The first chocolate chip cookie recipe I learned, with a few tweaks I've added over the years, is now the one that I always use. I've tried others but, whether in actuality or the sentimentality that comes with a beloved recipe, I have yet to find one I like more.
My recipe has its roots in my parent's beat up copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, that my mom bought just after my parents were married. The most worn page is the page that contains the chocolate chip cookie recipe. Both of my grandmothers used this same recipe.
A few years ago I saw a link on pinterest to the New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. I pinned it to my cookie and bars recipe board and promptly forgot about it. Occasionally I would go to bake cookies and think about trying a different recipe but it's so much easier to use one that I have memorized and always have the ingredients for.
Almost as soon as I started my blog I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to make myself try out and 'test' a recipe against my own.
First thing was to make sure I had all the ingredients I needed. I had most everything but, did need, bread flour and dark chocolate chips.
The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe can be found on their website in the cooking section.
The next step should have been reading through the instructions. I'm terrible when it comes to this, especially for cookie recipes. I have my own style and preferences when it comes to cookie baking that I'll get to that when I run through my recipe. Even though I should have, I did not in fact, read through the new one ahead of time. So, it was quite a surprise when I read that the dough needed to be refrigerated for, at minimum, 24 hours. Right. Not a problem. I can wait a day to bake them off.
After putting the NYT dough in the fridge, I went ahead and baked my recipe because I couldn't withhold the cookies that had been promised to my family. That's just not a nice thing to do.
A day later, and no more likely to read instructions then I was the day before, I'm ready to bake. One thing I really appreciate about the NYT recipe is that there is a weight measurement for the cookie size. When trying to follow instructions exactly it's incredibly helpful to not have to guess what 'the size of generous golfballs' means. I was very intrigued by the use of cake for lightness and bread flour for structure. Also the addition of baking powder for added lift, makes sense because of the bread flour. I'm a huge fan of salt on cookies, and the combination of sea salt and dark chocolate is divine.
The thing I really did not like about this recipe is how long the baking time is, 18-20 mins. These are huge cookies, however I like my cookies to be barely golden brown around the edges. I normally bake small cookies for 8 minutes and larger cookies for 12 at most. It looks a little under baked but it means the cookies stay soft for up to a week in an air tight container. I'm very rarely a crunchy cookie fan. Unless it is a more spiced cookie, like ginger snaps, I think that crunchy cookies don't retain as much flavor as a softer one. In particular, more delicate flavors are lost. Ok, moving on from my opinion on the heated crunchy vs soft cookie debacle.
When it comes to my cookie baking style. I don't tend to pay attention to instructions. I often substitute ingredients that I don't have on hand. I don't like over complicated recipes and instructions. And what I consider to be the perfectly baked cookie can looked under baked at first glance.
My essential tools are a KitchenAid mixer, a one oz (I think) cookie scoop, well loved metal baking sheets, a oven you are familiar with, a good metal spatula to help in the transfer of super soft and still warm cookies, and a cross-wire grid cooling rack.
Because the cookie scoop makes perfectly rounded little domes, I've found that I'm happier with the resulting cookie if I use my fingers to push each cookie down a little and flatten the tops. This ensures more even baking and better texture in the finished cookie.
I bake my cookies until they are just golden brown around the edges and have started to crack on top. They will be a little puffed up but still very soft. When they cool they fall in on themselves a little but stay soft for a week or so in an air tight container. Yum!
Libby's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Metal cookie sheet(s)
1 oz cookie scoop
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Pre heat oven to 350°. Combine butter, sugars, egg and vanilla in kitchen mixer on medium speed. Cream together on medium/high speed until fully combined and slightly lighter in color. About 2-3 minutes.
Add in flour, baking soda and salt on medium speed. Mix until almost fully combined. Less then 2 minutes.
Add chololate chips on medium speed until dry ingredients are no longer visible and chocolate chips are eavenly distributed. About 30 seconds.
Scoop 12 monds of dough evenly spaced onto a cookie sheet. press cookes down to flatten the tops and ensure more equal baking.
Bake until just golden brown around the edges. About 8 mins.
Move cookies onto a cooling rack with a metal spatula.
After baking both my recipe and the NYT recipe I can say that I still much prefer my own. On the whole it is much simpler and faster and in my opinion has better flavor in the dough. If you don't mind having to get more specialty flours and making the dough a head of time the NYT recipe is a great cookie that delivers a lot of salty dark chocolate taste.
Really the best recipes are the ones you learned from family or a dear friend. Recipes have history and character all their own. There is nothing like food to bring people together.