Hello from Norcal! While the volleyball team is traveling to various states, I get a bit of time off, so I chose to come home for a much-needed break. I’m not going to lie, the last week of work has been tiring and stressful. However, I’m home sweet home for a bit, so expect some wonderful creations to be coming out of the kitchen! Best part, Shelby is home too so we get to bake together! In the airport and on the plane ride home, I finally got the chance to compile my chocolate chip cookie recipe roundup, so here it is!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest: Recipe Roundup
When people ask me what my favorite kind of cookie is, my answer is always chocolate chip. In fact, a good chocolate chip cookie just might be my favorite dessert overall. You just can’t beat a classic. However, it has to be a good chocolate chip cookie. What makes a good chocolate chip cookie? Well, obviously, the chocolate chips have to be top notch. I prefer semi-sweet chocolate chips, and my favorite kind is actually the Ralph’s brand. I bought them once because they were cheap, but I fell in love with them at first bite. They’re semi-sweet, not too dark and not too milky, and they have a smooth texture which is pleasant to bite into or just to let melt on your tongue. If I’m not near a Ralph’s, my second choice are the Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Chocolate chips aside, the cookie must be delicious as well. It has to be sweet enough without being sickening, and the entire cookie should be soft, but chewy as well. No crispy edges, no burnt bottoms, some people like the crisp edges and soft centers, but not me. It has to be soft through and through, with a slightly gooey center. Another deal-breaker is if you have to chill the dough. That is such a pet peeve of mine. When I make cookies, I want to be able to eat them sooner rather than later, so when a recipe calls for a chilling time of at least two hours and up to overnight, I’m usually very resistant to trying it. Also, recipes that call for random flours like cake flour and bread flour are a no-go. I don’t stock that kind of stuff, and chocolate chip cookies should be one of the simplest desserts to pull together! Additionally, it is a huge bonus if the cookies stay soft for a few days after baking, since usually I have the self-control to ration out the cookies over a few days. No one likes a stale cookie, and if you have to put them in the fridge or freezer, well, no one likes a cold cookie either. So there you have it, that’s what I’m looking for in a chocolate chip cookie. Let the quest begin!
This quest began a little differently than other quests. I’ve made tons of chocolate chip cookies over the years, but the first standout recipe was the Must-Make Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from My Baking Addiction that I made with Shelby during winter break last year. However, we were in the midst of our brownie quest at the time, so I noted that the cookies were delicious and bookmarked the recipe for future reference, but didn’t think much more of it for a while. Then, at the start of this summer, I decided to find the perfect cookie recipe. I was curious if those were really the ones, or if there was another recipe out there.
The first recipe I will recap is the most popular recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, THE Chocolate Chip Cookie. The addition of cornstarch to the dry ingredients keeps these cookies soft and puffy, both pluses. I can see why this is a favorite on her blog. They were very, very good. However, They were a little lacking in the chewy department for my taste, so I moved on. I actually made these during spring break, but I did compare them to the My Baking Addiction cookies, and they were not chewy enough in comparison.
The first two recipes I made this summer were chocolate chip cookie recipes. One was the Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Dine and Dish. Unfortunately, the cookies weren’t really all that soft or chewy. This was a rather disappointing recipe overall. At least the dough tasted good! The other recipe was Alice Currah’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Hip Foodie Mom. These were quite tasty. They were both soft and chewy, but a bit crispy on the edges. They were still not quite up to par with the My Baking Addiction cookies.
The next recipe I made with Shelby, and it was a new recipe on Sally’s Baking
Addiction, Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Side note: we know we’re compatible in the kitchen, since soon after she published this recipe, we both had it bookmarked and suggested to each other that we make it. These cookies required chill time and an extra egg yolk, both things I am really not a fan of. However, baking with
Shelby means that we usually keep busy making other desserts while the dough chills, so I was ok with it. However, the egg yolk is annoying. What am I supposed to do with an extra egg white? Most recipes calling for egg whites call for more than just one. Anyway, since recipes often claim that egg yolks are the key to chewy cookies, we decided to give it a go. They definitely turned out chewy, but they were on the thin side. That was annoying, since the chill time is supposed to prevent thin cookies, but it didn’t work for this recipe. Moving on.
There’s nothing like baked goods from your grandma. Unfortunately, my grandmother, being Chinese, didn’t bake. I remember my mom saying she once bought a small bag of flour, but it went untouched for five years, and they finally just threw it out. That would never happen in my kitchen. Anyway, someone’s grandma invented this recipe, Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Jamie Cooks It Up. These were nice and thick and chewy, pretty good overall, but they did have one flaw: they were too brown around the edges. Even after I reduced the baking time, these cookies still browned at the edges.
Time for a change in strategy. How about browned butter? I tried out these Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Cooking Classy, although I used unsalted butter and omitted the salty sprinkle. I also used all semi-sweet chocolate chips, since those are my favorite. The dough for these cookies was too dry, and I had to add a few teaspoons of milk to pull it together. I could have added some melted butter, but the milk was faster. It may have changed the cookie somewhat, but I was not terribly impressed with this recipe. The cookies definitely had the nutty brown butter taste, but the texture and overall taste were not remarkable. Not worth the time it takes to brown the butter.
This next recipe attracted my attention because it does not require softening the butter. That’s right, no need to plan ahead! We all know I’m the queen of planning ahead (wait, I need eggs for this banana bread?), but The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies from Budget Gourmet Mom is a recipe for people like me! They were pretty good. My sister and I agreed that they were not the best I’ve made, but they were good, and it’s a huge bonus that you can make them even if you forgot to set out the butter beforehand!
My last attempt at getting the perfect chewy cookie was the Best, Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie from Allrecipes. I had a leftover egg yolk from another recipe, so I thought, why not give it a shot? This was the best recipe I made all summer, confirmed by my sister. The cookies were indeed chewy, thanks to the extra egg yolk, and they were soft all the way through. Truly excellent. However, they didn’t stay chewy for very long. A couple days after, they were hard as a rock. Sad day.
So I decided to call it, and made a batch of the Must-Make Chocolate Chip Cookies. I know the name sounds bossy, but it’s justified: this is a recipe you really must make. Sure enough, after tasting these cookies once again, I knew that these were the winners. Soft through and through, which the slightly gooey center and the perfect amount of chewy, these are my go-to recipe. This recipe uses basic ingredients, nothing fancy, and best of all, zero chilling time! Woohoo! They even stayed soft and chewy for about four days after baking. Although, they didn’t last any longer than that, so who knows how long they’re good for. I don’t use an electric mixer for these cookies, and I also reduced the chocolate chips, since the amount it calls for seems a tad excessive. However, if you want a boatload of chocolate in every bite, put in the full four cups! Without furthur ado, here is the winning recipe of the chocolate chip cookie quest!
Must-Make Chocolate Chip Cookies
From from My Baking Addiction
Makes about 6 dozen cookies
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups white sugar
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. The dough will be very stiff, but that’s what keeps the cookies thick and chewy! Dump in the chocolate chips and stir until distributed throughout the dough. Using a cookie scoop, drop tablespoonfuls of dough on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until lightly browned. The centers should still be soft. Allow to cool on the sheet for a couple minutes before removing and cooling completely. Or just eat them warm, like I do! Be warned, this recipe makes a TON of cookies, which means there’s enough to share! Or you can just eat them all… I wouldn’t advise that though, unless you enjoy sugar highs and the subsequent crashes. Enjoy these cookies fresh from the oven with a cool glass of milk, and welcome to chocolate chip cookie heaven!
So there you have it, the chocolate chip cookie recipe roundup. Keep in mind, this is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. You may try one of the others and think I’m insane for writing it off. But to each their own. Here are some notes about making chocolate chip cookies that I’ve found through all these recipes.
-Adding an extra egg yolk will indeed make a cookie more chewy, but it is not necessary. As I found with the winner of my quest, a higher ratio of flour to wet ingredients also makes cookies chewier.
-If the recipe calls for about two cups of flour, two eggs is too many, it makes the batter thinner and causes the cookies to be thin and crispy at the edges.
-Cornstarch in the dry ingredients is essentially like using cake flour. It makes the cookies puffy and soft, but may decrease the chewy factor.
-Make sure the butter is softened to a relatively cool room temperature, otherwise it will be so soft that air pockets won’t form when you cream together the butter and sugars
-The ratio should be about one egg per two-ish cups of flour.
-For a good amount of chocolate chips, add 1 ½ cups of chocolate chips for every two-ish cups of flour.
-I’ve experimented with using a cookie scooper and just dropping balls of dough on the cookie sheet and using a cookie scooper then rolling the dough into balls. If you like the crackly top look, don’t roll the dough, but for a smooth, perfectly round cookie, roll them into balls before baking.