chocolate chip cookies for disaster preparedness.

January 29, 2015

chocolate chip cookies Today, I’m taking advantage of a perfectly ordinary Thursday to share with you a very extraordinary recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Why today? Because we’re at the tail end of January and we’ve all made it this far. And because yesterday morning my monthly MetroCard didn’t work. And because the ensuing events with a very grumpy station agent might have meant that I cried all the way to 14th Street. And I might have discovered upon arrival that I’d left the house without nipples for Faye’s bottles. Again. No good, very bad, etc.

But, when I returned home to start my work day, there was cookie dough in the refrigerator. James made it on Monday evening to prepare for the great snow-mergency of 2015 and by some miracle we hadn’t finished it all by Wednesday. Cookies to the rescue when I needed them most. As you see, this is really a post about disaster preparedness.
chocolate chip cookies These are the cookies that we’ve been making on the regular for the past five years. And when I say we, I mean that we’ve been eating them, James has been making them. Because that’s how things fly in this family.

Here’s my opinion about chocolate chip cookies: they should be slightly crispy on the outside, slightly gooey in the middle, and most important of all, not too chocolately. I can’t stress this last part enough. Too many chips spoil a good cookie, if you ask me. We’re talking more than eight or so per cookie and you’re walking a slippery, slippery slope into chocolate overload.

Here’s another opinion: chocolate chip cookies are best enjoyed with a glass of cold, whole milk. The milk must be cold. And it must be whole. Because skim milk tastes like chalky water. In my opinion.

The Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

What you need:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (we always flout convention and used salted, but the original recipe calls for unsalted)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed (the dark brown stuff really makes a difference if you can find it)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (we go overboard on the vanilla just for good measure)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (the original recipe calls for 2 2/3 cup, which: woah)

What to do with it:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
2. Into the bowl of an electric mixer (or into another large bowl if you’re doing this step by hand), beat the butter and sugars until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time. Beat each egg until fully incorporated. Add your vanilla last and beat again, just for a few seconds.
3. Add a portion of the flour mixture (we usually do about 1/3 of the flour at a time to avoid the entire kitchen getting coated in flour, but feel free to take your chances) and mix for 15 seconds. Repeat until all the flour is just incorporated.
4. Use your rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.
5. MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: Cover the bowl (we use this stuff) and refridgerate for 6 hours. If you’re in a pinch, you can pop it into the freezer for less than that, but do not skip this step. This is the step that turns everything into magic. Go take a walk. Go out to dinner. Do anything to distract yourself, because those precious moments when the dough is getting all cold are priceless.
6. Once your dough is properly chilly, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (The original recipe suggests lining your tray with parchment paper but we never do this. It’s probably why our cookies are always a little extra crispy at the edges.
7. Use your hands (or a fancy contraption like an ice cream scoop) to scoop small morsels of dough and shape them into round 2-inch balls. Place them about 1 inch apart on a cookie tray. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pans once while baking if you remember. The cookies should be golden brown on the edges.
8. Remove the cookie tray from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, or until you can no longer resist. Transfer each cookie to your mouth the rack so they can cool completely.
chocolate chip cookies

NOTE: Unless you’re sure that you’re made of the stuff that can stomach the entire batch (24 cookies) in one go, consider baking only as many as you can eat in one sitting and keeping the rest under wraps in the fridge. Two caveats: 1) Don’t save yourself just one scoop in the fridge. Because while you might not be able to eat all the cookies in one sitting, you surely need to eat more than just one. 2) This habit might spoil you for anything but fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies from here on. Proceed with caution.

More about James’s baking habit, HERE.

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  • Reply SimpleHappy January 29, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Yeah for chocolate chip cookies when we need it! Or really, for any given moment! Can't wait to try this recipe, thank you!

  • Reply Kimberly January 29, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Baked is an excellent cookbook. Their choc chip cookies are undeniably the best.
    They also have an oatmeal cookie with dried cherries that is strangely addicting.

  • Reply ak January 29, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I can't stress how much I agree with the less is more strategy of chocolate in chocolate chip cookie recipes.

  • Reply Francesca January 29, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Nothing like a chocolate chip cookie to make it all better. I think I just found what I needed. Having one of those not taking much to set me on the verge of tears today. Actually quite pathetic. lol.

  • Reply liv January 29, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I adore you for sharing this. I have two sick, very couped up little boys who could use some cookie love right about now. Thanks!

  • Reply Megan January 29, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Wish I had these on "blizzard" day.

  • Reply Sarah January 29, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Totally agree about perfect chocolate chip cookies. And whole milk. Which is better for you than that white-tinted watery stuff, anyway.

  • Reply Jennifer Allison January 29, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    so on board with the 'minimal chip' idea. i've taken to making the dough sans chips..and placing them on each ball by hand once 'sheeted'. too controlling? maybe. but i'm a 3-4 chips per cookie gal and this is the way i roll. πŸ™‚

    gonna try your recipe this weekend.

  • Reply Anonymous January 29, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    These look just like the cookies my Mema used to make! We lost the recipe and I haven't been able to recreate it, so I can't wait to try yours. Fingers crossed!

  • Reply jen January 29, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Quick note– you can easily make your own brown sugar, and go as dark as you want — combine white sugar and molasses. Stir with a fork! I never keep brown sugar on hand now, it's too easy to make it fresh. πŸ™‚
    I always freeze half the cookie dough if I'm not making them to take somewhere. I find it's easiest for baking later if you prep them all in the size you want to bake, freeze them that way on the cookie sheet and then pop them off for storage.

    • Reply Erin January 29, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      i've never made fresh, nice idea!

  • Reply Kari January 29, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Nope. Sorry. You're all wrong. The dough is only there to hold the chocolate chips together. Maximum chocolate is always in order. But I love the idea of having the dough ready and waiting for "emergencies."

    • Reply Erin January 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      ha! glad we agree on one point anyway;)

  • Reply Jackie {York Avenue} January 29, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    These look amazing! I'm with you…I want just a hint of chips. Definitely going to make these asap…can you freeze the dough?

  • Reply Inge January 29, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Ah, I've had a couple of days like that this week! Unfortunately, no cookies. But I'll make sure to bake some this weekend, and then keep some dough in the fridge for emergencies πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Monica January 29, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    In the interest of sharing, this is the recipe for the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever had, I usually make a double batch and stick a roll of dough in the freezer for an emergency later and a roll in the fridge for an emergency sooner. πŸ™‚

    I really think the vinegar makes a difference, and of course I make this as an all butter cookie and decrease the chocolate chips, because I agree with you, there is such a thing as too many chips in one cookie.

  • Reply Carissa Thilgen January 30, 2015 at 2:59 am

    I totally agree. Cookies MUST have a crispy edge and not too many chips! I like my cookies extra crispy while the hubs likes his soft and gooey. But these might be a nice compromise πŸ™‚

    • Reply admin January 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      oh, dear. i'm so sorry to hear about your struggle with diabetes.

  • Reply Lexie January 30, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I woke up one day 5 months ago with full on diabetes. Not overweight and a healthy organic vegetarian it was a shock that cookies I ate occasionally were gone now forever. I have not had any sugar now since August and can never eat like this again. Enjoy it while you can because the unhealthy eating catches up with you and ruins your life. I have all my Moms great cookie recipes and cannot use them ever again. I miss warm cookies. For some of us this is just a distant memory of good taste, satisfying comfort food gone by forever.

    • Reply Erin January 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      oh, dear. i'm so sorry to hear about your struggle with diabetes.

  • Reply Toril January 30, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I'll try your recipe when I have the chance!

    This is the best recipe I've tried (sea salt, yum!), but I've also reduced the chocolate amount, because 600 g is way too much:

  • Reply Megan January 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration! I made these last night and just baked them this morning. Really delicious! Our favorite recipe is still the one in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. He advocates chopping up a bar of chocolate instead of using chips, and that has been a revelation for us! You can get much better quality chocolate, and the big chips are just heavenly. Love your blog!

  • Reply thefolia January 31, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Don't forget to add cacao powder in these as well! Happy feasting.

  • Reply Jen February 1, 2015 at 2:09 am

    I just made the batter. So excited to try them tomorrow. Thanks!

  • Reply Margarita Larrazabal February 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Made these cookies yesterday and they are the best chocolate hip cookies I've baked so far! I brought it to a friend's and his oven runs hotter than ours at home, but even though the bottom was darker than it should be, the middle stayed soft and tender! I didn't have any dark brown sugar in the pantry and used light brown instead (still good). Thank you for sharing this recipe! Can't wait to bake the rest of the batter tonight!!!

  • Reply Laura Johns February 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    best idea ever! i made a batch last night and baked 1 tray of cookies – the rest of the dough is in the fridge for later in the week – nothing beats fresh cookies!!

  • Reply Erica Midkiff February 6, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Oh my gosh, I can't count the number of times something like that has left me in tears. I'm not always so sensitive, but when I feel misunderstood, the tears don't hold back. I'm glad you found comfort!

  • Reply Maudrey February 9, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    These cookies are a well deserved pause on this very tough Canadian winter. Having one… means having three… or four. Thanks for this great recipe. Absoluement dΓ©licieux xo

  • Reply Small Acorns February 21, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Hi Erin, I made the dough last night and just this minute taken the cookies out of the oven… They taste amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it's definitely a keeper!

  • Reply Ashley January 13, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    This has been my favorite recipe since you published it. Whipped up some more on this chilly day, and did 1cup chopped chocolate bar and 1 cup toasted pecans. WHEN GOOD THINGS KEEP ON GIVING. <3

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