It depends on my mood really, but I have three favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, each yielding a very different type of cookie. As far as I’m concerned a chocolate chip cookie without nuts is an inferior thing and should only happen if allergies are involved. There’s a certain sting to a walnut, a necessary bitterness that can’t come from chocolate. So whether a recipe calls for nuts or not, I always add them, usually the walnut. Sometimes, though, I’m all about the macadamia. Some recipes call for lard which produce a crisper cookie. Except they don’t use the word lard. Some are part Crisco, part unsalted butter, just as some are part cake flour, part bread flour. Some involve wrapping the dough up like a sausage and freezing it before adding slices to a baking sheet. Others involve an ice cream scoop or a descriptor like, "golf balls" to indicate size. Any way you cut it, each for their own reasons, these are my favorite chocolate chip cookies (in no particular order). If none of these do it for you, there’s always the white chocolate, macadamia, cranberry cookie (which is very festive looking and it tastes fantastic).
LEXI’S FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES from Martha Stewart
This is no ordinary cookie. It’s thin and spreads out as if it owns the place. It’s so thin that it’s almost pliable, like eating a caramel when they’re first done. Soon they’ll crisp up into butter bites. These are unlike any chocolate chip you’ve ever tried. The key is not letting the butter get too soft. It should just be room temperature.
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugars, and beat until combined and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well blended.
- Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed until combined. Add the chocolate chips, and beat until combined.
- Drop 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter at a time onto baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove the cookies and the parchment paper from the baking sheets, and let cool on a rack.
Makes thirty 4-inch cookies
DAVID LEBOVITZ’S GREAT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES from The Great Book of Chocolate
There’s something to be said for weighing things–not me, but things. It’s great, especially when you hate to use measuring cups. Instead you just weigh all the ingredients on a kitchen scale, which eliminates measuring cups and leveling. Love it.
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup(130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
Adjust the oven rack to the top 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Make about 20 cookies.
2 cups nuts, toasted (walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts), coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/2-1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1. Cream the butter with the sugars and vanilla.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until thoroughly mixed.
3. Mix together the flour and baking soda and stir into the creamed butter and sugar. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chunks.
4. Transfer the cookie dough to a lightly floured surface, divide it in four, and use your hands to roll each piece of dough into a log about 9 inches long. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. The dough can also be frozen at this point for up to 2 months. (PERFECT FOR DAYS WHEN YOU JUST NEED FRESHLY BAKED COOKIES, FAST)
5. Position the over racks in the center and upper part of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Slice each log into 3/4-inch-thick slices and place the cookies on parchment-covered baking sheets, 3 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets and switching racks midway through baking. When done, the cookies should be very lightly colored in the center, and just barely baked. Once they’ve cooled on rack, store the cookies in an airtight container, or in your pie hole.