My great-grandmother was a first-generation Italian-American with a sufficiently feisty personality, an admirably industrious nature, and a superb hand in the kitchen. While I don't share her red hair and freckles, or her Brooklyn accent (I was raised upstate), I did inherit her appreciation for food and a few cooking and baking tricks passed on through the generations. One of my favorite tricks? An easy, sure-fire way to perfect the classic chocolate chip cookie: cooling them on paper bags.
To me, it doesn't really get any better than chocolate chip cookies. They're warm, gooey, decadent, just a tad chewy, and, when done right, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. To help achieve the perfect cookie texture, my great-grandmother always cooled her chocolate chip cookies on paper bags.
You might be wondering: what about the cooling racks specifically designed for cookies? Don't get me wrong, those are great too. But if you want your chocolate chip cookies to have a slight crispiness to them, paper bags are where it's at. Why? Because the paper soaks up some of the extra grease.
If you'd like to try this trick for yourself, grab some leftover paper grocery bags (I recommend cutting them so that they lie flat, and use the inside portion of the bag that wasn't exposed to the outside world for hygiene purposes) or even purchase a pack of paper lunch sacks from the store. Lay the bags out on your countertop, and as soon as you pull your chocolate chip cookies from the oven, place them on the paper bags. You'll notice quite a bit of grease will be transferred from your cookies onto the paper, but that's what you want!
Once the cookies have sat on the paper for approximately 10 minutes and are cool to handle, feel free to transfer them to a traditional cooling rack so they don't remain sitting in the collected grease.
You may be amazed how much grease is left behind by the cookies (I love telling myself this makes the dessert slightly healthier) and how this simple trick can elevate the texture of this simple but classic treat. Thank you, great-grandma!