Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies: a staple in every cook’s recipe book, but they’re not as simple to make as you’d think. At least, they weren’t for me.

I don’t know if I had extremely bad luck, if the calorie gods were trying to keep me from eating cookies, or if it’s the altitude where I live (over 5,000 feet above sea level in Colorado), but it took me about a year and five failed recipes to come up with a chocolate chip cookie recipe that worked for me. By the time I did find this recipe, and tweaked it to perfection, my family would groan when I broke out the chocolate chips in the middle of the night and started baking. They’re my guinea pigs, you see, and they’d eaten enough failed chocolate chip cookies to last a lifetime.

What was wrong with all of these cookies, you ask? Well, the main issue I ran into was puffiness. My cookies all turned out cake-like in texture and refused to spread (which resulted in cookies higher than Dolly Parton’s hair). They looked something like this:

Click image for the recipe for these “puffy” cookies.

Now, if you’re interested in making this type of cookie, then go right ahead; they have their upsides. However, my issue was that I was getting this kind of cookie no matter what recipe I used, and some of them tasted downright awful. I wanted chewy, gooey, non-puffy chocolate chip cookies. Was that too much to ask?

Apparently not, because I did eventually find a recipe that worked (with a little more tweaking), and that is the recipe I will be sharing with you today.

I decided this recipe was the perfect first post for A Chef By Moonlight for a few reasons:

  1. The purpose of this blog is to show you my mistakes so that you spend less time than I did making them.
  2. I am learning right along with you all about cooking, and I learned more about cookies in this recipe than I ever wanted to know.
  3. These cookies are delicious and my family now prowl around the kitchen like cookie-crazed wolfs until they come out of the oven.

So, without further ado, the recipe! This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Baker Bettie. Give her some big thanks for solving my (hopefully our) chocolate chip cookie dilemma. Her blog is also a great place to find out the science behind chocolate chip cookies in particular.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ¼ cups bread flour

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp kosher salt

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup white sugar

1 ½ cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

2 tbsps milk

1 tbsp vanilla

2 cups milk chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

  • Note: You can use all-purpose flour, but your cookies will not be as chewy. Bread flour is what makes bread chewy and it will have the same effect on your cookies.

3. Melt the butter in a microwave.

4. Beat the melted butter, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar with an electric mixer until combined.

5. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla, and then beat on medium-slow speed until incorporated.

 Egg Vanilla...    Egg Vanilla Mixed

6. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients from step two into the wet ingredients until well incorporated.

Flour    Mixed No Chocolate

7.  Fold the milk chocolate chips into the batter until incorporated evenly.

Fold

  • Note: My family prefers milk chocolate chips, but semi-sweet will work fine as well.

8.  Using a 1 ½ tbsp metal scoop, drop 4 rows of 3 on a greased cookie sheet pan.

9.  Using your hands, flatten cookies so that they are about ¾ of an inch thick and round the rough edges.

Left: Scooped, right: flattened and rounded.

  • Note: This step is crucial. If you do not press and shape the cookies you will end up with puffy cake cookies. The flatter you press these, the better they will be. Ideally, they should be about ¾ of an inch thick to cook correctly.
  • Note 2: Do not, I repeat: do not chill these cookies, or the batter, or they will not spread and you will again end up with Dolly Parton cookies. However, if you live in a hot climate (like the South in the U.S.) you may want to chill your dough to avoid everything melting.

10. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Finished Pan

  • Note: Always start with the lower time (especially if using a convection oven). The less you cook these the chewier they will be.

11. Allow cookies to cool for five minutes and then immediately transfer to a cooling rack to avoid over-cooking.

12. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container to keep them fresh and chewy for up to a week.

Finished Cookies

Good baking and good cooking take patience! If this recipe doesn’t turn out perfectly for you, don’t lose heart, tweak it! Please feel free to ask me questions in the comments.

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