Homemade Chipwich: Baking a Chewy Cookie

Made with the Thomas Keller chocolate chip cookies, plus strawberry basil ice cream (post coming soon!). Sorry Ode, this flavor turned out awesome I must say, but next time I promise not to be too tired for ice cream making! The chipwiches looked and tasted good, but the cookies (and chips) were too rock-hard. That got me thinking, what's the best way to make cookies suitable for chipwich-making rather than for eating? Because for eating on their own, I like my cookies a bit crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside rather than chewy all around. How to best make them chewy all around?

The first thing I noticed was that size matters--I made two sizes of cookies, one about 2.5 inches in diameter, the other 4 inches in diameter. The 4 inch cookie remained soft the next day, at least in the middle, whereas the smaller cookies became rock-hard. Unfortunately, I used the smaller cookies for the chipwich, which really didn't work very well. I smushed the whole thing just by taking my first bite.

Second, I cooked them all too long for them to be chewy. In order to be chewy, the cookies have to retain sufficient moisture contributed to the dough by the eggs, butter, and brown sugar. Baking the dough for too long in the oven allows for increased evaporation of this moisture, making for an overall drier result. I basically left them in until the edges browned due to caramelization of the sugars in the dough, causing dehydration. So next time, I would want to use a shorter cooking time to preserve that moisture.

And lastly, a thicker cookie would also help. Shorter cooking time would help this, but to affect the thickness in a very significant way, I think the recipe would have to change. Which would subsequently affect the flavor, perhaps in a negative way, something like adding flour to thicken the dough. Well, shorter cooking time and bigger cookie diameter is a start, I suppose. Oh, and smaller chocolate chips. Because the chips were self-cut from a bar, I ended up with quite large chunks--which really hurt your teeth when bitten into frozen. What are your tips for making a better cookie for chipwich-ing? Any favorite chipwich combinations?
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