The internet is home to some 8,467,326 recipes for chocolate chip cookies. How many of them do we actually need? I would argue, most of them.
This past month I’ve been playing with sourdough chocolate chip cookies made from my sourdough starter discard. Are they the best cookies I’ve ever made? No. Has that stopped my friends from eating every last one of them? Also no.
In my search for other sourdough cookie bakers I found a recipe from Food52 I knew I had to try. Instead of sourdough starter discard it calls for a ‘quick’ sour made from rye flour and water, left at room temperature for 2 days. In those two days, wild yeast (in the air, in the flour, everywhere) turns the thick rye and water mixture into a lightly soured, fluffy, bubbly mixture. It’s really exciting.
Adding this sort of dough to the cookie dough cuts down on the hydration of a traditional sourdough discard, and with a splash of vinegar, makes these gems just ooooh so slightly sour. It’s a fun experiment – and there are cookies at the end so how much convincing do you really need?
We’ll start with what’s expected and add a few additions.
There’s softened butter, quite a bit of brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs. We’ll add flour, baking soda, and salt.
But we’ll also add our ‘quick’ sour – rye flour and water left to sour slightly over two days. These are think-ahead cookies. To enhance the lightly sour flavor in the cookies we’ll add a splash of apple cider vinegar.
I mixed these cookies by hand – big bowl and wooden spoon style.
To our softened butter we’ll add our fluffed rye sour. It really is amazing how much flour and water can rise and begin to sour in just two days. Wild bacteria really does its thing!
Stir together the softened butter and rye sour.
When I’m making cookies by hand, I find it easiest to leave the butter out to soften overnight. This makes for thoroughly softened butter which is key to hand mixing. It’s just no fun fighting cold butter.
Add the brown and granulated sugar to the butter and rye sour mixture.
As you cream the sugars into the butter and rye you may notice the mixture is more stretchy than regular chocolate chip cookies. It’s subtle, but it’s the gluten in the rye giving this dough a stretch.
Stir in the eggs. Really give it a good hand-stir to ensure that the whites are yolks are well combined and disappear into the batter.
I find that room temperature eggs blend most easily into cookie dough.
Add vanilla extract. Add cider vinegar.
Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.
Stir the flour into the butter mixture.
I stir until a few flour streaks remain.
While the dough is still flour-streaked and shaggy, add the chocolate wafers.
Chips, wafers, chunks – just use a good chocolate. My absolute favorite are these baking wafers by Guittard Chocolate. I love how they layer in a cookie and how generous they feel with each bite.
The dough won’t be as heavy thick as some cookie doughs. That’s exactly right!
I think it’s key to wrap this dough in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate it for at least an hour, or overnight. Chilled cookie dough makes for the best cookies.
Add a few chocolate wafers and some generous sprinkles of coarse sea salt to the cookie dough balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (with a little space between each cookie) and bake until golden around the edges.
These cookies are more cake-like than chewy. They crisp around the edges pleasingly so. The rye sour is subtle but add a lovely balance to the sweetness of the cookies. Are the cookies sour-sour? No. They’re still chocolate chip cookies, just with a little something that makes you think.
If you like a gently cake-like cookie – please please make these! They’re such a treat!