In my lifetime, I’ve made a lot of cookies. And throughout the years, I’ve perfected the method and the recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookies. I don’t want to be modest when talking about these cookies because you need to know that these really are the best cookies. They’re thick and chewy and just the tad bit crispy on the edges.
So how do you get your cookies to turn out this way every single time? Follow the following tips in my handy guide! It may seem like a lot to remember, but pretty soon it will become second nature.
1. Room temperature ingredients
It’s important that all of your ingredients start out at room temperature – the eggs, the butter, the sugar, the flour… everything! This is important because ingredients can react with each other if they’re different temperatures. For example, cold eggs will curdle when combined with dairy.
I always set my refrigerated ingredients out on the counter for an hour before I start baking.
This is ESPECIALLY important with butter. Butter is the foundation for many baked goods. You know your butter is the right temperature if when you touch it, your finger leaves an imprint. It shouldn’t be too soft though that it doesn’t pull away from the wrapper.
2. Salted butter
I use salted butter because the salt cuts into the sweetness of the chocolate and brings out the flavor. And also if you use salted butter you won’t have to add salt later to the recipe – hooray for one less step!
Personally, I prefer Challenge salted butter because it seems to be extra creamy and it has a richer flavor compared to other brands.
3. Only use brown sugar
Most recipes call for a mixture of brown sugar and white sugar, but I use ALL brown sugar.
So what makes the sugar brown? Molasses. Brown sugar is essentially white sugar + molasses. Don’t believe me? Check the ingredient list on your bag of brown sugar!
The molasses retains moisture and as a result prevents spreading during baking – making the cookies thicker. Also, brown sugar gives the cookie a deeper flavor.
4. Measure ingredients by weight
Unlike cooking, baking is an exact science, and it’s important all of the ingredients are measured properly.
The best way to do this is to measure your ingredients by weight. One of my favorite baking tools ever is the EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale. I use it to measure everything.
I try to add weight (in grams) to each ingredient listed in my recipes, but when I encounter a recipe where the weight isn’t listed, I used this ingredient weight chart to check.
5. Cream butter and sugar
Many times in recipes you’ll probably see a step that says “cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.”
What this means is you beat the butter with the sugar on medium speed with the mixer. Cream the butter with the sugar on medium speed for about 4 minutes.
We do this because the sugar granules cut into the butter creating little tiny air pockets. The air pockets will make your baked goods more tender and fluffy. Because who wants flat cookies, right?!
6. Instant vanilla pudding mix
Yes, you read that correctly! Instant vanilla pudding mix is my secret ingredient!
A lot of people add cornstarch to their cookies for extra softness and an added lift because cornstarch, like molasses, retains moisture.
But if you add to much cornstarch, your cookies may taste funky.
Fun fact: A package of instant vanilla pudding mix contains cornstarch. So when you add the mix to your recipe, you’re guaranteed the perfect amount every time.
Also, I think the vanilla in the pudding gives the cookie a deeper flavor.
7. Chill the dough
Chilling the dough allows the ingredients to settle together after the mixing stage. Also, cookie dough that is refrigerated spreads less. And less spread = thicker cookies!
So after mixing, cover the dough and chill it for at least one hour. You can also chill it up to three days if you can resist waiting that long!
8. Make all of your cookies the same size
It’s important that your cookies have a uniform size so that they bake evenly. You don’t want to pull out a baking sheet of half over-baked cookies and half under-baked cookies.
I use a one-inch cookie scoop to measure out all of my cookie dough balls.
9. Bake in small batches
To ensure even-baking, only put one sheet of cookies in the oven at a time. The top rack won’t bake the same way as the bottom rack and the results will be unpredictable. Also, you should always place your baking sheet in the center of the rack, not too close to the oven’s sides
10. Importance of cooling rack
When you pull your cookies out of the oven, only keep them on the baking sheet for just a few minutes. Then take them off of the sheet and place them on a cooling rack.
It’s important to get your cookies off of the baking sheet as soon as possible because the cookies will continue to bake if they stay on the hot baking sheet.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: Makes about 24 cookies
- 2 and 1/4 cups flour (281.25 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup Challenge salted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar (207 grams)
- 1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Measure flour and baking soda in medium bowl. Combine and set aside.
- In large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together until light and fuffy.
- Add instant vanilla pudding package and beat until well blended.
- Mix in eggs and vanilla.
- Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture until just incorporated.
- Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.
- Cover dough and chill in refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Remove dough from refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roll dough into balls (the size of 2 tablespoons) and place on greased baking sheet or silicone baking mat.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for several minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies stay fresh in covered container for up to one week.