The Science of Baking Cookies: Have It Your Way On National Homemade Cookies Day
Obviously, adding more brown sugar to a cookie recipe will ensure browning, or caramelizing; however, adding baking soda to the recipe will also have the same effect. Either add more brown sugar and reduce the amount of granulated sugar, or just add an extra dash of baking soda to give your cookies a caramel-like flavor and browned exterior.
Recipe variation: Add a pinch of baking soda, or use 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
For those of you who like the cookie to crumble, McGee suggests replacing a quarter of the All-Purpose flour with cornstarch. All-Purpose flour develops gluten, which binds cookies together, but cornstarch does not. Just as cornbread has a fine crumb texture, so will cookies when you add cornstarch to the flour mixture.
If you don't want grainy cornstarch in your cookies, opt for adding either more butter or an extra egg yolk, and reduce the amount of white sugar.
Recipe variation: Use 1 3/4 cups of All-Purpose flour and 1/2 cup of cornstarch.