Fun fact, I spent a year trying to create what I think is the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Last week I had the strongest craving for a freshly baked, chocolate-chip cookie (or two) like the one I’m holding in the picture above.
Does anyone ever have cravings like that?
Anyway, usually I have some dough from another batch sitting in freezer, ready to be dropped onto a baking sheet and popped into the oven. I could have sworn I did, but to my great disappointment there wasn’t. So I settled for the emergency roll of cookie dough.
In my year of crafting the perfect cookie, I gathered, as I usually do when I’m cooking or baking, many life lessons. Here are my top three.
Lesson 1: There’s more than one way.
I scoured the internet for cookie dough and cookie baking tips that I could adopt into my recipe. One recipe required only an hour of chilling time, while another required a full 24-hours. Some recipes call for only white granulated sugar while others have a combination of both white and brown sugar. And forget about the chocolate chip ratios. That was a hot debate in and of itself.
When it comes to finding a solution, it’s easier for one to try to analyze it from different approaches, taking bits of what worked for others and incorporating it into something that works for you. Or, you can settle for two solutions which is what ended up happening. Instead of finding the one chocolate chip cookie, I ended up with two by popular vote. Ironically, each cookie is uniquely it’s own.
Lesson 2: Learn to take criticisms.
As a writer, I learned to take criticisms, constructive criticisms at least, fairly well. As a daughter to a demanding Filipino mother, it was expected that I take the criticisms and do better. That’s the same mentality that I’ve adopted when there aren’t any critics around and it’s just me and my internal drill sergeant.
I tested batch after batch of cookies throughout my cookie year and received a lot of praise but it was the criticisms I paid special attention to. It’s not that I was looking for validation from everyone. However, I learned that you need to take the criticisms and critiques, decide whether they’re constructive or just flat out mean, and make adjustments that will make your product better.
Lesson 3: Let’s face it, you can’t please them all.
I would be the first to say that I’m not a perfect baker or cook. A lot of what I’ve learned was through experience and critiques, trail and error. There are plenty of critics out there, professional and professional in their own little worlds. I’ve learned that I won’t be able to please them all. Everyone’s tastes and flavor experiences are different. So while there may be hundreds of people falling over each other to have another bite of what you’ve made, there will always be that one person who just isn’t fond of it. You can either take it to heart or respect their honesty and keep it moving and keep on growing.
You may be asking “well what are your chocolate chip cookie?” Here are a few, but remember, what works for my tastes, may be different for you. A cookie dough that’s rested and chilled for a full 24-hours, tastes and bakes differently than a dough that’s only chilled for 1 or 2 hours. Mini chocolate chips packs more chocolate in each bite. Lastly, because I don’t want to give away all my secrets, brown sugar lends a warm caramel undertone to the overall taste.
Now that I shared some of my chocolate chip cookie lessons and tips, what are yours?