What is more classic than chocolate chip cookies? If there is a cookie that comes to mind quicker than chocolate chip I don’t know what it is. I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies since I can remember and I think I’ve found a recipe worth sharing.
We probably all started out with the recipe on the bag of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate chips – it is certainly what I remember mixing up by hand and putting in the oven. When they came out, a glass of milk was poured (which was just about the only time I drank milk) and I was in heaven.
Well, some years and countless batches of cookies later, I’m doing a few things differently. I don’t mix the dough by hand, I’ve added nuts and bittersweet chocolate, and more vanilla. I’ve been influenced by many different cookie recipes (not all of them chocolate chip) and have tried various permutations along the way. Here is what I’ve come up with:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted (most closely) from the Ghirardelli recipe
makes about 4 dozen cookies
- 1 3/4 cup AP flour
- 1/2 cup oats, ground
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup nuts, chopped
- 6 oz. (1/2 a package) good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 oz. (1/2 a package) good quality bittersweet chocolate chips or pieces
Don’t preheat the oven. Make the cookie dough at least the day before you plan to bake/eat cookies.
First, prepare your ingredients:
Get the butter out of the fridge/freezer and let it warm up a bit. You’re not looking for room temperature butter for these cookies, but cool butter that will cream nicely. Look for butter than gives to pressure from a finger but that still feels cold. Take the eggs out of the fridge too; having them not too cold will help everything come together. Grind the whole oats in a food processor until they look like a coarse flour. Chop your nuts (I usually use walnuts, but pecans would be nice too) and toast them on the stovetop. This brings out their flavor which, if you store them in the freezer like I do, you’ll want to be doing any time you cook with them anyway! Weigh your chocolate chips.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, oat flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a hand-held mixer is fine too, but don’t do this step by hand!) cream the butter with both sugars on med./high until fluffy and it starts to turn a lighter color. This will take several minutes. This is crucial to a light and chewy cookie. If you don’t let the sugars work themselves into the fat of the butter your cookies will be flat. Once the sugar and butter mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla. Mix on med./low speed to incorporate. On low speed, gradually mix in the flour mixture, letting each addition become mostly incorporated before adding more. Add the nuts and chocolate chips.
Then cover, refrigerate, and WALK AWAY. Don’t bake these now. You’ll want to – I know. (And if you must have cookies RIGHT NOW just bake one sheet.) Leave the cookie dough in the fridge for AT LEAST a day, and up to a week. Trust me. They’ll just get better. I promise it’ll be worth it. But walk away.
Later, when you are ready to actually bake the cookies (or, the rest of the cookies if you couldn’t wait), preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Spoon the cookie dough out of the bowl (it’ll be a bit hard) and roll into balls. If you like larger cookies, make bigger balls, if you like smaller cookies make smaller balls. It doesn’t really matter as long as all the balls on one cookie sheet are the same size. I make mine about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2″ apart and bake for 9 – 14 minutes (depending on their size and your oven; mine almost always take 12 minutes). If you are baking multiple sheets at the same time, switch them on the racks half-way thru. Otherwise, bake them on a rack in the top third of your oven.
When the cookies look golden but not quite done, take them out and let them cool on a rack. When completely cooled, seal in an airtight container for up to a week (if they last that long).