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.