The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since I had had so much success with these Absolute Best Brownies, despite the universal skepticism towards any recipe that claims to be the “Absolute Best” or “Best Ever”, I decided…why not try my luck searching for other “Best” recipes?  What would I have to lose?  On one hand, it could turn out disappointing, in which case I will only be one batch of something or other worse for wear, maybe a little disillusioned, but that would be a small price to pay if the recipe actually did in fact prove to be the “Best”, or even close to it.

With this in mind, I immediately started a search for the “best” chocolate chip cookies.  As with brownies, chocolate chip cookie are one of those ubiquitous sweets of which there are probably a million recipes out there.  So I courageously typed out “best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever” in my search engine, and used the very first recipe on the list.  This is that recipe.

I don’t know if it was Alice’s gorgeous photos, or her unwavering certainty that her recipe was indeed the very best, or the over 700 comments mostly raving about the recipe, that won me over (or maybe it was that ‘EVER’ was in all caps), but win me over it did.  It also made perfect, irrational, sense to me, that, since this was an experiment, I should go with the first recipe that popped up.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER!   
(adapted from Savory Sweet Life)
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups (12 oz) all purpose flour (weighing your flour is recommended)
  • 3/4 teaspoon smallish-medium coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts 
- Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy (about 3 minutes on medium-high speed).  Check Alice’s photo on how fluffy should look.
- Add eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until everything is fully incorporated.
- Finally add the chocolate chips until well distributed.  The cookie batter should be somewhat thick.  Place the batter in a food-grade container or ziplock bag and store in the fridge for 24 hours (up to 36).
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, drop about 2 tablespoons of dough (or use a medium cookie scoop) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes in a pre-heated 360F oven until the edges are nice and golden brown.  Do not over-bake!
- Remove from heat and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer cookie to a wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving.

Full disclosure.  I must confess that I did more than just jump, bright-eyed and innocent, on the first recipe that came my way.  I looked a bit further and picked out tips from a few other “best ever” posts.  The one technique that I decided to incorporate into Alice’s already ever-so-promising recipe was to let the dough rest as prescribed by The New York Times in their own search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  I tried these after both a 12 and 24 hour rest in the fridge, and the 24 hour rest batch was definitely superior.  I didn’t have the time to test a 36 hour rest, but I will certainly try it as the NYT proclaims it to produce, by far, the best cookies.  This recipe makes about 4 dozens – I only baked 2 dozen, so the remaining dough I rolled into two logs, plastic-wrapped and ziplocked them, and tucked them into the freezer for an extended respite (to be brought to life at a later cookie-craving date).  Cookie dough in the freezer – I cannot recommend a surer safeguard against life’s rainy days.

So was this the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER?  I would definitely, unhesitatingly, say that it is one of the best I have ever tried.  I wouldn't want to, however, shut any future chocolate chip cookie awesomeness out of my life so I'll say they are the best...for now :)

I am so pleased with the results of my “Best Ever” search that I plan to explore this forthrightly optimistic path some more.  Sometimes, all you need to add a bit of deliciousness to your life is a suspension of cynicism.  You may just be pleasantly surprised at the results, whether it be with cookies or brownies or anything else.  Next on my agenda, on which I plan to try this tactic, is chocolate cake…wish me luck!