I am not naive enough to believe in the one “perfect” chocolate chip cookie. What makes an ideal cookie is a personal matter, and I can’t speak for anyone other than myself. I would, however, like to share my very favorite chocolate chip cookie, an old standby that I could eat one of before bed every single night without complaint (and have, at various points in my life, typically with a scoop of Tillamook Old Fashioned Vanilla ice cream).
My idea of perfection includes crispy edges, a soft, slightly gooey center, and marbled ribbons of dark chocolate. It also involves a generous amount of salt, both in the dough and sprinkled on top. I’d love to introduce you.
Here we have my five-year-old son pulling a fresh from the oven cookie apart, in a photo he may very well one day be discussing with his therapist.
Cookie Baking Tips
Small changes can make big impacts in the world of cookies. My most important cookie baking tips include:
- Weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale to ensure accuracy. I use and love this one.
- On the same note, an oven thermometer takes the guess work out of how hot your oven really is.
- Use room temperature butter and be careful not to under (it will be gritty and dense) or over (it will be greasy and nearly white) cream your butter.
- Use good quality ingredients! You will taste the difference when you use European-style butter like Kerrygold and high quality dark chocolate. I love using a whole bar of Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% dark chocolate in this recipe. It is delicious and reasonably priced.
- And for the love, please use real vanilla extract, not imitation! Nielsen Massey is my favorite. Costco’s is also great!
- A sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top never hurt anybody.
- Refrigerate the dough for up to 48 hours before baking to help the flavors caramelize, and to get those crispy edges while the centers stay soft.
- Baking on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat keeps your cookies from spreading too much, and makes clean up easy. I have Silpat baking mats and these silicone baking mats from Amazon and use them interchangeably.
I’ve adapted this recipe from the New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe, with my own changes after making it countless times. I use all-purpose flour rather than a mix of cake and bread flour to simplify things (I have made it both ways many times and do not notice a difference; the mix of cake and bread flour equates to a very similar protein percentage as all-purpose flour). I use salted European butter instead of unsalted, and chopped chocolate to give the cookies both small flecks and large gooey pools of dark chocolate through out.
Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 3 ⅓ cups flour (482g)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cups salted Kerrygold butter, room temperature* (284g)
- 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar (283g)
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar (227g)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 500 grams chocolate, chopped (one Trader Joe's Pound Plus 72% dark chocolate bar)
- flaky sea salt, such as Maldon for finishing
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and sugar together with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes at a moderate speed.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
- Turn mixer to lowest setting and add dry ingredients, mixing until just barely combined. Add chopped chocolate and gently mix to incorporate.
- Scoop dough into cookie dough balls (I use my hands) that weigh about 100g each. Do not flatten or roll the dough into smooth balls – the more nooks and crannies, the better! Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and place in the fridge to chill for at least one hour, but up to 48 hours, before baking.**
- Preheat the oven to 350' (325' convection). Bake cookies, 6 at a time, on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet for 12-15 min, until golden around the edges.***
- Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 10 minutes to set. You can use a spatula to gently nudge edges of cookies into a circular shape while cookies are still warm. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.