Recipe Review

I Tried the Broiled Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe That’s Racked Up Millions of Views on YouTube

updated Aug 21, 2020
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Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

There was a period in my life when I would bake multiple batches of cookies a week. I was on a mission to perfect my cookie baking skills, and throughout the journey I learned a ton of clever tricks for making them, from letting the cookie dough “ripen” to properly salting the dough. But one technique I never came across was broiling cookies. (Yes, broiling.)

After finding a YouTube video by Adam Ragusea with over three million views titled “Broiled Chocolate Chip Cookies,” I was intrigued. The video shows Ragusea preparing his chocolate chip cookie dough (which is made with melted butter and bread flour) then forming them into pucks and placing them on a baking sheet. Instead of baking the cookies, he broils the cookies until they turn golden-brown. He then takes them out, sets the oven to 375°F, and finishes baking them until cooked through. The technique is wild, but the logic makes sense: Broiling helps give the cookies a nice golden-brown color while still maintaining a pleasantly chewy inside. I wanted to see if the technique would work, so I baked up a batch to find out.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Broiled Chocolate Chip Cookies

These broiled chocolate chip cookies are made with a fairly standard cookie dough — only with a few clever ingredient swaps. You’ll start by melting salted (!) butter and mixing it with granulated sugar, molasses, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth. The molasses replaces the brown sugar used in most cookie recipes, lending the cookies a rich flavor and chew. To that you add baking soda, a generous amount of salt, and bread flour. Some people claim that using bread flour gives cookies a chewier texture, but Ragusea notes that he likes it because it provides a “smoother texture.” While Ragusea provides an exact amount of bread flour to start with, he suggests adding additional flour until the dough “appears wet but is not terribly sticky.” He notes that if you want your cookies thinner, you can add less flour.

At this point you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. This helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much, so be patient and don’t rush it. Once the dough has been properly chilled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough into balls. Flatten the balls into puck shapes using your hands and place them onto the baking sheet. Place the trays into an oven set to broil and broil them until the tops are golden-brown, about one minute. Once browned, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the oven to 375°F and continue baking them until they’re cooked through. The broil-then-bake technique is said to give you the best of both worlds: a beautiful golden-brown color and pleasantly chewy, slightly underbaked interior.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Broiled Chocolate Chip Cookies

Broiling the cookies gave them a beautiful golden-brown color and slightly crunchy exterior. I was nervous they would brown too much, but they came out perfectly toasty with a picture-perfect outside. As for the taste? It was a good cookie! It had everything I love about classic chocolate chip cookies, from the subtle caramel-y flavor to the pools of melted chocolate. But at the end of the day the technique is mostly just for aesthetics. It makes the cookies look better, but it doesn’t make them taste significantly better. Sure, a little bit of browning makes baked goods taste better (hello, Maillard reaction), but it wasn’t a huge improvement from just a regular, paler chocolate chip cookie. The technique takes a good bit of effort and is definitely more involved than a standard cookie recipe. If looks are super important to you, I could see the appeal. But for most people I don’t think broiling your cookies is worth the extra effort.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

4 Tips for Making Broiled Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you want to try making broiled chocolate chip at home, keep these tips in mind.

1. Be careful of the salt. While I personally liked the amount of salt in these cookies, it’s definitely pronounced. The recipe calls for using both salted butter and two teaspoons of salt, so it’s not for people who are avoiding salt. If you’re not a fan of salty sweets, start with half the amount of salt listed and give the dough a taste. You can always add more salt to the dough, but you can’t take it back.

2. Let the dough chill before baking it. Because this recipe calls for using melted butter in the dough, you’ll need to give it some time to chill in the fridge before you bake it. Ragusea suggests chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking it, which is just enough time to firm up the butter to prevent the dough from spreading too much in the oven.

3. Keep an eye on the parchment paper. Ragusea’s recipe calls for baking the cookies on parchment paper, but the problem is that it can actually burn when exposed to the extreme heat of the broiler. So when broiling your cookies, keep an eye on the parchment paper to make sure it isn’t charring. If you see it start turning dark brown or black, take it out.

4. Place your baking sheet on the lowest rack during the second baking. Even after you turn it off, the broiler will remain hot for quite some time. To make sure your cookies bake evenly and don’t brown too much during the second baking, bake them on the lowest rack to create as much distance from the broiler as you can.

Have you ever made broiled chocolate chip cookies before? Tell us in the comments below.