I am always in search of the ultimate-in my mind-chocolate chunk cookie. Of all things, chocolate chip cookies are the most subjective: people love them thick or thin, chewy or crisp-edged. No one can claim the best recipe because there will never be one definitive best. My idea of a go-to cookie is slightly thick but chewy, not cakey, with a crunchy edge and range of dark chocolate shards, some large and puddle-like, some tiny and well distributed through the dough.
The baker in me was intrigued by the use of cornstarch in this particular recipe. Not much – only 2 tsp to 2 cups of flour. Would it really make a difference? Or is it gimmicky? Designed to lure in people like me who are hungry and haven’t eaten a freshly baked chocolate chunk cookie in far too long? So I made them – for research purposes only. Besides, I’ll be seeing Anna Olson -who planted the seed at Christmas in November at the Jasper Park Lodge in a month – I could use this as a conversation piece. You know, something to chit chat about. The idea is that the cornstarch creates a more soft, marshmallowy interior. She’s not wrong.
Also: there’s a half pound of chopped chocolate in these. (That sounds way better than 8 oz or 2 cups, don’t you think?) Go semisweet or as dark as you like. I do like chopped chocolate in a cookie rather than chips – you get that spread of teeny bits to enormous chunks, which works in these. They really are All That, and interestingly enough the cornstarch – perhaps paired with the low sugar-flour ratio – produces a cookie very different from those I generally fall back on. They have that thick denseness reminiscent of the ones I used to get at Cookies by George when we took the bus downtown after school. They aren’t cakey, but they aren’t as chewy as most. But yet they are chewy. At any rate, they’re totally fab. Even Ben looked up from the table and said, all contemplative and serious (particularly for an 8 year old), “wow, these are really good chocolate chip cookies.”
I sprinkled a few with a bit of crunchy salt for salted dark chocolate cookies. I know, the whole salted caramel/chocolate combo is so last year. Who cares? It’s also so delicious.
These are totally ridiculously easy to make. You don’t need to age the dough, or chill it, or do anything but nibble at it as you stir, then scoop (I really do love my levered scoop – ask Santa for one) and bake. Never before has superherosim been so easy.