Our Family’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

My family has been using this chocolate chip cookie recipe since I was little. I think we originally got it out of a magazine, and it’s been one of our go-to recipes for years.

Our Family’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

For best results, set out the butter and eggs on your counter for a few hours beforehand so that they can come to room temperature by the time you have to mix them in with everything else. As a rule of thumb: The butter is soft enough when you can easily squish the stick between your thumb and index finger.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • one bag (12 oz.) chocolate chips
  • optional: kosher salt, to taste
    (I prefer Diamond Crystal kosher salt, but other types of kosher salt can work too.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.

  2. Mix together the white sugar and brown sugar. Then cream with the butter.

  3. Add the eggs and beat well. Then add the vanilla.

  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and table salt. Then slowly add them to the wet ingredients.

  5. Add the bag of chocolate chips and gently fold those in with a spatula.

  6. Line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper, and portion about 6 dollops of dough onto each sheet.

  7. Place the cookies in the oven for 5 minutes, then swap the baking sheets and continue baking for another 5 minutes. When they’re done, their tops and edges should have just started to brown.

    (If the tops of the cookies are still batter-colored when your timer beeps—that is, the tops haven’t the slightest browning—put the sheets back in the oven for another 30 seconds.)

  8. Optional: Immediately after taking the cookie sheets out of the oven, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with kosher salt.

  9. Allow the cookies to cool for 5–10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Recipe: Ginger Molasses Cookies

My brother made some of these ginger molasses cookies over the winter break, and I rather enjoyed them. They have a crisp exterior but a chewy interior, and they sort of resemble a cross between gingerbread and spice cookies.

Later I asked my brother for the recipe and he happily passed it along, mentioning that he originally got the recipe from his friend Kristin. (They’re yummy, Kristin!)

Note: The full recipe makes about 40 cookies, while the halved recipe makes about 20. I’m including both versions since you might not always need forty cookies ;).

Ginger Molasses Cookies—Full Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger (ground ginger from the spice aisle is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks butter, softened or at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup molasses
  • Set aside in a cereal bowl: ¾ cup coarse or granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon kosher salt mixed in with a fork

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt—set aide.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to soften. Add 2 cups sugar, beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined.

  4. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. If need be, use a wooden spoon to stir in any remaining flour mixture.

  5. Shape dough into 1 ½ to 2-inch balls. (If you have a digital scale, aim for around 28 to 30 grams per ball.) Roll the balls in the sugar & kosher salt that you had set aside. Place dough about 2 ½ inches apart on baking sheets.

  6. Bake at 350° for 12–14 minutes. If you’re baking multiple sheets at a time, swap the sheets halfway through. Bake the cookies until they’re light brown and puffed. After you take them out of the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Ginger Molasses Cookies—Halved Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (ground ginger from the spice aisle is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ stick butter, softened or at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • Set aside in a cereal bowl: 6 tablespoons coarse or granulated sugar with ½ teaspoon kosher salt mixed in with a fork

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt—set aide.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to soften. Add 1 cup sugar, beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg and molasses until combined.

  4. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. If need be, use a wooden spoon to stir in any remaining flour mixture.

  5. Shape dough into 1 ½ to 2-inch balls. (If you have a digital scale, aim for around 28 to 30 grams per ball.) Roll the balls in the sugar & kosher salt that you had set aside. Place dough about 2 ½ inches apart on baking sheets.

  6. Bake at 350° for 12–14 minutes. If you’re baking multiple sheets at a time, swap the sheets halfway through. Bake the cookies until they’re light brown and puffed. After you take them out of the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe: Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Dallas Camera Club meets twice a month and members take turns bringing in snacks (chosen by rotating through the membership list). Tuesday’s meeting was my turn to bring in snacks and so I decided to bake some cookies. Sure, some people just stop by Kroger and buy a box of cookies, but I figured that baked cookies would be much nicer.

I stopped by AllRecipes a few days ahead of time to select a recipe. Once in their Cookie section, I headed straight for the subsection on Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's not that I had ruled out other cookie types, but I thought I had a good chance of finding a workable chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Fortunately, all the recipes at AllRecipes are rated (on a scale of one to five). With dozens of chocolate chip cookie recipes, I just ignored all the non-5-star entries. And, I had in mind more of a soft cookie (rather than crunchy) and that further narrowed the playing field. And one that I finally settled on was called (simply) Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. In particular, the tagline sounded enticing: “Crisp edges, chewy middles”.

As the recipe called for chocolate chips (as you would expect) but also chopped walnuts, I thought I'd have to make a special trip to Super Target for sure. But, I glanced through my pantry beforehand and it turned out that I had all the ingredients already.

When it came time to bake the cookies, the recipe was actually a little easier than I expected. There was no melting of any kind (neither butter nor chocolate) and there're only three steps in total (the first of which is “preheat oven”, so that one hardly counts, even). The one nebulous portion of the recipe was the baking time — “Bake for about 10 minutes […] or until edges are nicely browned”. I don’t like guesswork when it comes to recipes and so I just went with an even 10-minutes for the first batch (well, actually 5 minutes + 5 minutes, as I swapped racks halfway through).

After that first batch, the edges were slightly browned, but who was I to say if that meant “nicely”? To be sure, I baked the second (and third) batches for 11 minutes (5 minutes + 6 minutes) and those were slightly more golden-brown around the edges.

Once they were baked, I set them aside on cooling racks and, as soon as they were cool enough not to burn my tongue, I snarfed one. It was still gooey, of course, but rather tasty. In some ways, it still even had that cookie-dough flavor (as opposed to most other recipes where the cooked product is decidedly different from the raw edition). But, I made a mental note that I'd have to allow them to cool fully before forming a final opinion.

So, the next day, I had one with breakfast (ooh, decadence) and it wasn’t quite the cookie that I recalled from the night before. It was soft, to be sure, but the edges never hardened. Really, it was just soft the whole way through — and some people like it that way, but not me. I wanted that delicate ying & yang of crispiness and softness, but to no avail. So, sure, these cookies are good in the general sense that all cookies are yummy, but I get the feeling that there may be a better chocolate chip cookie recipe out there.

In any case, here’s the recipe.

“Best Chocolate Chip Cookies”

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar [or Splenda, natch]
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175 degrees C).

  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.

  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. [11 minutes was an improvement for me, and 12 minutes may be even better]

Recipe: Thick and Chewy Triple-Chocolate Cookies

I brought along some chocolate chocolate-chip cookies to the Independence Day party on Sunday and I thought I’d share the recipe here. Back when I first received the Evite to the party, I noticed the request for desserts and side dishes and I immediately began to ponder what I could bake.

Being the chocolate nut that I am, I decided fairly early on to go with something chocolate-based, but it was only after watching some TiVod episodes of America’s Test Kitchen that I happened upon the idea of chocolate chocolate-chip cookies. (For those not aware, America’s Test Kitchen is a cooking show on PBS which goes through dozens of iterations for each dish before publishing the recipe that works best).

Fortunately, their recipes are also online (for the recent couple seasons, anyway). And, while the as-televised recipe is for Double-Choclate Cookies, their site also lists a varation which I could not ignore: Triple-Chocolate Cookies. For those keeping score, the double chocolate cookies include Dutch-processed cocoa along with a pound of melted bittersweet chocolate. The triple chocolate cookies include those ingredients plus chocolate chips. Well, on to the recipe:

Double-Chocolate Cookies, Thick and Chewy Cookies

Makes about 3 ½ dozen cookies

To melt the chocolate in a microwave, heat it at 50 percent power for 2 minutes, stir it, then continue heating it at 50 percent power for 1 more minute. If it’s not completely melted, heat it for an another 30 to 45 seconds at 50 percent power. We recommend using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to scoop the dough. Resist the urge to bake the cookies longer than indicated; they may appear underbaked at first, but they’ll firm up as they cool.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

    Some—but not all—supermarkets carry Dutch-processed cocoa. If your local supermarket doesn’t have it, one place where you can definitely find it is at Penzys Spices, including their store just off Preston & 635.

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups packed (10 ½ ounces) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl; set that aside.

  2. Melt the chocolate in medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, stirring once or twice, until smooth; remove from the heat. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla lightly with a fork, sprinkle the coffee powder over to dissolve it, and set that aside.

  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until it’s smooth and creamy, about 5 seconds. Beat in the sugars until they’re combined, about 45 seconds; the mixture will look granular. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the egg mixture until it’s incorporated, about 45 seconds. Add the chocolate in a steady stream and beat until it’s combined, about 40 seconds.

  4. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With your mixer at low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until they’re just combined. Do not overbeat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature until the consistency is scoopable and fudgelike, about 30 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Leaving about 1 ½ inches between each ball, scoop the dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets with a 1 ¾-inch ice-cream scoop.

  6. Bake, reversing position of baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until the edges of cookies have just begun to set but their centers are still very soft, about 10 minutes. Cool the cookies on sheets for about 10 minutes, slide the parchment with the cookies onto wire racks, and let them cool to room temperature.

  7. Cover one baking sheet with a new piece of parchment paper. Scoop the remaining dough onto the parchment-lined sheet, bake, and cool as directed. Remove the cooled cookies from the parchment with a wide metal spatula and serve.

Variation — Thick and Chewy Triple-Chocolate Cookies:

If you like bursts of warm melted chocolate in your cookies [and who doesn’t? —A], include chocolate chips in the batter. The addition of chips will slightly increase the yield of the cookies.

Follow the recipe for Thick and Chewy Double-Chocolate Cookies, adding 12 ounces (about 2 cups) of semisweet chocolate chips to the batter after the dry ingredients are incorporated in step 4.

The only downside to the recipe is that it can take longer than other cookie recipes (especially including the 30-minute wait-time after mixing the dough). All the same, I was really pleased with the results and I think these Triple-Chocolate Cookies may be my new favorite cookie :).

Recipe: Milky Way Peanut Butter Cookies

Among other gifts, Mike got some candy for Christmas, including some Fun Size Milky Way bars. In contrast to their peanut-filled cousins, Snickers, Milky Ways are relatively tame — mostly caramel and nougat. So, on a lark, I decided to check AllRecipes to see whether there were any Milky Way-based recipes. Sure enough, I found one: Milky Way Peanut Butter Cookies.

Since I had some free time yesterday, I decided to give it a shot. The recipe is fairly easy — just three steps — and the only thing to keep in mind is that the recipe needs bite-sized Milky Ways (a typo at one point mentions Fun Size, but the recipe’s reviews confirm that bite size is needed).

Milky Way Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 36 fun [bite] size bars Milky Way [If you have Fun Size bars instead, just cut them in half to create bite size.]

Directions:

  1. Cream together white sugar, brown sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla, peanut butter and the egg.
  2. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Wrap 1 heaping teaspoon of dough around a bite sized Milky Way candy bar. Bake 13-16 minutes at 350° F (175° C). Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

So, I mixed up the cookie dough and decided on 14 minutes cooking time (well, the directions said 13-16 minutes and 14 sounded like a good mid-point). And even though my oven doesn’t heat that unevenly, I swapped the two cookie sheets halfway through just to be sure.

I took out the cookies after 14 minutes and — as directed by the recipe — I let them cool for 5 minutes. It’s not that they were all that hot, but they needed those few minutes to firm up. And, as soon as the 5-minute timer beeped, I grabbed one and gingerly took a bite.

To my delight, the nougat/caramel had become warm and molten — similar in some ways but even better than a Caramello bar. The cookies turned out even better than I expected and I’m tempted to cookieify some Fun Size Snickers bars later this week :).