10 Pro Tips for Incredible Chocolate Chip Cookies
Legend has it that one of the most perfect treats in existence—we’re looking at you, chocolate chip cookies—was created in the late 1930s by the (genius!) woman who ran the restaurant at the Tollhouse Inn in Massachusetts. (For that recipe, click here). Six or so delicious decades later, our oatmeal-laced take on the Chocolate Chip Cookie fueled our very first bake sale, which raised over $400,000 to fund pediatric cancer research. Thankfully, our bake sale game is still strong, with it being our most popular fundraiser! (Interested in hosting one? Click here!)
All of which brings us to today, August 4th—National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. (We think we could successfully argue that every day should be National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, but that’s a blog post for another time.) Because you are all Good Cookies, we want your chocolate chip cookies to be all they can be and more. So we asked two of our favorite pros and long-time supporters, our chef-in-residence Melanie Underwood) and executive pastry chef Scott Cioe of Lafayette (a gorgeous French cafe and bakery in New York City), to dish their best chocolate chip cookie tips. We turned to our two cookbooks for inspo, too! (Our Best Bake Sale Cookbook and All the Good Cookies are chock full of helpful hints.)
Try browned butter.
“I like replacing a little bit of the butter with brown butter,” says Scott. This gives cookies deeper, richer flavor. To make, just cook butter slowly on the stovetop slightly past the melting point, until the milk solids are toasted and turn brown and sink to the bottom of the pan. Some of the water evaporates during cooking, and the browned butter has a wonderfully nutty aroma and taste.
Use a mix of chocolates.
Scott goes for a mix of dark and semisweet chocolate in his cookies. Dark chocolate has a stronger flavor profile that plays nicely off the mellow balance of semisweet. Melanie also recommends a blend approach—chocolate chips and chopped block chocolate. “Chocolate chips, chunks and shavings melt differently in the oven,” Melanie points out. “Some pieces will stay set and others will be kind of melty and I love that,” she says.
Tweak the cookie's texture.
When Melanie wants a soft cookie, she adds 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch per 2 cups of flour in the recipe. For a chewy cookie, add 2 Tablespoons of powdered milk per 2 cups of flour in the recipe. Simply stir in with dry ingredients. For a thin, crispy cookie, use all white sugar (no brown).
Experiment with mix-ins.
Chocolate chip cookie purists, we see you. Everyone else, go for it—stir in some Craisins or M&M candies, or shredded coconut. Melanie loves to drop in a generous handful of crushed potato chips or pretzels. “They give the cookies an awesome salty note,” she shares. Just limit add-ins to a ½-cup—more than that and the recipe may not work the same.
Don’t even think of skimping on chocolate chips!
This pointed tip appeared on page 3 of our Best Bake Sale Cookbook and we stand by it! Make sure those cupfuls are full.
Make cookie logs.Chocolate chip cookie dough is great for making into cookie logs. To do: roll dough into 1- to 2-inch cylinders and cover with parchment paper. Place cylinders in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate until slightly firm, about 20 minutes, then re-form cylinders to ensure shape is uniform. Return to the refrigerator until the dough is firm, at least 1 hour and up to 5 days. When ready to bake, slice cylinder into ½-inch-thick rounds. If desired, freeze tightly wrapped dough for up to 1 month.
Line pans with parchment paper.Instead of greasing or buttering cookie sheets, line them with parchment paper. It’s a fantastic way to prevent cookies from sticking and speeds cleanup, too.
Finish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt.
If you’re not familiar with Maldon sea salt, the flakes have irregular, uneven pyramid-type shapes flakes that look cool and offer a quick hit of clean, delicate salty flavor. Chefs often use it as a finishing touch for flavor and crunch on both sweet and savory dishes.
Let cookies cool completely before packaging or storing.If you wrap cookies or put them in a closed container while they’re still warm, they will almost certainly end up sticking together and break when you try to pry them apart. Leave time for cooling.
If batch-baking ahead, store in freezer.
Chocolate chip cookies can be frozen for up to three months. Stack cookies in a resealable plastic bag and carefully squeeze out any air before fully closing the seal. If cookies could end up with food on top of them, put the bag in a hard plastic container before placing in freezer.
We dream of a world where no family of a child battling cancer is told by doctors that there aren’t any more treatments to try. Cancer is the #1 disease killer of children, yet only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes specifically to pediatric cancer. Private funding is critical to make cutting-edge research possible. Click here to help give kids and parents more and better treatment options.