My perfect chocolate chip cookie has a marvelous crunch around the edges when you bite into them followed by a chewy interior which is why this is my perfect chocolate chip cookie.
I am surprised by the number of chocolate chip cookies that proclaim themselves to be "the perfect chocolate chip cookies". But in reality it is only their perfect cookie. Some people like their chocolate chip cookies crisp, or completely soft or crunchy.
This is my favorite chocolate chip cookise and there are five things that help get it to what I like the most.
Five Things to Make My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Use bread flour instead of all purpose flour. Bread flour is stronger and adds to the "chewiness" of the cookie.
- Use enough add ins. It doesn't make any difference if it is all chocolate chips, or you use some nuts or dried fruit. It is important as it helps hold the dough together in the oven and prevents it from spreading out too much.
- Use half butter for flavor and half shortening such as Crisco which helps prevent the cookies from spreading. All butter allows the cookies to spread out more in the oven, making a less compact cookie.
- Let the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight. It helps improve the flavor and the overall look of the cookie when baked. These cookies have a welcoming warm golden brown color with no underbaked centers.
- Double pan the cookies. This refers to placing one pan on top of another to slow down the heat to the bottom of the cookies making overbrowned or burned cookies a thing of the past.
Another thing I like to do is drop the chocolate chip cookies using a scooper and freeze them. Since there are only two of us now, eating 45 cookies in a few days isn't a good idea. I didn't say I couldn't do it – I most certainly can – but Mike has to limit his sugar intake and I should! After freezing, it is then a simple matter to bake them straight from the freezer adding a minute or two to thaw while baking.
The chocolate chip cookies should be pulled from the oven while they are still puffy. They will deflate into delicious chewiness as they cool. I move them from the hot pan to a rack to finish cooling as soon as they are stable enough – usually within a couple of minutes.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 ¼ cups bread flour (315 grams or 11 grams)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (114 grams or 4 ounces)
½ cup shortening (114 grams or 4 ounces)
¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams or 5 ⅓ ounces)
¾ cup light brown sugar (150 grams or 5 ⅓ ounces)
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips* (340 grams or 12 ounces)
*Or any combination of chips and nuts, raisins, dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl until well combined.Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Mix in the flour. Add the chips or whatever add ins you are using.
Place the dough in a sealed container. I usually sprinkle extra chips on top because the dough at the bottom of the mixer is now on top and doesn't always have as many chips. Store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
The chocolate chip cookies can be baked immediately but they will be paler in color, crisper and not as flavorful.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature until soft enough to shape. Drop the chocolate chip cookies with a #40 disher onto the baking sheets. Double pan. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes until set around the outside but still puffy in the middle. Cool on the baking sheet just until firmed up then move them to a rack to finish cooling.
The dough weighs about 1320 grams or about 3 pounds.
Yield: About 42 cookies
I made these and they turned out PERFECT! I just bake off two at a time for dessert and froze the rest of the dough balls after letting the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight. My regular go-to cookie recipe also used half Crisco and have butter, so I am fascinated to learn the reason behind it. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes.
Hi Hillary - So happy these were perfect for you too. I also freeze the majority of them and it is wonderful to have a treat by cooking just a few at a time. Thanks for letting me know.
Hi Hillary - Thanks for letting me know these turned out perfectly for you also. It wonderful to be able to bake off a few for a treat and know there are more in the freezer.
Made your recipe today and love it. Delicious cookies, crisp edges, chewy centers, great flavor. I must confess that I scooped the dough balls as soon as the dough was made. I couldn't wait 24 hours!! I chilled the dough balls for about an hour, then baked a few to see what would happen. Perfect cookies. I learned the bread flour trick many years ago, when Alton Brown did a show on chocolate chip cookies. It's foolproof and guarantees a chewy cookie. I was apprehensive about using Crisco because it lacks flavor. But that didn't present a problem in this recipe. Thank you for all the detailed information you always include. I'm learning so much from you. We all are! By the way, about the parchment paper discussion above, my grocery store brand (Publix) is quite sturdy and stands up to multiple uses-- I love it. I also buy precut sheets in various sizes and cake pan circles (8" and 9") from King Arthur Flour. Couldn't live without those products. The thin, one use paper is a waste of money.
Dear Irene: So happy you made the cookies and liked them. I didn't see much of Alton. When I had the bakery, I didn't see much of anything! Your are right, the Crisco is flavorless but that allows the butter to star and, as you saw, helps obtain that fat cookie.
At the bakery, we weren't allowed for sanitation reasons to reuse parchment. I can't at the restaurant either. I follow that at home.
Also, thanks for your kind words about the blog. When I started I had a love of baking and pastry but knew nothing about the production of it. Aside from consumer cookbooks there wasn't anything. In the long run that was best because I developed so many ways of doing things. Learning is an ongoing process that is still with me today. I'm happy to be able to pass it on so someone else can make something easier.
Karen B says
How big of a Cookie does a #40 Disher make? Since the dough is not mixed again after it is chilled for 24 hours, can it be formed into balls and than chilled?
The #40 dishes is 7/8 oz. or 1.75 tablespoons. The dough should not be formed before chilling. You will see in the photos posted later today (I accidentally posted before it was finished) there is a large difference in the look as well as the taste and texture of the cookie. By letting the dough rest overnight, the flour absorbs the moisture more evenly and the sugars become caramelized in the cookie when baked. As a result they are different than if they are baked immediately.
Karen B says
Helen, does this recipe make "thick" cookies or are they more on the flatter side? How long do you mix the flour into the recipe, until just incorporated or longer?
Hi Karen - photos of the cookies should be posted later today. I accidentally posted this before I wanted to. I couldn't get it unposed as it was too close in time to going out so I just let it go. You will see them.
Karen B says
Thanks for posting the additional photos!!!! But, can you tell me how long do you mix the flour into the batter, until just mixed in or longer?
I am an experienced baker(40+ years) but every time I make chocolate chip cookies, they always come out flat, real flat! I was trying to figure out why this always happens; I thought I was over mixing the batter. But, last week, I made them and mixed everything with a wooden spoon and they still came out flat! After reading your post, I think I might have figured it out. I am using all butter and they spread too much! I will be making your recipe tomorrow. Thanks so much for the "guidelines" for perfect cookies!
Hi Karen - The flour is just mixed in. You don't want to develop the gluten anymore than necessary by overtaxing. I had a bakery for 23 years cookies were the only thing we used crisco for. We used butter in all of our recipes but we couldn't in the cookies because they would come out flat and unattractive. Let me know if this succeeds for you. As you can see from the photo they are a beautiful cookie with some height to them.
Just one question... I think there is a typo or something on the amount of flour - 2 + 1/4 cups bread flour: 315 g or 11 ounces, right?
Hi Sally - Not sure what you are referring to 2 1/4 cups flour equals 315 grams or 11 ounces. Where is the typo? The flour weighs 140 grams per cup or 5 ounces.
In the post it says grams... or grams... I guess it should be: grams.... or ounces
Yes, you are right. I corrected it to say ounces. Thanks for pointing that out.
Great! Glad to help... ;-)
Another great post. And again, your description is SO right.
Right now my kitchen is gutted so I can't try them till I have the appliances in. But next time I will try the bread flour. That sounds like a very good idea.
I like an add in of espresso powder too, but now that changes the cookie, right?
I only have two comments that work for me (for "our" cookies :-))
I have had 3 hand surgeries so dishing out the dough is easier for me right after it is mixed rather than after the whole batch chilled overnite.
Messier but easier.
After the balls chill up a bit, I take a measuring cup and flatten them into hocky pucks. I find as they bake they spread out more evenly, but some people like the middle high and thin crisp edges. My perfect cookie is crisp all the way thru- each to their own!!
And like you two, we won't eat a whole batch either. So I just freeze the balls on a sheet pan and then transfer them to a zipper bag. Or I bake them and give them as gifts.
Thanks again for a wonderful read today. Plus no kitchen has me chomping at the bit to get in there and bake.
Hi Rockyrd - I understand the hand surgeries. I have had both hands done. The right hand was done last July and I was out of work for 3 weeks. But it is great now. It is best not to scoop before chilling. I just take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Same thing but a better end result.
Adding espresso powder is fine. It should alter anything but the taste - which sounds good.Sounds like you are getting a new kitchen. How exciting.
Ok Helen if you say chilling first, scooping later will effect the texture, I will try it. Just seems I am always in a hurry, know what I mean? That is why I have always dished them out after mixing. But we are about texture here too so I will try that once my oven gets hooked up.
A friend invited us to their house for the weekend and as a gift she made my husband a big jar of choc chip cookies that were more "tender" I would say. So when she woke up the following morning she was surprised that my husband had lined up a good amount of them out on the counter overnite so they would get hard and stale. More crunchy. You should have seen her face.
What kind of chocolate chips do you like? Or how about chopping chocolate from a bar?
One day I would like your opinion on parchment paper. There are so many kinds. I usually buy the full sized sheets and cut them down as needed. Some is very nice and heavy, holds up to multiple bakings of similar items, but others are so thin and get brittle after one baking. Sure they dont stick, but sometimes the grease leaks thru. How do you know what to buy without being able to open the package?
What about silicone liners? I find cookies steam on them because they are not porous. They are easy to clean and surely reusable.
Thanks for the advice.
Hi Rockyrd: Because I am still active in baking, I get most of my products from commercial bakery suppliers. In fact recently, I thought I needed to get some half sheet parchment liners only to discover when I pulled the box forward, I still had half a box left - about 700! The parchment liners I get are one time use and, depending upon what I am baking, sometimes the grease does come through. Sometimes not.
I have one silicone liner that I use for praline and other boiled sugar products. I have never used it for cookies. I had purveyors who wanted me to buy the silicone mats for my sheet trays when they first came out. I had over 150 trays. The cost was prohibitive. I also don't like the looks after they have been used a lot. They never look clean to me and that is a big deal for me.
I honestly don't know what is out there for consumers. But my bottom line is that is keeps things from sticking and that is all I look for. At the bakery, I had a utility person who did all the dishes. However, I have washed so many dishes in my professional life, it is second nature. At the restaurant, I do my own because I don't want them run through the professional dishwasher because it strips them of their finish, so I hand wash them. Sorry not to be more help.
Thanks for your take on the perfect chocolate chip cookie. We're working hard to eliminate shortening or man made trans fats from all our baked goods for a healthier, more natural cookie. How would you balance your recipe using all butter?
You can use all butter but the cookies will spread more which is the reason for using the Crisco. The Crisco makes a thicker, chewier cookie than all butter. I don't know of any substitution for the Crisco.
Coming from you and with the qualification of PERFECT, I must try this recipe on my next adventure with choc chip cookies
will let you know...
We can never get enough of chocolate chip cookies! I love to see them disappear so quickly. I also like my chocolate chip cookies crispy on the sides and chewy in the centre. I have added all kinds of add ins to these cookies including sour punk and this makes it so much fun to eat and bake :)
Thanx for the Important tips before the recipe. Very handy indeed.