Nancy Silverton's Hack For Softer Chocolate Chip Cookies - Exclusive

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After turning America onto sourdough bread by founding La Brea Bakery and conquering the world of fine dining with restaurants like Osteria Mozza, James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Nancy Silverton has focused her skills on a new challenge: perfecting classic American baked goods. Her new book, "The Cookie That Changed My Life," is an exhaustive collection of recipes to create the ultimate versions of familiar cookies, cakes, pies, and more.

Although the treat the book is named after is actually a peanut butter cookie, Silverton also includes her take on chocolate chip cookies. As she explained to Tasting Table in an exclusive interview, her chocolate chip cookie recipe is heavily based on Jacques Torres' influential version of the dessert, but she does include some of her own fun tweaks.

If you like a thicker, softer, more cake-like cookie, Silverton suggests baking the cookies inside individual ring molds, which makes them taller, less chewy, and less crispy. She told us, "I started seeing that in France several years ago. I noticed that some of the French bakers were doing that, and I really liked that version. It almost tastes close to a cousin of the blondie, because it's blondie-esque. It has a softer texture."

Elevating your chocolate chip cookies

Using ring molds quite literally elevates chocolate chip cookies by making them taller, but this fancy trick doesn't require much more effort than baking them the normal way. You should be able to bake most chocolate chip cookie recipes using this method; our easy chocolate chunk cookies would be a good place to start. You simply portion the cookie dough into balls, refrigerate them, and then place one dough ball in each little ring mold. Top each cookie with chocolate pieces and chunky sea salt before baking for an extra punch of sweet-salty flavor. Make sure you grease the rings with nonstick spray to ensure that the cookies release from the molds when they're done cooking.

For the softest possible cookies, Nancy Silverton also recommends taking them out of the oven before they're fully baked — they should still feel slightly doughy and wet, as they'll continue to cook and set up as they cool down.

"The Cookie That Changed My Life" is available in bookstores and from Amazon now.