Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 15, 2012

in Chocolate, Desserts, Recipes

perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe

I won’t lie to ya, cookies weren’t really my thing until recently. Like most baked goods I encountered in the United States, they tended to be too sweet, not to mention that every cookie I ever happened upon was dry, hard, and sandy – hardly a welcome quality, as my preferences lie with things that are soft, gooey, and melt-in-your-mouth tender.

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Until these.

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These cookies are made from a recipe that I’ve adapted from the Cook’s Country magazine. There were two things that stood out about it: the recipe called for melted rather than room-temperature butter, which I loved since I am a spur-of-the-moment baker and things like taking the butter out of the fridge ahead of time go against my very nature. Additionally, the recipe exulted softness above all else, and pretty much promised to deliver the most tender cookie possible. Thanks to the melted butter, by the way.

_DSC0221(I also have a cute baby. Good thing my husband doesn’t have a limit set on the total cause I don’t know how I will ever find the strength to stop. I love him for that. This info is totally unrelated.)

As chocolate chip cookies go, these turned out pretty good the first time I tried them, but I found the original to be more chewy than I liked. After some serious experimenting with six more batches, I finally nailed it.

_DSC0133These cookies here are right at home with my way of cooking – utterly decadent, packed with as much chocolate as they could possibly hold, unadulterated by nuts or oatmeal or anything else that could take away from their perfect, smooth gooeyness, and completely unapologetic about all of the above.

Let’s take a peek inside, shall we?

_DSC0144In my mind, this cookie is perfect. Bursting with warm, soft semi-sweet and dark-chocolate chips, it is divine right out of the oven, with a slight chew and and the attractive crackly top. Moreover, it remains soft and pliable for a quite a few hours after, and reheats beautifully in the microwave the next day for that freshly-baked experience. Ten seconds on high is all you need.

_DSC0157Goodness gracious…

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Needless to say, they quickly became our family’s go-to indulgence.

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Can you tell?

Make them today. These are a real pleasure.

{ 30 comments }

1 Ilke March 15, 2012 at 7:10 am

Looks like it is a hit with your daughter.
When someone says they have tried until they achieved the desired result, I always get curious about what the original recipe was and how you decide what you change. What is the trick to make it less chewy, if you dont mind sharing. I am not a cookie expert and dont make them often but having two nephews and two nieces who stop by and stay over makes me want to get a couple good recipes under my belt.
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2 Sofya March 15, 2012 at 7:39 am

Sure, you bet! The chewiness in this one came from brown sugar so I cut it down from 1 C to 3/4 and then cut down the butter to 11 T from 12 to compensate. Another reason I cut down on sugar was because the original cookies were far too sweet for my palate, like many American recipes are. These don’t sound like a lot of changes but I did try different combinations of changes as I point out and came back to what was close to the original recipe. Also I swapped some of the chips for bittersweet. The brand of the brown sugar mattered for chewiness A LOT. The recipe simply said “brown sugar” without specifying light or dark. I tried it with dark first – fair trade sugar I was using had particularly large crystals and I hated the crunchy sugar in my mouth after the cookies were baked. I switched to light brown sugar and I also went with a conventional store-shelf brand instead (SureFine or something). In this case, smaller crystals and milder flavor of the conventional light brown sugar vs. organic dark-brown resulted in softer cookies. What I had in the end had virtually none of that crunchy-sugar-on-your-teeth.

Here is what else I learned: Too much flour – too tough (obviously). Baking powder instead of soda – again not such tender cookies, a lot more crispy. Cookies with creamed rather than melted butter were far crisper and dried out fast (gross). It was important not to have too much butter or too many chips because the dough simply could not absorb/hold those increases.

Lastly, the original recipe said to cool them on cookie sheets until all the way cool to make them chewier, and sure enough it made them drier and chewier than I liked. So I move them off as soon as they can be moved. This by the way will depend on the cookie sheet you used. Here’s how:

Air sheet – cookies very soft, needed a bit of firming up on the sheet first before removing to a cooling rack (like 3 min or something).

Dark non-stick – bad! Cookies baked too brown. This of course is the property of dark non-stick pans – sometimes welcome, not in this case.

Best of all was the so-called commercial NOT non-stick pan with sides, like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Focus-Foodservice-Commercial-Bakeware-Aluminum/dp/B00188AJN6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1331850208&sr=8-4

These cookies could be moved pretty much right away.

That 18 by 13 size is great for so many things.

3 Ilke March 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Wow ! That is very details peek behinds the scenes information :) Wrote down my notes! Will pay attention to these points next time. Thank you very much!
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4 Jillian March 15, 2012 at 8:59 am

I was overjoyed to see this post in my inbox! I just bought some chocolate chips yesterday and was on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe since I am craving them with this pregnancy. I love a soft cookie with a little chew and can’t stand when they are all dried out the next day. Looking forward to trying this! Thank you!

5 Sofya March 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

Let me know how it goes!

6 Jillian April 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

These were amazing! Gooey, soft, just a little chew around the edges… dangerously deliciously perfect. Thank you so much for the recipe!

7 Sofya April 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Glad you liked them! Thanks for trying!

8 Cecilia March 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

Just made these this morning. They are great! I used a regular half-sheet pan & an air-bake pan, and the difference in time was just as you describe. Only two little notes–mine don’t look like yours–they are taller and have more a cracked appearance & I think perhaps my son (who made them) packs more flour into a cup measure than you do. Also, I didn’t use parchment paper on either pan and they came off very well, much more cleanly than a Toll House cookie does.

Thanks for another winner!!

9 Sofya March 18, 2012 at 1:07 am

I think it had to do with the variety and the amount of the brown sugar – the quality of the sugar matters – I use pretty light stuff. But, more importantly, I don’t pack brown sugar when baking, so the sugar measurement is for the sugar that is totally soft, fluffy, and loose. I realize this is not customary or exact but that’s how I do it – so I added a note to the recipe. Julia (my sister-in-law) tried them too and hers came out quite a bit tougher than mine, even though mine came out decidedly soft and tender to the point of being gooey. We then determined that it was in the packing of the sugar.

10 Sofya March 18, 2012 at 11:51 pm

I just realized something else – we roll the dough into smooth, tight balls to look like they do in the photos. However, today I used a cookie scoop and the cookies were exactly like you describe – tall and more cracked. Thank you so much for testing and letting me know – I added a note to the recipe. Incredibly helpful feedback!

11 Jennifer July 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

Hey! I may have a silly question for you but here goes……I see the ingredients and some of them say “11 T (5.5 oz, weight) salted butter”. Is the “T” teaspons?

12 Sofya July 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hi, I use T for TABLEspoons and t for TEAspoons. Sorry this is confusing.

13 mamadragon July 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Ooo, we have a family chocolate chip cookie recipe that we have tailored over the years, which is very very similar to yours. I do however use two whole small-medium sized eggs. I wonder what the effect would be of changing that. I shall have to give your recipe a try, the photos are divine.
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14 Sofya July 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Egg yolk vs. second egg = extra fat of the yolk without also adding extra water of the white = softer, richer, chewier cookie that stays soft longer – according to Cook’s Country, that is. I tried it both ways and they are right.

15 Eva August 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Thank you for sharing this recipe! I have been on the hunt for YEARS for a recipe that gave me chocolate chip cookies that didn’t get hard and crunchy after cooling!! This is the very first time I’ve been able to accomplish that. My cookies were definitely thicker and fatter than yours are in the photos, but still delicious and remained soft with chewiness after they cooled, a miracle! :)

16 Sofya August 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Part of it is not packing the brown sugar into the cup (so you don’t use as much), and I think also forming the dough into balls makes them thinner. When I don’t roll by hand, I use a rounded 1.5-inch scoop.

17 Sofya August 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm

If you underbake them slightly, they will be perfectly soft the next day too.

18 Eva August 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

and might I add, no cakiness! I had cookies that turn out cakey!

19 Eva August 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm

(*hate* cookies that turn out cakey, I meant!)

20 debra September 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I just came upon your blog today and ended up at this post and between the original post and all of the comments I …of course ….WANT A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RIGHT NOW ! :)

I remember baking alot of cookies when my boys were younger and the basic recipe was always Toll House ( which my grandma made ) but I recall how it could turn out differently each time…difference between using margarine or butter, between the weather, the pans you used and so on. Getting a perfect batch of choc chip cookies IS truly an art : )

21 Sofya September 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I just bought 3 lb of chips – my girl starts 1st grade tomorrow – for after school.

22 Amanda October 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I made these today. My husband will love them because he loves crumbly, chewy, crunchy cookies. I do not. They were not soft or gooey at all like it said they would be. Plus, I really thought it was WAY too much butter. The only thing I did differently from the instructions was that I used mini chocolate chips. Well, and I only cooked them for 10 minutes instead of the 15, but they still were more done than I like. They will get eaten, but not the turn out I’d hoped for.

23 Sofya October 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm

That really surprises me, Amanda, because I make them several times per week and my results are nothing like that. Maybe these tips will help: For one, I don’t pack the brown sugar at all into a cup, and I use very light types of brown sugar (golden brown and light brown). I also only bake them until they are just set around the edges, with the rest of the cookie appearing soft, shiny and under-baked (they will cook a little more as they cool) – and that’s how you get them soft and gooey. I am wondering if perhaps your oven bakes hotter than the temperature to which it’s set? Also, these are best if you use an air sheet. If you use dark, non-stick sheet then your cookies are bound to cook way faster (and possibly be tougher). If you are using a stainless rimmed sheet, then you need less time as well than the air sheet.

These are definitely the softest right out of the oven with molten chocolate inside.

Also, using mini chips makes a HUGE difference, and this I know from trying it that way once myself.

24 Bridget December 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I just made this recipe. My airsheet is missing and all I had was a dark, non-stick sheet. I carefully watched the cookies and they didn’t over bown. I would have preferred making them on an airsheet. I loved the fact you didn’t need to soften the butter. I think they need salt. What do you think?

25 Sofya December 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I don’t add salt to baked goods or any sweets because I don’t like salt with sugar, so yes, feel free to add some if you prefer. Air sheet does work better, dark non stick not as well imo.

26 z December 18, 2012 at 2:39 am

This has become my standard recipe over the past few months; thank you!

I have found that I prefer the texture with an even 5oz of butter and with a little less time in the oven (often I will remove them a few seconds before the fourteen-minute mark).

27 Sofya December 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

I bake mine until the edges set and the rest is wet and too soft to be taken off sheet (after they sit on the sheet out of the oven they firm up). 12 min these days.

28 Lori June 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

If you’re using salted butter there is salt in your sweets, you’re just not controlling the amount. Cookies look great cant wait to try them.

29 Sofya June 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I can’t taste salt in my sweets when using salted butter AT ALL. If I bake them with unsalted, they taste identical to me.

30 Pauline February 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

HI Sofya, The other night in my trying to reach out for something better I came across your website. Thank you for your beautiful strengthening words. They really spoke to me. You are living the dream i also have (albeit my vision is in the sunshiny tropics where i hail from in Trinidad). So Thank you deeply and sincerely.

ON another note, I was wondering how flours without gluten would do here. Have you any thoughts? I am newly adventuring into baking and always feel so constrained by the exactness of the Art…

Anyways off to give these a go for my papa’s 74th birthday :)

In Great Joy!

Pauline

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