I’m all about eating fancy pastries and good bread. I love fresh vegetables and berries, and using that fresh produce to make some amazing curry, casserole, or cobbler. There’s nothing quite like biting into a tart, juicy apple fresh from a tree or market, or a sun-ripened and warm berry straight from the bramble.
But sometimes? Dang. There is also nothing that satisfies quite like a fresh, hot chocolate chip cookie. Nothing. And I found myself in one of those “sometimes” moments a few nights ago – I was in a baking and canning frenzy for the majority of the day, and just *happened* to have two more sticks of butter in the fridge, just screaming to be baked into something else. The oven was hot. I had all of the things. I needed cookies in my life, right then and there.
I always keep the ingredients on hand for just such occasions. Chocolate chips or baking bars on sale? I’m buying five. Do I have enough flour, or butter, or eggs? You betcha. Just as I must have my bread makings, so must I have my cookie makings, or I’m gonna have a bad time.
As with most of my recipes here, this is pretty customizable, with variations below the recipe. You can play with flour types – all-purpose, whole wheat, rye, whatever you’ve got. (I’ve even played with a bit of almond flour, which makes a super chewy cookie with a hint of nuttiness. Yesssss.) Play with sugar ratios and get different crispiness levels. Play with flavorings and extracts (vanilla, almond, whatever), chocolate (milk, dark, white, mint-flavored), and nuts. As you can probably tell from the picture above, I didn’t go traditional this last time around – I replaced some of the flour with cocoa powder, and used white chocolate chips along with some chopped chocolate I had in the pantry, because that’s what I had on hand. (Also, I really wanted more chocolate.)
As with anything, use the best stuff you can for the best-tasting cookies – good butter, good eggs, and good flour. If your dough is too soft at any point, just refrigerate it for half an hour or so and it should be good to go. This dough also freezes beautifully for future cookies!
Let’s do this.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
You will need:
- 1 c (2 sticks) of butter, softened
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8 oz chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, your choice
- 1 c nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or two with a Silpat or parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Stir in vanilla.
- With the mixer running (if using), gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate and nuts, if using.
- Drop tablespoon-sized mounds of cookie dough onto the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are browned but the centers are still gooey-looking.
- Allow cookies to cool briefly (1-2 minutes) on the baking sheets, then transfer cookies to cooling racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies: Replace up to 1/2 c of the flour with cocoa powder. Proceed with recipe. I especially like to use a combination of white chocolate and dark chocolate chunks or chips.
- Chocolate Wheat Cookies: Add a little nutritional value to your cookies (but for the love of God, don’t call them “healthy”): replace up to 1/2 of the flour with whole wheat flour, and proceed with the recipe.
- Chewier Chocolate Chip Cookies: Use all brown sugar for the sugar.
- Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies: Melt butter in a stainless steel skillet over medium to medium-low heat. (Don’t use a nonstick pan here, as it will be harder to tell when the butter has browned.) Heat, stirring frequently, until the butterfat begins to brown and take on a nutty aroma. Immediately remove from heat to prevent burning, and allow to cool for a few minutes to just above room temperature, but still liquid. Proceed with recipe through Step 4. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes until firm enough to hold together for shaping into mounds. Proceed with recipe.