I’ve been working on this chocolate chip cookie recipe for 50 years. It is my holiday gift to you! Happy holidays!!!
Like any decent food blogger, I’ve made many different chocolate chip cookies in my baking career. The originial Toll House recipe is good, very good. Cook’s Illustrated improved on it and the folks at ATK gave us a bunch of wonderful variations. Then, Nancy brought us the Levain Bakery Cookies and threw down the gauntlet. Many knockoffs ensued. These are the result of an integration of all the features we liked in all the variations. I tried to interview my husband to get a description for you besides my own. He wasn’t very articulate. He said something like “guh.” I should have asked him after he was finished eating the cookie.
This cookie is thick, we might even say fat. It’s soft and chewy with a crispy edge. The flavor is a little salty, caramelly, buttery, butterscotchy. The chocolate chips are big and dark. Half the flour is whole wheat, which lends a welcome depth of flavor and heartiness.
I’ve found that aging or freezing the dough increases the complexity of flavor. And baking directly from frozen ensures that the cookies spread very little and thus stay tall. Keeping the formed cookies in the freezer also allows you to keep a stash at all times and just bake exactly as many as you want today, rather than having to bake a whole batch. Though you can certainly bake a whole batch…
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 30 cookies
I use organic ingredients when possible. It makes me feel better about eating cookies. I am giving you instructions to make these in a standing mixer. You may substitute a hand mixer. I’m sure you can do them by hand, but I haven’t done it with the cold butter and expect it would be a major arm workout. Let me know if you try it.
I find that many people don’t want a huge cookie. But if you think those enormous Levain-style treats are fun, use a 3 tablespoon scoop. You’ll need to increase the baking time by a minute or so.
2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, cold, cut into 16 pieces(ish)
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup cane sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
11 oz. (1 bag) bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli 60%)
Mix the butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer, first on low speed to combine and then on medium speed when the sugar is no longer at risk of flying all over the kitchen. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer running because it feels freeing and dangerous and it sounds slurpy.
Add the vanilla, mix for a moment, then stop and scrape down the sides and mix for a few more seconds.
Add the flours, the salt and baking soda and powder and start the mixer very slowly. Stand back if you are wearing black. Mix on low speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix to distribute.
Now, using a 1 tbs. portion scoop, form cookies on a baking sheet and freeze for at least two hours. After freezing, you can bake as many as you want and place the rest in a gallon zip top freezer bag. You will then feel like the richest person ever with a stash of frozen cookies.
OK, now preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet (or sheets) with parchment or a silpat. Place up to 8 cookies on the sheet(s), staggering the placement (see photo).
Bake for 12-13 minutes or until the cookies have just begun to brown at the edge.
I like them when they’ve just cooled for long enough not to burn your tongue and the chips are all gooey. Bob prefers them after the chips have firmed up, which takes a few hours. He is weird. How do you like them?
Pottery note: All the porcelain and stoneware pottery you see in this post were unloaded from the kiln this week! Many of you have requested information about buying pots. Currently (because of tech angel complications), we are doing local sales only, here at the studio in Warwick, NY. Stay tuned here on the blog and Instagram and Facebook for info about upcoming on-line sales.