I've been baking all my life. I mean as long as I can remember! I still have this vivid memory of being maybe 6 or 7 and deciding I was going to make cookies. I pulled out one of my mom's recipes and the first direction was to "cream butter and sugar together". For the life of me I could not imagine what "creaming" meant. That was the first time I ever read a recipe on my own and no one had ever mentioned the term before! I went and knocked on her door and I remember yelling through her bedroom door (I think she was sleeping) "Mom what does it mean to cream butter and sugar!?"
When I was about 16 I decided that I had never had a chocolate chip cookie that was exactly the way I imagined one should be... so I decided I had better come up with one. Chocolate chip cookies are tricky... everyone has their own idea as to what makes one ideal. Is it chewy? Crunchy? Cake-like? Maybe dark chocolate or milk chocolate or with sea salt sprinkled on top? I spent years coming up with this recipe, and even then I still tweak it every so often. This is my most recent version, to which my husband has claimed is better than the recently famous NY Times chocolate chip cookie recipe. That's his opinion, but I'd love to hear yours!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 5.1 oz. pkg vanilla instant pudding
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups (240 grams) all purpose flour
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
- cream butter and brown sugar
- add egg, milk, and vanilla. beat until fluffy
- add pudding mix, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. beat on med to med-high until fully incorporated and mixture if fluffy
- add flour all at once, beat on low until fully incorporated but but no more than necessary
- add chocolate chips and mix on low or by hand until chips are distributed evenly
- refrigerate dough for 3-4 days for best flavor, but feel free to cook them right away!
- shape into balls about golf ball size and bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes
I love the way these cookies look... if you look closely you can see the outside is almost crackly looking... these are chewy but they have a sort of crunch to them on the outside!
Some notes about this recipe...
1. Do not use the "cook & serve" vanilla pudding mix instead of instant. One might think it wouldn't be that different... and one might end up with a very weird consistency of cookie that doesn't hold it's shape!
2. You don't have to use dark brown sugar, regular brown sugar is fine, but I find the stronger flavor very complimenting of this cookie.
3. Some people like to sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on their cookie before baking... you are welcome to do what you want, but in my experience it doesn't go well with this particular recipe.
4. Letting your dough sit for a few days can be hard... and it will certainly taste good if you bake it right away... but to me it is worth the wait. The flavors really develop and the consistency is smoother.
5. This is my personal preference - I like to make a double batch of this, let it sit a few days in the fridge, then roll it into balls and freeze them. Then you can just pop a few in the oven any time you want fresh cookies!
**I'd like to note that this is the third batch of cookies (and I make double the amount in the recipe!) I've made ever since deciding to put this recipe up! I had to make three batches because the cookies disappeared so fast I never had a chance to take any pictures!**
Matthew was very afraid of not getting one of these... so I promised him I'd set one aside for him but he was convinced that if it didn't have a note then it would get eaten anyway (he dictated exactly what the note should say so that there would be no...