Perhaps I get an abnormal amount of satisfaction from a well-done geek project. I also get an unusual amount of satisfaction from a great chocolate chip cookie. This project made me extremely happy, appealing to both my scientific side, and my… well, chocolate side.
I do not have the privilege of knowing Meg Hourihan personally, but I can tell that we would get along! She writes a food blog at megnut.com, and during a recent recipe search, this post caught my eye: A Mean Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Intrigued, I decided to give the recipe a glance. What I found was a wonderful fusion of geekery and bakery.
Meg, a self-described “Food Enthusiast,” had embarked upon a quest to find THE best chocolate chip cookie. She solicited suggestions, and received more recipes than she could use. To simplify her work, she narrowed the list of recipes down to a dozen contenders.
Then, like any good geek, she made a spreadsheet of the recipes. She converted all of the measurements to base 10, averaged the preparation techniques, chilling times, oven temperatures, baking times, etc. She came up with a formula for a “mean” (averaged, get it?) chocolate chip cookie. You can see the complete recipe on her blog. It is quite brilliant.
So, how did the cookies taste? After doing all of the mathematical calculations, measuring, mixing, chilling, and baking (13.04 minutes at 354.17°F), Meg sampled her creation, and declared…
The first bite revealed a cookie crispy around the rim, warm and chewy on the inside. A few hours later, they were firmer, but still tasty. The best chocolate chip cookies ever? I’m not sure, but I baked A Mean Chocolate Chip Cookie. And that’s enough for me.
A happy ending to a unique kitchen adventure! I say, “thank you!” to Meg for her contribution to the canon of kitchen geekery.