I cannot begin to tell you how frustrated I have been with my attempts at making the perfect chocolate chip cookie over the years. I have tried: more sugar, less sugar, more flour, less flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, egg, no egg. Trust me, there are a lot of recipes out there and none of them have worked well for me!
I did a bit of research into the science behind the perfect cookie, and how each ingredient affects the nature of the resulting cookie. Here’s what I discovered:
- Baking powder often gives the cookies a cake-like texture, whilst bicarbonate of soda gives rise without the sponginess. It’s all to do with the way the cream of tartar reacts with the other ingredients (egg, in particular.)
- Too much egg also makes a spongy cookie.
- Not enough sugar and your cookies won’t be flat; too much and they come out with a crispy shell.
- Too much fat makes them greasy (this is an obvious one).
- Tapping mid-way through and at the end of the bake, knocks out the air to give a dense, chewy texture.fI
I’ve baked these cookies a number of times and they always come out perfectly. Thin, chewy, and not too greasy. My fiance loves them, probably a little too much (sorry, Manasseh, I’m giving away your secret!) It took a bit of doing my homework to figure out what the perfect recipe looks like but I think I finally found it. And, now that I’ve done the homework, I’m sharing the recipe with you to save you having to go through the same ordeal!
Psst… If you want to try something extra special, substitute the vanilla extract for orange extract. Chocolate orange cookies? Yes, please! If you’re not sure what extract will work, Nielsen-Massey is always a good choice.
My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 125 g butter
- 120 g soft light brown sugar
- 110 g caster sugar
- 1 egg medium
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 220 g plain flour
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 200 g dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Meanwhile, line two baking trays with parchment.
- Next, in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
- Add your egg together with the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Next, sift in your flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly until a soft dough forms. It should be a bit sticky.
- Chop your chocolate into approximately 1 cm chunks. Reserve about a third of the chunks and fold the rest through the cookie dough.
- Spoon tablespoon-sized portions of dough onto your baking sheets, leaving space between them. You should aim to evenly space around six cookies onto each tray. They will spread out during baking so spacing out the cookies in this way will ensure they don’t stick together (or, at least, not as much!)
- Place a few of the reserved chocolate chunks on top of each cookie, pushing them in slightly so they stick.
- Bake your cookies the oven for 6 minutes. Remove the cookies and give the trays one or two hard taps on the counter top to knock out any air.
- Return your cookies to the oven and bake for a further 2-4 minutes (depending on how crisp you want then to be. Remember, they will firm up slightly once cooled).
- Remove the slightly-golden cookies from the oven and allow them to cool fully before tucking in. A tall ask, I know, but totally worth the wait!
- If your cookies go a bit hard, you can microwave them or place them back into a warm oven for 10-20 seconds so that they become soft and chewy again.