You'll love these flavor-boosting, texture-tweaking riffs on the classic recipe, courtesy of Jenny McCoy, pastry chef and author of Desserts for Every Season.
By Jenny McCoyO, The Oprah Magazine
Makes 4 dozen cookies
Ingredients 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour2/3 cup cake flour1 tsp. baking soda1 tsp. salt1 cup unsalted butter, softened1/2 cup granulated sugar1 cup dark brown sugar2 large eggs1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract2 cups (about 12 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
DirectionsActive time: 30 minutes Total time: 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix until smooth; stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
On baking sheets, arrange tablespoon-size balls of dough, leaving 2" of space between each.
Bake until light golden brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool.
Easy tweaks: - Add a quarter cup of cacao nibs to your batter to increase the chocolate flavor and give the cookies an appealing crunch.
- Add a tablespoon of instant espresso powder to make mocha-flavored cookies.
- Underbake your cookies by two to three minutes to make them softer and chewier.
- Roll balls of cookie dough in turbinado sugar, then bake. This will give them a pretty, crystalline texture.
- Sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt on each cookie just before baking to achieve a salty/sweet balance.
- Skip the chips and use chocolate chunks for a super-indulgent, gooey cookie.
- Add two tablespoons of finely minced crystallized ginger to your batter for a spicy zing.
Whether you're making Christmas trees with angled branches, or <a href="http://www.bustle.com/articles/123675-customizable-face-shaped-cookie-cutters-just-became-the-only-acceptable-way-to-eat-cookies" target="_blank">authentic replicas of your best friend's face</a>, it can be maddening to make intricately cutout cookies keep their shape. You roll out the dough, press the cookie cutter down, slide the spatula underneath, maneuver it onto the sheet, pop it into the oven—and it morphs into something unrecognizable. Pansino has an easy fix, though: Once you get the dough onto the baking sheet, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes, and <i>then</i> bake it. The cold dough and chilled sheet will help the cookies keep their form -- so your pal's nose will look exactly as it should.