I believe chocolate chip cookies should be more than a vehicle for chocolate chips.  The cookie itself should be delicious.  To me, Nestle Toll House cookies are not good enough.  Most recipes for chocolate chip cookies are all the same.  I can tell because they call for 2 1/4 cups of flour.  So in looking for a better recipe years ago, I knew to pass on all recipes calling for 2 1/4 cups of flour.  While living in Spokane, in my life before motherhood, I found this recipe that surpasses all others that I have ever tried.  The funny thing is, I found this recipe on the back of a bag of generic chocolate chips, something I would never buy now that I am such a food snob!  Now I also would never use margarine instead of butter, but for many years that is always what I used.  Even though I say only use real butter and the best chocolate chips (Ghirardelli or Guittard), the cookies I made in my previous life were very good anyway.  While on the subject of my food snobbery, I highly recommend King Arthur Flour and C & H sugar or organic sugar.

After so many years of making the same recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I decided to compare some more recipes.  I have some excellent cookbooks and thought I should not be stuck on one thing when there may be a better recipe out there.  So, this week I tried four recipes side by side.  The recipes were similar, but all had different proportions of butter, sugar and flour.  The results of these four recipes?  We still all prefer the original recipe I have been making for decades.  It has the best texture and buttery flavor.  The other three recipes did yield some good results and several in the congregation were able to enjoy some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.  I was surprised that the least favorite came from Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies.  She is an amazing baker and any other recipes I have tried of hers have been fabulous.  She is a chocolate queen and her recipe for shortbread is the best.  But she melts the butter first and I don’t think that works for chocolate chip cookies.  But she is the one who taught me that chilling and resting cookie dough improves the flavor.

Now for my tips and secrets!  When creaming together the butter and sugar, really cream until it is fluffy and lighter in color.  To do this well, the butter needs to be softened.  Usually recipes say “at room temperature” but here in Arizona, that is too warm most of the year.  The butter will be melting at that point and will result in greasy cookies.  One cookbook says the butter should be 65-70°F.  So, about 30 minutes at room temperature is good enough to soften up. I usually don’t take the time to sift the dry ingredients, but it is recommended as it will help the flour mixture to incorporate easier into the butter mixture.  Once the flour is added, you don’t want to over-mix the dough or it can toughen the cookies.  Toffee pieces are a great addition to these and many other cookies.  It usually just gives an unidentifiable flavor that puts it over the top!  The dough can be chilled first, from a couple hours to a couple days.  If chilled, the dough may need to soften a little before scooping cookies. Be very careful not to over bake cookies; it is much better to slightly under-bake them.  Do not stack or store cookies until they are fully cooled.  I freeze cookies that won’t be eaten in the first day or two because these dry out fast.  Baking sheets lined with parchment paper make clean up easier.  I also use silicone baking mats, but I find it does change the texture of the bottom of the cookies a little.  It is fine to use plain ungreased and unlined baking sheets, but the toffee pieces tend to get stuck on to the pans.  I have a convection oven so I am able to bake more than one sheet at a time.  I turn down the oven temperate by 25° F. and bake two at a time.  My oven in Utah had three racks and I could bake three at a time, which was great when I baked hundreds of cookies one day for the Kingdom Hall build that was going on.  I have tripled this recipe and used my big DeLongi stand mixer for the dough.

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened (to 65-70°F.)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee pieces, optional

 

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Sift first three ingredients together; set aside.  Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg; beat well.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture; mix well.  Add chocolate chips and toffee pieces, if using; mix well.

Drop by rounded tablespoonful {I use a cookie scoop} two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks.

Yield: about  3 dozen

 

 

 

 

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

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2 thoughts on “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

    1. To cream means to mix or beat the ingredients together until it is smooth and creamy. This is usually done with a mixer.

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