Ever since the new year I have been trying to make the perfect ginger molasses cookie. Wile I have made some excellent batches, each batch I make has been slightly different. What I am looking for is a chewy rich cookie that is not caky but many of the batches have been dry and cake-like.
So I have been trying to figure out whats been going on. I tried changing the amount of molasses which definitely did change the texture making the cookie wetter but molasses is also a powerful ingredient and can overwhelm other flavors.
I have been using and playing with two recipes one from Blue Bottle Coffee and one from Flour Bakery. Here are links to them
Besides slight differences in spices, the main difference is that Flour uses egg while Blue Bottle does not. Like I said I am looking for a rich chewy cookie and egg plays a huge role in texture. Here is a good link for explaining the role of egg in baking. http://www.craftsy.com/article/purpose-of-eggs-in-baking
Now egg whites hold in air much more than the yolk. This is why when when you beat egg whites heavily they become stiff. Since I do not want a cake-like cookie, I do not want all the air pockets in the cookie. So for my recipe I am only using egg yolks. Yolks tend to be dense and provide a richer flavor which is just what I am looking for.
The difficulty that I am facing now is with the butter. Anna our excellent new baker was explaining to me the differences between hard and melted butter in baking. When mixing butter into a batter, the texture it is at will change how much air is incorporated into the dough. A harder cooler butter will create more air pockets in the dough making the dough more cake-like. Melted butter will retain much less air creating a denser cookie. So tomorrow when I make a batch I am going make sure I am using egg yolks, (one or two I haven't decided) and melted butter. Hopefully I will have the recipe perfected soon and so you can enjoy them.
P.S Another thing about butter is that many recipes ask for the dough to be refrigerated a few hours. Being an impatient 21 year old I do not like waiting but turns out it can make a difference. Take a look at this link if your interested in what happens to dough when it is refrigerated.