Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
I don’t believe that one can have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes. They are perhaps the most sentimental dessert and everyone has an opinion when it comes to the perfect chocolate chip cookie. For some, it’s a thin, flat disc, crunchy around the edges with just a little give in the center. Others may prefer to indulge in a cookie with a little more altitude and a fluffier, more cake-like crumb. There is a little bakery down the street from our house known around town for their dense, giant cookies and the equally large line for them that snakes around the building. To me, they feel like piles of chocolate chips bound together by large wads of cookie dough, ultra-gooey and barely holding together. I love them. My husband does not. But I get it, chocolate chip cookies can be a contentious topic. I’m not here to sway your opinions, only to submit a new variation to add to your cookie rotation.
I got this recipe in an email earlier this summer from Tara Jensen (whose book is beautifully written and has taught me so much about dough). I was working at the restaurant and my fellow pastry cooks and I spent weeks promising that we were going to test it out. I procrastinated all summer long, so when I returned home, these little cookies topped my to-do list. They did not disappoint. They are soft, but with little crispy edges and the sourdough culture gives a slight tang, cutting through some of the richness. Using chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips and implementing a little “tray banging” at the end of the bake, gives you little puddles of chocolate that you will just want to dive into. And please remember to salt your cookies!
*A note on measuring: I usually try to convert most recipes to cups and tablespoons in order to make things a little simpler for the home cook, however, I am a huge advocate for using metric measurements when baking, especially when it comes to using sourdough starters. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap and they are total game changers in the kitchen. Precision is not as imperative in cooking, but the science of baking really demands accuracy in order for things to turn out consistently. For example, depending on your measuring cup, the humidity in your kitchen, and the way you scoop, a cup of flour will almost always have a different weight each time you measure. If you use a kitchen scale, though, you are able to do a much better job of controlling your ingredient portions and it will come out the same each time. The other reason I recommend using metric measurements is LESS DISHES. You don’t have to dirty a million different measuring cups and spoons and you can just weigh everything directly into your bowl. For me, that alone justifies the purchase of a kitchen scale.
This is the kitchen scale I am currently using and it does the trick just fine.
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
yield: 18-24 small cookies, or 10-12 large cookies
recipe adapted from Tara Jensen
250 g all purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
50 g sourdough starter*
100 g sugar
50 g brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
400 g dark chocolate, chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat until creamy and light, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add in sourdough starter, egg, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing until no flour streaks remain. Use a rubber spatula to fold in chocolate chips.
Transfer dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop dough into balls and place on a baking sheet, leaving 2” between each cookie. Bake until tops are just set and edges are beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes for small cookies and 10-12 minutes for larger cookies. When removing from oven, bang the tray against the counter a couple of times to settle the cookies and create those much-desired chocolate puddles. Sprinkle the tops of cookies with flaky salt (like Maldon). Let cookies cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
*If you don’t yet have a sourdough starter and are ready to create your very own, check out my step-by-step guide here!