Most chocolate chip cookies contain some combination of eggs, butter, sugar, flour, leaveners and, of course, chocolate. How this mix of ingredients can sometimes come out as gooey, chewy cookies, while others turn out crispy or cake-y is a matter of ratios. The amount of flour, type of sugar, size of the chocolate chips and temperature of the eggs and butter affect batter liquidity. The way you handle these ingredients and the temperature at which you bake the batter also matter.
A classic cookie recipe often calls for equal parts brown and white sugar, but brown sugar has more moisture than white. If you want to increase the chewy qualities of your cookies, use more brown sugar than white. Chocolate chip cookie recipes with a larger amount of white sugar, or all white sugar, tend to turn out crisper and more crumbly.
Finely shaved chocolate or smaller chips distribute more thoroughly into the batter, increasing the moisture content. As a result, you'll get chewier cookies.
A colder batter means also results in a chewier cookie. The butter should be softened at room temperature. If you melt the butter, the batter spreads fast and furiously in the oven, so a thin, crisp cookie comes out. Room-temperature eggs contribute to a warmer batter, too, so if you want chewier cookies, use them straight from the refrigerator. Using a large amount of butter in relation to the flour also creates a faster spreading cookie that tends to be crispy, rather than chewy.
A cookie batter with a lot of flour will turn out cakey and dry, not chewy. Skimp too much on the flour, and the cookie batter will be too moist, encouraging over-spread and crispy specimens. Exact measuring helps you prevent over- or under-adding. Spoon flour into a true measuring cup and avoid packing it down. Use a knife to level off any excess flour that mounds on top. To be even more precise, weigh the amount of flour on a food scale.
Control the Spread
An oven temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit bakes the cookies at a slower rate, so they spread slowly and obtain a chewy consistency. Chewy cookies also result from using cool baking pans, rather than ones hot out of the oven, and a moderate kitchen temperature. When exposed to heat, the batter spreads quickly to create thinner, crunchier discs.
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