Plus My Top 10 Cookie Baking Tips!
I pretty much love any chocolate chip cookie… But for a while now, I have been wanting to create my version of the perfect soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie! I put this off for a bit as I knew it would be trickier than I thought. Why so tricky? Well, everyone has their own very specific view of what constitutes the perfect chocolate chip cookie and chocolate chip cookies can be surprisingly tricky to make homemade – sometimes they come out too flat or too dry or too cakey.
I spent well over a week researching and testing different variations of this recipe. I ended up with using a pretty high proportion of dark brown sugar (dark adds great color/flavor), I added some corn starch and an extra egg yolk – all of which contribute to cookie chewiness. …Oh and some extra butter too! ( :
But, the element that surprised me the most was just how precise the amount of flour needed to be to keep the cookie from being way too flat on one end to being way to dry and cakey on the other end. Discernible differences are made by mere teaspoons of flour. Which makes the flour measurements ultra-important. If you have a kitchen scale, I highly recommend weighing your flour… I’ll share with you all the tips I learned to get consistently soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie results below.
How Do They Taste?
These Chocolate Chip Cookies are buttery and soft with a nice chew when you bite into them! They’re not too thick and not too thin. They come out of the oven puffed in the center, but while cooling, that center nestles down into pure chewy delicious-ness! YUM! This recipe make 2-dozen cookies, a perfectly manageable batch! They stay soft when stored in an air-tight container and they freeze perfectly either before or after baking.
(The texture of these reminds me of those soft little Entenmann’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, only larger and so much tastier because they’re homemade!)
I do love the flavor of the traditional Toll House Cookie recipe, that high butter content makes them so tasty! But, they can be tricky to get a consistent texture. So many times they’ve ended up completely flat, even with chilling the dough. I still do use the Toll House Recipe for my Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies as the dough is contained in a rimmed baking sheet. Here’s my adjusted recipe that fits perfectly in a half-sheet tray. Bar Cookies For a Crowd – RECIPE.
My Cooking Baking Essentials:
Top 10 Cookie Baking Tips:
- Baking Sheets: I like to use nice heavy baking sheets, I prefer no coatings like non-stick. Non-stick coatings can sometimes be dark in color which (attracts heat, and) can cause your cookies to brown too quickly. If you have dark pans, I would try dropping the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Having 2 baking sheets is helpful. Don’t bake the second batch on a still hot baking sheet from the first batch.
- Oven Thermometer: My oven takes much longer to preheat than indicated by the oven signal and the temperature is usually not 100% accurate. I always use an inexpensive oven thermometer to check the temperature and then I can adjust the oven accordingly.
- Parchment Paper: It’s one of my favorite kitchen “tools.” A sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet and you don’t need to grease the baking sheet, which makes clean up a breeze. You can also transfer a whole tray of cookies from the baking sheet to the cooling rack in one motion.
- Cookie Scoop: Cookie scoops help you get uniform cookies, and same-size cookies will bake more evenly. I use a 2-tablespoon/1-ounce scoop (leveled off) for my cookies.
- Softened Butter: I like to let my butter (and eggs) sit out for about 30 minutes at room temperature. The butter still needs to feel cool to the touch. If the butter is too warm, it won’t “cream” properly with the sugar and your cookies will be more flat. Do not microwave your butter to soften. It’s better to have too cool butter, than too warm butter.
- Measuring Flour: I know, I know…weighing flour is a pain in the you-know-what. But… for cookies, especially a recipe that makes only 2-dozen there is not much room for error. And believe it or not every teaspoon counts and makes a difference. I measured and weighed just to test my measuring skills and I was off every single time. If you have a digital kitchen scale, I highly recommend weighing the flour for this recipe. If not, I recommend “fluffing” the flour in your canister. Then spooning (not pressing) into your measuring cup and leveling off. Usually we measure too heavy.
- “Creaming”: it’s the process of adding air to the butter/sugar mixture in a recipe. When the beater swipes across the mixture, the sugar will cut little air-pockets into the butter. If the butter is too soft, it can’t hold the little air pockets. It takes several minutes of beating/mixing for this to happen, most people don’t cream long enough. You’ll know the mixture is creamed when the color lightens and the mixture is fluffy.
- Chill The Dough: You need to chill your cookie dough before baking. The butter re-firms, the flavors meld and you’ll end up with tastier cookies that are not too flat. To me it makes more sense to mix the dough, scoop the dough balls, then chill them. The dough is easier to scoop when soft and the dough balls don’t take as long to chill as a whole bowl of cookie dough.
- Baking: Make sure your oven is the correct temperature (see tip #2 above) I only bake 1 tray of cookies at a time for the most even results. When done, the cookies will be puffed and starting to get golden brown around the edges, but still look pale in the center. While cooling, that center will nestle down into pure chewy delicious-ness.
- Make Ahead: You can make the dough and form the dough balls a couple days in advance and keep in the refrigerator. The flavor will deepen with time. You can also freeze the dough balls and bake just a few at a time – when you want fresh warm cookies!