Monday, August 3, 2015

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies - made dough July 12, 2015 from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
I put "Perfect" in quotes in the recipe title as that's what the original blogger called them but I've been making (and eating) cookies long enough to know that "perfect" never means the same thing to everyone. To me, a perfect chocolate chip cookie is chubby and chewy (no thin, crispy cookies in my universe), make with milk chocolate chips or chunks (not semisweet), no nuts, no raisins, nothing but chocolate, has crisp edges, chewy middles and is underbaked just enough that it could never be considered dry. That's perfection.
But even in the realm of perfection, I have 3 chocolate chip cookie recipes that fit that criteria and tend to be my go-to recipes of choice. Alton Brown's, Averie's and the Bakery Style one from Crazy for Crust. With the copycat Panera recipe as a 4th but still close choice. Let's be clear though - it isn't just about the recipe but the method in making it and what I look for in terms of ingredients.
First, any good chocolate chip cookie recipe should have both brown sugar and granulated sugar. I've tried recipes with all of one or the other and they never turn out as well. All-granulated sugar is too sweet and is missing the caramel overtones from the brown sugar. All brown sugar doesn't have as good a texture and is more butterscotch than chocolate chip. Most recipes vary by the amount between the two but make sure you use a recipe that has both.
Second, no matter what the recipe says, make the dough, portion it into dough balls and chill or freeze them before baking. Seriously. Or end up with flat cookies. Some cookies will flatten anyway, depending on the composition of the recipe. For the life of me, I've never been able to make the original Tollhouse cookie recipe ever as thick as the Nestle people show in their pictures. I just can't. So now I just do it my way. And third includes my way of using milk chocolate chips, not semisweet. To each, her own.
This cookie recipe turned out pretty well but it doesn't dislodge any of my top 4 recipes. Part of that could have been my fault though as I was so paranoid about overbaking that I think I underbaked it just a trifle. You can tell from the bite I had below and the cookie was still lukewarm so it looks mushy in the picture. Fortunately, once it was fully cooled, it looked and tasted better but that's another sign I underbaked it too much because the optimal chocolate chip cookie eating time is 10 minutes out of the oven. It's a good basic chocolate chip cookie recipe which flattened a little more than I would have liked but still had decent thickness. But if you haven't already tried one of my top 4 favorites, you might want to try those first.
¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups chocolate chips
  1. In a stand mixer cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
  2. Mix in the egg and vanilla. 
  3. Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Mix until everything is combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop dough into golf-ball-sized dough balls and chill, covered, for several hours or overnight. 
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly space the frozen dough balls. Bake for 9 minutes, until the edge are just golden brown. The center will appear underdone. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.


  1. Looks amazing! I totally agree about the brown sugar / granulated sugar. (and about not undercooking-- although I know that's big right now, I also like cookies fully cooked!) I'm interested in the cornstarch in this recipe. Do you think that added anything special? :)

  2. The cornstarch makes for a softer cookie so you can notice the difference if you taste one with and one without cornstarch. I can go either way but I think it's more noticeable if you tend to keep cookies over a couple of days. I don't since I only bake one at a time to enjoy the freshest possible cookie or, if I bake the whole batch, I give it away all at once so I rarely taste a day-old cookie :).