8/18/14

Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies (2014)



School starts up next week in our community. Is there anything better after a long day at school than a melt-in-your-mouth homemade chocolate chip cookie?
If you've ever made chocolate chip cookies, you've probably had a baking failure. Am I right?
Today, we are going to solve that problem. Once and for all.
NO MORE CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKE COOKIES.  Ever again.




In 2010, after months of testing methods and ingredient combinations for baking chocolate chip cookies, I came up with a recipe that works.  Every. Single. Time.
Since then, I've continued to update, simplify and improve this recipe. For the original recipe, with step by step photos, check out  this post.  This recipe is a one bowl, 20 minute (start to finish)  success.




I've made these cookies a few hundred times. Everyone- from young neighbor kids to folks in nursing homes love these cookies.
I know you're going to love them too.
Happy Baking!






ABK's Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies (updated 8/2014)
A Bountiful Kitchen (adapted from Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe)
print recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened *
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt ( I prefer coarse salt)
2 cups  or 1 (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. If using convection, preheat to 375 as well.
For regular oven, place rack in middle of oven. When using a convection oven, you should be able to bake on all racks at one time.
Cut butter into pieces ( about 2 tablespoons each) and place in mixing bowl. I use a Kitchen Aid and power it on 2 (low).  After a few seconds, add granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until creamy (this takes just a few seconds). Add eggs, beating just until incorporated and smooth.  Never turn the beaters on high. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl to insure all ingredients are incorporated.
Dump 2 cups of the flour, soda, salt and chocolate chips all together into bowl with butter mixture. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour to the top of this mixture. Slowly mix the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips together.  Do not over mix. Turn the dough with a rubber spatula so the bottom of the dough is mixed into the top of the dough. This will insure the flour is mixed in properly and the chips are distributed evenly.
Using a cookie scoop, drop onto un-greased baking sheets, or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place 6 scoops of dough on each baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
If using convection, bake for 7-10 minutes until golden brown. If using regular oven, bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be slightly golden and the cookie should not be wet on top.
Cool on baking sheets completely.
Yield 18 large cookies.

Tips:
(or my mini-epistle on cc cookie making and baking)
-Only use butter. Unsalted is best. The butter should be more firm than room temperature butter. I take it straight out of the fridge, and microwave it for about 20 seconds.
-*Our altitude is about 4,400 ft. So, I use about 2 3/4 cups flour total. The original Toll House recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups. If you are at sea level, you will probably need less flour than the 2 3/4 cup.
-Don't over beat the butter-sugar mixture, or the batter will become too soft, and your cookies will not be beautiful and puffy. They will resemble pancakes. 
-Don't sift the flour.
-There is usually a notable difference between using a convection and a standard oven. If you bake at the same temperature, for the same amount of time, the convection cookie will be done, with a beautiful, golden, slightly crispy outer layer. Still soft on the inside. And it will be taller than the cookie baked in a standard oven. Not everyone has a convection oven- if you don't, you can still bake a great cookie using a standard oven!
-I think two of the biggest mistakes made while baking cookies are:
1-Over mixing. This will cause the batter have too much air incorporated, producing a fluffy, instead of a chewy cookie.
2- Over bakingUnder baking is good! Not under baked to the point the cookie is wet and doughy, but just until the top sets, and the dough looks like it has a bit of a crust.
-Chocolate chips - For semi sweet,  I use Nestle Semi Sweet chips. You can't go wrong here. But for Milk Chocolate, we prefer Guittard . The chips are called Maxi Chips and are sold in a silver colored bag.
-If the cookie spreads too much, or the edges are not even, I take a small spatula and push the edges inward to create a cookie that is round. This has to be done immediately after removing from the oven, or remove the pans half way through baking and push the sides in to form a circle. Place pan back in oven and finish baking. 
- High Altitude info: Not recommended-directions on Nestle Choc Chip package for high altitude- I have tried this variation, and don't like the result. The cookies aren't quite sweet enough, and have a crispy more cake like texture. Here are the directions on the package: (again I do NOT recommend using this method, but have printed it here as an FYI)  Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.
-Last tip. Mound the cookie into a ball. I make them about the size of a golf ball. I use a cookie scoop, because it's easier for me. For years, I just used a spoon, and then shaped them by hand. Make sure to flatten the cookie just a bit before baking. To yield 18 cookies use a  2 1/4 inch scoop.


17 comments:

  1. Thank you SO much for the very detailed instructions. I have always wondered why my cookies didn't turn out like I wanted them to. I always beat the butter and eggs until they were super fluffy. These sound fabulous! I think chocolate chip cookies are in my afternoon plans!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're welcome Carolyn! All of the little things make a difference when baking in our altitude. Happy baking!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi,
    I am about to make these cookies...even though I'm pretty sure I've made them before. (i have tried 82% off your baked goods recipes) Anyway, I happen to only have medium eggs at the moment, instead of the recommended "large eggs". Would 2 1/2 medium suffice? Or perhaps 3? TIA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would use two unless the eggs seem really small then I'd probably use two plus a yolk.

      Delete
  4. Thank you.

    ...and I used two plus I beat one extra in a cup, and added half of the beaten egg. You see, I was too impatient to wait for a response. :/ The dough tastes good, so if the cookies don't turn out, I can just eat the dough. Win/Win.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ok i am not a baker! i make one type of cookie bar because i know it will turn out! putting this recipe and instructions to the test!! sweet ♥

    ReplyDelete
  6. i live in houston, texas, so basically sea level! could you suggest a flour amount to use? also, where do you get such big cookie scoops? love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bethany,
      I would start with about 2 1/4. My guess is you will need a total of about 2 1/2 . If the dough still seems sticky, add a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough is not sticky. Let us know how it bakes up at Sea Level! thanks.

      Delete
  7. I'm a baker. I can bake anything! But that basic freakin' chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of chocolate chip bags has messed with me for years! I always ruin them. I've never been able to understand it. They always tasted good, but they looked like crap...and we eat with our eyes, right? But then yesterday, I watched you on Studio 5 and I knew you had come to rescue me! And listen--I just made this recipe and they are BEAUTIFUL in every way...taste, texture, & appearance. Your tips are magical. I will no longer be afraid of that recipe on the back of the bag! And my husband will no longer be able to mock my sad little cookies. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy,
      So good to hear you had success! It makes me smile when I hear stories like yours! Thanks for sharing and happy baking!
      Si

      Delete
  8. Hi Si! My family has fallen in love with this recipe...I am so glad that I found it on your beautiful blog! My daughter in law grew up in Bountiful so I will have to ask her about Plates and Palates and will have to go there the next time I am in Salt Lake County (I'm in Alpine). Thanks so much for stopping by. I don't know if you go to blogging conferences but if you are planning on going to the Six Sisters Conference in February, I'd love to hook up! Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb, I am considering going to the conference. My daughter will be speaking, I believe! I'd love to get together. My email is Fostersi at msn dot com

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the tips!! Do you recommend "pure conv" or "conv bake" when using all 3 racks for cookies? BTW - you were darling on Studio 5!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tried this delicious recipe after watching your segment on Studio 5. These were AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing! Adding to our family's favorites ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think that you are the most wonderful woman on the planet! I have been on the phone with my mom, sister, and neighbors, telling them I FINALLY made my 1st batch of good cookies!! THANK YOU for the recipe, and all the helpful tips! I think I have been over mixing my whole life! I feel like I do a decent job cooking, with the exception of cookies---until now! THANKS!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. big thank you for this recipe! My husband L-O-V-E-S chocolate chip cookies and I have failed so many times, and swore I would never try again. My sister showed me this recipe and I thought what the heck. I will never forget my hubbys face when he bit into one of your cookies and said "they're actually good!" 😂

    ReplyDelete

Tell us how you really feel...