These chocolate chip cookies are everything a chocolate chip cookie should be: chewy on the edges, soft and gooey in the middle; sweet and a little bit salty, with a deep caramel flavor. The secret? Bread flour and obscene amounts of brown sugar.
This recipe was a long time in the making. I tried a bunch of recipes over and over with different types of flours and more brown sugar here and less brown sugar there and then finally, these. I remember the taste: they had some of the best flavor I’ve ever had in a cookie. They were chewy on the edges and so soft in the middle. Needless to say, I ate half the batch all by myself.
I’ve made them probably ten times in the past month. Now I want to debut these officially to you and teach you how to bake these with the great success. (Yes, that was a purposeful Borat quote.)
So, yes, this post will have lots of fun cookie science and even some instructional pictures! *Entering teacher mode.*
Cookies, despite myth in our culture (sounds so serious), are not so easy a kid could do it. Lots of mistakes can happen along the road, so I am going to teach you how to consistently make delicious cookies.
First, a few comments about the ingredients:
- I make these chocolate chip cookies with bread flour. Why? Bread flour has a higher gluten content, which means that the resulting cookie will be chewier. (Check out this experiment). Somehow, bread flour just does magical things to chocolate chip cookies. That being said, no need to go rushing to the grocery store to get bread flour because you are welcome to make your cookies with all purpose flour! The difference between the all-purpose flour and bread flour cookies was minimal; I just preferred the slightly chewier texture.
- In this recipe, I used a majority brown sugar and a little bit of granulated sugar. In chocolate chip cookies I prefer brown sugar because of the depth of flavor that it adds; however, the granulated sugar promotes browning and a bit of spread. I added just enough to get the best of both worlds. I’m telling you, the large amount of brown sugar knocks these cookies out of the park.
The first step is to set out your butter and eggs at least a half hour before you mix up your cookie dough. Why? Because if the ingredients are closer in temperature, they incorporate much better. You know your butter is ready when you press lightly into it and it makes a slight indent.
Next, creaming the butter and the sugar are extremely important. In order to ensure even cookies, you must make sure that the butter is fully incorporated into the sugars. You don’t want lots of chunks of unmixed butter. That will lead to lopsided cookies!
Now, add the egg and vanilla. I mix in the egg for only about fifteen seconds, or until it’s fully incorporated. There is no need to whip the crap out of the egg.
Next, if you have a kitchen scale, I highly recommend weighing the flour. Flour can be a tricky beastie simply because it’s so easy to overmeasure, which leads to ultra dry cookie dough. If you don’t have a scale, the best way to measure out flour is by scooping the flour into the measuring cup and then without tapping the measuring cup, level off with a knife. Next, in a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Why do you do this? Because you want the leavening agent (in this case, baking soda) to be evenly dispersed throughout the flour.
The dough is going to be dry (and it might freak you out)! Here’s how to deal with it, because trust me you did nothing wrong: I mix the flour into the dough until it’s fully incorporated, which takes about a minute. Then, because bread flour quickly forms gluten which yields tough cookies, I stop mixing with the mixer and I finish mixing by hand. (This is a trick I learned from my grandmother.) I roll the dough in the bowl with my hands and make sure that all of the flour incorporates. While you’re rolling it by hand, the dough will get stickier and form a ball.
Next step: chill that dough! This recipe doesn’t require chilling; however, I highly recommend it for at least two hours or up to 36 hours. If you chill dough, it prevents the cookies from spreading like crazy. If you let them chill for 24 to 36 hours, the flavors marinate and produce a richer, deeper chocolate chip cookie flavor.
And the last thing to make even, beautiful cookies: use parchment paper or a Silpat mat for baking your cookies. These also prevent spread, but they also promote even baking and prevent burned cookie bottoms (hehe).
And now, run off to your kitchen and make these cookies! They are the best chocolate chip cookies I ever have had. In fact, it’s hard for me to even get past the dough phase of these babies.
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (7 ounces) packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
- In a bowl, using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars.
- Add the egg and vanilla, but only mix until just incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the bread flour, baking soda and salt. I highly recommend that you use a kitchen scale to measure out the 9 ounces of bread flour.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg/sugar mixture. It will be a very dry mixture, but don’t worry! It should be dry. I mix with the hand mixer for about thirty seconds to a minute and then I finish mixing with my hands. Mixing by hand will form the dough into a ball and be far less crumbly.
- Then gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Chill for two hours or up to 36 hours. Remove from the fridge for about 15 minutes before rolling into balls. Roll into balls that are about three Tablespoons big. (These cookies will be massive and delicious!)
- If you don’t use the dough within that time, freeze it. A trick that I have is to roll the balls before I freeze them for easier baking. When you bake them from the freezer, let the dough thaw on the counter for a half hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.
- Once baked, these cookies will last in a sealed container for up to three days.