It is perhaps as American as apple pie, an icon, and a holiday must-have – the ooey, gooey, decadent chocolate chip cookie. What is it that makes this scrumptious morsel so appealing to the masses? There are plenty of other delicious cookies out there, but this one is the leading favorite in households and bakeries across the country. Whether you prefer them fresh and warm, right out of the oven, or as an anytime snack from the kitchen cookie jar, there is no denying this is one of the best snacks to satisfy your deep cookie craving.
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Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- All-purpose King Arthur Flour
- 1 1/2 cups
- Granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup
- Light brown sugar
- 1 cup
- Unsalted good quality butter
- 1 1/2 sticks
- Full fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup
- Baking soda
- 1 tsp
- 1 tsp
- Vanilla extract
- 2 tsps
- Semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- 1 1/2 cups
Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.
Break down and combine all sugar in mixing bowl then add soft butter & cream cheese.
Cream fully till combined (Do not over cream, should be yellow, not fluffy and white).
Scrape down bowl and push butter mix on one side of the bowl and deep enough to see the bottom of the bowl, then add half of flour mixture.
Make sure all the dry ingredients are all the way to the base of the bowl.
Work on low speed for about just till combined (about 20-30 seconds).
Stop and scrape down and push the dough on one side then add eggs.
Stop and scrape down and push the dough on one side before last half of ingredients.
Back to the machine and work on low speed just until combine.
Scoop onto cookie sheet using ice cream scoop or rounded spoonfuls. Bake at 325 for 8-12 minutes, rotate ½ way through. Cookies should be golden on edges, fluffy center, but still moist. Pull out of oven and cool. Eat right out of the oven or for the next 3 days.
What Makes a Great Chocolate Chip Cookie?
Let’s look at the 10 best attributes that make the chocolate chip cookie a winner of baking contests and our hearts, time and time again.
- Golden Crispy Outer Layer. When baked perfectly, the chocolate chip cookie should have a slight crunch as we bite into it. The sugars in the dough caramelize slightly on the exterior during the baking process, which produces this delightful texture and a hint of caramel flavor.
- Rich, Gooey Center. Our first crunch demands some contrast; the interior should be as sweet and viscous as a chocolate fudge brownie. The key to achieving this contrasting inside texture is timing. Removing the cookies from the oven just as the edges darken and before they are completely baked through, then resting the tray for a minute or two before moving the cookie to the cooling rack allows the baking process to finish outside the oven, without cooking the dough to a solid texture the whole way through. This also lends to the cookie’s viability as a perfect combination of textures as it sits in the cookie jar for a few days (if they last that long).
- Flavor Components and Ingredients. The combination of quality ingredients a baker uses to build the flavor profile of the cookie is of utmost importance. The rich, robust butterscotch flavor of the cookie is achieved by finding the ideal balance of butter and sugar in the cookie. Some cookie chefs add a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg to their chocolate chip cookie dough. Purists shy away from this step but, in moderation, it can add a hint of sweet nuttiness that some cookie lovers savor. The hint of vanilla complements the butterscotch notes to please our taste buds as no other cookie does.
- The Most Delicious of All Ingredients. A fatal mistake in chocolate chip cookie baking is the choice to use inferior chocolate. Whether you choose semi-sweet chips or a combination of dark and milk chocolate, make sure you are using premium chocolate. The debate over chips or chunks is all irrelevant if the chocolate you choose is a cheaper variety. Lower-quality chocolate produces a waxy taste and texture, which can only mar the whole “cookies and milk experience.”
- Even Distribution of Chocolate Chips. It may seem like common sense, but a standard distribution of chocolate throughout the cookie is a must in keeping the entire batch consistent. The cook must work the chips into the dough thoroughly and evenly, so that each cookie is full of chocolatey goodness and the character of each cookie is consistent.
- A Hint of Salt. A simple ingredient that can transform your baking. Don’t be afraid of this one when baking chocolate chip cookies. It is essential in reaching that perfect balance between the chocolate, sugar, and butter, that gives this cookie its iconic status. The sweeter chocolate you pack into a cookie, the more salt you need to level it out. Some pastry chefs even sprinkle a touch of salt on top of each cookie.
- The Taste of Real Butter. This is an essential step that cannot be stressed enough (in any recipe, really.) Real butter has a taste that truly can’t be replicated, especially in a cookie. Some will argue that margarine or shortening can accomplish the same purpose as butter in a cookie recipe but, for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, the homemade goodness of real butter can’t be beat. As with chocolate, higher-quality butter also produces a higher-quality flavor profile.
- Properly Mixing Butter and Sugar. Be sure to mix your butter and sugar thoroughly before adding the flour to ensure the finest texture in your cookies. The texture of the mixture should be similar to cake frosting, past the point of looking like wet sand. A proper ratio of white granulated and brown sugar is also necessary. Going a bit heavier on the brown sugar is ideal for chocolate chip cookies, as the molasses comes through from the brown sugar and contributes to the complexity of the cookie’s flavor.
- Aging the Dough. Many bakers skip this step, due to time constraints and convenience, but if the goal is to create a perfect cookie, it is worth the extra time. Keep your cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but ideally overnight, before baking. This allows the flavors to meld and develop and aids in the caramelization process on the outside of the cookie as it bakes.
- Storage. If your batch of chocolate chip cookies lasts longer than the first hour after they come out of the oven, storing them properly will allow you to enjoy the scrumptious cookies for several days. Allow the cookies to completely cool before storing them. Once they are cool, store them in an airtight container, layered between parchment paper, at room temperature for up to three days. Adding a piece of white bread to the container will also help to regulate the moisture level and keep them fresh. After three days, any remaining cookies should be frozen (however, we’re pretty sure there won’t be any left!).
Thank Ruth Wakefield for Her Ingenious Recipe
Chocolate chip cookies have stood the test of time in popular American culture. Ruth Wakefield’s humble creation at her famous Toll House restaurant in Whitman, MA began as a simple accompaniment for ice cream but turned into a tasty morsel, recognized around the world. Mrs. Wakefield was an accomplished businesswoman, restaurateur, and cookbook author who gave the world a gift with her chocolate chip cookie recipe.
So, think of her the next time you enjoy the sweet aroma that fills your house while baking a batch. Remember the important points we’ve discussed, and most importantly, always use the finest quality ingredients.