My mother always says that cooking is an art, but baking is a science. I guess it makes sense then that the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had were perfected by an especially methodical engineer friend of mine.
I firmly believe that everyone needs a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. Monica Gellar and I are on the same page when it comes to a secret, viciously competitive need to one day be the mother with best chocolate chip cookies in the neighborhood. Fortunately I met Rebecca, whose recipe solidified my future maniacal success.
These cookies are not only delicious (and we’re talking fall-on-the floor-swooning good here) they are Mrs. Fields-envy-inducing beautiful. The secret is to roll the dough into a ball, then break it in half and mush the two halves together so the rough, broken faces are facing up, and then leave plenty of room for them to spread in the oven.
This was one recipe I followed to the letter. When Rebecca and I lived in the same neighborhood I once asked her for the recipe to take some cookies to work as a thank you for some help on a project. She agreed, but with the caveat that she come to my kitchen and make them for me. She didn’t trust me to do it right. Generally I would take offense, but in this case I was happy to pour the wine and keep her company while she baked, and didn’t look at the recipe once. The first time I embarked on the recipe alone I knew experimentation was futile. Sometimes you can’t mess with a classic.
¾ cup butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 1/8 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until creamy. Add vanilla, egg and egg yolk and continue to beat. In a separate, medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips until just combined.
NB: 2 cups is way more chips than I would typically use but if nothing else the exorbitant quantity of chocolate adds to the lumpy, fresh from the oven look of the cookies, so I highly recommend using the full amount. At least once.
Scoop a ¼ cup of dough and roll into a ball, break the ball apart, turn each half 90° and mush the two halves back together, broken sides up. Place well spaced on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
Bake for 17 minutes or until just starting to turn golden.
NB: ¼ cup of dough make giant cookies. They are unbeatable for ice cream sandwiches or simply blowing the cookie-curve in front of your friends or anyone you really, really need to impress, but if you’re looking for a smaller cookie I made half my batch using more of a heaping tablespoon quantity and baked them for 13-15 minutes.
These cookies bake a bit longer than other cookies. I think that’s partly because they’re thicker, and benefit for a bit more time at a lower temperature, but in the last couple minutes in the oven, when they start to brown, their taste changes from cookied-cookie-dough to carmelly-cookie goodness. That’s the only way I can describe it, you’re just going to have to try them for yourself and see.