For years I have wanted to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies. Not just any chocolate chip cookies, but chewy yet crispy, sweet yet savory, melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookie. This recipe is not only PERFECT, but super simple! No magic ingredients and no mixer required! Here is the ultimate chocolate chip cookie that will make every child and adult smile with gleeful nostalgia.
I have not been lucky with the baker gene. Yes, I am a chef and yes I have taken a plethora of baking and pastry classes. But I am not a true baker. It has always seemed tedious to me and frankly most of the time it did not turn out as I had wanted it.
But I really wanted to bake with my kids! And I wanted to perfect how to make chocolate chip cookie! And while on quarantine this month, we have done a LOT of baking. It never looked Instagram perfect, there was flour all over the floors, the counters and me. And despite the fact that there is something truly wonderful about pulling freshly baked goods out of the oven, there was just not enough “umph” in said baked goods to make me really joyful 🙁
But…being a private chef, one of the things we are asked for so very frequently is to make a cookie dough and deliver it raw so my clients could bake cookies with their little ones. And sure I made many chocolate chip cookie doughs for my clients and they were always happy…but I was not. And it was after a conversation with one of these clients that I decided to truly learn how to make a chocolate chip cookie. An ooey, sweet, savory and unforgettable chocolate chip cookie.
Milk and Cookies Are the Ultimate Combination
One of my clients mentioned to me that her young daughter who was a competitive dancer really needed to get some more protein into her diet. She told me she picked up a carton of Live Real Farms milk blends and said it was real milk mixed in with almonds and tastes absolutely delicious! But the biggest benefit was that it was lactose free! Her daughter was obsessed with it and I was intrigued with this new product. Truth be told, I have never been a fan of plant based milk products, but she told me that this was different! It tasted just like real milk but had the added benefits of a higher dose of protein and zero lactose!
This intrigued me and so I decided that to treat her daughter that week I would whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies to dunk in her new Live Real Farm Milk!
Recipe Testing Galore
One of the true benefits of being a chef is that I rarely have to recipe test because I typically know what I need to do to make the end result taste the way I want it to. But with cookies…it was a whole new ball game. I knew I would have to review recipes, test them and figure out what worked and WHY they worked and most importantly why they did not work.
7 batches of chocolate chip cookies later…I was not really happy with my results. They were all just OK, not fantastically gooey or memorable. After reviewing recipes from a plethora of chefs, bloggers and friends I decided to just look up one of my go to sources : Bon Appetit. And I realized, they did it. They mastered the most beautiful cookie. The sweet, salty and decadently wonderful cookie that stood up to any glass of milk, but especially when dunked into a Live Real Farms milk blend. Chris Morocco you cheeky genius, you created the cookie. An easy, crispy, chewy, chocolaty, savory, sweet cookie that I salivate each time I think of it.
The Technique Explained
- Flour: So many recipes that I tasted…tasted like blah. And they were almost cakey. Even in my limited baking skills I knew that the issue was…the flour. There was entirely too much flour in the recipe and it just fell flat. There was a recipe that even used cake flour but the results were not fabulous enough for me to use another flour in a classic cookie recipe. This recipe stands out because it is a classic pantry staple that everyone has!
- Salt: For me the saltiness in a cookie is truly what makes it addictive. This recipe increases the amount of salt and by default accentuates the entire flavor profile of the cookie. I took it up a notch (because that’s how I roll) and added some flaky salt to the tops of the cookies before baking them. For me this was the extra salt bite I needed 🙂 but it is completely optional…I just happen to be a salt feign.
- Butter: I absolutely loved that this recipe had both regular butter and brown butter in it! Not only is there valid science (long story short the water in butter is cooked out not allowing as much gluten to be activated) but the actual browning of the butter adds so much nutty flavor and color to the cookie.
- Sugar: There is both brown sugar and regular granulated sugar in this cookie. The brown sugar gives the cookie its chew factor and regular granulated sugar will give the cookie its crispy edges. Plus brown sugar, which is made from molasses, will give the cookie a caramel like flavor as well. This combination makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
- Baking Soda: There was one recipe I used that was REALLY recommended. But the recipe had so much baking soda in it that I could actually TASTE IT! When I looked at every recipe there after I noticed that many of them had an insane amount of baking soda. This recipe had just the perfect amount to actually make the cookies puff up without leaving a gross taste in my mouth. #yuck.
- The Eggs: This was the first cookie I came across that used both a whole egg and only egg yolks. The number of yolks really add to the texture and the flavor of the cookie.
- The Chocolate: So. Initially when I made batch 1 of this recipe, I decided to use chocolate chips…because frankly it just looks really pretty on pictures. But…the next day, when I was re-making the cookies to confirm the recipe, I decided to stay true to Bon Appetit and use chocolate chunks that I cut myself. The results were ASTOUNDING! Truly changed the cookie and made it so much more memorable and glorious. I also used semi-sweet chocolate instead of the typical milk chocolate morsels and it really amped up the flavor!
- Vanilla : I have always been a snob when it came down to vanilla. I always found that the weird vanilla extract stuff just did not do much and may as well be left out. I prefer to use a really good natural vanilla paste. It adds loads of flavor and happens to have little black specks in it because it is actually made from the caviar of the vanilla bean.
- Espresso or Coffee: I have always added a little bit of coffee to my chocolate desserts. It just brings out all the flavor from the chocolate out! This is totally optional but OMG so so encouraged!
- Combining the Ingredients: Typically when making any cookie recipe I had to take out my hand mixer or stand mixer which is typically the most cumbersome part for me. This recipe does not use any mixers! Just a whisk and a spatula! For me this was the best part. Minimal clean-up and equipment is a win for any busy mom…especially when you are on batch 3846 of chocolate chip cookie testing.
- To Chill or Not to Chill: So many recipes that I used asked to chill the dough before baking. Let’s be frank here, if it is a Friday night and you decided to make cookies with the kids, how happy are those kids going to be if you ask them to wait 20 minutes for the dough to chill. Not happy guys, I say that because I have done it… So when you have a dough that goes from the bowl stray to the tray it makes mom’s life that much easier.
- Parchment Paper vs Silicone Mats: I liked baking the cookies on silicone non-stick liners. The ones I own actually have little marks on them so you can have perfect placement of the cookies. That being said there is nothing wrong with parchment paper…I just ran out after my last batch…typical I know.
- Flaky Salt: Do I think this is slightly boujee? Prehaps…but if you are serving this to adults that slight add off flaky salt really takes it to the next level!
- The Milk; Obviously the perfect partner is the Live Real Farms milk!!! It is absolutely perfectly paired with these chocolate chip cookies and can be drank alone or with your coffee! Not sure about it…just head on over to Live Real Farm’s to take advantage of their $1 off coupon off!
But Do the Kids Approve?
See this little munchkin? This is my baby boy Marcel and he has chocolate chunk goodness on his lips. Yes he approves. He also genuinely approved dipping his cookie into a glass of Live Real Farm’s Milk then handing over the cookie to me and chugging the whole glass down. Well done little man, well done.
This little munchkin, is Charlie who also dipped, dunked and enjoyed. She has a nut allergy so she happily enjoyed the Live Real Farms Oat blend.
Both of the kids started stealing my cookies as I was photographing them. But the best part was that the dough was so easy to make that I made extra so that they could help me scoop and bake some more off. We then ended up distributing the cookies to all our neighbors to enjoy during their quarantine 🙂
Other Add-ins and Options
Truly this recipe has become such an easy one for me to whip up…it will now serve as a base for all other recipes. With just a few replacements I can change the entire cookie! And the fact that I do not need to bust out a heavy stand mixer or even a hand mixer makes this recipe doable even on a Tuesday night… which also makes it quite dangerous!
Here are a few favorable add-ins that I think will make these cookies even more phenomenal!
- Nuts: Obviously nuts are highly encouraged! Walnuts would be absolutely fantastic. As would some macadamia nuts. And if you swap out the chocolate chips for white chocolate chips…well then you have a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie…and that just game me another idea 🙂
- Dried Fruits: Don’t underestimate the magic of dried fruits. Some dried cranberries or tart cherries would be absolutely marvelous in here!
- Cinnamon: Fee free to add some cinnamon powder if you like! It will give it almost a snicker doodle feel 🙂
- Swap Out the Chocolate: Feel free to use milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even white chocolate! Use chips or crumbles! The world is your oyster…or cookie 🙂
How to Make a Chocolate Chip Cookie
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp Kosher salt
- ¾ tsp Baking Soda
- ¾ cup Unsalted Butter 1.5 sticks of butter
- 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar packed
- ¼ cup Granulated Suger
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- 2 tsp Vanilla Paste or Extract
- 6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (60%-70%) coarsly chopped or semisweet chips
- Flaking Salt For finishing
- 2 tbsp Brewed Strong Coffee or Espresso Optional
- Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
- Cook ½ cup (1 stick) butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, swirling often and scraping bottom of pan with a heatproof rubber spatula, until butter foams, then browns, about 4 minutes. Transfer butter to a large heatproof bowl and let cool 1 minute. Cut remaining ¼ cup (½ stick; 56 g) butter into small pieces and add to brown butter (it should start to melt but not foam and sizzle, so test with one piece before adding the rest).
- Once butter is melted, add both sugars and whisk, breaking up any clumps, until sugar is incorporated and no lumps remain. Add egg and egg yolks and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk in vanilla and coffee or espresso if using. Using rubber spatula, fold reserved dry ingredients into butter mixture just until no dry spots remain, then fold in chocolate (the dough will be soft but should hold its shape once scooped; if it slumps or oozes after being scooped, stir dough back together several times and let rest 5–10 minutes until scoops hold their shape as the flour hydrates).
- Using a 1½-oz. scoop (3 Tbsp.), portion out 16 balls of dough and divide between 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake cookies, rotating sheets if cookies are browning very unevenly (otherwise, just leave them alone), until deep golden brown and firm around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets. (PLEASE REVIEW NOTES ON HOW TO TEST FOR DONENESS)
- Recipe can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and sealed in air tight container.
- To freeze the dough: Scoop out the dough. Package and freeze: Wrap the disks in plastic or wax paper and transfer to a plastic freezer bag or other freezer container. Press out as much air as possible, label the bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- OVENS!!!! Every single oven cooks differently! My convection oven at home makes them in 11 minutes. My convection oven at the commercial kitchen baked them in 8 minutes! Start with 8 minutes and check the edges. The best sign of doneness is that the edges are starting to get crispy!