Friends, that quest has come to an end.
And I know, all too well, that the Internet is full of recipes claiming to be the best chocolate chip cookie ever and then you make them and they are flat and ugly and only somewhat tasty and you weep and move on to a new recipe, hoping that this time, life will finally reward you for your endurance (this is why I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to cookies).
So, let me go on record as saying that MY quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie has come to an end.
And I hope that maybe for one or two of you, this might help you too find Chocolate Chip Cookie Nirvana. For the rest of you that find this a recipe that fails you again, my prayers are with you as you continue your search.
Also, I have so much to say about this before I share the actual recipe.
First, I did try that New York Times recipe finally, and it was really good. But 1) I don't want a cookie that requires at least a day of forethought and 2) these cookies were better.
I made these three times in one weekend and the first time they were tasty but ugly as . . .something ugly (you know those chocolate chip cookies that are totally flat with the chocolate chips sticking up like little tumors? That's how these cookies turned out). I tried them again the next night and they were perfect and then I had to try them one more time to see if I could repeat my success. I do it for you. And then I made them several more times in the weeks since then. That might not have been for you so much as it was for me.
I also halved the original recipe from Natalie's blog because I generally just want to make about a dozen cookies (seeing as there are only two of us - obviously I only make cookies after the child is in bed because who wants to share?).
And I did a ridiculous amount of reading about chocolate chip cookies to see if I could figure out what the problems were the first time around. The main thing seemed to be the flour (I added a little bit to keep them from being so flat) and the temperature of my oven. Natalie said she cooks hers for 6 minutest but, whoa boy, mine weren't even CLOSE to being done at that point. I upped the temperature which helped the chips melt more and helped them cook through without making them crispy on the inside.
I ALSO read that you should add the chocolate chips to the wet ingredients and THEN add the dry ingredients so that you don't over-mix the dough. Who knew?!
And yes, this recipe uses shortening which I am morally opposed to. But I'm more morally opposed to living a life without a fail-safe chocolate chip cookie recipe. So, something had to give.
For the record, my perfect chocolate chip cookie is NOT flat, completely set, but not crunchy on the outside, and soft, but not goo-ey on the inside. And a lot of chocolate chips. This is that cookie (for me!).
Whew, if you read all of this, you deserve more than a recipe. You deserve a dozen of these cookies delivered to your doorstep.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from Nat the Fat Rat)
Makes 12-15 cookies
3 scant T butter (I use unsalted), softened
3 scant T shortening (If you're doubling the recipe, go with 1/3 cup each of butter and shortening)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 small egg
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup + 2 T flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (if your butter is salted, just use slightly less salt)
Kosher or sea salt
Preheat oven to 375.
In a stand mixer, beat butter and shortening together until combined (about a minute). Add sugars and beat another minute or two. Add vanilla and egg. Beat again (I know, so much beating here. . . ).
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Add the flour, soda, and salt. Mix JUST until combined. It will look over-floured for a few seconds, but should come together fairly quickly.
Scoop golf-ball size spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet, sprinkle each ball with a pinch of kosher or sea salt and bake for 10-11 minutes (mine are 11 minutes, every time).
They should be light-colored and puffed when they come out of the oven, but dry-looking (not shiny or wet). Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.