As you may have picked up on, I like to make cookies. My Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies and 100 Cookies cookbook are clear examples of my adoration for those round beauties, especially in chocolate chip form. I love all of those recipes equally, but there is always room for change in my mind.
I decided to work on a recipe that combined many of the elements I loved in my other cookies: crisp bottoms and edges, a thick, gooey, rich center, and deep chocolate and vanilla flavor.
I tested this new chocolate chip cookie recipe for much of the Spring and beginning of summer, taking them to every grill-out, picnic, and party I could. They truly are my new favorite. As I’ve shared them with friends and family, quite a few have taken me aside to whisper that this is the best of ALL my chocolate chip cookie recipes (!) but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
This cookie has perfectly crisp edges, a thick, gooey center, plenty of chocolate flavor, and a beautiful crinkly top.
Ingredient Notes for Making Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- All-purpose flour: Make sure your all-purpose flour is not too high or low in protein; I like to use Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose for cookie baking. At 10.5 percent protein it is a good, moderate choice to keep baked goods tender.
- Unsalted butter: I use unsalted butter in my recipes so I can control the salt content. This recipe uses both salt in the dough and sprinkled on top before baking, so unsalted works well here in order to keep the cookies from getting too salty.
- Ghirardelli 52% and 72% chocolate chips: I tested all my cookies in 100 Cookies with Ghirardelli chocolate, and love how it performs in baking. Both these chocolates used bring intensely balanced chocolate flavor to these cookies.
- Pure vanilla extract: I prefer the flavor of pure vanilla extract over artificial, and recommend it here since this recipe includes a tablespoon of vanilla. However, if you love a brand of artificial and use it regularly, it will work fine.
What Makes These Chocolate Chip Cookies Different:
Achieving all of these different elements of the cookie were important to me, and I took notes from a few places. For the base of the recipe I started with my previous cookie recipes, and came up with a cookie that falls somewhere between my Soft Chocolate Chip and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie.
I wanted a recipe that was comforting and homey but equally decadent, something both school lunch and dinner party appropriate. Dorie Greenspan’s Rye-Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Jessie Sheenan’s Peanut Butter Cookies inspired me; both of these cookies require a gentle spatula smash to the top at the end of baking, which creates a thick, gooey center and also gives them a beautiful, crinkly top.
Increasing the oven temperature to 400F [200C] helped the cookies turn golden brown on top and bottom, and also helped them crisp beautifully. Using two kinds of chocolate (semi-sweet and dark) brought different flavor notes to the cookie. And sprinkling the flaky salt on the tops of the cookies before baking vs after brought out more flavor without tasting overwhelmingly salty.
To Freeze Cookie Dough:
Cookie dough can also be formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Freeze them on a sheet pan without them touching, then move into a freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake, set the cookies sit out at room temperature until the oven preheats. The cookies will need an extra minute if baked frozen.
More Cookie Recipes:
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies 2.0
- 2 cups [284 g] all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 9 tablespoons [126 g] unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup [150 g] granulated sugar
- ¾ cup [150 g] brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 oz [142 g] Ghirardelli 52% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips
- 2 oz [57 g] Ghirardelli 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips chopped
- Flaky salt for sprinkling, if desired
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400F [200C]. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars and salt and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the chocolate and mix into the batter on low speed. Use a rubber spatula to give the dough a final mix and make sure it is completely combined.
- Form the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each [50 g], and place 8 cookies on each sheet pan. Sprinkle each cookie with a little flaky salt, if desired.
- Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Bake the cookies until the tops are golden brown and the cookies are slightly puffed and starting to crinkle, 10 to 11 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use the back of a spatula to gently press the top of each cookie to flatten it. Let the cookies rest on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cookies are best slightly warm but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
- Cookies will soften the longer they sit. Cookie dough can be formed and refrigerated overnight, then baked the next day; the cookies may need an extra minute if chilled. Cookie dough can also be formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks; let the cookies sit out at room temperature until the oven preheats. The cookies will need an extra minute if baked frozen.