Of all the recipes I’ve made over and over in my life, trying to perfect the iconic chocolate chip cookie has been the most fun. About 1M batches later, I’m ready to share the version that is my current obsession! I’m talking crispy edges. Dense, chewy center. Ripples of golden-brown caramelization cascading over the surface. Perfect bursts of bittersweet chocolate studding the dough. The reality is, I’ll probably never stop tweaking and playing… why should I??
I want to acknowledge 3 very delicious other Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes that have inspired me over the years and from which I gleaned some important techniques: Tara O’Brady, who taught me to melt butter — slowly! Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog, who taught me to add water to the batter and a little more granulated sugar for crispier edges, and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats who taught me to tear each ball of cookie dough in half once it is set and stick the 2 halves back together, craggy sides facing out for a gloriously individual, crunchy edged, chewy center cookie!
Servings: 15 BIG cookies
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
9 ounces assorted chocolate, chopped
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp room temperature water
•Preheat oven to 350F.
•Gently melt the butter over a low heat, being careful not to allow it to come to a bubble or froth. We want to avoid as much liquid evaporation as possible. While the butter is melting, roughly chop your chocolate into bite sized shards.
•In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
•Pour the melted butter into a bowl with both sugars and use a hand or stand mixer to blend on high about 1 minute. Add the egg and beat for 15 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and water, beat another 15 seconds, scrape down the bowl and set aside.
•Use a spatula or wooden spoon to combine the dry mix into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Allow to sit 1-2 minutes while the butter cools and the dry mix starts to hydrate.
•Scoop evenly sized cookies onto a prepared baking sheet – ¼ cup of dough each will make roughly 15 cookies (depending on how much snacking you’ve done on the dough!). Place baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or covered overnight – giving the dough time to stand like this will yield slightly browner, crispier, more caramelized results with a more complex flavor (this is thanks to the large carbohydrates that start to break down over time… I did A LOT of reading about cookies as I was making all my different versions). But you also have to wait 24 hours, so your call!
•Once set, the dough balls can be placed in a zip top bag and placed in the freezer up to 3 months for easy cookie baking at the drop of a hat! No baking adjustment time/temperature is needed to bake these from frozen.
•Bake the cookies on a lined baking sheet until surface and edges are crisp and golden but center is still gently puffed and soft, rotating the pan front to back half-way through, about 16 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan two minutes before removing to a baking rack to cool fully. These can be stored in an air-tight container up to 1 week, but no chance they last that long.