Let’s get something straight. There’s an art and science to making the perfect chocolate chip cookies. Getting the right ratio of chocolate to cookie dough. Deciding which sugar to use more of, depending if you want a crispier cookie, or a chewier cookie. I could declare these the “Best” chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had, but I might make a recipe next week that would trump this recipe. So let’s not get crazy.
If you can’t wait to read through all my hints and tips for great cookies, click the “skip to recipe” button. I won’t hate you. 🙂
Some people prefer crispy cookies, and some prefer soft, chewy cookies. I like a combination of both. I like the crispy edges and then a soft, chocolatey, chewy center. A few weeks ago I made a chocolate chip cookie that called for browning the butter. This method gave the cookies a nuttier flavor and a more crispy texture. They weren’t bad. It’s just I love me a soft, gooey cookie.
My daughter always asks if the thing she is going to eat is “good or healthy”. Apparently I make too many “healthy” recipes. Cracks me up. What she means is, “does this have real sugar in it?” I’ve been baking with a lot of Trim Healthy Mama ingredients the past couple of years. I’m stingy with the ingredients because I can’t really afford to bake with something that could be double or triple the price when feeding my family of four.So is this a “good” recipe, or a “healthy” recipe?
This recipe gets the “good” label attached to it. She asked me what made them so good. I said “more brown sugar than white sugar.” And actually I used dark brown sugar. I don’t normally make a big deal out of using dark over light in specific recipes. But I think it really made a difference with these cookies. Definitely use the dark brown sugar. They have a more molasses-y flavor. That word should be in a dictionary.
I’ve also found a great tip to getting the perfect combination of crispy edges and chewy centers is to use a large cookie scoop. I have The Perfect Cookie cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. One of their chocolate chip cookie recipes calls for a giant cookie scoop. I have this one and love it. You can buy it directly from my Pampered Chef site. No need to place a party order (unless you really want a ton of stuff and want host benefits. Shout out if that’s the case and I’d be happy to help!) The larger the scoop of dough, the more surface area to get both crispy edges and chewy centers. See? Math. This is why you need math. The cookie scoop from Pampered Chef is 4 tablespoons – plenty of surface area to achieve the perfect balance of crispy and chewy. The other thing I love about this recipe is that they freeze beautifully. I love being able to snag a few frozen balls of cookie dough, pop ’em in the oven and have them ready for snacking. Or giving away. That’s the real reason I make these. *wink*
Here are a few tips for making these cookies great:
- I always use unsalted butter when I’m baking. When you use salted butter in your baked goods, you have no idea how much salt is actually in the stick of butter. It’s best to save salted butter when you’re sautéing or buttering a piece of bread. If you only have salted butter for baking, decrease the added salt by 1/4 teaspoon. But be aware that it could affect the outcome of your recipe.
- Have the butter at room temperature. Unless a recipe calls for melted butter or browning it, you want your butter to easily cream with the sugars. Take the butter out of the fridge an hour before you need it.
- Preheat your oven 20-30 minutes. I’ve found my oven temp varies and bought a thermometer so I could be sure the oven was the right temp. You don’t want extra baking time while your oven is still heating up.
- Weigh your ingredients. I weigh the flour and both sugars on a digital kitchen scale. I bought mine from Sur La Table and you can measure in ounces or grams. I have another post that gives weight measurements for different flours and sugars. I found King Arthur Flour has the most comprehensive conversion chart and I’ve linked it here.
- Use good chocolate. This recipe calls for chips and I love Guittard Semi-Sweet chocolate chips (the only stabilizer in this chip is sunflower lecithin). It’s also really important to store chocolate at room temperature. Putting chocolate in the fridge or freezer messes with the cocoa butter. It can cause it to separate and produces a dull flavor. Storing in an airtight container away from light is the best way to preserve chocolate’s flavor.
- One more note about chocolate: there’s a difference between chips and bars of chocolate. When chocolate comes in the form of a chip, they are meant to not fully melt. They have more cocoa butter which helps them keep their shape. You could totally use a bittersweet chocolate bar and roughly chop it. The result would be gooier chocolate pieces.
- 3 1/2 cups | 16 ounces flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups|2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/4 cups|9 ounces dark brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons|8.5 ounces white sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 14 ounces Guittard semi-sweet hocolate chips or bar*, roughly chopped
*You may use one bag of chips, but I prefer more chocolate in these cookies.
- Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars until blended and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl in between, then add vanilla until just combined.
- With mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture. Scrape bowl to ensure flour is fully incorporated.
- Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
- Using the large Pampered Chef cookie scoop, place dough balls on parchment lined cookie sheet and put in freezer for 8-10 minutes. I put 8 cookies on a large cookie sheet so they have plenty of room to bake without crowding.
- Bake 15-17 minutes until just beginning to brown. Leave on pan for 5-6 minutes then move to rack to cool completely.
- Putting cookies in freezer prior to baking prevents the cookies from spreading too much.
- Unbaked cookies can be frozen on a cookie sheet, then placed in a freezer safe bag for up to 2 months. When baking cookies straight from freezer, add a couple minutes to the bake time.