Every time I go to the mall I end up buying an overpriced, delicious cookie from the Toll House* or Mrs. Fields kiosk. But why? Why do I pay a bit over two dollars for a cookie? I'll tell you why: First, I have a super sweet tooth, its out of control, I put small children to shame. Secondly, and most importantly, cookies from these establishments are perfectly cooked, not too chewy and not to crisp, plus they are an even round shape. Well guys, its a recession so I'm going to give you a few tips to recreate mall cookies at home. These are tips that you can use whether you are baking with premade cookie dough (I'm not judging) or homemade batter.
Step 1: Preheat the oven. No, really, preheat the oven. Don't just toss them in a cold oven or think that because the oven has been on for 5 minutes that its preheated. If you're fortunate enough to have a "oven preheated" or "preheat cycle" light on your oven obey it, if not let the oven get going for at least 10 to 15 minutes. A cold oven can lead to lopsided, dry, burnt, or all of the above cookies. Not a good look...or snack.
Step 2: Before dolloping your dough, spray the sheet, even if it says not to. I do this because it gives me the guarantee that it will not stick to the cookie sheet.
Step 3: Use an ice cream scoop to make nice uniform balls. This ensures an even cook time, as well as more visually appealing cookies.
Step 4: Bake for the minimum amount of time because they continue to cook after you take them out because of the residual heat of the cookie sheet, this a tip I learned while working at a bakery in Charleston. For example, if the directions say to bake for 9 to 11 minutes, I check at 9 and take them out if the center is set. If it is, I take my cookies out, if not I check them again at 10 minutes, and so forth.
Step 5: Do the cookie drop! This is the secret to perfectly round and sexy cookies. Here's what you do. Once you take out your sheet pan of cookies, literally drop it on the stove top or counter (assuming your countertop is something that won't melt, like granite)
You'll notice that the bubble that formed during baking has now leveled out with the rest of the cookie, see this is already shaping up to be a mall cookie.
Step 6: Let cookies set for a bit, then transfer onto a cooling rack to stop the cooking process. If you leave them on the pan the bottoms will burn because of residual heat.
Step 7: Serve with milk (or in my case juice because I'm lactose intolerant) and enjoy!
Now you can have a mall cookie, anytime. These made for a great midnight snack yesturday!
*Tollhouse Cookie Store Photo, Image Credit