Alton Brown’s The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are pretty big and thick, leaving you with dense, moist, and wonderfully chewy cookies that have so much flavor from the use of brown sugar and bread flour.
When I set out to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, I really meant it! The thing is, I love crispy and chewy cookies. The fact though is that, what makes a particular chocolate chip cookie the best for one person, is not the same for another. I see a lot of people who prefer soft and chewy types and I wanted to find the best recipe to describe those textures. That is how I ended up finding this Alton Brown’s The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.
It is a well-known recipe for producing chewy cookies. And I was glad to find the recipe because they tasted heavenly. I found that most cookie recipes I had tried fell in comparison to this recipe because I found most of them too cakey to my liking, but these cookies produce the perfect chewy texture with the perfect sweetness.
What Makes These Cookies Chewy?
Although Alton Brown’s The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe is a bit more complicated than most, I found them worth the effort. To make the cookies chewier, Alton Brown uses melted butter, all bread flour, less egg white, and brown sugar. Let me tell you why they work.
1. Melted butter
The chocolate chip cookie recipe usually starts with creaming or melting the butter. Creaming the butter will lead to cookies with a higher, more cake-like texture while melting the butter will lead to chewier cookies. Why? During the process of creaming the butter, some air is incorporated and this air leavens the cookies as they bake, giving them some lift. That is why melted butter creates denser cookies which means more chewiness.
2. Bread flour
When I was trying to find the ultimate chocolate chip cookies, I found that different flour produces a different texture. I tried making the same recipe with cake flour, all-purpose flour, and bread flour to understand this science. Although the result was not that substantially different from each other, I found that cookies made with bread flour produced a chewier texture.
Alton Brown substituted regular all-purpose flour with bread flour which created cookies with extra chewiness. Bread flour has a higher protein content compared to all-purpose flour. It means bread flour enhances gluten elasticity, resulting in a chewier cookie.
3. Less egg white
Alton used one whole egg and one egg yolk in this recipe. Then, he replacing that one egg white with milk. Why does this work? Egg white is great at trapping air and the higher the proportion of egg white in cookies means the more they rise during baking. Replacing the water content of egg white with milk helps to get more gluten formation and thus creates denser cookies.
4. Brown sugar
As you can see, the sugar in these cookies is mostly brown sugar. Brown sugar somehow makes cookies moister and chewier than using white sugar. That is because it contains molasses which is capable of retaining extra moisture. I also love the taste of all brown sugar cookies because they taste richer with warm molasses flavor.
5. Chilling the cookie dough
Refrigerating the dough before baking will help inhibit spread because the butter is colder, and takes longer to melt. It also gives time for the liquid in the recipe to hydrate the flour.
Two Different Recipes, Which One To Choose?
The problem was that I found two different recipes for Alton Brown’s The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Somehow, the TV version is different than the one published online. What’s the difference? Firstly, the measurements in the video are given by volume rather than weight. We see Alton bake the cookies directly into the oven, while the written recipe instructs us to chill the dough before baking. There are also several different instructions in the video and written recipes in detail, but those two are the most prominent.
Now that we know about those, which recipes to follow? After studying both, I went with the written recipe because it uses weight measurements. After all, the weight measurements are the best to create consistent cookies.
I also find the volume measurement is not accurate. For example, the TV version calls for 2 1/4 cups of bread flour, while the published recipe calls for 12 ounces of bread flour, which is about 3 cups in volume. Then, I also found a problem with the baking temperature and time of the original recipe. The cookies seemed overbaked, so I reduced the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C rather than baking them at 375°F/190°C and reduce the baking time from 15 minutes to 13 minutes.
No matter what type of cookies you love, they are always best paired with a glass of cold milk. Enjoy!
More Soft Cookies Recipes
While you are here, don’t forget to check out these soft cookies recipes!
- Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
- Super Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Almond White Chocolate Matcha Cookies
- Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- Biscoff Stuffed Cookie