- I always want fluffy and round cookies and end up with flatter, crispy ones. Couldn't tell you what I do though. Perhaps less rising agent, hotter oven, or I always mix my batter by hand, but I have no idea if any of those will help. Love reading your blog!

  2. Joanna from ColoradoOctober 5, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Another way to help keep cookies chewy is swapping half the butter for shortening. Shortening has a higher melting point, and not as much water as butter, I think, and it helps keep them chewy for a couple days too.