Seven years. That’s how long I searched for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I scoured the internet and combed the culinary files of family and friends for seven years! When a friend recently asked me to write a post about how I made my chocolate chip cookies, I realized I had finally attained a certain degree chocolate chip cookie success. Hear the taste buds cheering?
Little clues like “round up,” “add a full cup,” and “it’s all in the vanilla” mixed themselves together for a final recipe of just the right consistency. Here are some of the tips I’ve gleaned on my search, with the final recipe at the end of the post. Every taste bud is a little different, but given that my husband no longer asks me to call his mother for her recipe (which is amazing!), I think I finally have a keeper! 😉 Don’t forget the milk!
The biggest tip came from my friend Katie whose cookies are legendary. She uses the Nestle Toll House recipe, but she rounds the dry ingredients (flour, brown and white sugar) up to the next whole cup. This not only changes the consistency of the batter and the baked cookie, but also makes measuring a whole lot easier!
It’s ALL in the Vanilla
Use the best vanilla you can find, and be generous about it! The recipe calls for a teaspoon, but feel free to let the vanilla pour over the side of the measuring spoon. Depending on the strength of the vanilla I’m using, I will double or even triple the one teaspoon listed in the recipe. 😯
Heed the Name
And speaking of generosity, who came up with a measly two cups of chocolate chips for an entire batch? They are called chocolate chip cookies for a reason, folks. Go for a full three cups of those yummy little morsels!
Old Fashioned Sifting
My grandmother owned a flour sifter, but me? Oh, heavens no! Why would I need that old out-dated thing since you buy flour pre-sifted these days. Settling, that’s why. So add the salt and baking soda and sift your flour, folks. It matters.
Consistency is Key
Have you ever paid attention to the consistency of your batter? It should be a little tacky, sticking slightly to your fingers. If it’s too soft, your cookies will be flat. Add flour a few teaspoons at a time and mix well until your batter is slightly stiff and tacky.
Be careful not to add too much flour, though; if it’s too sticky, your cookies will be hard when they cool. At that point, there’s no way to recover except to serve them with lots of milk!
First Be Lukewarm…
Take your butter and eggs out of the refrigerator early so that they are at room temperature when you are ready to mix your cookie dough.
…Then Chill a Little…
Chilling the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking also helps maintain the perfect consistency. I usually don’t have time to do this, but it is helpful if you can.
…Then Heat It Up!
Experiment with your oven temperature. It took me a long time to realize my oven baked a little higher than the temperature reads. The recipe calls for 375 F, but I set my oven to 365 F. Ten little degrees have made a world of difference!
Have you ever noticed how the first batch of cookies takes longer to bake than the last batch? That’s because your oven temperature is still stabilizing (even though it says it has reached the correct temperature). Don’t start baking as soon as the preheat buzzer sounds; if you have time, let your oven continue to heat for another 10-15 minutes.
Don’t over bake your cookies! Take the cookies out before they look “done,” when they are just starting to turn golden. This was another gem from Katie that makes a huge difference in the cookies maintaining their height and soft texture.
The Right Tools
If you have a counter top mixer with different attachments, use the correct ones for each step. In the picture below, use the attachment on the left to blend the butter, sugar, etc. Use the attachment on the right to fold in the flour and the chocolate chips. A scoop will also ensure evenly sized cookies.
Stones or Metal
I love my Pampered Chef cooking stones, but I’ve actually found that cookies bake up better on metal cookie sheets. I don’t know why, and you may not have this same experience, but several people gave me this tip. I was super loyal to my stones and it took a while for me to give the metal cookie sheets a try, but it’s been a good switch. If you use baking stones for some of your baking, I would love to know your experience with stones versus metal pans for cookies!
The Finishing Touch
Anything served on a pretty platter just simply tastes better. Our taste buds like pretty things, too! Unless, of course, all you have is a paper towel. That’ll work, especially with milk. 😉
What are your tips for the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Please share in the comments because seriously, you can never get these things too yummy!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2+ tsp vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 2-3 cups chocolate chips
- Using a sifter, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl.
- Using the proper attachment, blend together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each addition.
- Using the proper attachment, fold the flour mixture into the batter a little at a time.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Using a small scoop, space the dough evenly on a cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375 F for 9-11 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden.
- Cool on tray 2 minutes, then move to cooling rack.
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