The snow that *everyone* has been warning and preparing me for is finally here, and I really hope it stays. It’s not the first snow, but it is the first time I’m ankle deep in it! Everything is just so pretty when it’s covered in fresh snow. I’d even go as far to say the run-down market down the street looks rather nice sprinkled with snow. It’s a simple equation. (object) + (snow) = pretty.
This weather activates my baking gene. It especially makes me want to bake cookies, and not just any kind: chocolate chip cookies. A good chocolate chip cookie is amazing. A bad chocolate chip cookie … should be outlawed. I’ve tried a lot of recipes, and the popular chocolate chip cookie recipe on AllRecipes.com is by far the best. When I serve these cookies, people often ask for the recipe, so now I’m sharing it on S&F. However, the credit goes to Dora, the mysterious woman who originally posted the recipe.
The ingredient list is probably the most important information on a recipe, but the instructions are a close second. Creating the perfect chocolate chip cookies means having the right ingredients and nailing the technique. Perfect is subjective, so allow me to describe my perfect cookie (and the cookie you will end up with if you follow this recipe to the T). The perfect cookie is soft and only slightly crispy around the edges. It’s chewy and not overly sweet. It’s about 1/4” thick, flat, and wrinkled on top.
Here are my tips for the perfect chocolate chip cookie:
- Make sure your unsalted butter is perfectly soft. Your butter should be soft enough that if you stick your finger into the butter, it would easily create a cavity. Leave your butter out on the counter in a warm spot, for example, near the stove. If you don’t have time for that, pop your stick of butter in the microwave for 10 seconds. If a small portion of your butter slightly melts into liquid (like a teaspoon of liquid), that’s ok. If it’s too melted, pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Cream the butter and sugars until it’s completely smooth. I’m talking baby’s bottom smooth. You should use brown sugar that’s fresh and not dried out, and of course, butter that’s perfectly soft (see bullet point 1!). Mix on high speed for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to pause and scrape down the sides of the bowl at least 1-2 times.
- Once you add the flour, mix on a lower speed and don’t over mix the batter (i.e. don’t mix any longer than necessary). Again, stop 1-2 times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Know your oven and adjust the baking time/temperature accordingly. I don’t own an oven thermometer, so I don’t know the exact temperature of Karl’s or my oven. I do know that my oven at 350F degrees is cooler than Karl’s oven at the same temperature. Instead of adjusting the temperature, I modify the baking time. At Karl’s, I bake these cookies for 10 minutes. In my apartment, I bake them for 12 minutes. Do a test batch with 1 or 2 cookies if you’re unsure. An over-baked cookie is a serious offense in the Choi household!
- ½ cup unsalted butter, soften
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon hot water
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, and line a large baking sheet with parchment (not wax) paper, then set aside.
- With an electric mixer, mix the butter and the sugars on high speed, until smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Stop twice to scrape down the sides of bowl.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract, and mix on medium speed until smooth.
- Slowly add the flour and salt, and mix on medium-low speed, until completely integrated, but do not over mix.
- In a small bowl, stir the baking soda and hot water together. Add the baking soda mixture and mix on medium-low speed until smooth.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to low, add the chocolate chips, and mix until it's evenly distributed in the batter.
- With a scooper (use one with a trigger that releases the scoops) or two spoons, scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Keep the cookie dough 2 inches apart from each other.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are slightly brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.