Soft Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Results For Different Baking Times

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
  • The cookies on the left have been baked for 8 minutes, the cookies in the middle for 9 minutes and on the right for 10 minutes
  • Even if the cookies on the left dont look like the most delicious ones, in our opinion they taste the best as they are still soft and chewy
  • The others look better, but got too crunchy and therefore lost the characteristic soft baked texture

Cookie Fact #: An Overnight Rest Yields Superior Flavor

Back when the New York Times published that Jacques Torres recipe in 2008, I’d never heard of the concept of resting a cookie dough, yet Mr. Chocolate himself insisted that it was the secret to better flavor. Since then, I’ve talked to several pastry chefs and cookie experts who all agree: letting your cookie dough sit overnight in the refrigerator produces better tasting cookies.

It seems a bit finicky , but after trying it dozens of times, the results are absolutely undeniable.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

If there’s one single thing you can do improve the flavor of your cookies, it’s to let the dough rest. They bake up darker and more flavorful. That butterscotch note that was barely hinted at when you baked the dough right after mixing? It’ll blow you away with its intensity and complexity by the second day.

So how does it work? Harold McGee explains it in Keys to Good Cooking. Turns out that during the resting process, both flour proteins and starches break down a bit. How does this help improve flavor?

It helps to think of proteins and starches as large LEGO structures. During the process of browning, those large structure are broken down into smaller parts and individual pieces and subsequently rearranged. Sort of like destroying that LEGO castle so you can build a dozen spaceships. Now, both of these phasesthe breaking down and the reconstructiontake time.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

“STOP MAKING COOKIES!”

How To Make Chewy And Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Soften butter. Be sure the butter is very soft before using it so that it will properly cream with the sugars.
  • Whisk together dry ingredients. Carefully measure dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Cream butter and sugars. Don’t skimp on this step. It should take about 3 minutes for the butter and sugars to be light, fluffy, and very pale in color.
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix eggs and vanilla into butter-sugar mixture. Keep the mixer on low so that you don’t beat any air into the eggs .
  • Add dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until fully combined. Don’t overmix.
  • Refrigerate 20 minutes. Chill the dough for just 20 minutes while the oven heats.
  • Bake at 350°Ffor 9 to 12 minutes. Use a heaping tablespoon to measure out the cookie dough onto a greased or parchment paper-topped baking sheet.
  • Deflate cookies. Firmly tap the baking sheet on the kitchen counter. This deflates the cookies so the centers are chewy and soft.
  • Let cool on the pan. This step is important. The cookies will look soft in the center when you remove them from the pan, but let them cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  • Enjoy!
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    Can I Freeze This Cookie Dough

    Yes, absolutely. After chilling, sometimes I roll the cookie dough into balls and freeze them in a large zipped-top bag. Then I bake them straight from the freezer, keeping them in the oven for an extra minute. This way you can bake just a couple of cookies whenever the craving hits.

    If youre curious about freezing cookie dough, heres my How to Freeze Cookie Dough page.

    Facebook member Leigh commented: These are the only CC cookies Ive made for years This recipe worked great when I lived in Denver and had issues with baking at altitude, and its still our favorite now that were back at sea level. I usually make 4x-6x batches and freeze tons of cookie balls to bake later.

    What Is Aging Your Dough

    The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Aging cookie dough does two things, develops a more pronounced flavor and gooey-er texture. As the dough chills, it gradually dries out, concentrating the flavors of all the ingredients.

    Aging also changes the texture. The drier the dough, the more concentrated the sugar. Just cover the dough with cling wrap in your bowl and theyll keep just fine in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

    If you dont want to age it, you can just chill your dough for a minimum of an hour. Chilling your dough helps keep your cookies from spreading while baking. Also, at this stage, you can freeze your dough in balls or rolled into a log and wrapped in cling wrap. It keeps well in a freezer for up to twelve weeks.

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    Should I Chill Monster Cookie Dough

    I almost always advocate for chilling cookie dough before baking cookies because the cookies bake up thicker and are less prone to spreading.

    When chilling dough, it is always easiest to first form the balls of cookie dough, and then chill them on a large plate in the fridge.

    If you chill the whole bowl of dough and then later try to scoop out and form cookie dough balls, its too much chiseling and hacking away at a big blob of rock hard dough so I dont advocate this method.

    One to two hours is all this dough will need. However, you can chill the dough for up to 3 days in the fridge before baking the cookies off.

    Cookie Fact #: Granulated Sugar = Thin And Crisp Brown Sugar = Tall And Moist

    Granulated sugar is crystallized sucrose, a disaccharide consisting of a fructose molecule and a glucose molecule linked together. It is mildly hygroscopic , and relatively neutral in pH.

    Brown sugar is mostly crystallized sucrose, but also contains a good amount of glucose and fructose, along with trace minerals that give it its flavor and a slightly acidic pH. Glucose and fructose are far more hygroscopic than sucrose.

    Check out what happens if you bake cookies that are made 100% with granulated sugar or brown sugar:

    Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

    You can clearly see the difference in spread. This happens because the baking soda in my cookie recipe is a powdered base, and needs some form of acid to react with in order to create the bubbles that leaven the cookie. Slightly acidic brown sugar causes cookies to rise higher when baking, which limits their spread. You end up with a cakier end result. Granulated sugar, on the other hand, adds no leavening power, so you end up with a cookie that spreads wide. Because granulated sugar-based cookies more readily give up moisture, they also end up more crisp.

    A mixture of the two provides a good balance, and as I noticed in my egg tests, dissolving too much sugar can lead to a texture that’s too uniform. With sugar left in distinct grains, the pockets of melted sugar that caramelize within the cookie as it bakes remain irregular, giving the cookie more textural interest.

    Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

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    How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookies:

    This is the easiest cookie recipe and comes together quickly. Start with some quick prep: preheat oven to 350 °F and Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats. We usually bake 1/3 of the cookies at a time and refrigerate or freeze the rest to make a fresh batch another day.

  • In a large mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar on medium/high speed 5 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time then mix in vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together flour, baking soda and salt then beat it in thirds into the batter. Fold chocolate chips into the cookie dough.
  • Scoop even balls of dough and arrange on prepared baking sheets. Bake one cookie sheet at a time.
  • Substitution Ideas And Add

    The PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – Baking Basics

    Monster cookies are one of my favorite types of cookies to help clean out my pantry and baking cabinet!

    Feel free to toss in 1/2 cup of any of the following add-ins if y0ud like and scale back the amount of M& Ms by 1/2 cup:

    • Milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips
    • Mini versions of peanut butter cups or Rolo candies, halved or quartered as desired
    • Pretzel rods or mini pretzel twists
    • Potato chips for a salty-sweet treat
    • Breakfast cereal such as Special K, Corn Flakes, or Golden Grahams
    • Sprinkles such as jimmies or sprinkle sanding sugar over the tops before baking
    • Halloween add edible sugar eyes after baking
    • Christmas monster cookies use red and green M& Ms and/or add red and green sprinkles
    • Valentines monster cookies use red, pink, and white M& Ms and/or add edible sugar hearts
    • Easter or Mothers Day use pastel colored M& Ms

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    To Chill Or Not To Chill

    Its entirely up to you bakers choice! The first time I made these cookies, I chilled the cookie dough for my usual 2 hours, and the cookies had a lovely crisp edge with a chewy center. They were delicious but tasted like my soft chocolate chip cookies. I wanted something different: a thinner cookie with an overall crunch so I continued testing the recipe. Heres what I discovered:

    • No chilling: For thin and mega-crispy cookies, skip chilling the dough entirely.
    • Chill for 1 hour: For cookies that are a little thicker, have a little chew and a lot of crisp, chill the dough for 1 hour.
    • Chill for 2+ hours: For thicker cookies with less crisp, chill the dough for 2 hours or longer.

    I appreciate that this cookie recipe works all 3 ways.

    Choice Of Leavening Changes Cookie Texture And Color

    Leaveningthe introduction of air to the internal structure of baked goodscan come in many forms. In bread, it’s the carbon dioxide produced by yeast. In a cream puff, it comes from expanding water vapor. In the case of cookies, we get it from egg proteins capturing expanding gases, creamed butter, and most importantly, chemicals, namely baking powder and baking soda. What’s the difference between the two?

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    The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe: Ingredients & Substitutions

    The only ingredient I feel confident that can be changed up is the mix-ins. Chocolate chips, sprinkles, peanut butter chips, etc. DO NOT change anything else in this recipe. If you do I cannot guarantee they will turn out. However, here are some tested substitutions.

    • Butter. I use salted butter, but unsalted butter would also be great. I just recommend tasting the dough to ensure that it’s salted to your liking.
    • White Sugar. You can use granulated white sugar or organic cane sugar.
    • Brown sugar. I use light brown sugar in this recipe for the best results.
    • Flour. I recommend using an unbleached, all-purpose flour to make these chocolate chip cookies. Many readers have used gluten-free all-purpose flour with excellent results. Or, try these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
    • Sea Salt. I exclusively bake and cook with pure, fine sea salt. Sea salt is different than table salt , so if you use salt other than sea salt I recommend testing the recipe first with ½ tsp and then adjusting to your taste.
    • Chocolate Chips. As you can see from the photos, sometimes I use chocolate chunks, chopped chocolate, or chocolate chips. It doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you use 2 cups.

    Cookie Fact #: The Warmer The Butter The Denser The Cookie

    Almond Flour Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I settled on beating half of the sugar with the eggs until it completely dissolved, then incorporating the rest when I added the brown butter. The degree to which the butter is cooled before adding it to the mix can also affect how well it holds air when being mixed with the eggs. Warm butter flows very easily and doesn’t trap bubbles well. The cooler it is, the more viscous it becomes, and the better it can trap air. Even a few degrees can make a difference. By letting my browned butter cool down until it was almost at room temperature, it became firm enough to beat into the egg and sugar mixture without deflating it.

    In order to get my browned butter to chill a little faster and to add back some of the moisture that’s lost in the browning process, I discovered that whisking an ice cube into it after cooking killed both birds with one stone.

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    Bake Until They Just Barely Look Done

    If you are baking the cookies immediately simply roll them into balls, place them evenly apart on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

    The most important piece of advice I can give you is – DO NOT over-bake these chocolate chip cookies! They will not look done when you pull them out of the oven, and that is GOOD.

    At the end of the baking time, these chocolate chip cookies won’t look done but they are. They will look a little doughy when you remove them from the oven, and thats good. They may be lightly browned in a few places, which is exactly how you want them.

    They will set up as they sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes. I never bake them for more than 9 minutes

    Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens

    • tip 1 To ensure your ingredients are distributed well in your dough, mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl before mixing them into your wet ingredients.
    • tip 2 Place a piece of parchment paper over your cookie sheet for easier clean-up. Wipe down the parchment paper between batches and use the same sheet multiple times to reduce waste.
    • tip 3 Chocolate chip cookies bake quickly, so keep an eye on the baking time! Take them out when they are just barely baked but too soft to take off the cookie sheet. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for one minute until taking them off to dry on a cooling rack.
    • tip 4 For a twist on this classic recipe, use only two cups of chocolate chips and mix in a cup of chopped nuts, M& Ms, or butterscotch chips.
    • tip 5 If you are short on time but still craving cookies, take out a box of dry cake mix and try this great shortcut for making chocolate chip cookies at home. Check out our recipe for cake mix chocolate chip cookies recipe for some great tips and tricks!

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    What Happens When Chocolate Chip Cookies Bake

    Most traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes start with the same basic ingredients and technique: butter and a mix of granulated and brown sugar are creamed together with a touch of vanilla until fluffy, eggs are beaten in one at a time, followed by flour, salt, and some sort of chemical leavening agent . The mixture is combined just until it comes together, then spooned onto a baking sheet and baked.

    When you bake a cookie, here’s what’s going on, step-by-step:

    It’s a simple technique that hides more complicated processes underneath. So how do you decipher what’s going on? My first course of action was to test out these basic ingredients one at a time in order to determine how they affect the final outcome.

    Why Do Chocolate Chip Cookies Go Flat

    How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies – Easy Soft Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

    This is usually due to having the wrong balance of ingredients causing them to spread out too much. Also, check your leavening and make sure your baking soda is not expired and still active. To test baking soda, place 1 tsp baking soda into a cup and add a splash of vinegar it should fizz and if it doesnt, replace your baking soda.

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    How To Freeze Cookie Dough

    Freezing chocolate chip cookie dough is really easy.

  • After the cookie dough has chilled in the refrigerator, roll the cookie dough into balls. Chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a labeled zipped-top bag large or small depending on how much dough you have.
  • Label the bag with the month and the baking temperature and place the bag in the freezer.
  • Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months. The date will help you determine when the cookie dough is fresh and the temperature is written for obvious reasons. Really, you can write whatever is helpful to you. The date, temperature, time, recipe name, etc.
  • When its time to bake the cookies, remove them from the freezer. Preheat the oven according to the recipes instructions.
  • Bake the cookies for a minute or two longer since the dough is frozen.
  • Bake the frozen cookie dough balls whenever the craving hits or when you need a big batch of fresh-baked cookies. I do it all the time!

    Sometimes the simplest recipes are what stick. I really dont need to convince you its a chocolate chip cookie. THE chocolate chip cookie!

    The Dough Might Be A Bit Different

    Its advisable to use a little more flour when trying to make soft chocolate chip cookies since it helps slow down the evaporation process. You need that moisture or else the cookies will become a bit harder than you would like for them to be.

    You should note that using a bit more flour is going to make the dough turn out thicker than usual. You might even think that you did something wrong if youre not used to doing this, but this is perfectly fine for what youre going for.

    This thicker chocolate chip cookie dough will wind up spreading less, and less of the liquid will disappear on you during the baking process. Overall, these cookies should be thicker than most chocolate chip cookies that youve made before, but theyre going to be quite soft and tasty.

    If you want to get the best results, then its going to be good to make bigger dollops of dough when you go to bake the cookies. When the dollops have more mass, its going to be easier for the cookies to retain moisture.

    Making small dollops will often lead to cookies turning out harder than you would like them to be. You might get a slightly bigger cookie than you originally intended, but its going to be soft and nice.

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