Chocolate Chip Cookies
When you think about baking, surely enough chocolate chip cookies are one of the first things that come to mind. They’re an absolute classic treat, and certainly, a treat that you can find wherever you go. This weekend, I’m celebrating my 24th birthday, and I couldn’t help but bake a batch of my favourite cookies to share with my friends!
I never thought the day would come that I gave out my chocolate chip cookie recipe, but one of the things about chocolate chip cookies is the versatility that they possess. As common as they are, they’re actually quite tricky to perfect, so I also want to share some tips that I learned throughout the years on how to nail the ideal cookie.
When I started baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch, I found that I always had the same issues. Either my cookies were too flat, too dry, too crunchy, lacked enough chocolate, fell apart easily, or they lacked the golden colour of a classic cookie. I did a LOT of troubleshooting throughout the years. Sometimes, I gave up and resorted to Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies because I thought that I would never figure it out.
The key to perfecting the chocolate chip cookie was the right ratios of ingredients and the proper temperatures and textures. Every chocolate chip cookie contains the basic ingredients of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. If you’re looking for a quality chocolate chip cookie, use quality ingredients. Ensure that your brown sugar is still soft and free of lumps. Use pure butter instead of margarine too! And be sure that you do NOT skip the baking powder and baking soda. These leavening agents are vital to ensuring that your cookie is pillowy soft and obtains that golden colour that you're looking for. For an ingredient so small, omitting one or the other has a damaging effect on the overall outcome of the cookie. Lastly, select quality chocolate to chop into chunks. Be GENEROUS with your chocolate—always add more! A doughy cookie will be quite plain, but nobody will ever complain about too much chocolate!
Next, ensuring that each ingredient has reached room temperature is very important as well. When eggs are at room temperature, they dilute to their largest volume and you get the most success with baking. It’s quite important that your butter has softened to room temperature, but if it’s melted, you're going to get a thin and crunchy cookie! If you don’t have time to wait for the butter to completely soften, I have tried chopping it up into cubes onto a plate, filling a bowl with boiling water to heat the bowl, and then pouring the water out and covering the butter on the plate with the bowl for several minutes. It creates a warmer environment for the butter and allows it to soften without being in direct contact with heat. Check it often though—sometimes you may find that it goes too far and your butter will melt!
The texture of the overall dough will give you an idea of how well your cookies will turn out. Personally, I like a drier dough that doesn't spread so easily, because when you scoop your cookies into balls, they bake in a pillowy-soft shape and you’ll avoid the crunch. Another way to avoid crunchy cookies that fall apart easily is to ensure that the cookies do not over bake. I always try not to test my cookies for doneness because they always seem so doughy! I start checking around 9 minutes to see if the edges start to turn golden. When they do, I remove the cookie sheet from the oven and I don’t touch them anymore until they're completely cooled. This is because the heat from the tray continues to bake the cookies a little longer. As well, the centres drop a little when they’re left doughy and this creates the soft interior that we’re searching for.
I always said that I would never share my chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I figured that it was about time because I know just how finicky cookies can be. Hopefully, my troubleshooting tips struck a chord with you and you’ll be on your way to successful chocolate chip cookies in no time!
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
300g solid chocolate bar, chopped into chunks
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars together until creamy.
Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add this to the mixer and mix until a dough forms. If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour until the dough dries up a little.
Scoop into balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden.
Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet.