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I have never been much of a baker. In our family, my husband comes from a family of bakers and I don’t just mean Christmas cookies. I mean, my husband’s father is an Italian pastry chef who has owned multiple bakeries in his lifetime and even baked for the Queen of England. Who can compete with that?
I always wanted to be one of those “perfect” moms who could whip up the most delicious chocolate chip cookies as an after school snack.
I tried and failed many times since becoming a mom. They either turned out too flat or too hard or too chewy. I gave up for a little while and resorted to buying store bought Pillsbury ready-made cookie dough. And while I didn’t hide the fact, or try to disguise them as my own, I couldn’t help but feel like a complete failure as a mother. My kids, on the other hand, didn’t seem to mind one bit – as long as they got cookies they didn’t care how they came to be.
But I was determined! I just wanted to be able to grab some ingredients from around my kitchen and make some cookies whenever I wanted – I didn’t want to have to go out and buy cookie dough!
Pinterest is my go-to source for all things recipe related and no matter how many different cookie recipes I tried, I could never get them to turn out right. The list of ingredients were fairly similar – butter, flour, eggs, sugar, etc., so I knew the secret had to be in the method.
It’s been 7 years in the making but I’ve finally perfected it – a classic, soft, gooey-centered chocolate chip cookie that you can bake for your kids as an after school school or on a weekend and feel like a hero.
Here are my TOP THREE TIPS to make sure these chocolate chip cookies come out perfectly!
1. use room temperature butter
Don’t rush this process! I load up on butter when it’s on sale, throw it in the deep freeze and move one brick to the fridge when I need to, so if you’re like me – this is going to take some planning and forethought. In the past, I’ve tried every method from defrosting butter in the microwave to grating it into little pieces and it’s never turned out well for me. Take it out of the fridge in the morning and by the afternoon it should be ready to go!
2. chill the dough
It seems redundant that you would have to soften your butter and then chill it again but you want your butter to melt in the oven once it’s holding together all the other ingredients. So give it at least 2 hours in the fridge (if your butter was super warm and soft when you mixed the batter, leave it in longer.) You don’t want the dough to dry out in the fridge, though, so make sure to keep it in an airtight container OR cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Warm batter will result in thin, flat cookies which will over bake and won’t be soft.
*Bonus Tip: You can make a double batch and freeze it for instant cookies any day!
3. don’t over bake
The recipe calls for 12 – 15 minutes at 350°F but ovens vary. Set your timer for 10 minutes and then keep a close eye on them after that. I take mine out at 11 minutes. The size and shape that you make them will affect the baking time also. I tend to keep mine on the smaller side for the kids (about 1 tablespoon of batter). You want to look for a VERY slight golden color around the edges but they should be puffed up all the way across (not sunken in the middle).
- ½ cup softened butter (room temperature)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a stand mixer (you can do this by hand but a mixer is preferred) cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Use the highest setting on your mixer and mix for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Add in the egg, vanilla, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the flour and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Transfer the cookie dough into an airtight container and CHILL for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough onto sheet or roll into small balls spacing 2 -3 inches apart
- Bake for 10 -12 minutes. Look for the cookies to puff up all the way across, not sunken in the middle and a slight golden color on the edges.
Of course, I couldn’t bake without my favorite tools!
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