I know that the term “The World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies” gets thrown around a lot. Everyone has a cookie recipe that they claim is the greatest. It was passed down from their grandmother, their mother made it when they were sick, or it was on the back of the Nestle Toll House package.
My recipe isn’t one of those. Mine is from years trial and error. From my desire to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
The perfect chocolate chip cookie is different for everyone. Some people prefer thick, chewy cookies. Others prefer thin crisp cookies. I guess that is part of the reason why there are so many “The Word’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies” out there. To them, their cookie is the best.
So what is my perfect chocolate chip cookie? My perfect chocolate chip cookie has a crisp golden brown exterior with a soft and chewy interior. It has a lots of chips – but not too much that you can’t taste the sweet vanilla flavored dough. Oh and it has a good pinch of salt to balance everything out.
This is a big cookie – like it could substitute a meal. It is thick and dense. You could probably charge $1-$2 per cookie and no one would bat an eye. After they tasted it they would probably pay triple for another.
When I made these for work, they were gone in record time. Here is an actual quote from a colleague:
“I’ve made, my wife has made, my grandmother has made cc cookies but they are the kind that look like they are deformed and they are thin and crunchy most times……yours were thick, moist, and almost perfect circles!”
As I said earlier, these cookies are not a delicious mistake. They are a result of years of testing. Every ingredient in them is there for a reason.
The secrets for The World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies:
I use room temperature ingredients
Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you use them. This especially goes for eggs. All too often I have been in a rush and cracked an egg straight from the fridge into my creamed butter/sugar. What happens? The butter solidifies and instead of getting a nice creamy batter, you get one lumpy and full of butter pieces.
I use shortening and butter.
Shortening has a higher melting point than butter and results in a higher and lighter cookie. The butter in them allows the cookies to get nice and crisp on the outside. Oh, and make sure that you use salted butter. I know most recipes call for unsalted. Trust.
I use a lot of brown sugar.
White sugar makes cookies crisper while brown adds moistness. By varying the amounts of white to brown sugar you will change the texture and consistency of the dough. I believe I have found the perfect balance of sugars. The mostly brown sugar makes these cookies soft and moist while the white sugar gives the outside a nice crispness.
I use a good bit of vanilla.
While this does make a lot of dough, 1 tablespoon of good quality vanilla extract is more than you would usually see in a chocolate chip cookie recipe. The vanilla adds a ton of flavor. You get an equal amount of cookie to chocolate chip in this recipe so you really want your dough to be flavored well and compliment the chocolate.
I use cornstarch.
The first time I heard about putting cornstarch into a cookie I thought it sounded really weird. Cornstarch makes the cookies more tender – a la – melt in your mouth. Again, just go with me on this, a little bit goes a long way.
I use coarse sea salt
Yes, like the stuff found on pretzels. Big crunchy pieces of salt. It is AMAZING in cookies. Not only does it give the cookie a little crunch, but it amplifies all the other flavors. You know how you eat a bunch of sweet stuff and your full, then you have a handful of potato chips or something else salty and BAM you want something sweet again? Well it like that for these cookies. Basically it makes them impossible to stop eating.
I use mini chocolate chips
The mini chips are a must. Once I started using them in my cookies I swore I would never go back. The little chips melt throughout the cookie and in each bite is an equal amount of chocolate chip to dough. It also makes the cookies look really pretty too!
I shape them
I scoop out each cookie with my ¼ cup measuring cup. Not only does this verify that each cookie is the exact same size, it also gives them the exact same shape – a flattened out disc. From all of my testing, this is the best shape for your dough. When it bakes it will spread slightly and evenly. It will also give you perfect circle cookies. This makes pretty big cookies. I find that the bigger the cookie is, the thick and more delicious it will be.
I freeze my dough
This step is really essential. You must freeze your dough for at least 2 hours before you bake it. Overnight is even better. In fact that is one of my favorite things about this recipe- I will make one giant batch, move them into a sturdy freezer bag and bake them off two or four at a time throughout the week. Nothing is better than a fresh chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven.
Take the dough straight from the freeze and plop it into the oven. This allows the exterior to cook faster than the interior. Meaning that you will have a crisp outside and a chewy soft interior
I look for light brown spots
One of the hardest things about making a cookie is knowing the right time to pull them out of the oven. You can follow every step in a recipe perfectly, but getting the baking time right is an art not a science. The hard thing about following a recipe’s baking time is that every oven is different. In fact different climates and different ingredient brands can have a big impact on how something bakes. Sure the recipe says it takes 15 minutes, but is that really what it takes?
The best way to know when your cookies are done is to look for light brown spots on the tops of the cookies. The whole cookie should not be brown – just spots of it. The cookie will not look done. It will seem under baked. That’s perfect, you want that. The cookies will continue to cook when you take them out of the oven. I promise. If you take them out when they seem done they will be overcooked and dry.
- 4⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 sticks salted butter, softened
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl mix together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add your dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir just until everything is combined. Do not over mix. Add in mini chocolate chips.
- Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop dough into rounded discs and place on a plate small enough to fit into your freezer. Freeze for at least 2 hours or up to 3 months.
- If you’re not going to use the dough right away, transfer the frozen dough to a freezer bag to keep them fresh.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Place frozen dough directly on to a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until you see golden brown spots form on top.