This has become a topic of conversation recently between Tiffany and I, it came about while we were baking chocolate chip cookies on Monday night. Tiffany definitely comes from a place of love, and I most definately come from the view of science and it was perfectly illustrated watching her bake cookies.
My background comes from 20 years in the restaurant business, where it was literally my job to be concerned with food cost and portion control. So with this mindset my baking adapted this philosophy. I am exact in my measurements, I think of the cost of chocolate chips when adding them to the batter. I use an exact .75 oz scoop when dropping the dough onto the baking sheets, using a fork to slightly flatten each cookie. The end results are symmetrical shaped, almost identical looking cookies.
Just like ones (in appearance only) that you would buy in the store… they are all the same. Mine just taste waaaay better!
Tiffany comes from the other end of the spectrum and philosophy with regards to baking, she comes from a position of love. Her measurements were not exact at all, she had an instinct as to how much of each ingredient she added, and then when it came time to place the cookies on the sheet to bake she opted with the two spoon method that resulted in in uneven, very different looking cookies.
We debated back and forth about which method was better and why… honestly I never even considered her method for many years, my mom taught me using the spoon method but my experiences and life over time taught me to adapt the portion control, the scientific method if you will of baking cookies.
Looking at the final results yielded two very different looking and tasting cookies based on the same cookie dough. If you were to actually weigh each cookie they were all roughly the same weight, but the taste of the two were very different.
The love cookies tasted better. It was due to the randomness in each one, the fact that they were slightly thicker than science, and had pockets and clusters of chocolate chips that you could taste when eating. The science cookies tasted a bit more like the dough than chocolate, as the chips were spaced out more so you actually got less chocolate taste in each bite as they were thinner and more spread out.
Just another lesson that Tiffany has taught me over the past week and a half…
Cream butter and brown sugar in large bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Combine next 4 ingredients in small bowl. Add to butter mixture in 2 additions. mixing well after each addition until no dry flour remains.
Add chocolate chips and walnuts. Mix well. Drop, using 1 1/2 tsp. for each, about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in 350F over for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Let stand on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
That of course is the scientific version, or if you believe in love just wing it.