I did the hard scientific research: I baked and taste-tested and baked some more. And taste-tested more. I explored the burning questions of chocolate chip cookie perfection: chewy versus crisp; ratio of chocolate to cookie; chips versus chunks; and size. It was hard work, all that tasting and baking, but I did it out of love and devotion to all of you cookie bakers (and aspiring cookie bakers.)
Here’s what I have defined as chocolate chip cookie perfection.
• Crisp edges and a soft middle give you the best of both worlds.
• Chocolate in every bite, but not so much that you can’t taste the cookie, too.
• Chips + chunks is better than either one alone. Chips hold their shape and give a short, clean chocolate punch, while chunks give more of a melty, gooey chocolate-ness.
• Size matters, and when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, I dare anyone to argue with the idea that bigger is better. Gigantic chocolate chip cookies — big enough they could nearly be called a meal — delight everyone. (Calories, shmalories.) A standard ice cream scoop makes the perfect, gorgeously oversized cookie.
Great Big Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is a riff on the famous Nestle Toll House Original Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Be sure your butter is at room temperature before you begin. You do not need to grease your baking sheet pans.
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 12-ounce bag chocolate chunks
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Beat the butter, white and brown sugars and vanilla extract with a mixer until they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.
3. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and gradually add it into the egg mixture. Add the chips and chunks, and beat until they are evenly distributed.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to place round balls of batter about 2-inches apart on the baking sheet pans. (Do not flatten them). Bake 6 minutes, then rotate the pans front to back and top to bottom in your oven; bake another 6 to 7 minutes, until the centers are puffed and golden brown and the edges slightly more browned and crisp-looking. Remove from the oven, loosen on the pan, and let cool for as long as your will power allows. Makes approximately 18 to 20 cookies.