Sometimes I can be very contradictory. On one hand, I love exotic flavors and foods, and I will not hesitate to try anything (seriously, I’ve eaten bugs before!) But on the other hand, I like some things completely plain. You just don’t mess with these things is how I feel. One of those things is hamburgers. Though I have recently been branching out slightly (adding lettuce, tomato and mayo, gasp!), I prefer them with just ketchup, mustard and pickles, and I normally don’t deviate from this standard.
One of my other “don’t mess with me” foods is Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I absolutely love chocolate chip cookies and would never hesitate to say they are my favorite cookies of all times. If presented with a tray of unlimited types of cookies, I would always choose chocolate chip first (and then probably sample others). BUT: I have specific criteria for my chocolate chip cookies. They MUST be soft and chewy, not dry, not overly browned and not a hint of crunch. At all. And they must not have anything else added to them. No M&M’s, no nuts, nothing. I also like them with a large dose of vanilla in the dough.
I’ve tried many different recipes, and variations on recipes I’ve found to find MY perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. And here it is. Now remember, chocolate chip cookies can be a highly personal thing, so this may not be YOUR favorite, but you should definitely try it to find out.
I did make some slightly “non-traditional” alterations to this recipe to give them what I think is the best flavor and texture. One is starting with a mix of browned butter and softened butter. The browned butter adds a bit of a deeper flavor, while the softened butter is used to cream with the sugar for texture. Second is to add a bit of cornstarch to the flour. This helps to keep the interior of the cookie soft and chewy. This is why pudding cookies always turn out soft and chewy. But I didn’t want to rely on always having vanilla pudding mix in my pantry when a chocolate chip cookie craving strikes. And last is to really bump up the vanilla. Normally 1 tsp would be pretty standard in a recipe of this type. I use 2 tsp.
I also use an unusual technique to shape these cookies, which I got from America’s Test Kitchen. I first form the cookies into a ball, then break the ball in half and smoosh the 2 halves together with the ragged, broken edges to the top. This is totally optional, and does add a bit more work, but makes the cookies look more ragged, or “rustic” on the top – not completely smooth. If you prefer smooth, or don’t care, feel free to skip this step. The final key to these cookies (as with pretty much any cookies, really) is to avoid over baking. You want to take these out just before you think they look done. You don’t really want them starting to brown on the edges. They will still be soft, but they will continue to cook for a couple of minutes on the hot pan, then they will set up as they cool. Trust me. You do NOT want to over bake these! Set a timer!
Hopefully you like these cookies as much as I do. They are so versatile. I recently made them for a football party, and after the pizza was all gone, there was nothing I wanted more than one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies, but when I got up to get one, they were already gone! Good thing I kept a few extras at home!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter softened and divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Heat oven to 325°F. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment or non-stick baking mats.
Place 6 Tbsp of the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Heat butter, stirring occasionally until fragrant and golden brown. Immediately pour into a small bowl and set aside to cool.
Whisk flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. set aside.
Gently beat together egg and egg yolk with a fork or whisk. Stir in vanilla. Set aside.
Cream remaining 6 Tbsp butter together with sugars in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment at medium speed. The resulting mixture will resemble wet sand. Beat in cooled browned butter until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla mixture and beat on medium high speed until light and creamy.
Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until dough forms. Add chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.
Form dough into 1-1 1/2" balls. If you want your cookies to have a more rustic look, split the balls in half and press halves together with the split edges facing up. At this point, dough can be baked, refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.
Set dough balls on baking sheet 2" apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges are starting to brown, but centers are still soft. Don't overbake. Cook on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack or serve.