Pastry School Week 2 – Cookies Cookies and more Cookies

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A few things really stood out when I signed up for pastry school like mastering the art of sugar, decorating tiered cakes and cookies! I am always on the look out for the best cookie and trust me I have made my fair share. Growing up in my family there were always cookies in the house, and we were always making more because between me, my sister and my parents they disappeared all too quickly. And we were a chocolate chip or m&m cookie kind of family. We never really made too many variations because we LOVED what we already had… but after this week at school, I am going to be adding some new recipes to my repertoire.

We experimented with several different chocolate chip recipes as well as different ratios and different kinds of flour. After much baking, waiting, tasting and discussion I pretty much have found my new favorite most amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe… and yes, don’t you worry, I will share…

I made coconut macaroons for the first time ever. And then I ate about 10 of them for the first time ever. They were delish to say the least! I love how they are a little sticky and chewy!

The Langues de Chat, otherwise known as Cat’s Tounges in English were a pleasant surprise. At first I wasn’t that excited about the recipe or eating a super slim cookie… but dear lord… after the first taste of the batter I changed my mind immediately. They were phenomenal… perfect to eat with a cup of tea or with a sorbet. In fact, I plan on doing that for ever and ever and will never be without some Langues de Chat on hand!

Yet another cookie that I have never tried until this week at school… the Madeline. O.M.G. Delish! I used a whole bundle of orange zest in the batter which made the cookies taste the slightest bit healthy, even though they definitely were not!

Okay so lets talk about the chocolate chip cookie. Its a staple. A must. Something that you just can’t live without. Like I said before, I try all kinds of cookies. Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, M&M, White Chocolate, Butterscotch… you name it and I have made it. There are 4 things that you can look for when judging a cookie

  1. Crispiness
  2. Softness
  3. Chewiness
  4. Spread

The greatest part about this week at school was that we learned the perfect ratio for make the cookie. It can be adapted to fit whatever kind of extras you want whether it be Chocolate Chips, Raisins, Nuts etc. Its all about the ratio of butter to sugar to flour. At first it was a bit hard to understand because I had to remember all my elementary school math, but once I started to remember by basic multiplication I was coming up with new ratios to experiment with left and right! As demonstrated by the image above, different percentages of sugar have different effects on the outcome of the cookie. A low amount of sugar results in a cakier consistency (40%). The higher amount of sugar the more the cookie spreads (70%). These percentages are the amounts of sugar compared to the flour.

For example if you need 300 grams of flour for the cookie and you are using a 40% ratio for sugar then you need 40% white sugar or 120 grams and 40% brown sugar or 120 grams (240 grams of sugar (80%)  to 300 grams flour (100%).
For example if you need 300 grams of flour for the cookie and you are using a 50% ratio for sugar then you need 50% white sugar or 150 grams and 50% brown sugar or 150 grams (300 grams of sugar (100%)  to 300 grams flour (100%).
For example if you need 300 grams of flour for the cookie and you are using a 60% ratio for sugar then you need 60% white sugar or 180 grams and 60% brown sugar or 180 grams. (360 grams of sugar (120%)  to 300 grams flour (100%).

After much deliberation and tasting multiple cookies it was clear to me that the 50% ratio of sugars to flour was the BEST! This means that there will be equal amounts of sugar to pastry flour. (The White Sugar (grams)  + The Brown Sugar (grams) = Pastry Flour (grams). Now after deciding that these were the ratios I planned to use, I went ahead and adjusted the white and brown sugar to 30% and 70% which will still result the same consistency because I am still using a 1:1 ratio for sugars (300 grams) and flour (300 grams).

Pastry School Week 2 – Cookies Cookies and more Cookies

Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 180 grams butter unsalted at room temperature
  • 90 grams white sugar - 30%
  • 210 grams brown sugar - 70%
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 oz egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 oz water
  • 300 grams pastry flour sifted
  • 4 grams baking soda
  • 300 grams chocolate chips equal amounts of chocolate chips to flour


  • Cream the butter, sugar and salt for 1 minute. Add the egg, vanilla and water. (The water is added so it releases a bit of steam when baked). Add the sifted pastry flour and baking soda and mix until well incorporated. Add the Chocolate Chips and mix until evenly distributed.
  • Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. Once chilled, use a 1 inch scoop to scoop the dough onto the baking sheet.
  • Bake at 375 degrees on a parchment lined baking sheet for 9-11 minutes. (Experiment with the baking time depending on your oven and how the air circulates.)

And lets just talk about the little take home box I brought home for my boyfriend and my parents who were in town for 7 hours last weekend. Needless to say they picked a good weekend to swing by! And my boyfriend is uber spoiled. When is he going to make me cookies????

What little tricks do you guys have for your chocolate chip cookies?!?!


  1. I LOVE macaroons! Especially ones dipped in chocolate. All that info about the sugar/flour ratios is so interesting – I had no idea. I don’t really do anything special for my chocolate chip cookies, but my hubby and dad like them really THIN. So I rarely refrigerate the dough and then they end up spreading!

  2. Love this post. You know I am a cookie girl! Interesting about the ratios. I don’t like my cookies too thin though, but that is just me. The hubs is sold on the NYT ccc. It’s his favorite!

  3. ok i can’t wait to try this. i’ve been searching for a chocolate chip cookies with the perfect consistency for awhile now. now that i know that ratios, I can tweak it to come up with what I want! Thanks so much!! I can’t wait to try it 🙂

  4. This was so interesting. I had no idea there was all this formulation that went into determining the best cookie for individual tastes. I can’t wait to try your favorite ratio. I am always up for a GREAT cookie.

  5. Okay, I love this post!! It is great to see the “science” behind cookie making…often chocolate chip cookie recipes I have tried have been so different, and I knew it was something about the proportions, now it makes sense!! I can not wait to try this recipe!! Thomas is way spoiled, I bet her loves it!!

  6. I grind up a little bit of rolled oats almost to a powder and add it to the flour mix for the choc chip cookie dough to give the cookies a little more substance. Everyone seems to like them. Thanks for sharing the ratio info!

  7. LOVE it!! I just bookmarked this post so I can come back to it the next time I make cookies. I never knew about the effect of ration of flour to sugar, but now I do! I cannot wait for more pastry tips! (and I don’t know how you are doing it being surrounded by all those delicious looking desserts!) ….I may bother you for the Madeline recipe, making them for the Bake Sale!

  8. Hi Gaby. VERY nice pictures. I’m starting to do some food photography as my wife, Gaby, was accepted to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris for the Jan 2011 class so we’re preparing for it already! My Gaby’s already a great chef but this will be her first foray into professional cooking. She’s doing the Grand DIploma so Cuisine and Pastry. Should be LOTS of fun.

    I can see already I’m going to have to exercise more to keep up with what she’ll be bringing home if what I see on this page is any indication of our future!

    I didn’t see what school you’re going too. I’m curious.

    Nice blog posts! We’re just getting started (Gaby’s site is just over one month old). We can learn a lot from experienced bloggers like yourself!

    Best of luck with your academic and cooking endeavors!

    Tom & Gaby Nunamaker

  9. Oh foo. I love all the valuable cookie information, but I hate the math. What? I have to use my brain to understand good cookie? Aaaaaaah. 🙂 Thanks to your educational advice. Now it’s clear I’ll be needing a kitchen scale so I can do ratios properly. Double Fooey.

  10. I just found your site. Thanks for all the cool tips! I’m excited to try the CC cookie recipe and play with the sugar %’s. That’s the geek in me. Thanks!

  11. I came across your website only yesterday and have been unable to put my computer down. Your explanations and pictures are absolutely the best I have come across on “baking sites”. Thank you so much for sharing your information with those of us that have a love for baking but are unable to attend pastry schools. I am blown away by all your information and step by step photos on another one of your sites. Thank you again and again. Maybe you could set up (unless you have done this already and I have not come across it yet) a baking/pastry school via the internet and we could send you monetary donation for all the help you are giving us. I can’t wait to continue hunting for more of your sites and read every word you have written. I will tell everyone at the hospital where I work tomorrow about your site.

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