Friday, November 6, 2015

In Which I Share My Cookie Baking Secrets

Over the years I have managed to acquire a reputation for making the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies ever. I have been asked many times what my secret is and if I would share my recipe. Well, here it is...

Go buy a bag of Nestle's Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips and use the recipe on the back of the bag. I do have a couple tips though for making them a bit better.

First, I always use butter.  Always.  Everything is better with butter, especially cookies, and I really do think that the flavor is just better with butter.

2nd, I double the vanilla.  I think the little bit extra just smooths out the baking soda and salt and makes the cookies taste a little better.

When you add the eggs you want to mix the mixture until it gets a little fluffy and almost starts to form peaks.  The you'll add the flour mixture.  This is, in my opinion, the most important part. The batter will be too thin so you will need to add extra flour.  How much really depends on the size of your eggs and how much liquid they provide to your dough.  Try adding an extra 1/4 cup and then give the dough what I call The Pinch Test.  Take a pea size of dough and give it a little pinch.  It should still be moist, and yet dry enough that when you separate your fingers, the dough stays behind.  If it's too squishy add a little more flour and test it again until you're happy with it.
I use a scoop to portion out the cookies.  My favorite is the OXO Good Grips Cookie Scoop and I use the medium sized one.  I like using a scoop to portion them because then they are all the same size and bake more evenly.
The next step is baking time.  I think that the recipe calls for 10-12 minutes, but in my oven that is way too long!  I set my timer for 7 minutes and take them out while they are still very blond and just lightly browned around the edges.  I tried to take some pictures of what they look like when I think they're ready to come out.
Just remember that the oven is 375 degrees, so they will continue to cook for a bit on the tray once you take them out of the oven.  So if you leave them in until the look done, they will actually be overdone :-(  Once they sit for a few minutes they will look a little more like you expect them to.
Give it a try and see what you think.  It will take some trial and error to find the right combination for your oven, but it's worth the effort.  Your family will thank you :-)

Of course it's also possible that I just have a magic oven!


  1. I love this recipe on the back of the bag. Always the way my Mom made them and the way I make them. Like your additional tips! I saw something yesterday (think it was a recipe in my newspaper) and she adds a bit of sugar to the eggs as she is beating them....

    Linda in VA

  2. I agree with your recipe and method! I do very much the same. Butter makes all the difference and a bit more flour based on the texture. I'm going to try the extra vanilla. Sounds yummy! I also set the timer for 7 minutes and take them out more blond. Toll House are our favorites around here. Thanks for sharing! I love the magic oven idea, but I think in your case, it's the cook. :)