These cookies are chewy on the inside, have a slight crunch on the outside and are soooo good!!
Chocolate Chip Cookies. When I started thinking about writing a blog, I had decided that I was absolutely NOT going to write about chocolate chip cookies. There are just too many variations out there and all of them say, “The Best EVER!” or “World’s Best!” or “The Ultimate!” or “All Time Favorite!” How can so many different variations be so different and yet all so perfect? Plus, everyone has a specific type of chocolate chip cookie they like – crunchy, soft, chewy, with (gasp) nuts in them…. I like nuts on their own, just not in baked goods. I decided writing about the most popular kind of cookie in the world was for everyone else to write about and I’d go on to other foods.
And yet… here I am.
I started a Pinterest board solely for chocolate chip cookies … just to see how many I can find. So far I have over 100 different recipes in there! I haven’t checked them all out, because who has that kind of time? But I did look at a few of the top rated recipes and decided if any said to refrigerate longer than an hour or so…those weren’t for me right now. I’m sure they’re fabulous, but I rarely say, “Hey kids, let’s have cookies…. in 2 days.”
But one of them stood out where I just had to look. She called it “The WORST EVER Chocolate Chip Cookie” and I had to see why!
She was right. They’re the worst because you don’t want to stop eating them. I’m not even kidding.
And yes, another recipe with a “secret ingredient”… but when you stumble across something like this you have to share it! Skeptical? I was too. What could there possibly be in a chocolate chip cookie that’s new… and not weird? (I just cannot bring myself to try the one with hard boiled eggs!)
Maple Syrup. For real.
I’m sure pure maple syrup tastes wonderful, but I used some good old Log Cabin syrup that I had in my pantry. It gives these cookies a hint of something special without really knowing what the specific taste is. The cookies have turned out perfect every time I’ve made them, and my husband even gave them a “wow”. He doesn’t hand those out often for chocolate chip cookie experiments!
I’ve made these in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, and I’ve also used my KitchenAid. For these cookies, I actually like mixing it by hand better (use a sturdy wooden spoon!). If you use a KitchenAid, make sure you don’t over-mix the dough.
One of the first things to remember is to put the eggs out on the counter to get to room temperature. When melting the butter, it melts best if cut into chunks and melt by 15 second increments until just melted. Then let it cool for at least 5 minutes. I’ve forgotten about it and 10 minutes later it was still just fine. You don’t want the butter too hot or the dough will be runny. While the butter is cooling, measure the dry ingredients and sift them together. I’ve become a “sifter” in the last couple years. I always thought that was such a waste of time (and to be truthful, I still skip this step when I’m busy). But it doesn’t feel like a waste of time after you crunch into a hard piece of sugar, or bite into a little ball of flour or bit of baking soda. Ish. Ish. Ish. It’s worth the extra step!
I changed a couple things from the original recipe. I read on a few different recipes to use one whole egg and one egg yolk (it adds richness to the cookie), so I used that here too. I also noticed that sometimes 3 1/4 cups of flour isn’t quite enough, so I’ve used 3 1/3 cups sometimes. I think that is a personal preference, and also varies with humidity and heat in your house, and also the way you measure. Keep in mind the difference we’re talking about is small… like 4 teaspoons worth of flour. I also like using mini chocolate chips plus chocolate chunks. The mini chips are little bits of chocolate all over the cookie, and the chunks give that nice big bite of chocolate every once in awhile. Yum. This time I used mini chips, chunks and also some dark chocolate chips I had in the pantry. Just use whatever kind of chocolate chips you like that equals two cups worth.
And although you’re not supposed to eat cookie dough, I always sneak a little bit before baking them. You know, quality control.
They turn out best if you make the balls slightly taller than they are wide. I usually only get 6 cookies on a pan because I don’t want them to run into each other. I like getting the chocolate chunks on top of the balls of dough because they look so pretty when they bake. Not a necessity, but it makes me feel fancy. Ha.
Bake them for 12-13 minutes, or until the edges are turning a beautiful golden brown. The middles may look a tiny bit underdone, but that’s what you want. They’ll be puffy on the pan and will flatten as they cool. Cool most of the way on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. If your house is hot, you may want to keep the dough in the fridge in-between batches. And remember, don’t put the balls of dough on a warm or hot pan. Make sure your pan is cool before doing the next batch.
Here’s a trick I learned accidentally, and I have no idea behind the science of why this worked. It just did. So after the cookies sat out for a bit during the humid summer, the cookies were really soft. Which is fine if you like that. But, I do like a bit of crunch in my cookies. I made another batch a few weeks later to take camping. After the cookies were cool, I layered them in an ice cream pail with wax paper between each layer. Then I immediately put them in the freezer. By the time we opened the bucket of cookies at our camp-site, they weren’t frozen any more and I expected them to be pretty soft because of the heat. They were actually a bit crunchy and had a chewy center! So, either that was a fluke, or something happens when you freeze cookies! I’ve refrigerated them with the same results. If anyone knows, I’d love to hear why!
Although I would never claim that these are the “World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies” or “The Ultimate”, or “Everyone’s Favorite”…. they have a crunchy outside and chewy inside and I think these are some pretty yummy cookies with a fun secret ingredient! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
Recipe slightly adapted from Sugar Spun Run