Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a bit of a read, but I promise it’s worth it!

Everyone who bakes has their own way of making chocolate chip cookies and a lot of recipes are very similar to one another since most people use a basic recipe off a package and altered it from there. My recipe is nothing ground breaking and isn’t something insanely fancy, yet I get the same compliments from different people about how my chocolate chip cookies aren’t greasy, they aren’t overly sweet, and they have an amazing texture. I’m not a fan of using the word “perfect” either, but these cookies are pretty darned close to perfection.

So I figured I would share my recipe and process for making my version of chocolate chip cookies. I wouldn’t say I’m exposing my secrets, it’s just that many people are surprised to learn that these few tweaks make all the difference in the cookies that come out when all is said and done.

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Pixie Pro Tip #1: When you combine the softened butter and the sugars, let the mixer run on medium speed for at least 5 minutes. I usually let mine go between 5 to 8 minutes. It seems long and excessive and silly since everything is already combined in the first few minutes, but trust me. Letting the mixer go for longer dissolves the sugar crystals into the butter so you’re not getting uneven bites of sugar crystals in your cookies. It also fluffs the butter, and that gives the cookies an overall better texture in the end. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use an electric hand mixer for this step.

Pixie Pro Tip #2: Cocoa powder. Really, that’s the key to my cookies being less greasy. Cocoa powder has a really fine and dry texture, more so than flour, and that helps to absorb the oil in the butter. I use more cocoa powder on hot days since more oil comes out from the butter when it’s warmer. The measurements will be in the recipe below.

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Pixie Pro Tip #3: Use mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. These distribute throughout the cookie dough more so than regular sized chocolate chips and that means you get more chocolate bits in each bite.

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Pixie Pro Tip #4: When using nuts, chop them into irregular shapes. Smaller pieces will help the flavor of the nut spread through the cookie dough, but there will also be some bigger and tastier bits to chomp on. Some bites will have bigger chunks than others and that is what makes the texture interesting. Each bite of cookie won’t be the same!

Pixie Pro Tip #5: When all the ingredients are mixed, let the dough hang out for at least 10 minutes. Some recipes suggest aging your cookie dough overnight in the fridge for a better flavor. I’m too impatient for that. Letting it sit for 10 minutes ensures that all the flavors in all the ingredients have time to mingle together before baking off the cookies.

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Pixie Pro Tip #6: Do not shape your dough. I’m not kidding. Ditch the spoons, ditch the cookie scoops, ditch rolling this cookie dough into nice balls before baking, ditch fussing around with the dough to make it look perfect. Just grab bits of dough, put them onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and put that sheet in the oven. You know how the edges of chocolate chip cookies are the best since they have a small bit of crispness to them while still being chewy? By not shaping the dough, you get that texture over the top of the cookie as well, so the entire cookie has that addicting chewy crispness to it.

Those are all the things that I do for my chocolate chip cookies. Not all cookies are the same, so I don’t apply these techniques to other cookies, except the first tip about creaming together the butter and sugar. Now that you’re in the know,  onto the recipe!

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Pixie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe makes about 24 average-sized cookies.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 of a cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/3 of a cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (use 2 tablespoons if it’s a hot day)
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup whole nuts, chopped (I tend to use almonds more than walnuts, but it’s baker’s choice)

Steps

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F.
  2. Put the softened butter, white sugar, and brown sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat together on medium speed for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder to the butter mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Add the flour into the bowl next and mix together until there are no dry spots of flour in the mixture.
  5. Stir in the mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
  6. Let the dough sit in the bowl at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  7. Using your hands, grab a bit of the cookie dough and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet ensuring that there is about 1 to 2 inches of space between each mound of dough.
  8. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring them to a plate or storage container.
  10. Repeat until there’s no dough left.
  11. Celebrate your success and victory by eating a cookie…or five.

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