When it comes to baking, we usually don’t want to mess with the ingredients or measurements in a recipe. Even the smallest adjustment, like slightly too much flour, can drastically affect the flavor and texture of our favorites treats. However, there may be one exception: If you pop an extra egg yolk in your chocolate chip cookie dough, you’ll end up with a batch that’s even more chewy and delicious. No, we didn’t think that was possible either.
Most cookie recipes call for two or three eggs. Tessa Huff, author of Layered, explained to The Kitchn that they create structure and stability within cookie dough. This prevents them from falling apart or separating as they bake (avoiding a dessert disaster.).
She also explains that the yolk and whites function differently. Egg whites are made up of proteins and water, which are more prone to drying the dough out. The yolks are full of healthy fats and nutrients like calcium and vitamin A. This balances the dryness of the whites, plus emulsifies all of the ingredients when mixed together.
After experimenting with several different egg white and yolk amounts for cookie dough, baking expert Stella Parks discovered a perfect ratio. “The double-yolk and one white combination provided a hearty flavor and texture that would stand up to any chunky or moist ingredients that might turn a denser dough to mush. Think: chopped chocolate, toffee, or other candy pieces,” she wrote.
To separate egg yolks from the whites crack the egg and then pass the yolk between the shells over a bowl as the whites drip out. Or you can use an egg separator (Buy from Walmart, $3.59) to make the process a little bit easier. Just be sure you keep those unused whites in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, then store them in the fridge for up to four days. They’ll be delicious as a quick and easy breakfast scramble or can used as a DIY beauty hack to tighten wrinkly skin and shrink pores!
And since there’s never a bad time to bake a batch of cookies, I decided to give it a try myself. I followed Bon Appétit’s recipe for the “best chocolate chip cookies,” which already had the double egg yolk to single white ratio in the ingredients list. If those test kitchen pros use this tip to enhance a standard cookie recipe, it must be legit!
When I first bit into one of the freshly baked cookies, I noticed that it was soft in the inside with a slight crispness on the edges (my ideal cookie texture). Flavor-wise, it had a sweeter taste than chocolate chip cookie recipes I’ve made in the past. This fit with Parks comparing the taste of double yolk cookies to the custard-like flavor of French vanilla ice cream. The similarity was even stronger than I expected! It also balanced out the nuttiness of brown butter called for in the recipe.
Overall, it felt like I was eating an upgraded version of my favorite childhood dessert. If your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe has this two to one ratio, then you know you’re in for a real treat. If not, adding an extra egg yolk to the batter will go a long way for making the yummiest cookies.
Although we all can’t be master bakers, simple tricks like this can make a normal batch of chocolate chip cookies taste even better!
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This article was updated on September 21, 2022.