Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

In order for a chocolate chip cookie to be called "The Ultimate" or "The Best" chocolate chip cookie, it ought to be crunchy, chewy, full of butterscotch flavor and packed with a good amount of chocolate chips.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy nibbling on a soft & cakey chocolate chip cookie or on those that are wafer thin & crisp.  However, when this type of cookie is just right, I am in utter cookie heaven and nothing can beat it.  Awhile back I was intrigued to read a recipe that employed a somewhat unusual step for making chocolate chip cookies (they referred to it as 'perfect'), so I set out to create my own using this method.   What I ended up with was a cookie that baked with a crackly top and rippled surface.  The texture was just right for me & the flavor was through and through, this nation's favorite cookie.  Try the recipe soon, because I just know you're going to like the simple steps it takes to make a batch (you don't need a mixer!).  Right out of the oven, everyone in your family's going to want some.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie, freshly baked.  Enjoy one or two with a cold glass of milk.


The Ingredients
  • 2  1/4 cups all-purpose flour {305 grams}
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter {226 grams}, melted & cooled
  • 1 cup packed, light brown sugar {220 grams}
  • 1/2 cup vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar) {110 grams}
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips {340 grams
Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies.

With racks in the center, preheat the oven to  375° F (190° C).

Line your baking sheets with parchment or silpats and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the melted & cooled butter along with the light brown sugar & vanilla sugar.  In a medium bowl, whisk the all purpose flour, baking soda (I always sift baking soda through a strainer to remove any lumps) & salt to combine.  Keep the dry ingredients ready.

With a whisk, beat the butter & both sugars for one minute until the mixture is smooth and free of any lumps.  If you see any bits of hardened brown sugar, break them up.  If they're stubborn bits that can't be broken, remove them.

Add both eggs, one at a time & whisk until fully incorporated.  The mixture should be smooth (above). 

Note: if you want to bring eggs to room temperature quickly, simply place them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes and voila!


With a large rubber spatula, add the flour mixture in two batches and mix until combined.  Add the chocolate chips and mix thoroughly.  Without a moment to lose, drop the cookies onto your prepared sheets using a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop, spacing each a good 2" apart.  You may be able to get 8 cookies per cookie sheet.  

Promptly bake each sheet in your preheated 375° F  (190° C) oven for 10-12 minutes.  Rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking to ensure even browning.  The cookies should be golden brown around the edges and baked in the center.

Note: in my oven, they are perfect at 12 minutes.

Leave the cookies on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes.  Transfer them to cooling racks to cool completely before you store them in the cookie jar.  If, however, you're like me, you will certainly have to devour one, two or three while they're still warm. 


The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie?  You decide.



This all-American favorite cookie should be simple enough for anyone to bake at home.  Everyone should try making some and no one should ever be denied a cookie every now and then.  With my doable recipe, even the little ones can help out in the kitchen (have someone supervise!) and have freshly baked cookies within the hour.  Make sure your pantry is stocked with the basics, including a bag of your favorite chocolate chips.  For the grown ups do use bittersweet chocolate.  The semisweet morsels that we all know and love can be saved for the kids or those that don't like to stray from the original.  Tempted?  Make some this week and enjoy them!  Don't forget to have a glass of ice-cold milk. 

12 comments:

  1. Best.Ever.Chocolate.Cookies! I have been searching for over a year for the essential choc-chip cookie recipe. I have just taken the last tray out of the oven and....this is it! This is the one that I will finally past into my recipe hall of fame book. Perfection! Thank you, from all the way in Australia.

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  2. I'm flattered that someone all the way on the other side of the world & in a different hemisphere is reading my blog AND that they're making/enjoying/devouring one of my recipes!!! You've made my day & my weekend.

    Cheers!
    David

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  3. David - these look awesome. You think that the dough could be made ahead of time and then refrigerated for a few days?

    Also, I'm in NYC, but for internationals, listing your ingredients in grams could be useful.

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  4. Anonymous, you can certainly make the dough ahead of time, but I would freeze it if I were you. When you're done making the dough, portion it out using an ice cream scoop onto 1 baking sheet and freeze the tray until the balls are solid. You can then place them in a zip top bag and keep them there until you're ready to bake. Don't thaw the dough--bake them straight from the freezer; simply add a few minutes to the baking time.

    Ah, as far as grams are concerned, you know I should try in the future to do that, as seeing I do have a lot of people from all over the world reading. OK, I will try and be diligent about this!

    Many thanks!

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  5. David- I was SO excited when I saw this recipe as I've been searching for the perfect choc chip cookies recipe for YEARS. However, mine do not look at all like the delicious photo on your blog. I followed the recipe to a T and mine came out kind of cakey (EXACTLY what I try to avoid!!!) Also, at 12 minutes, they came out too dark. Maybe too much flour? Maybe my cookie mojo isn't on today? I'll try again and let you know how they turn out. Thanks from Montreal!

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  6. Anonymous, thank you for writing in. I just finished baking these cookies this morning, because I wanted to retest them as a result of your note and because there was a type of choc chip I hadn't tried before.

    Thanks to you, I did lower my baking time window to 10-12 minutes. At 10 minutes they were a bit too pale for me and puffed up. At 11 minutes, they were pretty good and they had settled down. At 12 minutes, they were perfect for me.

    I got to thinking what could have gone wrong with your batch. My guess is your oven temperature or the type of cookie sheet you're using. Do you have an oven thermometer in your oven? Many times, ovens can be way off!

    The one thing, I must say, that these cookies are not is cakey. I've baked the recipe many times now (so have several of my friends) and they have never been cakey cookies (I personally don't like those too much either!). The edges and tops are crunchy and the middle is chewy-soft. Not puffy or floury.

    What I will certainly do is add the metric measurements for this cookie, so that you get the results I get here at home.

    I'm also writing up a troubleshooting cookie post on the blog which might help you get the cookies you desire. I'll add photos of the ones I baked this morning 7/5.

    I certainly hope your next batch is a good one!

    David

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  7. David, I suspect my oven IS too hot. I also think perhaps my eggs were at fault (I use farm eggs of varying sizes) AND I suspect I mixed too much flour in the recipe. I know I screwed up somewhere while trying to sneak a batch of cookies while the baby was sleeping. I will definitely try again, and soon, because your cookies look so #$%@! delicious (and mine looked NOTHING like yours). I will keep you posted with the results.

    Gina

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  8. Gina, it happens to all of us sometimes. We may get distracted and forget how many cups of flour we've put into the bowl! Well, I hope the next batch is what you're looking for; in the meantime, I have a few of them I need to polish off before I give the rest away.

    Happy Baking!

    David

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  9. I am going to make these for sure!!! They look absolutely amazing and buttery!!! Yummy!!!! And look so easy to whip up!!! They will not last long I my home!!! No time for the cookie jar! Thank you David!

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  10. Coco, trust me, they are VERY EASY to make. I love to eat these whenever I have them.

    Check them at the 10 minute mark to make sure they don't get too dark in your oven.

    Enjoy!

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  11. I made them yummy!!! My grandson was over to spend the night so he helped. Also I wanted to mention my oven is a 1960s GE so it's 11 minutes for me. They were buttery and delicious. David I was thinking anonymous mentioned puffy cookies. Could be the eggs were to cold? Well we have about a dozen left so I'll send them home with my grandy because I will eat every last one !!!!
    David thx for the wonderful recipe!

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  12. THAT IS AWESOME!!! I'm so glad you liked them. Weren't they easy? Enjoy them!

    As for puffy, it might just be that a bit of extra flour was added, OR the baking soda was omitted. Both of those things can make cakey/puffy cookies.

    I made some last night and although they headed out the door this morning, I kept 2 behind for the weekend. Shhhhhh!!! ;)

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