I have always loved chocolate chip cookies – I mean, who doesn’t? But everyone has their own idea of what ‘perfect’ is when it comes to cookies. I love a chocolate chip cookie that is thick and soft and chewy with plenty of chocolate chips but also enough cakey dough to hold it all together and bring a bit of flavor that is NOT chocolate to the cookie.
I have searched high and low for MY perfect cookie but have never found it. So I had to create it. The recipe in this post is a conglomeration of many recipes and a technique I read about somewhere that worked for me.
There is a great debate about whether you should use butter or shortening (I say ALWAYS use butter!), melted or room temp, and on and on. (Check out this webpage that talks about the science behind baking.) I have tested. I have tasted (ooohhhhhh, have I tasted!). I have made batch after batch of cookies. My husband and I both run several days a week and lift weights to counteract the calories! But it is so worth it!
One key to the perfect cookie is a bit more time consuming than making cookies normally. Now, you can use plain melted butter if you don’t have time to brown it but once you try any recipe made with browned butter you will simply not be able to live without it! Browned butter absolutely MAKES the recipe! You can find youtube videos and other sites with step by step instructions that show you how to brown butter. It is a simple process and soooo worth the end result!
To brown butter, you simply melt a stick of butter in a pan, swirling it constantly to prevent burning until the milk solids separate and brown and the butter turns an amber color. Be careful not to burn it! You will know by the smell if it has gone too far! Perfectly browned butter smells nutty and rich and wonderful! I have started browning butter and keeping it in the frig at all times! One thing to remember – one stick of butter which is 8 tablespoons – will make about 6 tablespoons of browned butter due to the fact that the water evaporates during the browning process.
The second key is to chill the dough. I know! This is the hardest part! But you simply must chill the dough – twice – before baking! Mix it up, take a nibble (yes, I eat raw cookie dough with raw eggs -unpasteurized even!) and chill the entire batch! If you are desperate, just reach in and snag a scoop to munch on!
So , here it is. Years in the making.
The ULTIMATE chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen large cookies.
- 2 1/2 sticks butter (20 tablespoons) for browning
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
- In a light colored pan, brown butter as instructed in video link. I like to brown it in 2 batches to control the temperature and browning. Pour the browned butter into a heat proof bowl and let cool to room temperature. You can speed up the process by placing the butter in the frig for a few minutes or you can make browned butter and always have it ready in your frig! Then just take it out and bring it to room temp when you are ready to make the cookies!
- When the butter is room temperature, cream the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla on med speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs and egg yolk and mix until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir together. Add half of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix just until combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix until flour is blended in.
- Add chocolate chips and mix in by hand with a rubber spatula. Chill dough for 1 hour or up to over night.
- Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough into balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill for 20 minutes while oven preheats.
- Preheat oven to 420°. Remove cookie sheet from refrigerator and put in the oven. IMMEDIATELY reduce the temperature of the oven to 350°. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until very lightly browned. (In my oven, these are perfect at 12 minutes and 20 seconds!)
- Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and remove to cooling rack. Cool completely and store at room temperature for up to 5 days (if they last that long!).