Not sure about whether or not curiosity killed the cat, but it sure did compromise these cookies.
That's right: I've been messing with chocolate chip cookies again. It all started about a week ago, after a lifetime of conscientiously creaming the butter and sugar at the beginning of making chocolate chip cookies. I had received a big ol' parcel of freebies from Nestle Toll House (giveaway coming in a few days!) and had cookies on the mind.
A question occurred: "what would happen if I swapped the order in which the flour and sugar are added?".
Well, needless to say I was gonna find out.
And so, instead of creaming the butter and sugar, I "creamed" the butter and flour, and then added the sugar in, bit by bit, later on in the recipe, at the time when I would normally be adding the flour. I didn't mess with the actual measurements of the ingredients, though.
So what happened?
Well, the fact that these were going to come together differently was evident right away. The flour clumped up with the butter like...well, pie crust. (this makes sense, right?)
And then, adding in the eggs and other ingredients, things seemed to start looking like normal cookie batter.
Adding in the sugar, bit by bit, the dough looked, smelled, and felt pretty normal. I added in the vanilla and chocolate chips.
I let it chill for a while. Normal-looking. I spooned it on to the baking sheet, finishing off some of the cookies with these cute Nestle chocolate and white chocolate chip mini morsel toppers.
When the cookies came out of the oven, they looked completely perfect: lightly browned on the edges and bottom, soft in the middle.
But then something strange happened. As the cookies cooled...they turned into cookie crackers!
They looked right. They smelled right. They even tasted pretty right. But the texture was...well, disappointing. Crackery. Weird.
As I found out on Baking911.com, I had basically skipped an important step by making this switcheroo: "Creaming incorporates the maximum amount of air bubbles so a recipe will rise in the oven and be light in texture." So while I can't get technical about the chemistry of why this crackery texture was the result, I can say that while I was happy to have seen for myself what happens when you skip this step, I'm not likely to do it again.
Here's the recipe I used--feel free to try my experiment for yourself, or honor the good Mrs. Paul Franklin, Wife of Governor, from Phoenix, AZ, and follow the directions correctly (listed correctly below). By the way, this is the book the recipe is from--isn't the cover just too much?
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, sifted flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon hot water
- 1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate morsels or pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter and sugars; add egg and beat well. Sift together dry ingredients (except for chocolate); add to creamed mixture. Add hot water; mix until well blended. Add chocolate pieces, nuts, and vanilla, and blend just until incorporated. Drop from teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Makes 3 1/2 dozen small cookies.