What is your favorite cookie? It is National Cookie Day so it seems a good time to ask. Mine is so commonly beloved and yet so un-original and pedestrian it's almost silly to mention. The almighty chocolate chip cookie. Nothing beats a delicious gooey chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven, and yes, you bet I pair it (them) with a big tall glass of milk! It was one of the very first things my mom would let me make in the kitchen as a kid. I'd follow the Toll House recipe right off the bag of the Nestle semi-sweet morsels and I did it so often I stopped needing to look at the measurements.
But alas, as the years went on, my favorite recipe seemed a bit clumsy. I was looking for more. Something just a bit different, and it was mostly about the consistency, I don't love the cakey cookies. I prefer either chewy or crispy ones. So, although my kids and I do still make the ol' Toll House standby (it's a child's rite of passage to be able to bake these FROM SCRATCH dammit so don't succumb to the convenience of the slice and bake or, God forbid, the box cookies!). However, I have experimented with adjusting the recipe to no avail, so I began to search for actual recipes that support what wanted as an end result. And the following 2 recipes, in my humble opinion, are the best for each of the 2 types I was specifically looking for. Chef Thomas Keller wins the soft and chewy and Tate's wins for the most flavorful crispy cookies I've ever had, period. (RECIPES BELOW):
Soft and chewy:
Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Ad Hoc At Home, by Thomas Keller with Dave Cruz, along with Susie Heller, Michael Ruhlman and Amy Vogler.
- 2 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 ounces 55 percent chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 5 ounces 70 to 72 percent chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar, preferably molasses sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Position the oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
- Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl. Stir in the salt.
- Put the chips in a fine-mesh basket strainer and shake to remove any chocolate “dust” (small fragments).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat, half the butter on medium speed until fairly smooth. Add both sugars and the remaining butter, and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Mix in the chocolate.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the dough with a spatula to be sure that the chocolate is evenly incorporated. The dough or shaped cookies can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to five days or frozen for up to two weeks. Freeze shaped cookies on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer containers. Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
- Using about two level tablespoons per cookie, shape dough into balls. Arrange eight cookies on each pan, leaving about two inches between them, because the dough will spread.
- Bake for twelve minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny, switching the position and rotating pans halfway through baking.
- Cool cookies on the pans on cooling racks for about two minutes to firm them up a bit, then transfer to the racks to cool completely. Repeat with second batch of cookies. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.
Copycat Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 sticks plus 3 TBS salted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Eggs, room temperature
- 1 bag semisweet chocolate chips (about 12 ounces)
- coarse sea salt (for topping cookies)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. As it heats, combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars and butter. Use an electric mixer to beat the two together, whipping them until the mixture is a pale yellow and has a creamy texture. Slowly beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the flour mixture, adding a little at a time until fully combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Form into 1-inch patties and place about 1-2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a little coarse sea salt.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the cookies are a warm, golden brown and look crispy on the edges.