If you’re a regular here at Healthy Kitchen 101, you’ll probably know I love baking cookies. I love peanut butter cookies, but what I can never get enough of is chocolate chip cookies. They have always been my all-time favorite treats, and I’m willing to bet they’re everyone else’s favorite, too. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re sweet, soft, chewy, and a little bit crunchy on the bottom. And the best part is that they are oh-so-easy to make!
Now, there are tons of good quality chocolate chip cookies that you can easily buy, but trust me, this homemade version is going to change your life. Why? Because I’m bringing you the secrets to creating the best cookies you’ll ever taste.
What Is The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe?
My answer is: there is no exact formula for the best chocolate chip cookies.
“Wait, what?”, you might be thinking, but just hear me out. I might sound like I’m contradicting myself, but the reason behind my answer is down to personal taste; each individual’s preference is different from another. Some like their cookies soft and chewy, some like them crisp, others like a combo of everything. Thus there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to cookies.
Disheartened? Don’t be. There are still ways to achieve the best cookies for you. You just have to pay attention to the basic elements of a cookie:
- The flour
- The fat
- The egg
- The sugar
- The chocolate
These elements work together and, along with baking soda, they create a chain of delicious chemical reactions that turn a ball of dough into a scrumptious cookie. In case you haven’t noticed, baking is as much of a science as chemistry. If you’d like to know the chemistry of cookies, TED Ed team has done an excellent job on making an infographic video on this topic.
Back to the cookies, I know you’re all dying to know how to improve your favorite sweet treats. See the above list of a cookie’s basic elements? In order to achieve the finest cookies, you must tackle those ingredients. Here are a few tips I’ve learnt:
- Chocolate is the highlight of your cookies. Chocolate is to cookies as cheese is to a pasta dish; the right or wrong choice can make, or break, the piece. Just as you’d have a preference for certain cheeses on your food, so will you find certain chocolates to be more suitable than others, so try to find the best quality chocolate chips you can get your hands on. Or get a block of high quality dark chocolate and cut it into small chunks. That way you will get ooey-gooey, melty chocolate chip cookies.
- Always use butter. Alternatively, you could try using coconut oil or vegetable oil. However, in my opinion, the coconut oil can be overpowering, while vegetable oil gives the cookies a greasy mouthfeel.
- Another trick I learned with the butter is to melt the it in a pan and toast it a little bit so that it turns into a lovely brown color (try not to burn it though). The toasted butter will give the cookies a unique and interesting nutty flavor.
- You can get away with letting your cookie dough rest for an hour before baking. But, ideally, you would want to let it sit overnight, just so all of the ingredients can have more time to fuse into each other, giving the cookies a deeper flavor.
Tips and tricks aside, in the end, it all comes down to the texture. Personally, I would always pick a soft and chewy cookie over a thin and crisp one. Therefore today we’re going to talk about a chewy texture. I would love to know how to make thin and crisp cookies, too, though, so please do leave a comment down below and let me know how you make them. Now, back to the texture.
What Makes Cookies Soft And Chewy?
The answer lies within flour, sugar and butter.
Usually, I use brown sugar instead of white sugar. Brown sugar contains molasses, which gives the sugar a signature tanned color and also makes the cookies moist and chewy. Dark brown sugar has a higher content of molasses, thus giving the cookies a strong and complex flavour. However, according to some of my friends, dark brown sugar can be too strong and overpower the chocolate. So I suggest you give each type of sugar a try, and let me know how your cookies turn out in the comment section below.
Butter also plays a key role in intensifying that chewy texture. The reason why chefs beat the softened butter (not melted) is to aerate the butter, creating tiny air bubbles in it. Then during the baking process, butter will work with the sugar and the leavening agent, baking soda, to create even bigger pockets of air, thus giving the cookies their signature soft and chewy interior.
Flour is also an important ingredient. Comparing to standard cookies that are made with all-purpose flour, bread flour makes chewier cookies, whereas cake flour makes softer cookies. So, while it is OK to use all-purpose flour, you might want a combination of bread and cake flour to get that fluffy chewiness we all know and love.
OK! Enough with all these baking theories, let’s get down to business.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 115 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 80 g granulated sugar
- 40 g brown sugar
- 1 large egg 55-60g without the shell, room temperature
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 100 g semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a clean bowl, sieve flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk everything to make sure they are combined.
- In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to cream butter and sugar on low speed for 2-3’ or until everything is fluffy and the color of butter turns paler (you can use stand mixer). Use a spatula to scrape the bowl so that the sugar and butter are well incorporated.
- Add 1 egg and continue beating on medium speed until homogenized. Then add vanilla extract and let it mix in for about 30 seconds.
- Add the sieved flour to the butter mixture. Beat everything until they are just combined. Then add in chocolate chips and use a spatula to mix them in with the dough.
- Scrape the bowl with a spatula to form the dough into one ball. Then wrap the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge for an hour.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius. Line your baking tray with parchment paper.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop out balls of dough and place them on the tray, spacing them 2” apart from each other as they tend to spread out quite a bit. You should have 25-30 cookies.
- Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Check after 10’, if the cookies are still soft on the top, give them another 5’.
- When the cookies are done, remove the tray from the oven, place the cookies on a cooling rack and allow them to cool down for at least 5’.
- Feel free to add some chopped nuts to your dough, they will give your cookies more texture and enhance their flavour.
- You can double the amount of ingredients and make a big batch, divide the dough into 2 smaller doughs, bake one and freeze the other. Form the other dough into a log, put it in a resealable plastic bag or wrap it in cling film, and pop it the freezer. It will last up to 3 months. Whenever you want warm, freshly baked cookies, just take the cookie-dough log out, cut it into 1” thick circles and bake them.