People! It's National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Just thought you would want to know.... (and I'm posting this so late because blogger took over 2 hours to upload the three pictures in this post - argh).
So it's quite apropos that I blog about these chocolate chip cookies today. Although, technically, I made these with chocolate chunks but let's not split hairs. Or chocolate. I first made these cookies last holiday season and they were definitely worth making again. This is one of the cookie doughs I made over the hot weekend when it was too hot to turn my oven and bake yet I wanted to do something baking-ish. The only thing I love more than chocolate chip cookies is chocolate chip cookies with chunks of milk chocolate instead of chips. As in, I took one of my remaining slabs of milk chocolate that I'd bought on my last European trip and cut them into chunks for this cookie dough. I can have the slabs of chocolate in my pantry for weeks and even months without touching them but once I get it into my head to put them in cookies, they're dust. Or chunks.
I actually have a couple of favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes - one of them being Alton Brown's version. But I also like this one from Averie's blog. Regardless of which recipe you use, here are my recommended cookie-baking techniques for moist, chunky cookies with little spread, crisp edges, chewy middles and just overall goodness:
- Only use butter. Trust me. If you're going to use shortening, make sure to use at least an equal amount of butter. Butter-flavored shortening will not save you or your cookies.
- Start with your butter slightly chilled, not softened and not room temperature, especially in warm weather. If your butter is too soft, your cookies will spread too much, even if you chill the dough first.
- Use the good chocolate! You can get away with Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips but if you're going to go with chocolate chunks, use good quality chocolate. Go large with the chunks. They're called chunks, not chocolate slivers or bits, for a reason.
- Chill your dough until firm, preferably overnight in your fridge or freezer before baking. Make the dough into dough balls before you chill or freeze them.
- Bake the cookies on light-colored cookie sheets. Dark-colored pans will brown the bottoms of your cookies too quickly and cause them to be too hard or dry before the tops are baked properly. I like to line my cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier cleanup and better baking.
- Bake the cookies just until the edges are golden brown and the middles are just barely past the raw stage, i.e. not shiny or doughy-looking. Do not bake until they're puffy and have cracks in the middle - they're overbaked by then.
- Eat your first cookie 10 minutes after you take them out of the oven. The edges will be crisp, the middle moist without being too mushy and the chips will be melt-y. It should be lukewarm and not so hot that you can't taste the cookie. You'll be spoiled forever and won't eat chocolate chip cookies any other way after that.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted and used exclusively in place of bread flour)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
6 ounces (3/4 cup) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
6 ounces bittersweet or dark baking chocolate, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 3 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flours (solely using all-purpose flour will work, but the cookies will not be as chewy), corn starch, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Add the chocolate chips and chunks, and either fold in by hand or beat for a few seconds on low speed. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 5 days (although chilling the dough is theoretically not necessary; in reality cookies spread less with chilled dough).
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 2-ounce cookie scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, form heaping mounds and place them on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges, even if slightly undercooked in the center, noting the tops will not be browned and will be pale. Do not cook longer than ten minutes as cookies will darken and firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.