Made with brown butter and three different chocolates, this is a perfectly soft and chewy cookie with crispy edges and just the right amount of sweetness.
My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
I have a story for you today. A story about a cookie. No, not a cookie. THE cookie 🍪 Cue the lights. [The lights dim.] Thank you.
Before I even started this recipe, I thought to myself: does the InterWeb really need another chocolate chip cookie recipe? Was I bringing anything new to the table? Was there a unique spin or a new flavor combination that I felt the world needed to hear about? Can a chocolate chip cookie even be perfect? Everyone has different taste and texture preferences, so how can I call one chocolate chip cookie perfect? That’s when it hit me, I didn’t need to figure out what the best chocolate chip cookie in the world was. I just needed to make my perfect chocolate chip cookie. The perfect cookie for me and my tastes.
See, here’s the thing: The only chocolate chip cookie experiences I’d had as a child were store-bought, and, no offense to cookie manufacturers, I hated them. They were too hard, too crunchy, and too sugary. Thus, I found a goal for my chocolate chip cookie recipe development: I needed to figure out how to make a chocolate chip cookie that I loved, one that was the polar opposite of those store-bought cookies. I wanted a crispy edge, but a chewy middle. One that held together when it went for a swim in milk, but fell apart when I took a bite. Not too sweet and just a little bit salty. So, I got to work. And I did it.
Okay, you can turn the lights up again.
Pardon the dramatics, but this is truly My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie. This is a cookie that I absolutely love and I hope this is a recipe that will intrigue you and make you want to bake some for yourself! Because you really should.
Now seriously, you should turn the lights back up. Reading in the dark is bad for your eyes. Besides, you can’t bake cookies in the dark
Main Ingredients for My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown Butter I like to use brown butter in these cookies for a rich, nutty, almost caramel-like flavor. Browning the butter is an easy process and I walk you through the process. I recommend making the butter the day before and allowing it to solidify again, at room temperature, or you can place it in the refrigerator to harden up a bit while you do other cookie stuff.
- Shortening In. addition to the butter, I like to use shortening, such as Crisco. Using shortening in addition to butter helps keep your cookies from spreading out too much and gives them more moisture and chew. You can certainly substitute the same amount of butter if you prefer.
- Flour This recipe uses a combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour, which makes for a light and fluffy cookie that won’t fall apart easily (good news for you dunkers). If you don’t have cake flour, you can fake it! Measure out 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour and remove 2 ½ tbs. Replace it with 2 ½ tbs of cornstarch. Tah-dah 🎉
- Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. I use three different types of chocolate, which results in a multi-layered, dang-this-is-amazing, chocolate chip cookie experience that will make your mouth sooo happy. I only had one cup of semisweet chocolate chips when I started the recipe, but I had a bar of dark chocolate and a bar of bittersweet chocolate. I just chopped them up and added them in. Use what you have, but I highly recommended this combination of chocolates.
- Sugar I use brown sugar for a chewier cookie and white granulated sugar for those amazing crispy edges.
- Vanilla You can use vanilla bean paste or extract. I like the bold vanilla flavor and the flecks of vanilla that you get with the paste, but if you don’t have it, don’t let it stop you from making cookies. Use vanilla extract.
This recipe makes 36 medium sized cookies or 70 tiny ones. I like the tiny ones because they make me feel like a giant, in a good way.
- 1/2 cup ( 113 g) solidified brown butter (“how to” in directions below)
- 1/2 cup (100 g) solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
- 2/3 cup (135 g) brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (135 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (this reacts with the baking soda to give you fluffy cookies. Yay!)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup (195 g) all-purpose flour (for sturdiness 💪)
- 1 1/2 cup (195 g) cake flour (for fluffiness ☁️)
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch (more fluff ⛅️)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 12 oz (340 g) chocolate bits of choice (a combination of chopped chocolate and chocolate chips is best)
- Flaky sea salt (optional)
- I make my brown butter ahead of time and then let it sit on the counter overnight to bring it back to its solid-butter state. Then I use it just like I would regular butter. This way I can still cream my butter and sugars together, while bringing those brown butter flavors to the party. You can absolutely make these cookies without browning the butter, but I wouldn't 🤨 Here’s how to make brown butter. Cut unsalted butter into small pieces and melt in a light-colored medium saucepan over medium heat. I recommend using a light-colored pan so you can easily see the butter changing color. Continue to cook, stirring the butter constantly, until you start to see brown bits forming at the bottom of the pan and the butter starts to smell nutty. Remove from heat and transfer to a heat-safe container and allow to cool overnight. If making the same day as baking, after making your brown butter, place in the refrigerator to solidify, stirring occasionally to cool quicker and distribute all the brown bits. Take the brown butter out of the fridge when it starts to solidify, but not completely harden. But hey, it's so much easier to make it the night before.
- Okay, cookie time. Preheat oven to 375°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups of cake flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer combine ⅔ cup brown sugar, ⅔ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup of your brown butter, ½ cup shortening, ¾ teaspoon fine grain salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract, and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure it’s all incorporated. Add the 2 eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated and scraping down the bowl after each egg.
- Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer one large spoonful at a time to avoid flinging flour all over the place. Don’t overmix, just a couple turns of the beater per-spoonful should do it. Remove the bowl from your stand mixer and, using a rubber spatula (I actually like to use a rice paddle because it’s stiffer and has a short handle), make sure all the flour from the bottom of the bowl is incorporated. Add in your chocolate bits of choice and mix in by hand.
- Scoop dough in the size of your choosing and shape into balls, then place on parchment lined sheet pan. Sometimes I use a 1 tablespoon size scoop for small cookies, other times I use a 2 tablespoon scoop. I have been known to use a ¼ cup scoop for monster cookies 😳 I can fit 20 of the tiny cookies on a sheet pan, but only 12 of the medium ones. (Monster cookies are a whole other discussion that we’ll have another day. It’s a doozy!) No matter what size you choose, leave 2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading. Don’t do what I did in the picture. I did it that way temporarily for reasons. Sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt (if you want) and pop them in the oven. Note: there’s no need to chill this dough. I tested the recipe both ways, baked right after mix and chilled overnight, and both batches baked up great. The overnight chill gives the cookies time to develop a bit of a deeper flavor, but in a cookie emergency, you’re good to go and they’re still delicious!
- Bake at 375° for 8-9 minutes for the 1 tablespoon scoops, or 9-11 minutes for the medium sized ones. Sprinkle with a little extra flaky sea salt if you desire. I desired 😊 They will look puffy with lightly browned edges. They’ll flatten out a bit while they rest for 5 minutes on the sheet pan. Transfer them to a cooling rack and finish baking the rest of the cookies before you eat them. Oh, who am I kidding? Eat a few cookies as you go, for quality control purposes, of course. You are so responsible.