Sunday, February 24, 2013

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies



I have been making chocolate chip cookies since I was nine years old. I have tried many recipes and techniques over the years. When I got married, I found that my husband loves chocolate chip cookies and feels that any other cookie is just a waste of good ingredients, so, I have perfected my chocolate chip cookie recipe and technique. This is a foolproof recipe that is as easy as it gets. There are a few secrets to making perfect cookies, so I will walk you through this recipe and share them with you.

First the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I use just a little less)
1 egg
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Cream together, butter, sugars, egg, soda, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add flour and stir until well combined. Add chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated. Drop by tbsp on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 F for 9 - 11 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Now, onto the tutorial . . .

First, let's talk butter. The real deal is what you need when making these cookies. Do not substitute margarine or butter flavored shortening. Real butter is the only way to go. You also need to know exactly how soft softened butter needs to be in order to get the results you want. Here is a bit of a visual to help you.




The middle picture is what you are looking for. Make sure your butter is soft enough to make an indentation easily in the butter, but not so soft that your finger slides right through the butter when pressed.

So, next, this is going to rock the world of some of you bakers out there, but I am telling you the truth my friends, there is no need to to combine dry ingredients separately from wet ingredients. There is no need to add eggs after the sugar and butter has been creamed. With some recipes, these conventions are important, but not with this one.



So, add all the ingredients, except the flour and chocolate chips, to your bowl and cream away. (Yes, this means butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, soda, and salt). Cream together for at least 5 minutes or more, scraping the bowl down a few times during the process. You want to give the sugars a chance to start dissolving into the butter and make the mixture nice and fluffy. And please use a good real vanilla, no cheap imitation stuff. If you have been using the imitation stuff, you will notice the difference as soon as you open the bottle of a good quality real vanilla. I promise, it is worth it.



I generally use my paddle attachment to make cookies, but I think my baby threw it away. No joke, he is in this phase where he puts everything in the garbage. Anyway, you want your mixture to look nice and fluffy as pictured above. Then add your flour and mix well, scraping down the bowl as needed until everything is incorporated.



Add the chocolate chips (we prefer semi sweet with this recipe) and mix to evenly incorporate. Your dough should look pretty much like this



Drop by tbsp onto ungreased cookie sheets. There is plenty of butter in these cookies, so they won't stick to the pans. If you grease the cookie sheets, you will end up with more spread, and flatter cookies than you would like. I usually use my 1 tbsp cookie scoop, but I have also used my 2 tbsp scoop for bigger cookies - they just need to bake a bit longer. Leave the cookies enough room to spread out while baking.



Bake for about 11 minutes, they will just start to get lightly brown around the edges when they are done. Remove from the oven and let rest on the cookie sheet for 2 -3 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.

If you use these little secrets, you should end up with perfect chocolate chip cookies every time!
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