So yeah. Finals happened. Sorry I haven’t posted in a while! I’ve never had to maneuver around finals and research at the same time. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry about grades because they don’t matter as much in graduate school, but I’ve never been one to let the crumbs fall where they may.
To celebrate my first semester’s completion, I decided to bake cookies! Nothing else screams comfort like cookies. Plus I’m flying home to Minnesota tomorrow (eeek!), so I figured I would make something that would use up some odds and ends I had in my apartment. Hence why these cookies look like my trashy wet dream of a cookie.
Pretzel M&Ms, salt and vinegar potato chips (which by now you can probably tell I’m in love with because I’ve already posted three recipes with them featured), and sprinkles galore all grace these cookies with their presence. It’s like I’m taking my finals anxiety snacks and transforming them into something amazing! Hopefully my GPA will reflect the same kind of idea.
These cookies are delightfully chewy, and there are three main reasons why. First, the butter is melted and cooled slightly for the recipe. Most cookies involve creaming softened butter with the sugar like the trademark Momofuku Milk Bar cookies. The creaming process pokes holes into the butter with sugar crystals allowing air to fluff up the butter. In the oven, this creates a loftier cookie that is soft and slightly chewy as I explained in this earlier post. When you melt the butter and simply mix the sugar in, the sugar dissolves in the butter’s water and becomes a part of the butter’s structure when it resets in the baking process. This makes the cookie dense because it’s harder for air to get underneath the cookie dough and lift without that initial foothold created by creaming. Denser cookie = chewier cookie.
Second, there is a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar. White sugar is pure, refined sucrose whereas brown sugar is a mix of different sugars including fructose and glucose. Fructose and glucose are both more hygroscopic than sucrose. This means that they attract more water based on their physical structure. More bound water = chewier cookie.
Side note: only use moist brown sugar. Dry and hard brown sugar has already attracted water and solidified the sugar after evaporating. That means it won’t do the job anymore!
Third, instead of two eggs, one egg and one egg yolk are used instead. Because the egg white is almost all protein and water, it adds structure to the cookie and supports it for lift. The extra water in the egg white also helps the gluten to develop more providing a stronger overall cookie supporting even more air incorporation. Egg yolk is primarily fat and emulsifiers meaning it blends extremely well into the dough while adding tenderness to the final cookie. When an extra yolk is added rather than a whole egg, the final product is a tender, fudgier cookie but also a cookie with less lift. More yolk = chewier cookie.
I hope you enjoy these super duper chewy cookies! I know I did…
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
Makes 32 small cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¾ cup roughly chopped pretzel M&Ms
⅓ cup rainbow sprinkles
3 handfuls salt and vinegar potato chips, crushed
1. Preheat oven to 325⁰F.
2. Mix the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugars until combined with a whisk. If you are interested in adding a nutty, deep flavor to your cookies, consider browning your butter and cooling instead of just melting. I melted my butter in the microwave and let it cool 10 minutes before using.
3. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. Stir until mixed. Gradually add the flour until the dough comes together. It will seem like there is too much flour for the dough, but keep mixing until the flour is incorporated. Use your hands if you have to.
4. Fold in the cinnamon, chopped pretzel M&Ms, sprinkles, and crushed chips until combined. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoon onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 8-12 minutes until the edges are just slightly brown. Do not brown the whole cookie! The middle will seem a little undone to you, but they are done. My way of checking is trying to lift the cookie off of the tray. If it looks like it’s going to stay together and the bottom is light brown, you’re good to go.
5. Let the cookies cool completely before enjoying!