Best Of The Basics: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

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The Scoop:

Bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Wow.   Those are pretty tall orders, huh?  The perfect chocolate chip cookie.  What does that even mean?  And why did I become so passionately obsessed with achieving it?  I  don’t know.  Why do I become passionately obsessed with 90% of the things happening in my life at any given moment?  I guess I just like a challenge.  Or maybe it’s just because I’m a bit of a werido and don’t feel satisfied unless I’m obsessing over something at all times.

I must have been between obsessions on the day last November when a meeting maker was distributed at work, announcing the date of the 2013 Chocolate Chip Cookie Bake Off.  Excellent.  I had two months to perfect my recipe.

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I’ve had a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe for the last couple of years.  It comes from Ali at GimmeSomeOven which happens to be one of my all-time favorite food blogs.  The recipe was her family favorite from growing up that she eventually tweeked to make an all butter recipe after learning about the ugly trans fats found in shortening.  Every time I make her recipe, my cookies get rave reviews!  I knew I wanted to start with her recipe and just make a couple teeny tiny changes.

When we are talking about the perfect chocolate chip cookie, it needs to be the exact right balance of texture and flavor.  I like mine to be juuuuuuuuust crispy enough on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.  In my opinion, the only way to achieve a perfectly chewy cookie is to throw all caution to the wind, say ‘screw those trans fats.’ and open a tub of Crisco.  So here are my secrets to the absolutely perfect chocolate chip cookie.

  1. Use half butter and half butter flavored Crisco.  The 2/3 cup shortening will create the most wonderfully chewy chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever tried, but you won’t lose any of that buttery goodness.
  2. Always use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar.  The richness really kicks these cookies up another notch and adds additional depth to the flavor.
  3. Use lots of chocolate!  There is nothing I hate more than biting into a cookie and wondering where the chips are.  The chocolate really should be the star of the show.
  4. Chill your dough well.  This will help keep your cookies from getting flat during the baking process.  I think mine turn out best when I chill the dough over night.  But if you don’t have time for that, a few hours in the fridge will do.
  5. Underbake your cookies ever-so-slightly in the oven, then let them sit on the hot baking sheet for a few minutes to finish baking out of the oven.  This is the other secret to a soft and chewy cookie.

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Did I mention these cookies came in 1st place out of 12 entries in my company bake off this year?  Maybe I should change the name of this post to Award Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Too much?  Yeah, probably.  We’ll stick with perfect.

The Goods:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

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The Deets:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed for about a minute, or until light and fluffy.  Mix in the regular sugar and the brown sugar, then beat on medium speed for another minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl once during the mixing process.  Add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again to make sure everything is fully incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.  In 3 separate batches, add the dry ingredients to the ingredients in the stand mixer, making sure they are fully incorporated after each addition.  When the dough has come together, fold in the chocolate chips.

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Let the dough chill for at least a few hours before baking, although I think it is best to chill it over night when time permits.  Scoop ping pong ball sized dollops of dough onto cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Rotate the cookie sheets between the top and bottom oven rack half way through the baking process.  Remove the cookies from the oven when the tops are fully set and the edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Want to switch up this classic recipe a bit?  Try subbing chocolate chunks for the chips, or exchanging half of the chocolate chips with M&M’s!

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The Inspiration:

GimmeSomeOven’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.  If you don’t like baking with shortening, give Ali’s all butter recipe a try!

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Seriously.  The perfect chocolate chip cookie.

XOXO,

Tall One

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4 thoughts on “Best Of The Basics: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

  1. This has got to be the most amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe. Just tried it and shared these tasty treats with the family. They all loved it. I used cinnamon chips with the chocolate chips for a bit of a twist. About a 1/3 of the chips were the cinnamon chips.

    1. Thanks so much, these are definitely one of my favorites! I love the addition of cinnamon chips, YUM! One of my favorite twists is to add holiday colored M&M’s in place of some of the chips.

  2. This recipe sounds so yummy, I’m little hesitant to use shortening not because of (ugly fats) but because I never tried it. I always thought chocolate chip cookies go well with butter. But subbing half butter with shortening seems a nice trick. I’ll give it a try.

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