Brown butter is just one of my tricks to making the PERFECT soft and chewy, ultra chocolatey chocolate chip cookie!
It’s been over three years, and this is the first ever chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve posted. Sure, I’ve done everything from Nutella-stuffed cookies to massive monster cookies to soft and puffy pudding cookies. So how is it possible that I’ve never done something as simple and basic as the classic chocolate chip cookie?
Well, for one thing, chocolate chip cookies are not as simple and basic as one might assume. It’s easy to throw together any old recipe from the back of a chocolate chip bag; however, not all chocolate chip cookie recipes are created equal. You’ve got your thin and crispy ones (not a fan), your thick and cakey ones (still not a fan), and then you have your soft and chewy ones. Obviously, I’m team soft and chewy.
So when I set out to create what I believe to be THE perfect chocolate chip cookie, these are exactly what I had in mind…
These little guys are not only soft and chewy for daaaaaays (if they last that long), but they are flippin’ LOADED with chocolate. Because when it comes to the perfect ratio of dough to chocolate in a chocolate chip cookie, it’s gotta be at least 50:50, if not more chocolate than dough.
Am I right, or am I correct?
I know that calling these the “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie” might be pretty ballsy and not-so-humble, but to me, these are truly it. They’ve got the perfect balance of softness to chewiness, and they’re not cakey at all. Cakey cookies are almost as bad as thin and crispy, in my opinion.
Just like the classic homemade chocolate chip cookie, these also have just the perfect amount of thickness–not too flat, not too thick…juuuuuuust right. Texture and thickness are definitely a crucial part of what separates the good chocolate chip cookies from the GREAT chocolate chip cookies.
As far as ingredients go, I kept it pretty simple and traditional–no cream cheese, no cream of tartar, no cake or bread flours–just easy ingredients that most people have in their pantry. The only not-so-common ingredient is probably cornstarch. It’s a thickening ingredient found in pudding mix as well as cake flour, and it creates a nice soft and chewy bite.
To add a deeper richness to the cookies, I browned that butter! It’s truly what makes these chocolate chip cookies stand out from the rest. There’s no other way to replicate that nutty, caramely flavor that browned butter adds, and it only takes an extra minute or so. The key is to babysit the butter as it melts. Don’t ever take your eye away from it because butter can go from perfectly browned to burnt and stinky within seconds. I usually brown it to a golden amber color, then immediately remove it from the stove since the residual heat from the pan continues to cook it a little longer.
Here are my tips for creating the perfect chocolate chip cookie:
1) Brown the butter: If you’ve been a follower of mine long enough, you very well know how I like my butter–BROWNED, baby!! It adds an almost indescribable flavor that’s both nutty and caramelized.
2) Always underbake: However, to me, it’s not really underbaking because when you bake it until it’s just right, you’re actually overbaking it. If that makes any sense. My rule of thumb is to take the cookies out of the oven when the edges are set and dry to the touch, and the centers still appear to be pale and a little wet. The residual heat will continue to bake them a little longer as they cool on the baking sheets.
3) More chocolate equals more better: I went with two kinds of chocolate–milk and semi-sweet. Also, I prefer to use chunks instead of chips. I’ve found that the chunks melt into the cookie better, and they also don’t harden like chips tend to do when they’ve cooled completely. I like to reserve about 1/4 cup for sticking into the tops of the cookies before baking AND after baking. As the cookies bake and spread in the oven, you end up with more bare dough. So immediately after I remove the cookies from the oven (while they’re still hot), I like to insert more chocolate chunks to make them look like they’re literally exploding with chocolate!
4) Cornstarch: This is the not-so-secret ingredient you want to add to your cookies if you want them to remain soft and chewy at the same time.
Soft centers, chewy edges, brown buttery richness, melty chocolatey goodness…need I say more?
The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
Yields: 2 dozen
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips/chunks
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. As the butter melts, it’ll start to foam, then turn a clear golden color. Continue to stir the butter, scraping up any browned specks from the bottom of the pan as it starts to brown. It should have a nutty aroma. Once browned and nutty, remove from the heat; set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch together in a medium bowl; set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the browned butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth and incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating until combined, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks with a wooden spoon.* Cover, and refrigerate dough for at least two hours, or up to three days.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball, then place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges are set and the centers are puffy but still look slightly underdone. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I like to reserve about 1/4 cup for sticking into the tops of the cookies before baking AND after baking. As the cookies bake and spread in the oven, you end up with more bare dough. So immediately after I remove the cookies from the oven (while they’re still hot), I like to insert more chocolate chunks to make them look like they’re literally exploding with chocolate!