I'm all about the chocolate chip cookie! It's a classic treat that everyone loves, is easy to make, and they always manage to generate the most love and get eaten the quickest.
To me, a perfect chocolate chip cookie should be soft and chewy.
I've perfected my favorite recipe over the years and I'll share it with you at the bottom of this post. But first, here are some tips in case you'd like to practice perfecting your own recipe!
- Everyone knows that cookie recipes start by creaming together butter and sugar, right? Not if you want a perfectly chewy cookie! Using melted butter in your dough will lead to a cookie that is more chewy, while creaming the butter and sugar makes for a cakier cookie. The trick to baking cookies with melted butter is to chill your dough. Chilled dough won't spread like warm dough will. Even if you opt to cream your butter and sugar, you should always chill your cookie dough before baking for optimal results!
- Brown sugar leads to chewier cookies as well! Anytime I'm baking cookies, I decrease the white sugar and increase the brown sugar. As long as you keep the total amount of sugar the same, you'll have no problems. The more brown sugar, the more chewy goodness! Besides, sneaking little clumps of brown sugar out of the bag to pop in my mouth is one of my favorite parts of baking cookies.
- Cornstarch is my not-so-secret weapon when it comes to soft cookies. Many people add a packet of vanilla pudding mix to their cookies, but that's basically just cornstarch. I skip the overpriced pudding mix and stir in a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch instead. It's cheaper and I always have a container in my pantry.
- Big, chunks of nuts have no place in my cookies! They are hard, crunchy little rocks that completely disrupt my soft cookie experience. But we all love the flavor, right? I pop some pecans in a blender and pulse them until they are very finely diced and on the verge of turning into a nut butter. At that point, I mix them into my dough. You still get the amazing flavor of the nuts, but without the crunch!
- Underbaked cookies will always be my favorite! They keep that soft, chewy center. Don't worry if they look too underdone when you pull them from the oven. They continue baking on the hot cookie sheet even after you remove them from the oven.
- Storing your cookies with a slice of bread in the cookie jar will help them stay nice and soft. Your cookies should stay fresh for at least five days using this method. If the bread gets hard after a couple of days, just swap it out for a new piece. I have a feeling your perfectly chewy cookies won't last that long, though.
The below recipe is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's pretty heavily adapted from Alton Brown's recipe. I brown the butter which brings out a delicious nutty, almost toffee-like flavor in the cookies.
Perfectly chewy chocolate chip cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup finely ground pecans
- 1 cup milk-chocolate chips or semi-sweet Hershey's Baking Melts (as shown in photos)
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Cook butter, stirring constantly, until golden brown. The butter will bubble up, but continue stirring and watch for the pale yellow to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in both the brown and white sugar and mix to combine. Stir in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and pecans. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips or Baking Melts.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove dough from the fridge and scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes and remove from the oven. Cookies will look slightly underdone, but will continue baking on the hot cookie sheet.
You may store the cookies in an airtight container for up to five days.