Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

The smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies always takes me back to my childhood.  It makes me think of warm summer afternoons and playing outside with my brother and our neighbors.  Why does it make me think of playing outside?  Because on some afternoons, if we were lucky, my mom would bring out freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.  And if I was REALLY lucky my mom would have added peanut butter chips to the dough (my favorite!).  The cookies were still warm and gooey with melty chips – ah, baking perfection.  It’s hard to beat chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven…

My mom made chocolate chip cookies using the recipe on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag.  And they were good.  So that’s the chocolate chip cookie recipe I always cooked until I met my boyfriend.  Chocolate chip cookies are his absolute favorite dessert.  In fact, it’s the only baked good he ever requests.  The only other time I bake is for parties or birthdays (neither of us have big sweet tooths, but who needs temptation laying around on the the kitchen counter?).  Since chocolate chip cookies are his favorite and the only thing he asks for, I wanted my cookies to be better than good…  I wanted them to be the BEST!

Cookie Platter

So I started trying some new recipes.  Eventually I tried the New York Times’ recipe… and hit the jackpot!  Of course, I didn’t try every recipe out there, but I tried quite a few, and these were so delicious that I was content to stop my search.  They were the best chocolate chip cookies I had ever had, and, more importantly, they were the best he’d ever had.  I’m not sure where exactly the magic comes from in this recipe – maybe the savory bites of coarse-grained sea salt or maybe the dark chocolate chips or maybe it’s something else entirely.  Whatever makes them so delicious, you will love them!  And they’re no harder to make than any other chocolate chip cookie recipe.  So take a break from your usual recipe and give this one a try.  You won’t be disappointed!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 24 hour chill time

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: ~30 cookies

Ingredients

1 c. minus 1 tbsp. Cake Flour
5/6 c. Bread Flour
generous 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt
5/8 c. (10 tbsp.) Butter, at room temperature
5/8 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
10 oz. Dark Chocolate Chips

1.  Sift your flours, baking soda, and baking powder together in a bowl then stir in the salt.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg then the vanilla, mixing after each addition.

3.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually mix in your dry ingredients (I do it in 3 stages) until just blended.  You don’t want to overbeat your dough or the cookies will be tough.

4.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  I don’t know about you guys, but there’s something about the sound of chocolate chips being stirred into cookie dough that I just love…

I like to use Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips.  You could use regular semi-sweet chips or even milk chocolate chips if you prefer, but the darker chocolate tastes great in this recipe (and it’s healthier for you!).

Chocolate Chips

5.  Once the dough is finished, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours before baking.

I know, I know, but you want your cookies now.  You could bake the cookies right away and they would taste great.  But your patience will be rewarded… I’m telling you from experience, if you wait the 24 hours, they will taste even better!

Chill Dough

6.  Drop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (I use a soup spoon) – you want the dough balls a little smaller than golf balls.  Bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes until the cookies are golden.

Finished cookies

Once the cookies are done, transfer them to a cooling rack and try to wait until the molten chocolate will no longer burn your tongue.  Then dig in!  I love mine when they’re warm and still slightly gooey in the middle with chips that are still liquid when you break them.  These cookies are sure to please even the biggest cookie aficionado.

You can either bake them by the batch, keeping the unused dough in the fridge til you’re ready for more cookies (up to about 5 days), or bake them all at once and store them in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

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