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Sunday
Aug102008

Tough Cookies: Not the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

How Not to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies
There's been a lot of talk lately about the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Although ingredients and size are important, it seems that one vital step--the one that intrigues us most--in attaining cookie nirvana is letting the dough rest for 36 hours.

But imagine the dismay you'd feel, after those many hours, to see that your oven isn't working? This is what happened to Cake Gumshoe Phil recently--and he cleverly decided to try "baking" them in a frying pan. This got us thinking about the humble chocolate chip cookie. If the method written about in the New York Times is the absolute best one--then what is the worst? We set out with a log of dough to find out.
Here's what we did:
First, we made a batch of cookie dough (Toll House recipe!). After not letting it sit for 24, 36 or really any hours, we did the following:
1. We fried it
2. We toasted it
3. We microwaved it
4. We boiled it
* Cakespy Note: We would have grilled it too, but alas--we have no grill.
Here's how they came out:

Time to Fry some CookiesPan fried Cookies
Pan-fried cookies: As mentioned above, this idea came from Cake Gumshoe Phil. We heated up our frying pan to a medium temperature, and put a thin coating of vegetable oil in the pan to fry our cookies. We heated each side for about three minutes. Though slightly unweildy, they did remain solid enough to flip with a little finessing. Once cooled, these cookies were delicious in a guilty sort of way--slightly crispy on the outside, but soft and gooey on the inside. Some might say health risk; we say salmonellicious.

Toaster Oven CookiesToaster Oven Cookies
Toasted Cookies: We put a couple of cookies in our toaster oven. First we tried the convection setting, which pretty much made normal cookies. Boring! We reset to "toast" to see what would happen. The result was decent--crispy on the sides, soft but not underdone in the middle--but they burnt on the top--due to the proximity to the toasting mechanism. Not excellent, but they'd do in a pinch.

MicrowaveMicrowave Cookies
Microwave Cookies: We took this as a chance to also try out the pre-existing microwave settings on our oven. We chose the "potato" setting, which was perhaps a bad choice--it was a six minute cycle but after two minutes we began to hear a strange popping sound and stopped the microwave. The cookie dough had baked...sort of. It was crispy and pockmarked, and unfortunately had fused itself to the plate. We managed to cut off the top part of the cookie, which was crackery, crispy, and as Ralphie from the Simpsons might say "tastes like burning". Most definitely not delicious.

Making MischiefDumplings
Boiled Cookies: The secret to perfect bagels is boiling them before baking, so what about cookies? We tried two batches in our boiling part of the experiment. The first batch was just boiled--we dropped them in boiling water until they rose to the surface (which they did! It took about a minute), for a sort of chocolate chip cookie dumpling. Unfortunately, Mr. Cakespy declared that they tasted "like boogers"--as you can see his is not only a looker but quite the wordsmith.

Cookie BagelsCookie BagelsWeird CookiesCookies
For the second batch, we first boiled and then baked our cookie "dumplings". As a note, as an homage to the bagel-making method, we shaped them like little cookie bagels first, but the shape didn't hold--they just became little dumpling-y rounds again. But we powered through this pitfall and put them in the oven. Once baked, they no longer tasted of booger, but the chewy skin and soft inside which makes a bagel so wonderful did not equal chocolate chip cookie bliss. That having been said though, they weren't terrible--just not awesome.
As for our final thoughts? Well, we wouldn't say we offered any serious challenges to that now-famous NY Times recipe in the taste department. However, we do have a little trouble waiting 36 hours for our cookie dough to set once we've set our mind to baking them--aren't chocolate chip cookies all about fun, simplicity and fairly quick gratification? And so perhaps we didn't suffer a total loss--super delicious or not, we had a lot more fun messing up these cookies than waiting for the dough to set on a perfect batch.

 

 

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Reader Comments (74)

As a bit of an addendum to those who suggest the deep fried cookies: looks like someone's tried it! Check it out here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/george-duran/deep-fried-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-recipe/index.html

August 11 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Wow so many ways to cook a chocolate chip cookie! I think I shall just stick my usual oven baking method hehe :D.
Great post!

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie...

What a fun post!

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

I'm off to fry up some cookie dough. Thanks for giving me a quicker and less healthy way to eat a cookie! I lurv it!

August 12 | Unregistered Commenterfeathermar

I just did a post about those cookies too! I can't wait for 36 hours either, but I must say in 100million years, I would have never thought of boiling cookies. You are truly one of a kind Cakespy! ; )

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterAnali

Totally fascinating. I would be lying if I said I wasn't craving one of those deep-fried salmonellicious cookies right now.

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterDianne

This is quite possibly the best piece on chocolate chip cookies I have ever seen! What about breading and Deep frying them? My own piece on Chocolate Chip cookies is not nearly as funny as this. Damn. Scooped.
The best chocolate chip cookie at retail in New York City:

http://www.dessertbuzz.com/

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterNik

Hahaha! Another hilarious experiment!

who else would think about something so ingenious but the cakespy team? this is science at its best!

August 12 | Unregistered CommenterAran

um, yes, this is exactly why I love your site.

I definitely think grilling would be neat - maybe I'll try my panini grill...yum.
:)

what a crazy experiment! the boiled cookies are hilarious. do look like giant bogies. and the fried cookies remind me of welsh cakes. LOL.

August 12 | Unregistered Commenterdiva

Too funny! I haven't done a 36 hour test but I do keep dough in the freezer so that we can have cookies literally any time (what? why are you looking at me like that?). I won't say they taste better than when the dough is fresh but they taste pretty damn good.

August 13 | Unregistered Commenterdana McCauley

I've tried to toast dough before and all it did was get hot and drip down into the coils of my toaster. It was so very not cool....

Loved this post and laughed a lot =)

August 13 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

This is why I love you guys so much. You think of blogging about Sh*t that I would never even think of. It was fun to read about the chocolate chip cookie disasters. What else... perhaps a crockpot or a waffle iron?

August 13 | Unregistered CommenterRecipeGirl

Thank you. This made my dad!

:)

Excellent post cakespy!!

You had me giggling in my seat and I'm sure there will be an outlet for those cookies ;)

Rosie x

August 15 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

LOL - the things you do in the name of research!

August 17 | Unregistered CommenterCakelaw

Kind of ashamed to admit this, but I would totally eat the fried one. It's looks awesomely delicious in a discusting sort of way.

August 18 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

That's so funny! I stumbled on the pan-fried idea myself a few months back and debated whether to blog about them. I had the same experience as you, they really are pretty awesome to eat though tricky to make and they don't look pretty.

August 20 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Natkin

So many amazing moments in this entry but the winner has to be:

"Some might say health risk; we say salmonellicious."

After all whats a touch of salmonella between friends.

So glad I found your super fun blog!!
Ali

August 27 | Unregistered Commenterpea & pear

I've heard so much about this recipe that I had to try it myself. I did so today. It is extremely excellent (I baked them the "normal" way!). I should have post up about them next week.

September 6 | Unregistered CommenterWandering Coyote

What internal temperature did the pan-fried ones reach? FDA guidelines say it needs to be 160 - which may be a temperature that would allow it to maintain a gooey consistency while still being safe.

January 29 | Unregistered CommenterRandom832
I'd like to suggest you try a waffle iron. The batter w/out the choc chips (I KNOW! Blasphemy) cooked in a waffle iron is wonderful... but I'm always afraid the chips will goo up the whole thing so I never tried it. Let me know what you find out!
January 27 | Unregistered CommenterSalvia
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