i was 25 years old the first time i made chocolate chip cookies from scratch. i know, it’s embarrassing, but i grew up in an era during which you could purchase pre-made cookie dough in little logs at the grocery store. my mom told me it was just as good as homemade dough, so i never really batted an eye. her motto about cookies is, after all, “i’ve never met a cookie i didn’t like.”
well i am here to tell you that actually, store-bought pre-made dough is NOT just as good as homemade. and it certainly isn’t as good as this recipe — which has taken me years to nail down. but back to that first time i made them from scratch…
i was living in israel, a foreign land in which chocolate chip cookies do not exist. during a particularly challenging bout of culture-shock i went to the most americanized grocery store in town in search of cookie dough. alas, there was none. so i searched online for a recipe, bought all the ingredients and set to work.
after toiling for what seemed like hours, the cookies were finally done! i remember pulling the first batch out of the oven and seeing how perfectly baked they were, how the dough had melted from spoonfuls into soft round cookies, and thinking that baking was maybe the best thing ever. this was when my baking obsession officially began.
and now, nearly ten years later, i have perfected the art of chocolate chip cookies, thanks to america’s test kitchen and my dear, dear friend spelt flour. so without further ado, the best chocolate chip cookies on planet earth.
the world’s best chocolate chip cookies
adapted from america’s test kitchen
- 1 c all purpose unbleached flour
- 3/4 c white spelt flour
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 14 T (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 3/4 c dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 t sea salt
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1 large egg + one yolk, room temperature
- 1 1/4 c chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings in milk, semi sweet, or dark (i like guittard semi sweet!)
preheat oven to 375. line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. in a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, & salt.
melt 10 T of the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan. increase the heat slightly until the butter begins to sizzle and pop! carefully watch the butter, but do not stir, until it begins to take on a caramel brown color. it may start in one spot but be patient and wait, the rest will catch up! once the butter has all become brown and caramel-y, and smells fragrant and toasty, remove it from the heat and drop in the remaining 4 T, stirring until all melted together.
transfer to a large heatproof bowl (yup! even those burned looking bits at the bottom…scrape ’em good) and add the sugars and vanilla to the butter, using a silicone spatula to stir until incorporated. add the egg and yolk, and whisk until the mixture is smooth and shiny. let the mixture rest for a bit, then whisk again until it thickens slightly. repeat this process until the mixture is smooth, thick, and shiny like a caramel sauce.
add the flour mixture to the saucy mixture, stirring with a silicone spatula until the flour is fully incorporated and there are no dry spots left in the bowl. fold in the chocolate chips, making sure they are evenly dispersed throughout.
divide the dough by weight (go go gadget calculator!) — or just use a large soup spoon — into 16 even balls of dough. i find that rolling the dough into balls works best for baking, but you can keep it loosey goosey if you like 😉
place 8 dough balls on each baking sheet, leaving 2″ of space between for spreading, and bake one sheet at a time for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges have just begun to turn golden and the center is soft and pale.
place entire baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies directly onto the wire rack…if you can keep your grubby little fingers out of them for that long (i can’t! i have burned my mouth on so many hot cookies!) eat all of them immediately and only share with people you really like.