7 Baking Tips for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
If you have ever tried to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch, science - possibly luck - is responsible for the perfect cookie. Whether you like your cookie chewy, crispy, fluffy, or soft and thick, there is a precise recipe and a baking tip (or seven) for making that delicious cookie every time.
Depending on your preference, here are 7 tips to help improve your chocolate chip cookie experience so you can make the perfect Cookie on Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.
Tip 1: Butter, Butter, Butter
For ideal butter, partially melt it either in the oven or on the stove-top, never in the microwave. Heating butter in the microwave allows it to melt rapidly with less control over the consistency. Take caution to not over melt the butter as it will cause the cookies to become too flat. Once the butter is melted half-way, remove from the heat source and let it resume room temperature, slightly re-solidifying before mixing. As an alternative to melting the butter, you can brown the butter, which brings out a nutty aroma. Over medium heat, continuously whisk until it browns. If it starts to bubble, remove it from the heat to prevent burning and let it cool prior to mixing.
Tip 2: Room Temperature Eggs
To create that fluffy yet smooth textured cookie and for uniform baking, let the eggs sit out on the counter, arriving at room temperature, while you prepare the other ingredients and heat the butter. Since cold ingredients do not coalesce, the emulsification process takes place by letting the butter and eggs rest at room temperature. When whisking eggs, take caution to not overbeat them as this can cause the cookies to become stiff.
Tip 3: Flour Power
A key ingredient, flour affects the overall texture of chocolate chip cookies. For example, if you prefer a chewier cookie, use bread flour instead of all-purpose, which creates a cake-like cookie. Differing from standard baking flours, you can substitute almond or coconut flour to accommodate a gluten-free diet. Always add flour in slowly, never all at once, while stirring. The dough becomes difficult to mix when the flour is dumped in all at one time. Besides, it might not fully blended, creating an uneven mixture with flour pockets inside the cookies.
Tip 4: Dough Mix & Mingle
Once you have combined the butter, eggs, and sugar with the dry ingredients, take caution to not over mix the dough. This too will leave the cookies stiff as a result. During the mixing process, if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add a tablespoon or two of flour (as needed) until the dough pulls away clean to form a workable ball in the center of the bowl.
Tip 5: Always More Chocolate
Extra chocolate, why not? Use two or more chocolates varieties to create a unique texture explosion. The more variations, the better!
Ghirardelli, Hershey, Nestlé are the top three favored brands; they have traditional chocolate flavors - dark, semi, or milk - in chips, chunks, or mini sizes that you can mix and match or choose one of their novelty flavors for delicious chocolaty combinations:
- Peanut butter
- White Chocolate
If you want to make the cookies extraordinary, but don’t trust yourself with all of that extra chocolate lying around, Nestlé has it covered. You can purchase a bag of “Triple Chip,” which includes dark, milk, and white chocolate varieties in one 12-ounce bag.
Tip 6: Chilled Dough
To achieve the most workable dough and flavorful cookie, let the dough sit in the fridge overnight; the flavors meld together and become more intense. When you are ready to bake the cookies, keep the dough in the fridge while between batches. This allows for easier scooping and forming. Also, a cooler temperature dough will create a thicker style cookie.
Tip 7: Shapely Dough
As the dough is best kept chilled for easier scooping, it maintains a rounder shape - from cold fridge to hot over - while baking, avoiding flat-pancake style cookies.
Without overworking the dough, semi-roll into balls; there will be less spreading, which prevents those thin edges that overcook in comparison to the center.
Let’s not forget all the possible ways to include even more yummy goodness - caffeine, creamy, or crunch - to an already delicious dessert.
- Blend in coffee grounds or espresso powder,
- Drop-in Nutella or peanut butter,
- Mix in macadamias or walnuts,
- Sprinkle on coconut or sea salt.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is the perfect day to be bold and to try incorporating other ingredients like caramel or Rice Krispies. Or stay traditional and celebrate with the perfect American favorite.
Chocolate chip cookies are my choice cookie, even dessert. I love them so much that I began making chocolate chip cookies as holiday gifts for family and friends. Naturally, that meant I had to bear the burden of not only making but taste-testing many recipe suggestions with a few wins and losses. I can attest to each of these seven tips being used in my kitchen where I make about eight to 10 dozen every year during the holiday season.
I will leave you with one last tip and my preferred recipe.
After you roll the cookies into balls and have placed them on the baking sheet, take a pinch of reserved chocolate chips and press them lightly into the top of each cookie. After they are done baking, this gives the cookies that baker-style appearance where chocolate chips are nestled on top.
Author’s Preferred Recipe:
McCormicks has the best I have yet to discover when it comes to chocolate chip cookie recipes. Their recipe differs from others I have tried as they suggest 4 teaspoons of vanilla (3 more than the usual), and the flour to sugar ratios vary. Check it out for your self: Vanilla Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies.