Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Secret to Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies (SHHHHH!)

My Facebook friend, Patty, posted on my wall that she needed my best - think state fair winning - chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Naturally, I have such a thing.

Well, kind of.

It hasn't won any ribbons, but if compliments were ribbons, you'd have to find a truck large enough to haul all of them.

So, I've got a couple of secrets to my cookie making that I'd like to share with you.

These secrets, I'm only sharing with you, my closest friends, because that's what friends are for.

And I am that kind of friend.

And I'm hoping I can help Patty win a blue ribbon.

My secret to the best chocolate chip cookie are as follows...





FIRST...it's the recipe. It's called "The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie." It's seriously the world's best. I don't know who came up with it. If I did, I would write them a letter, add them as a friend on Facebook, stalk them on Twitter or any other social media outlet. It's just that good. It's so good that I've given this recipe to two friends who have made them for their boyfriends. They received marriage proposals within two weeks. Uh-huh. Yes. I'll occasionally call this recipe "Man Snagging Cookies" or "Seal the Deal Cookies." Ladies, if you are interested in a guy or it's about time he gets to gettin' with the proposal...make these.

This is the recipe:
World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of light brown sugar
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten (it's worth the extra bowl to lightly beat the eggs)
1 TBLS vanilla extract
3 cups of flour, sifted (very important step!)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter with sugars.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Add (in small increments) to the butter mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a medium cookie scoop that holds 2 Tbls of dough, scoop dough, roll into a ball and gently flatten into a patty. Place patties about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 11-13 minutes until top of cookies are dry but very light in color.

SECOND...you must use good vanilla. The cheap $2 a bottle that says "imitation vanilla" or "pure vanilla" extract needs to be tossed from the pantry.

You get what you pay for.

Spring for the good stuff like Madagascar or Tahitian vanilla. You will be able to tell an immediate difference. Trust me on this one.


THIRD...sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Don't skip this step. And don't cheat by stirring it together with a whisk.

My brothers, who don't know the difference between semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips, can tell a difference in the texture and freely offer their opinion. "These don't taste like the last ones you made. Whaddja do wrong??" Yeah...thanks for making me feel great guys.

Sift the flour. It makes a difference.


FOURTH...a medium sized cookie scoop is a must.

It makes each cookie into the perfect portion, and the cookies bake uniformly because they're all the same size.

You can also use the scooper for other things like measuring out a serving of peanut butter. Scooping sorbet with this scooper makes sorbet look dainty and cute. And who doesn't like cute sorbet scoops? Unless, of course, you're using a spoon and eating the sorbet straight out the ridiculously small container. Not like I've done that or anything.


FIFTH...roll the cookies into a ball, flatten them into a patty, and put them on a parchment paper lined pan.

Parchment paper will save your life when it comes to cleaning up. It's the best stuff ever. Everrrrr. Skip the foil and use parchment paper. And no, you can't use wax paper. They look alike, but wax paper is an entirely different thing.

Rolling and flattening the cookies makes them awesome. I don't know why, but it just does.


SIXTH...don't bake them too long. Watch them like a hawk and bake them until they are light brown. The sugars in the cookies will continue to cook after you take the cookies out of the oven.

What makes these cookies so good is that they are SOFT, so 11-13 minutes is the perfect time. If you're used to baking cookies until they are deep brown, it will feel weird, but trust me that this is the perfect amount of time.



And now you have my best chocolate chip cookie recipe and my cookie making secrets. I use this chocolate cookie recipe as a base to make other cookies like...

Turtle Cookies (pictured above)
2 cups milk chocolate chips (1 12oz bag)
2 cups chopped pecans
1 11 oz bag KRAFT caramel bits

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbls lemon zest

Nuts For You Cookies
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

S'mores Cookies
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup graham cracker pieces
1 cup dehydrated marshmallows

Tropical Cookies
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup chopped, dried pineapple
1 tbls lime zest
1 tsp cinnamon

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
omit salt from original recipe
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup lightly crushed pretzels

Strawberries and Cream
2 tsp strawberry extract
1 cup chopped, dried strawberries
2 cups white chocolate chips

Apple Walnut Cookies
1 cup walnut pieces
2 cups dried apples
2 tsps cinnamon
replace vanilla extract with rum extract

Caramel Apple Cookies
2 cups Kraft Caramel Bits
1 cup dried apple pieces, chopped
1 cup chopped peanuts


Think of how many more amazing combinations there are! Different extracts, spices, the possibilities are endless. I'd love know what new combinations you discover.

And that's my secret to chocolate chip cookies and cookies in general. Here's hoping any one of these varieties will wow the judges in the cookie competition Patty is entering!


Signature




***UPDATE***


The chocolate chip cookies took 
1st Place at the Maryland State Fair!! 
Congrats Patty!!


2 comments:

  1. You forgot a very crucial and critical step! The butter must be softened... NOT MELTED! Do not, I repeat, do not melt the butter to a liquid in the microwave, and then expect your cookies to be great. They will not be. Slightly melt the butter if you use the microwave, or better yet just let the sticks sit in a sunny spot on the counter for an hour or so before mixing. :)

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  2. Erin, here's another tip for fantastic chocolate chip cookies....let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight before scooping and baking. The rest allows the flour to completely hydrate and really makes for an outstanding cookie. You can ask google about it....new york times overnight choclate chip cookies.

    Also, try the Mexican Vanilla that NM makes. I've found it at Williams Sonoma and I think The Fresh Market.

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