By Cassie Johnston
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I did a lot of debating over which cookie should close out the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. I thought maybe I should do something über decadent and overly-rich. My husband suggested I take the best elements out of the best cookies from the series and mash them into one cookie (ha!). But in the end, the classic, delicious, totally perfect chocolate chip cookie won the anchor leg.
I know there are about as many ways to make a chocolate chip cookie as there are people on this planet. And everyone has their own definition of a “perfect” chocolate chip cookie. Some like it flaky and cakey. Some like it crisp. Some like it gooey and chewy. Some like milk chocolate. Some like dark. Just so we’re on the same page, let me tell you about my perfect chocolate chip cookie.
It’s thin, but not too thin—you still have to have something to bite into. It’s got a tiny bit of crunch around the edges, but the inside is soft and chewy. So soft, that it’s a little hard to pick up because it wants to just fall apart in your hand. It’s a sweet cookie, but not overly so. It’s packed with dark chocolate morsels. Oh, and it’s salty. Just a little bit. A little to balance out the richness of the chocolate. Those, my friends, are the best ever chocolate chip cookies.
So with that in mind, let me introduce you to what I consider the best ever chocolate chip cookie. This recipe is a variation on the classic (and darn good) Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you’re looking for a fool-proof chocolate chip cookie recipe, you really can’t go wrong with just using the one on the back of the bag of chocolate chips. But I’ve been tweaking that recipe for years now, and I think I’ve landed on the way to turn that recipe from good cookies into absolutely spectacular cookies.
There are four big changes I make to that recipe. I reduce the overall amount of sugar—I tend to find most cookie recipes are just a touch too sweet for my tastes. Instead of tasting like chocolate chips or peanut butter or whatever else they are supposed to taste like, I think they end up just tasting like pure sugar.
Secondly, I changed the ratio of sugars. The original version calls for equal amounts of granulated and brown sugars, but I’ve found that by tipping the scales in favor of brown sugar, you get a softer, chewier cookie—with just a touch of rich flavor that I really like.
Next up, salt. I really like a salty chocolate chip cookie. I’m not talking potato chip salty (although, a chocolate chip potato chip cookie sounds awesome—maybe next year), but there needs to be a heavy hand of salt to help balance out the sweetness and richness of the chocolate. So I up the salt just a touch.
And the last big change I made is my secret ingredient—I add almond extract. It doesn’t end up tasting like almond, but I think it adds a really nice rich, underlayer of flavor to the cookie.
Just like most of the other cookies I’ve been sharing with you, the key to the right texture of these cookies is to keep a close eye on them in the oven. Just a minute or two too long and you’ve got a crunchy cookie that requires glass of milk to enjoy (which is not bad, just not my definition of perfect). To me, for a chocolate chip cookie to be really good, it has to taste good both warm out of the oven and after it’s cooled down. I’ve seen recipes for cookies that say, “these are best served warm, because they get too tough once they’ve cooled.” You don’t have that issue with these cookies. They’re nice and tender even out of the fridge.
I’ve had so much fun sharing all of these cookie recipes with you guys over the past few weeks. I know it’s a little bit of a departure from my typical M.O. of healthy balance, but I have to be honest, this is one of the most fun projects I’ve done on this blog in a long time. I’ve so enjoyed making these cookies for you!
And tomorrow, I’ll be back with a salad recipe (no really, I will).
Soft, chewy, sweet, and chocolatey, these cookies use a secret ingredient to help make them the best ever chocolate chip cookies!
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You can’t go wrong with a classic chocolate chip cookie! It’s my husband’s absolute favorite, so I really should master a recipe for them. Yours looks like a good place to start. :)
these look like perfection!
Thanks for doing this series! I’m going to stock up on butter and flour and make 3 or 4 of your cookies with my boys during Christmas break!
Once I started making chocolate chip cookies where I chilled the dough for a day before baking….transformative. It’s a pretty different cookie than the one you post here, but it’s phenomenal. This one seems very similar to what I grew up with!
I use this recipe, except I make the cookies quite a bit smaller (I weigh out my dough balls to be ~2.25 oz, but even at that size they are still quite large) and use Ghirardelli bittersweet chips instead of the chocolate disks it asks for. If you like salt you will LOVE this cookie, with the flake salt on top. It is INTENSELY chocolately and salty and buttery. Just had my first one of the year last night, warm out of the oven. yummmmmmmyumyum
I would also like to make this in the near future, as I have had great luck with all of Kenji’s recipes.
Making your peppermint chocolate cookies tonight! Made the dough last night…triple batch…it was a little overwhelming for my mixer :)
These look delicious!
Thank you for the cookie series! I have absolutely loved seeing these new recipes every day!
I am definitely planning on making some of these for Christmas…
Hi Cassie! Thanks for doing this fun holiday challenge! I am amazed at your ability to come up with unique prose for each of these twelve cookies. Also, the link in this post to the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies is dead, just FYI. Looking forward to the salad, but these sure were a fun departure into holiday indulgence!
Fixed! Thanks for catching that. :)
This is very similar to my recipe. They really are the best cookies!
These cookies came out scrumptious.I added 1/2 tsp. of cornstarch to give it the right depth and milk chocolate chips and they’re blue ribbon baby.
Great minds think alike.. :0)… I too use almond extract in just about any recipe that calls for vanilla…. usually 1/2 of each, sometimes 3/4 almond, and sometimes all almond…. I also up the brown sugar ratio too.. or if the recipe is all white sugar.. I sub brown for part of it… If a recipe calls for cocoa, I Only use Hersheys Special Dark Cocoa… and the Only chocolate chips I use are Guittard Extra Dark …. or Hersheys Special Dark in an emergency If can’t find Guittard…. I won’t touch Ghirardelli chocolate….
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