This easy, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe really does produce the BEST chocolate chip cookies we've ever tasted. They're buttery and crinkly with crisp edges, a chewy interior and lots of delicious chocolate chips.
Although I have a lot of cookie recipes in my file and a good number of chocolate chip cookie recipes, these truly are the BEST (and one of the easiest) chocolate chip cookies that have ever passed through the Café kitchen.
5700 5-star reviews
I can't take the accolades for creating this recipe as I found it over at The New York Times Cooking website. With over 5,700 5-star reviews, I was pretty sure it must be something special. I've been making these cookies for a few months now and EVERY time they get rave reviews from family, friends, neighbors, etc. They truly are something special.
What's so special about them? It's not the ingredients, as they're just the usual cast of characters common to most chocolate chip cookie recipes; butter, sugar, leavening, vanilla, flour and chocolate chips. I guess it's the proportion of ingredients that makes these cookies so delicious, as well as a little secret trick that's employed before baking.
Too fussy and complicated
Before we get to that intriguing secret step, however, I have to say that I found the NYTimes' ingredient list to be unnecessarily fussy. Two types of flour (cake flour and bread flour), which a lot of people don't keep in stock. Weird measurements like "2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour" and "1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar". And, for the star ingredient, "1¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content". Fèves?Really? What's wrong with good old fashioned chocolate chips?
I also found that the Times directions are a lot more complicated than they need to be. The instructions call for several bowls, "a mixer fitted with paddle attachment" and instructions to refrigerate the dough for 24-36 hours before scooping it up into mounds for cookies. Have you ever tried scooping hardened dough, right from the refrigerator?
My practical mind, that's always thinking of ways to make life easier for you (and me), wondered if this 5-star recipe needed to be this complex. So I set about with some testing to see if it could be made simpler.
And the answer is YES! Although I converted the recipe to one-bowl, no-mixer with easy instructions and readily available ingredients (no fancy flours), the cookies are outrageously delicious. If you have a decently supplied pantry and refrigerator, you can make these wonderful cookies today!
Well, at least you could definitely make the dough today. That's the little secret I mentioned earlier and perhaps the one caveat for those who "want chocolate chip cookies and want them NOW". Although these cookies are good if you make the dough and proceed to bake the cookies right away, something magical happens as the dough rests in the refrigerator. And the longer the better, anywhere from 2 hours (if you need cc cookies in a big hurry) all the way to 72 hours.
In lieu of refrigerating the whole bowl of dough (as the NYT instructs), I like to make the dough, scoop it all into mounds (placed close together on a single sheet pan) and refrigerate for as long as I can wait. When I'm ready to bake, I pull out just enough of the mounds that will fit on one sheet pan. The bake time is quick, 12-16 minutes or until light golden brown.
Why refrigerate chocolate chip cookie dough?
What's the point in refrigerating the dough for these BEST chocolate chip cookies? King Arthur Flour explains it this way, "Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less the cookies spread. In addition, the sugar in the dough gradually absorbs liquid."
I believe that chilling the dough also helps reduce excess moisture in the cookies which creates a caramelized flavor and helps attain that highly coveted chewy interior texture with deliciously crispy outer edges.
You might already have the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe in your arsenal. But, if you're like me, always wondering if there might be something even better, you need to try this recipe. I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised as you take the first bite of one of these crinkly, buttery, caramel-y, crisp-chewy, outrageously delicious cookies!
Café Tips for making The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies
- For best results, measure your flour accurately. Either scoop flour into a measuring cup and level with the flat side of a knife OR whisk (or stir) your flour well, then scoop up the desired amount with a measuring cup and level with the flat side of a knife. If you scoop up flour that has compressed a bit, you can end up with too much flour and inferior results.
- I like to use a retractable scoop to quickly scoop up my dough and make uniform size cookies. For these BEST chocolate chip cookies, I used a medium scoop which is about 2 tablespoons.
- Even though you use a scoop, sometimes the cookies get a little renegade in the oven and lose their round shape. It's easy to get them fairly uniform in shape by gently pressing against the unruly edges with a metal spatula right when you remove the cookies from the oven.
- For a pretty presentation, I reserve about ¼ cup of the chocolate chips and add a few to each cookie as they emerge from the oven.
- This BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe makes a LARGE batch of cookies (4 dozen medium-size cookies). You can cut the recipe in half if desired, but the cookies freeze well both as dough balls and as baked cookies. How nice to have cookies, either ready to eat when thawed or ready to throw on a cookie sheet when the whim hits.
- Because this is a "no-mixer needed" recipe, make sure your butter is very soft. To achieve very soft butter you can:
- Let it sit at warm room temperature for several hours or overnight.
- Boil a cup of water in the microwave. Leave the steaming cup in the microwave along with the butter. It will take 20-30 minutes to soften.
- And if you need soft butter in a hurry, place cold butter in the microwave for 10-second increments, turning the butter after each increment. This will take anywhere from 20-40 seconds, depending on the strength of your microwave. Just watch the butter closely with this technique as it can go from soft to melted very quickly.
- Although this recipe is described as "one-bowl and "no-mixer" feel free to use a mixer if desired.
- I use salted butter. If your butter is unsalted you may want to add an extra pinch of salt.
- I like to sprinkle these cookies with a bit of flaky sea salt. I love Maldon Sea Salt. It's more expensive than regular salt or kosher salt but it's meant to be used as a "finishing salt". Use it at the end, just before serving. It adds delicious flavor to just about any dish. For these cookies, add a light sprinkle just as they emerge from the oven.
- I love these pre-cut parchment paper sheets cut to fit an average size sheet pan. They save a lot of time and come in a convenient, flat storage box. A box of these will last forever!
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 1 ¼ cups very soft butter 2 ½ sticks (I use salted butter)
- 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- flaky sea salt optional, I love Maldon
Stir the very soft butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and stir well. (Mixture will not be fluffy at this point,)
Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
Sprinkle the baking soda, baking powder and salt evenly over the top of the butter mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour and stir with a sturdy spatula until all of the flour is incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently. Stir in the chocolate chips. Lick the spatula and bowl clean, but be sure to wash your face before your mother shows up.
Scoop up the dough in 2 tablespoon scoops onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Don’t worry about spacing the cookies at this point. You can crowd them so you don’t have to refrigerate several pans. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 72 hours, covered lightly with plastic wrap.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line several sheet pans with parchment paper. Place refrigerated dough balls onto one of the sheet pans, spacing 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. (Keep the rest refrigerated.)
Bake until golden brown but still soft, 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. Add additional chocolate chips to the tops of the cookies, if desired and sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt (optional). Allow the cookies to cool for several minutes on the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.
After being refrigerated, the dough balls can also be transferred to a ziplock bag and frozen. Bake frozen cookies as directed above, giving them a few extra minutes in the oven until light golden brown.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.
Adapted from The New York Times
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days and can also be frozen for 1-2 months.
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