When I was around 8 years old, my grandma and I spent a whole afternoon attempting to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. After hours and hours of writing and erasing and experimenting with various ingredients and quantities, we did it. Our final batch of cookies came out perfect. I proudly held my little hand-written recipe, and then I happened to glance at the bag of Nestle Toll House chocolate chips. Printed on the back of the bag was the exact same recipe typed out word-for-word. We had accidentally rediscovered the most famous cookie recipe in America.
My grandma and I still laugh about our famous recipe, but after we realized it wasn't our original idea, we lost interest in making chocolate chip cookies that way. For years now, I've conducted my own kitchen experiments in an effort to find a way to make cookies that, in the very least, cannot be found on the back of a bag of chocolate.
I realize that someone else in the world might already know how to make cookies the way I'm going to explain to you today, so I apologize if that's the case. I guess there really are only so many ways you can combine butter, brown sugar, and flour. Regardless, I think these cookies turned out fantastic, and I want to walk you through each step that I took so maybe you can experience their perfection for yourself.
I'm keeping this recipe short and sweet, and I didn't take a picture for each step because I don't think you will need a lot of visuals to get this right.
So, let's get started.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3-1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
I used a standing mixer for this recipe, but you certainly don't have too. You could use regular beaters or a wooden spoon if that's all you have.
To begin, take your stick of butter and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I took mine straight from the fridge and left it in the package, but you could put it in a bowl first if you want. The butter should be super soft and maybe even completely melted in some areas when the microwaving is complete.
Add the melty butter to the bowl of your standing mixer or whatever bowl you're using. Then, dump 1 cup of light brown sugar and 1 tsp of salt in with it. Beat on low until the butter, sugar, and salt are completely incorporated.
Next comes the egg and the vanilla. Add those directly to your mixture and beat on low again until every bit of the egg is mixed in, then beat on high for about 5 seconds just for good measure.
Now, it's time to add the flour and baking soda. I don't believe in dirtying as many dishes a possible, so just dump 1 cup of flour into the wet mixture and sprinkle the baking soda on top. Mix that up a bit, then add the other 1/2 cup of flour. Mix again until a very thick and clumpy dough forms.
Finally, mix in the chocolate chips.
Grab a cookie sheet or two, as well as a spoon. Take about 1 tablespoons worth of dough for each cookie. Roll the dough into a ball, then flatten it out just a smidgen and place it on the cookie sheet. You don't need to be too generous with the spacing of your cookies, but don't put them right next to each other either. I normally fit 3 cookies across the width of the baking sheet and aim for about 4 rows running length-wise.
When you're finished portioning out, rolling, and smushing down your dough balls, let them sit on the counter for about 20 minutes. At this point, you can go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees, but don't put the cookies in until the 20 minutes are up.
When your cookies have finished their timeout, go ahead and pop them in the oven for 10-13 minutes. I cooked mine for 11, and I think they came out perfect, but you could do less time for gooey insides or longer for more of a crunchy exterior. It's up to you and your oven.
And, that's the best chocolate chip cookie recipe (at least, in my opinion). I hope you enjoy, and please let me know if you do.