The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie I Ever Made
Ever since I can remember I have loved cookies. Specifically, soft, chewy, mouthwatering cookies. I can’t stand crispy cookies. A crispy cookie isn’t a cookie, it’s a cracker. I have been on a quest to create the absolute best cookie to my standards. After countless iterations, per my wife, I’ve reached the pinnacle. This is the story of that quest and these are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made.
When I was very young after we got off the school bus at my great grandparent’s house, we would all sit around the dining table and do our homework. Since I was only five years old and wasn’t sent home with any work to do my great grandmother had me assist her in the kitchen. She grew up on a farm and everyone had a job to do. I don’t remember if she ever told me what it was that she did but I know she was very particular about how things were done in the kitchen.
Learning the basics
When it came to cookies, my role was being the taste tester. She didn’t make cookies very often but when she did, I always got to be the first one to make sure they were done. And that’s all I learned about baking. My great grandmother did teach me how to sew though. Arguably a better skill. Baking had never taken off for me. Fast forward several years to the point I was going through college. For some reason, I decided I was going to start making different things from scratch and I made some chocolate chip cookies. They were terrible. And so, the obsession began.
You think I’m kidding? Check out this table from one of my senior projects.
I compared the acceptability of chocolate chip cookies made with the standard way versus made with granulated fructose. Why would I do this? Well, as you can see, granulated fructose provides more perceptible chewiness. Don’t worry, granulated fructose is not used in this recipe.
Granulated fructose does provide some health benefits such as better blood glucose control but it’s hard to find. I think our lab coordinator had to have it shipped in for my experiment. For these cookies, I had to use easy to find ingredients so no matter where we go, we can make them.
Building the Recipe
Let’s start at the beginning. Cookies aren’t all together complicated. There’s no proofing involved like with bread, usually no liquid, and most are just a handful of ingredients. Fat, sugar, flour, leavening agent. Where it gets complicated is how much of each to use and what kind.
For this recipe, I started out using butter. Then I melted the butter. I changed the amount of butter. But I still couldn’t find what I was doing wrong. I went with one and a half sticks of butter and moved on.
Sugar is next. To make a chewy cookie (without granulated fructose) you’re going to need more brown sugar than white sugar. White sugar causes the crispiness that I dislike. The ratio is where you can go wrong. As you start drifting to more brown sugar you start to get a chewier cookie but at the sake of color. Brown sugar contains molasses and a dark cookie is not the standard look for chocolate chip cookies. I varied the amount of each sugar by about one quarter of a cup in each variation until I landed on the balance in the recipe you see below.
Let’s talk eggs real quick. Yes, you can make a cookie without eggs. But why would you if you didn’t have to? Eggs provide protein for the structure of the cookie but more importantly, they provide some fat. That fat helps to increase the chewiness every so slightly. That’s why I have one whole egg and one yolk in this recipe.
Flour is usually the largest ingredient represented in any cookie recipe. Different flours have different amounts of flour in them. Cake flour has the least and wheat flour has the most. In the middle are all-purpose flour and bread flour, respectively. Most cookies call for all-purpose flour because it has just the right amount of protein for a cookie that’s not so soft it falls apart in your hand (cake flour) or so tough you can’t easily bite through it (wheat flour). Here I added some bread flour to up the chewiness even more.
You want a softer cookie? No matter what kind of cookie you’re making? Add some corn starch. A little goes a very long way so be careful. If you’ve never used it start small, around half a teaspoon, and work your way up.
Testing the Truth
I thought I had finished the recipe. I thought I had finally laid the coup de grâs to chocolate cookies. Susannah loved them and didn’t say, “Maybe you should try something different”. The last time I went to make these cookies we didn’t have any butter. Susannah was willing to go out to the store for me if needed. We had a substitute on hand. Margarine.
We made the dough and something seemed a little off. My dough was less sticky than before. It seemed to crumble a little more and the chocolate morsels didn’t mix in as easily. I thought, “If they’re bad after baking I can just throw them away and start over.” Once they came out of the oven, they appeared fine. No complaints about appearance. Susannah took a bite. She looked at me and said “They’re terrible. You can’t give them to anyone … but I’ll eat them all.” After we finished laughing, she said, “these are the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever made.”
Here’s the most important part of these cookies: you can enjoy them and still stick to your health goals. Don’t believe me? Sign up for your free meet-and-greet today and let’s get to know each other.
The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie I've Ever Made
- Stand Mixer
- 2 Cookie Sheets or Jelly Roll Pans
- Cooling rack
- 3/4 cup Margarine with salt-added, Softened Or 1.5 sticks
- 1 cup Brown Sugar, Light Or dark brown sugar for a darker cookie
- 1/2 cup White Sugar
- 1 whole Egg and 1 Egg Yolk (Room Temperature)
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Bread Flour
- 2 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 12 ounces Semi-sweet Chocolate Morsels Or your favorite baking morsels
- In a large bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, bread flour, cornstarch, and baking soda. Set bowl aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add margarine and turn the mixer to high speed. Run for 5 minutes and reduce speed.
- Carefully add the brown sugar and white sugar to the stand mixer and continue mixing until fully combined with the margarine.
- Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla to stand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy.
- Carefully add sifted ingredients to stand mixer. Allow each addition of the sifted ingredients to combine before adding more.
- Add chocolate morsels
- Cover the dough and move the dough to a refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for at least 30 minutes. Dough may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days or in a freezer for four months.
- When you're ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Form dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
- Arrange cookies on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
- Place cookies on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.