It’s funny sometimes how history repeats itself. As a father of two small boys, I think back to when my brother and I used to sit in the kitchen with my dad and talk for hours and bake sourdough chocolate chip cookies.
The first time my brother and I ever made these cookies with my dad was because of a broken oven door. My brother and I had been playing around the house, as boys tend to do, and we decided to practice karate moves in the kitchen. Before I had even realized what had happened, there was a karate chop, a roundhouse kick, and a broken oven door. Through the loud “Hi-yas” my dad came in and immediately saw the damage. I thought for sure my life as well as my brothers was over. Instead, my dad said, “Well boys, let’s bake some cookies and see if that old door will stay shut.” Now standing in my kitchen, sans a broken oven door, I find myself doing the same thing with my boys, baking, talking, and laughing.
There is just something about a chocolate chip cookie that has always made me smile. No matter the kind, I have always loved making, and most certainly eating chocolate chip cookies. Whether homemade or picked up from the grocery store, chocolate chip cookies win me over every time. Whenever I share this recipe, I always get an array of questions such as the following:
1. Do they taste like sourdough?
The tang that you taste in sourdough is not the same in these cookies. The sour flavor is subtle, balanced, and rich due to the sugar and chocolate.
2. Why do I need brown and white sugar?
The combination of both the sugars provides texture, and adds a complexity of flavor to the cookies, rather than just using the white sugar alone.
3. Can I use margarine or shortening in the recipe instead of butter?
In this recipe, cold butter is where it’s at. The butter imparts a tastier, soft cookie. Unsalted or salted butter can be used, just make sure it’s nice and cold.
4. Can I use sourdough discard in the recipe?
Active sourdough starter is what my dad always used in the recipe. However, you can use sourdough discard, but it will give the cookie a tangier taste. Also, the cookie will be a little flatter and crispier.
5. What chocolate chip pairs best with this recipe?
Any actually. From white chocolate to semi-sweet or milk chocolate, all of them taste great in this recipe. It’s really up to your taste buds.
6. Are these cookies crunchy or chewy once baked?
Well if you are a crunchy cookie fan, you will not like these cookies. These cookies can be soft or chewy. Although biased, I am convinced these cookies could turn a crunchy fan into a chewy fan.
What Makes a Good Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie?
Let’s get the cliché that love is what makes a great cookie out of the way. Yes, love is a great ingredient, but in this recipe the sourdough starter is what makes this cookie good. Depending on your taste, sourdough discard can be used in this recipe. What is sourdough discard you may ask. Well, once a sourdough starter has been rehydrated, you maintain it by discarding a portion of it. The reason for this is because the starter builds up and will require too much flour at feedings that it becomes just too unmanageable. If you have never made your own sourdough starter, it will take 7 to 14 days to do so.
Another thing that makes this recipe really good, is the texture. This cake-like cookie that is made with two kinds of sugar, is soft and perfect when warm. These cookies can be made soft or chewy. To make the cookies chewier, cut down the cooking time and then set them out on trays to cool. When placing dough on the pan for cooking, press down slightly. This is because they will not flatten like traditional cookie recipes. I love how this cookie recipe is so versatile. As a kid, I remember my dad using caramels instead of chocolate chips. One time, at the request of my brother, we made a rocky road version too. Below, I have listed out the ingredients and recipe for you to try with your family and friends. I am positive you will enjoy them, even if your kids just broke the oven door.
- ½ cup sourdough active starter
- ½ cup cold butter/1 stick
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips(semi-sweet, white or milk chocolate)
- To begin, preheat the oven to 350F.
- While the oven is preheating, begin putting butter and sugar in a bowl and mix together. Once combined well(usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes), add egg and vanilla and mix.
- With sides scraped down, add the sourdough starter and continue mixing.
- With all ingredients combined, add the dry ingredients: baking powder, baking soda, salt, and finally the flour.
- Once the dough starts to form, stir and fold in the chocolate chips.
- You can chill the dough or begin scooping a tablespoon of cookie dough onto a baking pan with a mat or parchment paper. Space the cookies and press down
slightly if the dough is chilled. Baking times will vary depending on the texture you are wanting to achieve. If wanting a soft cookie, bake the cookies for about to 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let the cookies set for 1 to 2 minutes before placing them on cooling racks. For a chewier cookie, cook 7 to 8 minutes and then pull out and place on racks to
cool. Once completely cooled, store in air-tight containers.