Or more specifically, Levain's famous chocolate chip cookies.
They are supposed to be a whopping 6 ounces each, tender, with a raw doughy center and of course, studded with chocolate chips. I have never been to the Levain Bakery before though, so I don't know how close I've come to the original so far.
There is a very reliable recipe circling around, from here. I followed that recipe the first time around, but it didn't turn out as tall Levain's. So I readjusted the leavenings, replacing the baking powder AND baking soda with just baking powder, just to see if it would make any difference. Plus, I added some cornstarch to give the rumor a go. Oh, and I reduced the overall sugar amount by a 1/2 cup which is just perfect for me.
And yes, there is a difference. The cookies spread less this time and it certainly remained taller than before. I found that using solely baking powder resulted in a much chewier texture. But because I formed my cookie dough balls into 4 ounce balls each and baked them at 190C for just 15 minutes, the center was gooey while the outer edges were chewy.
Personally, I think the stickier the dough (but not too sticky!), the more tender the cookie. The cornstarch may not be a factor to ensure a soft cookie because I felt that there was no difference. But you could give it a go and tell me what you think.
If you want an raw doughy center, you gotta under bake it, right? Right.
But that means you won't get a nice thick, crunchy outer crust, right? Right.
So my brain got to work and came up with a solution: After baking the cookies, let them set up a little on the sheet before transferring them onto a cooling rack.
Yeah yeah, we know that already.
Wait a minute! Then place the cooling rack with the cookies on it into the warm but switched off oven for, I dunno 10 minutes, with the door closed. At least that's how long I could resist before digging in!
The result? A nice crispy bottom to go with the crackly shell, all the while retaining that mmm... so melty centre. I should think that leaving the cookies in the oven for too long will still dry out the middle so don't forget about them! (Although I really think that's impossible.)
The next time, I would like to use yeast as a leavening! I heard that with yeast, the cookies will spread even less, resulting in a nice dense and chewy texture. Although what I'm really after is the height.
Having to chomp down on a cookie like a fat hamburger is just, sigh, another kind of comfort.