If you were a cookie, what kind of cookie would you be? I can’t remember where I first heard this question, but somehow it stuck with me – I went through a period in college where it became my conversation starter of choice. Friends and new acquaintances would tell me their cookie and I would confidently spout out their personality profiles, like a fortune teller working on a Psych degree. And maybe I was just good at imagining stories, but it really did seem like people’s answers were a reflection of their personalities (watch out for those Oatmeal Raisin types!).
And my answer to the question? Chocolate Chip: Classic, traditional, cheerful, easy-going, sweet and simple, always welcome, and, most of all, everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. And that is why every baker needs a go-to Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in their apron pocket.
I grew up baking the original Nestle Toll House version of this cookie with my Mom, and back in college I often baked a store-bought mix version in the dorm kitchens. But now that I’m more grown up (at least food-wise), I’ve graduated to Dorie Greenspan’s slightly doctored up Toll House recipe, from Baking: From My Home to Yours. There’s a little bit more sugar, a tad bit more butter, double the vanilla and a whole new level of chocolate goodness, thanks to bittersweet chocolate (less sweet, more chocolate-y… enough said).
As a rule of thumb, the better the chocolate, the better the cookie. And I really do like chunked up, high quality chocolate in these, but more often than not I use Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. Mostly because I’m always looking for a shortcut, and this Cook’s Illustrated taste test gave me an excellent excuse to go the chip route.
I make these every chance I get, for all occasions, get-togethers and celebrations, anytime baking is called for or my husband feels like his sweet tooth is being neglected. There’s always a bag of chocolate chips in my cupboard, at the ready, waiting to become a batch of these warm, comforting cookies.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 10-12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together.
- In a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about a minute, until smooth. Add the white and brown sugars, and beat for a few more minutes. Add vanilla, and then beat in each egg one at a time, letting the mixer run for a minute between each addition and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing until each is incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate chips and nuts in by hand. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it chill for at least an hour.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto your cookie sheets about 2-inches apart.
- Bake cookies, one sheet at a time on the middle oven rack, for 10 minutes. They should be brown around the edges and golden, and a little soft, in the center. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 1 minute after removing from the oven, and then place on a cooling rack. Cool the baking sheets between batches.
- Serve dunked in milk for a comforting, nostalgic treat!