Reverse-engineering a cookie recipe for super-thick cookies
June 5, 2019 9:02 PM   Subscribe

These super-thick cookies look amazing. How do I make them?

How are these cookies made so that they come out so thick when you bake them? And how would you incorporate globs of peanut butter in the middle of the cookie?

Ideally, I'm looking for a vegan recipe -- although I can probably take a non-vegan recipe and figure out how to veganize it.
posted by alex1965 to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I’d start your journey off with this Serious Eats Recipe for Levain Bakery style cookies (read: thick).
posted by Champagne Supernova at 9:20 PM on June 5, 2019 [9 favorites]

I’ve never made that kind of cookie (I like ‘em crisp!) but one thing you’d want to do is scoop (or maybe cut? they almost look like they’ve had a biscuit cutter put to them for shaping) and then freeze that dough.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:23 PM on June 5, 2019

Best answer: You can get fat cookies by melting your butter/butter-type stick to liquid so the cookies don't spread in the oven.

I recommend this recipe as your template (it's my go-to, never fail recipe for fat chocolate chip cookies). I'm vegan, and I sub the egg with one flax egg and use Earth Balance for the butter, always come out perfect.

My tricks are:

- make sure the butter is fully melted when you blend it with the sugars. I usually use a wooden spoon, no need for mixers.

- use a scoop to get uniform portions. I press the dough into an ice cream scoop and get (usually) 15 uniform cookies.

- roll the portions into balls, don't flatten them at all.

- do not overbake. If you divide the batch into about 15 cookies (as I do), cook them for nine minutes exactly. Even if they seem underdone, they're not. For larger cookies, you'll have to do test it--I think 11 minutes for a 9 cookie batch sounds about right.

- for the peanut butter, if you refrigerate a liquidy natural peanut butter, it will harden up and be scoop-able into little balls. You can roll those balls into the center of your cookie dough balls and they will melt back into gooey, peanut buttery drizzles as they bake.

Hope that helps, good luck!
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 9:29 PM on June 5, 2019 [8 favorites]

I went on a "fat cookie" quest years ago and the thing that really helped mine stay insanely thick during baking was substituting raw eggs for hard-boiled eggs that had been chopped super-fine in the food processor. You'd be surprised how well it works, without giving the cookies any kind of noticeable egg flavor. It's been years since I did it so you might want to Google around a bit (that's how I learned about the technique, so the info is out there somewhere) but if I'm remembering right it's a 1 to 1 swap, easy peezy.
posted by saladin at 6:15 AM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I keep accidentally making very thick cookies and I think I've got it down to: accidentally melting the butter instead of softening, and not using enough baking powder/soda. Both of those things mean it doesn't spread as well as it's supposed to.
posted by dbx at 7:25 AM on June 6, 2019

Best answer: I haven't actually tried to make cookies like this before, but the pictures you linked appear to give away the secret: they're rolling the dough out, then folding it back on itself to create tightly-packed layers of dough. (Look at the swirl in the top cookie, and then the stripes on the left side of the bottom one--those layers imply a very specific technique) That actually makes sense, as it accomplishes two things: (1) it introduces narrow air pockets into the cookie, which will be filled and further inflated with CO2 when the baking powder activates under heat (2) rolling the dough activates the gluten matrix from the flour, which makes for a stretchier dough that will hold its shape during the interstitial part of the bake when the dough begins to melt but hasn't started to firm up from baking.

So! My suggestion: use esmerelda_jenkins' recipe from above, refrigerate the dough for a bit so it will survive rolling, and then treat the bake like you're making puff pastry: roll it out thin, fold it back on itself, then roll the doubled-over layer out again. Repeat a few times, then fold it into 4 or 8 layers (depending on thickness of the rolled-out dough), and either cut out circles with a cookie-cutter, or tear the dough into pieces and loosely form it into balls on the cookie sheet.
posted by Mayor West at 7:46 AM on June 6, 2019 [6 favorites]

Oooh, if anyone tries Mayor West’s technique, please post how that goes.
posted by daisyace at 10:34 AM on June 6, 2019

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