A Review of Food 52’s Genius Chocolate Chip Cookies
These Genius Chocolate Chip Cookies have the most amazing texture I’ve ever had in a chocolate chip cookie. The recipe is so easy to make too!
Sometimes I come across something on the internet that is so eye-catching and intriguing that I MUST MAKE IT IMMEDIATELY. Yes, all-caps urgency. The life-changing tomato sauce recipe I posted a couple weeks ago is one example, and today’s post is another.
When Food 52 shared a post titled “The Most Genius Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Is Also Vegan,” I knew I had to try it. Now, you guys know I’m not vegan (and actually, I don’t have any dietary restrictions whatsoever), but apparently that doesn’t matter for this recipe. The author of the post was very clear that these cookies were not a chocolate chip cookie substitute for vegans to enjoy, but rather an amazing cookie end-to-end for vegans and non-vegans alike. So I thought I’d try it out and share my experience with you guys.
Unlike a lot of vegan recipes, there are no “weird” ingredients in these. I’m not a fan of the vegan substitutes you often see, like xanthan gum or soy margarine. I have no idea what to do with those things and don’t want to buy them. But everything on this ingredients list was something I already had in my kitchen: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chocolate, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and water.
To make the cookies, first combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips:
In a separate bowl combine sugar, brown sugar, water, and grapeseed oil:
The original recipe called for canola oil, but I personally like to use grapeseed oil as my neutral oil in baking.
Whisk until smooth:
Add the dry ingredients to the wet:
Mix together until you get a stiff dough:
Now you’re supposed to refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours. I know, this is such a pain, and I ended up making half of them after only 4 hours, and I thought they were still good.
Scoop out big portions of cookie dough and place them on a silicone mat lined baking sheet, then sprinkle on sea salt:
At this point the original recipe directs you to freeze the dough for 10 minutes so they don’t spread as much, but after testing this, I honestly didn’t find that necessary.
Bake the cookies in a 350F oven for about 12 minutes, until golden on the edges.
And now for the verdict.
Don’t the cookies look absolutely AMAZING and mouthwatering? I was astounded by how beautiful these cookies are. Here are some thoughts:
- These cookies have absolutely incredible texture. The way the edges crisp up, and how gooey and soft the middle is…these cookies might have the most spectacular texture of any chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. However…
- These were SERIOUSLY lacking in the flavor department. Holy cow. If you ever want to experience for yourself how essential butter is for a chocolate chip cookie, try these cookies as written from the Food52 website.
- Also, where’s the vanilla extract? I imagine that contributed to the serious lack of flavor in the cookies. Adding butter would take away the vegan-ness of these cookies, but vanilla extract wouldn’t, so definitely add that no matter what.
- The cookies really do need at least 4 hours to chill. The original recipe says 12, but I think you can get away fine with 4.
- The amounts in the ingredients list are too finicky, and for seemingly no reason. 1/2 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon oil? 1/2 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon water? I tested a batch exactly as written and then a batch with just 1/2 cup of each, and I honestly couldn’t tell a difference. All things equal, I like to keep the measuring as easy as possible.
All in all, these are great cookies to make if you’re vegan, though you should add vanilla extract to up the flavor.
Since I’m not vegan, I played with this recipe a bit and changed some things. Here’s what’s different in my version below:
- All the oil is swapped out for butter, and since the fats are different (oil is 100% fat whereas butter is about 80% fat and 20% water), I increased the amount of butter used and reduced the water slightly.
- I added vanilla extract to improve flavor.
- You scoop the dough before the dough is refrigerated, otherwise the dough is too crumbly to scoop easily.
- Because the nature of the butter is so different from oil, these don’t need to be refrigerated as long. An hour or two is fine.
- I reduced the amount of chocolate slightly, otherwise the cookies pile too high.
- The butter cookies don’t bake as flat as the oil ones, but they still have a perfect texture. Crisp on the edges and chewy gooey chocolate-y in the middle.
Genius Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tweaked
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 60% cacao
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- sea salt for garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk to combine the sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, water, and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then stir with a spatula until combined. You want to stop mixing when the flour disappears, to avoid overmixing.
- Use a large cookie scoop to portion out scoops of the cookie dough, then store in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F, and line two sheet pans with a silicone mat. Split the cookie dough scoops between each baking tray (I had 16 scoops total), then sprinkle each scoop with sea salt. Bake for 12 minutes, until the edges are golden. Enjoy!