Updated: Dec 25, 2020
Chocolate chip cookies hold a very special place in my heart and tummy. The very first time I attempted to bake chocolate chip cookies I nearly burned downed my childhood home. Persistence and having patient parents paid off and several baking trials, I’m pleased to pass along the following tips and recipe that are guaranteed to yield the tastiest batch of chocolate chip cookies you and your loved ones -if you dare to share- will enjoy.
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1. Brown your butter – a lot of chocolate chip recipes call for softened butter, which will produce tasty cookies, but if you want an out of this world experience, I highly recommend you incorporate this step when mixing up your chocolate chip cookie dough.
Cut your butter into tablespoon portions and add the butter pieces to a 10-inch skillet -preferably one that has a light colored lining as it'll make it easier to gauge once the butter has browned- and set the burner temperature to medium.
If you have some culinary skills slowly swirl the skillet around; otherwise, use a rubber/silicone spatula and stir the butter, paying attention to the color change as it’ll shift from bright to dark yellow and you’ll notice a nutty aroma as it starts to brown approximately 6-8 minutes. Once you've reached stage 3, lower the heat to medium-low and using your spatula move the foam to the side. Once you see the browned flecks settled at the bottom of the skillet remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
2. Mix and match your chocolate chips – I like my chocolate dark and intense, but my sweet tooth also nags me for some sweet milk chocolaty goodness and I achieve this happy medium by using a 50/50 mix of milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate chips.
3. Let your cookie dough rest – If you’re like me, you want your cookies now, but trust me, following this is a step will yield cookies that are more flavorful compared to those you bake up immediately after mixing up the dough. Once your cookie dough has been mixed, press plastic wrap tightly across the bowl containing the cookie dough and set the bowl in the fridge for at least 24 hours and no longer than 72 hours. When you’re ready to bake your cookies, remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to soften up for about two hours this way it doesn’t kill your biceps or destroy your cookie scoop.
4. Size matters - The recipe provided in this post will yield approximately 2 dozen ample sized cookies and using a disher/cookie scoop will ensure each cookie is uniform in size and your batch bakes evenly. I used a size 20 disher/cookie scoop which equals approximately 3.25 tablespoons.
5. Temperature is key - Earlier in this post, I made a reference to allow your rested cookie dough to soften up for a couple of hours after taking it out of the fridge. Doing so will yield cookies that are thick and chewy. If you opt to skip the resting portion of this process, your cookies will likely spread out more and produce thinner and crispier cookies - the baking science on why this happens will be published in a future post, so keep coming back for more helpful tips. Having an accurate read of the oven temperature can't be solely relied upon setting your oven dial to the temperature that's called for in a given recipe, which is why I suggest using two oven thermometers. Place one thermometer in the front and center of the rack that is positioned mid-oven and place the second thermometer in the center in the rack above. Once you've preheated your oven to the desired temperature, you can check each thermometer to determine if your oven is too hot, too cold or just right - yes, that's a throwback to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Lastly, when reusing your baking sheet make sure it has cooled before portioning out your remaining cookie dough, otherwise, the cookie dough will spread which will result in a thinner cookie.