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Look, I know that a lot of people claim to have the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Those people are wrong. After eight years of testing and hundreds of batches of cookies, I’m telling you, these are the perfect chocolate chip cookies. They’re soft, slightly crispy on the edges, full of chocolate chips, and topped with a flourish of flaky salt. Did I mention that the dough doesn’t need an overnight stint in the fridge? The dough doesn’t need an overnight stint in the fridge. Cookies wait for no man. Or, no (wo)man waits for cookies?
Where Did the Chocolate Chip Cookie Come From?
The chocolate chip cookie is one of America’s, nay, the world’s greatest inventions. To me, there is no better cookie on this beautiful planet Earth and, like many of the greatest inventions, the chocolate chip cookie was an accident.
In the 1930s, Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, added broken chocolate bar pieces into her cookie batter thinking that they would melt. Instead, the classic dessert was born.Alessandra bulow for epicurious
Little did Ruth Wakefield know that her “failed” culinary experiment would lead to the most perfect cookie ever. Her invention can now be seen in any bakery, most American homes, and you can even buy them by the bucket full at some state fairs.
Here is the Epicurious article referenced in the quote.
Let’s Talk Equipment
I use my beloved, beloved Bosch mixer to whip up my cookies, and I always make a double batch and freeze some dough. I use the metal whip driver and cookie paddle attachments for maximum cookie efficiency. Before I got my Bosch, I used a Breville mixer, which my mom got me when I graduated from college, and it served me very well for many years. It could not handle a double batch of dough though.
Now, do you need a stand mixer? Nope! You can mix up cookies with a hand mixer, or even a spoon and a bowl. It will just take more time. And arm muscles.
COOKIE SCOOPS ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT. I put off getting cookie scoops for way too long. Just get the scoop. I use a #40 cookie scoop for perfectly sized cookies. They hold about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of dough.
Don’t bake your cookies on a greased, bare baking sheet. The bottoms will be too brown and crunchy. Use either parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
How to Make The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
First, soften your butter. Do this either by leaving your butter out on the counter until it is soft, but still cool, or cheat and use the microwave. I show you how in this post.
Next, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until the mixture gets lighter in color and a little bit fluffy. Like this:
Next, add your eggs and mix until combined. I add all of mine at the same time, but add them one at a time if you’re using either a hand mixer or a lower powered mixer. Add the vanilla extract.
Whisk your dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add them in one addition to the mixer. I used to use two additions, but I learned in Dorie Greenspan’s cookie book that she only does one addition to prevent overmixing of the first addition. If it’s good enough for Dorie Greenspan, it’s good enough for me. Cover your mixer bowl if you can. Mix on low power until combined.
Next, add two cups of glorious chocolate chips and mix until combined. You’re technically not supposed to mix the chocolate chips in with a mixer, but I always do.
Let’s Discuss Chilling the Dough
Many chocolate chip cookie recipes call for chilling your dough overnight before you bake the cookies. This does not work for my cookie lifestyle. I don’t want cookies tomorrow, I want chocolate chip cookies right now. So, what I do is I start pre-heating my oven after I’ve made my dough, and I stick the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge for as long as it takes to preheat the oven, about 20 minutes. Chilling the dough a little bit does help the cookies not spread, and it makes them easier to scoop.
If you happen to have time, like if you know you’re bringing cookies to an event, then often I will make the dough the day before and bake the cookies the next day. The cookies that were chilled overnight have a slightly browner color, and a slight increase in caramel notes.
After your oven is ready, scoop out 1 and 1/2 to 2 tablespoon of dough into mounds on your cookie sheet, spaced evenly apart.
Bake the cookies for between 8 and 10 minutes. They are done when the edges start to brown. Don’t let them get too brown, they will be overbaked. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle the cookies with flaky sea salt, like Maldon salt. This really makes the flavor of the cookies pop.
Let your chocolate chip beauties cool on the cookie sheet long enough for them to set up, then transfer them to a wire rack.
Next, devour your glorious creations, and rejoice. Maybe share them with your friends and family. Maybe…
If you make nothing else on my site, make these cookies! Please tag me when you do @at_home_test_cook or #athometestcook. I can’t wait to see them!
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies of Your Life
- baking sheets
- parchment paper or silicone baking mats
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- flaky salt I use Maldon salt.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and the eggs. I add the eggs at the same time, but feel free to add them 1 at a time if you wish. Mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer in one addition. Cover the bowl of your mixer if you can, and mix on medium speed until combined. Do not overmix.
- Add your chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
- Scoop out 1 and 1/2 Tablespoon mounds of cookie dough about 2-3 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. I use a #40 cookie scoop for this.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. In my oven, they are perfect at 9 minutes. You want to just see a little browning around the edges, then it's time to pull them.
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle them with flaky salt.
- Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet until they are set, then finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Repeat until the cookie dough is gone.
- Enjoy your perfect cookies.