So Charles, what were the results of all of your testing? Do you have a go-to version now?
The actual goal that I had was to recreate the perfect CC cookie that I had made years ago, the one where I used the fake butter sticks. Those cookies shattered lightly in the mouth when bitten, something due to a lot of empty space on the inside of the cookie, which had an irregular, bumpy surface. Shortly after making them, I discovered the virtues of using butter, and I’ve never been able to make their equal again. I’m not absolutely certain there is a causal relationship, but it’s plausible.
I normally use the recipe from King Arthur’s Cookie book. It’s more weighted towards brown sugar than the Toll House recipe, uses 1 fewer egg, specifies half butter/half shortening, and they throw in a little vinegar, but I’m not sure that this really impacts the final product that much. The cookies turn out very flat and crisp, and people seem to like that a lot.
A few years ago, I took two batches of cookies to a friend to evaluate. One was a medium size, thin cookie and the other was a small, thicker cookie. My friend loved the smaller cookie and exclaimed about how it shattered in the mouth like the one I was trying to replicate and he demanded to know how the small cookie differed from the larger cookie. “It’s smaller,” I deadpanned. And that was the sole difference; they’d come from the same bowl of dough, I just used the small cookie scoop vs the big one, and that was enough to produce a significant texture difference.
I had to give up my experiments because I changed jobs and couldn’t take them into work any more (office too small).