Listen guys, I don't like to brag. I hate talking about my accomplishments, and I am really awkward when someone gives me a compliment. But these cookies are an exception: I am proud to share with you one of the greatest accomplishments of my life (I'm only half being facetious...don't judge). Everyone has their own version, but here is mine: The Perfect Chocolate Chip cookie.
I am so unbelievably excited to share this recipe. For years, I have been testing and adapting every chocolate chip cookie recipe under the sun in search of perfection. I've tried crispy and chewy cookies, sweet and very sweet cookies, semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips, and dry and greasy cookies. It's been the good, the bad and the ugly. But I think I finally found it.
|You're going to have to forgive me for the volume of pictures in this post. I am just so excited I couldn't stop.|
The texture is, in my book, what distinguishes a bad cookie from a good one, and a good one from a great one. When it comes to chocolate chip, don't even try to give me crispy, or heaven forbid, cakey. I'll accept. nothing short of dense and chewy cookies. They should be moist inside (meaning it's important to underbake them) and slightly crispy around the edges. The easiest way to make this happen is to refrigerate the batter, which allows the bottom (which is in contact with the hot cookie sheet) to cook slightly faster than the center (which warms up more slowly).
And then there is the taste. Obviously, you should get chocolate in every bite, but you need to be able to taste the cookie too. That means using a precise chip-to-batter ratio, without overloading the cookie. And, of course, using good quality chocolate, but you knew that already, right? There is also a tiny bit more vanilla in this recipe that I might normally use, but that gives the cookie a richer, slightly tangy aftertaste that balances the brown sugar.
And finally, I sprinkle the cookies with coarsely ground sea salt. Maybe it's just me but the sweet-and-salty flavor combination tastes a little more sophisticated than sweet alone, and distinguishes these from your run-of-the-mill lunchbox chocolate chipper. Plus, the salt provides a touch of crunchiness, especially when you first bite in, which is incredibly satisfying.
All in all, after years of tinkering, I am finally quite satisfied with the results of my experiment. Why not give them a try and let me know if you agree?
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Buttercream Fanatic (2013)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (light brown is ok if that's all you have, but dark is preferable)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk (preferably at room temp. Don't have time to warm it up? Tricks here!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (make sure you measure using the spoon-and-level method)
2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips*
Course salt for sprinkling
*Note: This recipe used to call for 1 cup chocolate chips, but I stress tested the batter a little. This verdict: this batter, because it gets chilled, is very sturdy. You can cram these cookies full of up to 2 cups of chocolate chips. Of, if you prefer, use 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cups chopped nuts.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together softened butter with sugars on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add egg, yolk, and vanilla extract and continue to mix on medium speed for about a minute until the consistency is even throughout. Then add baking soda, mix for about 20 seconds, add salt and cornstarch, mix again for another 20 seconds, and then stop the mixer and add all of the flour at once. Slowly mix the flour in until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.
Divide the dough into heaping scoops and roll into approximately 2-3 inch balls. Flatten slightly into thick discs and sprinkle with coarse salt. Lay dough discs on a plate and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight. If you're really in a hurry, you can freeze them for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread six dough discs on a prepared (greased, or covered with parchment or a silpat) cookie sheet. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until the edges are golden. The tops will not brown very much; that's ok. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes approximately 18 cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months.