I wasn’t going to admit to it, but in the back of my mind I think one of my New Year’s Resolutions was Find The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. I never said this out loud, even to myself, because this has been a goal for years and the perfect recipe has always eluded me. One time, several years ago, I made the perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies, but wrote absolutely nothing down about what I had done and was never able to replicate it.
I knew exactly what I wanted in a chocolate chip cookie–a chewy buttery texture, edges that are just perfectly browned but not too crunchy, a hint of salt. And I’ve been through several recipes, analyzing flour content and baking times and temperatures until finally I just stopped making chocolate chip cookies altogether, opting for things like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and chocolate confetti ice box cookies, all good cookies that contain chocolate chips, but none the classic recipe that I was searching for.
A few days ago I got a hankering for chocolate chip cookies though, and it seemed like there was nothing I could do about it except make a batch. So I started sifting through recipes, and you know what? Chocolate chip cookies have become too complicated. There are extra ingredients and various baking times and special salts. And you know what else? It all boils down to the same kind of classic recipe.
So I just picked a couple of recipes, combined them and changed them a bit, and went with it. (I know, I know, I just complicated these by browning butter. But you don’t have to do this.)
And they were exactly what I’ve been searching for all these years.
There are a few things that I think make this recipe perfect.
1) The browned butter. I know this is a bit unusual, and you don’t have to take this step. It adds a nice nutty flavor to the cookies. But even if you don’t brown your butter, I think the fact that half the butter goes in melted and half the butter goes in soft gives the cookies the melty chewiness I have been looking for.
2) Kosher salt. You can use regular salt here, but I think the kosher salt gives them the exact right saltiness without being overpowering.
3) Chilling the dough. I think chilled cookie dough actually comes out much nicer in the oven. The cookies cook through, but still leave the centers a tad bit gooey.
4) 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Recipes are all over the place as far as baking temperatures and times go, but 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes is so classic and uncomplicated.
This is a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe with the addition of browned butter, which gives them a richer almost nutty hint of flavor. You can, of course, leave out the brown butter and just melt and cool a stick of butter if you would like, but it really does give the cookies a little something extra.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- In a medium sized saucepan (you want a decent amount of surface area on the bottom) place 1 stick of butter. Heat over medium-low heat, cooking the butter until it gently begins to turn a nice hazelnut brown color and has little brown bits on the bottom of the pan. This can take 10-15 minutes, but once it begins to brown it can happen very quickly. So watch it carefully so it doesn't burn. Once the butter has browned, remove it from the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the remaining stick of butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the cooled browned butter and mix to combine. Then add the vanilla and the eggs, mixing until well incorporated.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed just until they are all incorporated. Then add the chocolate chips and mix just until well distributed.
- Cover the cookie dough and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a medium sized cookie scoop to scoop cookies out onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet, placing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, and then use a spatula to move them to a wire rack to finish cooling (although you should probably eat a few warm right out of the oven). If you are baking the cookies in batches, continue to chill the dough in the fridge between batches.