Classic: Chocolate Chip Cookie

Since going to culinary school I find that I rarely make the same thing twice, my eyes and mouth have been opened to a whole new world.  I am constantly getting magazines in the mail, new cookbooks as gifts and hearing about new ideas at the restaurant.  I have  a few “tried and true” recipes but for the most part I have a hard time focusing on one thing.  However, every good baker should have a solid chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I am proud to say that I have a very delicious one to share with all of you.

One of my favorite Friends (click for video) episodes is when Monica is trying to recreate Phoebe’s grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. My mother and grandmother passed along the Nestle Tollhouse recipe as well, and I grew up making that famous version.  Although good, I always found them to be a little too crispy for my taste.  I live with a lovable “cookie monster” named Bryan, who is very particular about his chocolate chip cookies (well not so much as particular – any kind put in front of him will get eaten) but after years of taste tests, he has strong opinions about what makes an exceptional chocolate chip cookie.  He explains that the finished product should be fairly thin, soft in the middle and crispy on the edges.  The current winner of best cookie in Boston is my old place of employment FLOUR.  I sometimes feel like Monica, testing, testing, testing… often in search of a recipe that will taste as good as the real thing, but with less sugar, butter or whole wheat flour.  Well kids, I am hear to tell you there is no substitute, I mean the other versions all got eaten and some even got a head nod of approval, but these are number one in my book.

The main reason I was up for baking the other night was that I had some fancy chocolate in the house, thanks to my friend Lentine.  Lentine and I went to college together and recently reconnected via Facebook.  She is all the way across the country in Oregon and has been studying food and pastry too!!  We have decided to become “Pastry Pen Pals”, she had Theo Chocolate send me a little sampling of their Organic 74% and 70% chocolate bars as well as their Fair Trade 84%.  Last week I sent her some local goodies from the Boston area! Check out her website

The Theo chocolate is wonderful – smooth, slightly bitter, floral and earthy all at the same time.  I used the 70% and 74% bars in my cookies, definitely a more complex flavor then the usual semi sweet but I think that it went amazingly with the caramel sweetness of the cookie dough.  I pass along this tip to all cookie makers, something I learned while working at Flour, when making chocolate chip cookies, chopped chocolate it better then chips.  Chips just don’t melt into the cookie the right way.  These bars were perfect because they were thin and didn’t take a lot of elbow grease to get them chopped (chopping chocolate for a batch at Flour was pretty much the worst task there was, aside from cutting scones).  The result is a cookie that has both big and little pieces of chocolate throughout the cookie, allowing for chocolate in every single bite. The chocolate becomes the cookie as opposed to a cookie with chocolate in it.  I encourage you to hunt around at your local grocer for some nice dark chocolate – it is getting easier and easier to find and if you can find a local brand that is even better!!!   I also brown a portion of the butter, browning butter adds a richer flavor, slightly nutty very subtle but I think it makes a difference.

It’s a rainy Sunday, the perfect day for the perfect cookie – get baking 🙂

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (250 grams)

– 1/2 a stick will be browned – explained below in the recipe

1/2 cup organic granulated sugar (150 grams)

1/2 cup organic brown sugar, packed (175 grams)

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups AP flour (300 grams)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

12 oz deep dark chocolate, preferably chopped bars (340 grams)

In a small skillet or pot heat 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat.  Allow to melt and sizzle, it will pop and splatter so be careful.  When the popping and sizzling stop you know that you are about done (what is happening is the water in the butter is evaporating) if you have a pan without dark non stick coating use that – it is easier to see the butter browning.  If not just go by the sound, when it is quiet pour out of the pan into a small bowl.  You should have a clear liquid with small specks of brown (the butter solids). Let cool.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment paddle butter till soft, add sugars and mix till light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, incorperating each one fully.  Add vanilla and scrape down the sides and paddle.

Add flour, b. soda, cinnamon and salt.  Mix till just incorporated, add chocolate and mix in by hand with a rubber spatula.

Bake cookies at 350 on a parchment lined or nonstick cookie sheet.  I madeextra large cookies and got about 20, you can make them a little smaller and get a higher yield.  I timed them for 8 minutes, checked them, rotated the pan and then baked for a few more minutes till edges were brown.  Transfer to a cooling rack.  They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days (maybe longer but they were all gone after 3 days!!).  You can also freeze both the batter and baked cookies for up to a month.

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  1. Kate

     /  March 14, 2010

    do they end up soft or crispy?
    I’m a soft cookie fan…

  2. htcakes

     /  March 14, 2010

    They are both, softer in the middle but crispy on the edges, however if you cook them a little less they will be a softer throughout.

  3. These sound SO good. I love that you use browned butter! YUM. Tomorrow should be a rainy day here….a PERFECT day for Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies! Hooray for Pastry Pen Pals! 😀


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