What makes the “best” chocolate chip cookie? Is it the chips, the flour, the butter, the process? I have been testing a couple of recipes and challenged myself to making “the best chocolate chip cookie.” Every part of the cookie process was dissected and tested – and what it boiled down to for me was THE BUTTER.
It’s all about the butter.
One thing I need to say straight up is that you will NEVER get the same results if you use margarine instead of the real thing. You just won’t achieve the cookie of your dreams that way. Real butter gives cookies that delicious, tender mouthfeel we all seek. More butter = wider spread and tender cookies. It gives cookies so much flavor, superior to other fats like shortening, lard or margarine. How you use the butter in your cookies is super important. If you like cakier cookies, cream your butter. If you like denser, chewier cookies, melt the butter. You can also brown the butter to give cookies nutty, caramelized flavor.
Yolks are a must. Don’t skip your yolks and use just whites. If you’re trying to eat a low-fat cookie, you shouldn’t be eating cookes anyway 😉 Extra egg yolks make fudgier cookies. And don’t sub white sugar for brown just because you don’t feel like running to the store to get it – brown sugar yields moister cookies.
But if you like dry, crumbly, tall cookies well….don’t do any of the above. Not sure why you would. It’s not like your eating a cracker 😉
Super mega soft and chewy Chocolate chip cookies with a touch of Fleur de Sel (sea salt):
Makes: about 25 cookies
Cooking time: 45mins
– 220gr butter
– 2tbsp cold water
– 250gr plain flour
– 3/4 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp salt
– 150gr granulated sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 100gr brown sugar
– 250gr chocolate chip
– Flaky sea salt, to serve (I prefer Fleur de Sel)
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl butter in pan consistently until it begins to turn golden brown and smells “nutty”. Remove from heat and continue swirling the pan until the butter is a rich brown, just a few seconds longer. Pour into a bowl and put into refrigerator. Cool completely.
While butter cools, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Put granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Whisk furiously until mixture is pale brownish-yellow and falls off the whisk in thick ribbons when lifted, about 15 minutes. Or if you have a standing mixer, use the whisk attachment on medium high speed for about 5 minutes to achieve those thick ribbons.
Add brown sugar and cooled brown butter to egg mixture and combine. Add flour mixture and mix until just barely combined but some dry flour still remains. Add chocolate and mix until dough comes together. Loads of cookies recipes I have read mentions that the ultimate chocolate chip cookie dough is refrigerated at least overnight and up to three days. I however refrigerated it for about 3 hours.
Place slightly smaller than a golf ball sized dollops of cookie dough onto a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet (6 to 8 balls on each sheet). Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown around edges but still soft, 13 to 16 minutes. Rotate pans back to front and top and bottom half way through baking.
Remove baking sheets from oven. Tip: While cookies are still hot, sprinkle very lightly with coarse salt and gently press it down to embed. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to finishing cooling (completely!).
Repeat steps 3 and 4 for remaining cookie dough. Cool cookies completely before storing in an airtight container.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
When I eat something sweet, I want more. And after I start eating it is very difficult to stop. These cookies, same deal. Crunchy and filled with delicious chocolate, I could eat these cookies all day. Seriously. All. Day. Long. Cookies. The pinch of salt adds that little bit of ‘impossible to’ the stop.