I will never, ever, ever get sick of chocolate chip cookies, and I’m pretty sure the rest of the world agrees. They’re the be all end all of cookies. We don’t need anything else as long as we have really good CCC’s in our lives. Crispy, chewy, chocolatey, sweet and just a little bit salty. Italians have their pasta, the French have their pastries, Mexicans have salsas and we Americans get to claim chocolate cookies as our own. That’s totally something to be proud of.
With Memorial Day and all my favorite all-American holidays on the horizon, I haven’t exactly been feeling like burgers and BBQ lately thanks to this unseasonably cool and rainy weather we’ve been having. I’ve eaten soup twice this week. Hot soup. Twice! I also ate cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. All of them.
I guess this isn’t the first time I’ve been all about CCC’s in May. It was just about two years ago – in my wee baby blogging days – when I posted a recipe for the “best ever” brown butter chocolate chip cookies with sea salt. Lots of you have made them, and loved them. And that makes me super happy. But are they really the best ever? Well, it depends how you look at it.
They are totally awesome, completely delicious, crispy, chewy full flavored, cookies. But the recipe is a bit fussy. Browning the butter first. Then having the butter solidify and cool down, but not too much. Calling for one whole egg plus one egg yolk. Come on. We have better things to do than waiting for butter to brown and unnecessarily separating egg yolks. Like gardening! Or riding bikes. Or paddle boarding at sunset. Sometimes I like to spend a little extra time in the kitchen, and sometimes I’d rather not.
And sometimes I just want a simpler cookie. A classic chocolate chip cookie with basic ingredients and only one bowl to clean. Plus, I like testing different recipes and trying to improve on what I once considered the best. Chaser and I have slightly different opinions on what that actually is. He hates a soft, gooey, chewy chocolate chip cookie, and yes, that totally makes him a weirdo, but it’s also why I love him. He’s all about the crispiness, as it makes cookies more adept to milk dunking, and I totally get that.
That said, I don’t want my cookies to be totally crisp throughout. I like them crispy around the edges, but still nice and chewy on the inside. It’s all about balance. This way, we get the best of both worlds.
This recipe is simple and easy. The only thing you need to plan in advance is having the ingredients on hand (I always do) and having the butter at room temperature (I never do). If your butter isn’t at room temperature, you can just mix the crap out of it until it softens on it’s own. That’s a technical term. This is of course made much easier with a stand mixer. Just start it and walk away.
This recipe also contains slightly more sugar than your standard CCC, because more sugar equals more chewiness. Are you concerned about sugar? Perhaps you should snack on these kale chips instead. We’re making cookies here, okay? Cookies.
Now, this next step is one that could maybe be filed under the “fussy” category, however I find that chopping up a bar of chocolate, as opposed to opening up a bag of chips, is the difference between a good cookie and a great cookie. You get these giant chunks of chocolate, as well as these itty bitty little specks that practically melt right into the dough. It makes such a big difference, and will take you only a minute or two more than it takes to rip open a bag of chips. Promise.
In addition, bagged chocolate chips often contain stabilizers that prevent them from losing their shape once baked. And who needs all that? Not us, that’s for certain.
Many CCC recipes out there claim to be the best ever, but I don’t think there’s just one “best” that exists. When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, I think there’s room for lots of bests. That brown butter version is defintiely is one of them. And so is this.
One Year Ago: Asparagus + Goat Cheese Quiche
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (optional)
- Cream together the butter, white sugar, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, then beat for about 2 minutes more. Slowly add the flour, baking soda and baking powder and mix until just combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate chunks and pecans by hand.
- This step is optional, but I find the cookies come out even better after the dough has chilled. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours, or up to 48 (overnight is best).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press them down slightly with your fingers to help them spread, then top each one with a little sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
- Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes (slightly less if you don't chill the dough). Remove them from the oven when they're just starting to brown around the edges, but the middles still look doughy. Allow them to cool on the pan to further crisp around the edges. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container or zip top bag at room temperature for up to 5 days.