Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Great Cookie Challenge

I recently tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. The recipe doesn't specify whether or not the butter should be salted or unsalted so I used unsalted which is what I usually use when baking. It doesn't have any additional salt in the recipe and given that I used unsalted butter, my husband thought that this combination left the cookies without enough salt taste. I asked the person who gave me the recipe and she said she simply uses whatever she has in the fridge so that wasn't any help. A quick, informal Facebook survey revealed that I was right about baking with unsalted butter so I decided that we needed a taste test challenge to determine if in fact more salt was desirable in that recipe.

I recently got an OXO cookie scoop and it made balling out the cookies SO much easier.
The cookies came out perfect in 10 minutes.
"A" was unsalted butter and "B" was salted butter.
(I didn't add any salt to the unsalted butter batch.)
I had my husband do a blind taste test and he immediately knew that "B" was the salted butter and thought they tasted a lot better. I then asked my in-laws and our dinner guests to choose their favorite and both chose "B" as well. All I had said was that one batch was made with salted butter and one was made with unsalted and they overwhelmingly liked "B". I admit that I like "B" better as well, but I can't identify why. It doesn't exactly taste saltier or even different really, just better. The texture also seems better with "B" even though I made them back to back with everything the same so I can't account for why that would be.
The baby likes both versions!

Here's the recipe:

"Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies"

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 4oz. sticks softened (salted) butter
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 4oz. package of Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
2 eggs
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix flour with baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl; beat with mixer until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and beat until mixed into batter. Gradually add the flour/baking soda mixture, mixing after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips. Batter will be stiff.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cookies set for 2-3 minutes and then place on wire rack to cool.

If you try it, be sure to tell me what you think of them!

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