Yep. I said it. The VERY BEST. How can I make such a claim, you ask?? Well, my friend, (read this with kind of a ‘Sherlock Holmes-style’ narration in your head) let me begin by describing the attributes of a perfectly delicious chocolate chip cookie. Then, if you agree, follow me to absolute, pure, chocolate-chip-cookie bliss!
The qualities that make for the VERY BEST chocolate chip cookie are:
1. Plumpness. One’s cookie must NEVER be flat! It must be something to bite through, leaving you with just less than a mouthful each time. It may be described as “fluffy” or “thick” or even “rotund,” but NEVER, NEVER flat.
2. Chewiness. This is VITAL. If you bite into a chocolate cookie and someone next to you can hear every time you chew, you have not eaten the right kind of cookie! It must be moist and soft on the inside. The very edges may have a slight crispiness to them, but the vast majority of your cookie must most definitely be chewy!
3. Chocolatiness. If you have to search your cookie to find a chocolate chip, then for the love of chocolate, just throw it out! If your cookies are sitting on the kitchen counter, people in the living room should be able to clearly tell that they are chocolate chip! One of my many mottos is “Never skimp on the chocolate!” (You can replace the word ‘chocolate’ with ‘butter,’ ‘sugar,’ and ‘salt’ to learn a few of my other favorite mottos.)
So, with that being said, let’s get to the goodness!
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 7/8 cup of sugar (basically, juuust less than 2 full cups)
2 teaspoons molasses
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 ¼ cups AP flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
About 2 cups of Chocolate Chips
Large Mixing Bowl
Rubber Tipped Spatula
1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease your cookie sheet(s).
2. Using a rubber-tipped spatula, cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses until perfectly blended and smooth.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in each time until completely incorporated.
4. Add vanilla and mix in until completely incorporated (all the mixing between eggs and vanilla helps with adding air into the dough. It’s ok the mix quickly during these stages, but once you’ve added flour, only mix slowly, and just to the point that things are brought together. Over-mixing, or mixing too fast after the addition of flour will result in harder cookies (this rule applies to just about any bread/pastry recipe)).
5. Add your flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly mixing with your spatula, gently work everything until it begins to come together. Just before it’s all pretty much uniform, add your chocolate chips.
6. I never measure the amount of chocolate chips I put into my cookies. I just pour them out of the bag until I’m confident that there will be no cookie that is lacking in chocolate chips. But my best guess is around 2 cups.
7. When your cookie dough is complete, it should slightly moist, but not very sticky. You also don’t want it to be too dry (if you’ve added too much flour, your cookie dough will be very dry and your final product will be too cakey). If your dough slightly sticks to your hands, that’s fine. But if you can’t pull out any dough without a huge mess sticking to your hands, then you need to add a bit more flour (if your cookie dough is too sticky, then the cookies will flatten out in the heat of cooking, and they won’t be plump).
8. Using your hands, pull out a lump of cookie dough, and form it into about a 1- 1 ½ “ ball, only pressing on it as lightly as is needed. Roll it between your hands, again, only using the minimum amount of pressure necessary. (Too much pressure will also result in cookies that are less soft and chewy.)
9. Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet, about 1” apart from each other.
10. Bake in preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes (times vary based on ovens). Take the cookies out of the oven when you see the very slightest indication of golden brown around the bottom edges of some of the cookies. Not all of the cookies will have the golden edges around the bottom.
11. Place on a cooling rack to cool, if they make it that long.