Note: While the recipe below is chocolate chip cookies (a favorite), I use these rules for almost every batch of cookies that I bake.
Rule 1: Use a paddle attachment. It seems silly, but I've noticed that using the paddle attachment rather than using the whisk attachment makes for a softer cookie. I don't know how, but it does magical things so I don't question it.
Rule 2: Corn Starch. Sounds crazy, right?! That's what I thought the first time I saw a recipe call for corn starch, but then I quickly realized, it's the gateway to cookie heaven. Add 2 tsp of cornstarch and your cookies will keep a nice shape and have a perfectly crispy outer edge with a delicately soft inside. It works. Just believe.
Rule 3: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use high quality chocolate chips. It makes allllllll the difference in the world. People will notice, I promise. I switched from tollhouse and store brand chocolate chips to Ghirardelli and you can really notice. The cookies are simply better. There's no debating it.
Rule 4: Mix chocolates. I think adding two different types of chocolate chips to a cookie keeps things interesting and makes every bite a little different. Keeps the taste buds guessing and keeps your cookie far from monotone. I love adding a little bittersweet too, just to cut back the overall sweetness of the cookie. Makes for a more sophisticated cookie, if you will. Oh my.
Rule 5: FREEZE THE DOUGH. If you're going to follow only one rule, THIS IS THE RULE TO FOLLOW. The technique takes a little time and patience, but it is well worth the efforts. First, you have to make the dough, then refrigerate it until it's not ridiculously sticky (maybe an hour or two). Then, you make golfball-sized cookies, place them on a cookie sheet, and stick them in the freezer. After 2 hours, you can bake. If I don't bake them, I'll store the frozen balls of delicious cookie in ziplock bags and keep them on hand for whenever I get a random cookie craving or need a last minute potluck contribution. Freezing the dough into round balls, and then baking them creates the perfect shape with just the right amount of thickness. The cookies won't spread everywhere. They just turn into perfect little mounds of deliciousness.
Now the recipe that will change your life...
What you'll need:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup bittersweet & 1 cup semi-sweet)
How you make it:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream together butter and the white and brown sugars until fluffy and light in color. Then, add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.
Next, mix in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips.
Place the dough in the fridge to firm up, approximately an hour. When firm, shape the dough into golf-ball sized cookies and place on a lined baking sheet. Freeze the balls for at least 2 hours, or for weeks.
When ready, bake the frozen dough at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than twelve minutes.)
Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, and then remove them from the baking sheet and let them cool completely. Enjoy your treats! Try not to eat them all.