Last summer, I went on a quest to develop a recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookies. I wanted a rich and buttery dough with hints of butterscotch and plenty of salt. I wanted each cookie to have a perfect, smooth exterior, slightly crisp edges, and a meltingly soft center. I wanted the bursts of rich, semisweet chocolate to complement and offset the sweetness of the dough. After reading many recipes and experimenting obsessively with a number of techniques, I settled on this variation. The detailed instructions might seem more involved than the normal Toll House recipe, but please don’t skip a step. Each component is crucial: the browned butter offers an incredible caramel flavor; whisking the sugar with eggs helps it to dissolve, creating a smoother texture; and letting the dough rest overnight allows the flavors to develop. I love to make these cookies for a special treat, and I hope you will, too!
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- course sea salt, for garnish
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Let cook, swirling regularly, until butter becomes fragrant and starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer browned butter to a large bowl. Stir in one tablespoon of cold water. Place in the fridge and let sit, stirring regularly, until it reaches the consistency of softened butter, about 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In another small bowl, whisk eggs with white sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and falls from the whisk in thick ribbons, about 5 minutes.
- When the butter is cool, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in brown sugar, then egg mixture, then vanilla extract.
- Add flour mixture and lightly fold until it is partially incorporated. Add chocolate chips and continue folding just until the dough comes together.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours but preferably overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges, about 9-11 minutes.
- For easy fresh baked cookies anytime, I love to freeze balls of this dough. Simply scoop dough onto baking sheets and place in the freezer until hardened, then transfer to a ziploc bag. To bake, arrange on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and place in a preheated 350° oven for about 12 minutes.