The chef shares the best secrets for making perfect chocolate chip cookies

  • I’ve been a chef for years, so I know the important tips for baking chocolate chip cookies.
  • Using the right sugar and chocolate can help match the cookie to your preferences.
  • Be sure to gently incorporate the flour and let the dough sit in the fridge for at least a day.

As a professional chef, I know that classic chocolate chip cookies taste so much better with a few key ingredients and techniques.

The best cookies are slightly chewy and a bit gooey with a crispy edge, and there are easy ways to achieve those results in your own kitchen.

Butter is key, so choose a good one

Several sticks of butter in a transparent bowl

For more control, use unsalted butter.

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For cookies, butter is definitely a better fat than oil or other substitutes.

Using butter in your batter results in a fluffy, crumbly texture, and the little pockets make the mixture fluffier once the cooking process begins and the fat melts.

If you prefer to have even more control over the taste of your cookies, opt for unsalted butter and adjust your recipe accordingly.

Select a sugar based on your preferred taste and texture

Sugar is one of the biggest variables that people often overlook when baking. It affects everything from flavor and color to the texture of every bite.

When deciding which sugar is best for your desired results, there are a few factors to consider.

Look at the pellet size. White sugar, which is commonly used for baking, is ground into particles small enough to mix into the batter without sticking together.

Brown sugar also has small granules and varying amounts of molasses incorporated into the mix. And turbinado sugar is a less refined alternative with the top layer of molasses rinsed away.

Powdered sugar and coarse sugar are better for decorating than for baking.

A mixture of white sugar and turbinado sugar will provide little pockets of sweet, caramelized crunch, although using light brown sugar should lead to an extra-moist center.

Pay attention to the freshness of your flour

Open flour sack with white flour inside

Self-rising flour can become inactive if exposed to too much oxygen.

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Whether or not you use self-rising flour, first make sure the ingredient is still fresh. The leavening agent in self-rising flour can become inactive over time if exposed to too much oxygen.

However, regular flour can be made self-rising by adding 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour.

And always check for insects (nicknamed pantry weevils) in previously opened bags – they’re insidious and can derail a good cookie. Sift the ingredient if in doubt.

Always cream the sugar and butter

While you may have forgotten to leave the butter at room temperature and getting the electric mixer out can be a pain, don’t forget to cream your sugar and butter together.

It may seem like a small thing, but it ensures even distribution of butter and sugar in every part of the dough. Plus, the process adds a touch of air, which should make the dessert crumble in the tastiest way.

Simply beat the ingredients with a whisk, electric or not, until the combo becomes light and fluffy.

Gently stir in the flour to keep the batter airy

spatula folding in the dough ingredients in a metal bowl

Folding is a gentle cooking technique.

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In baking, folding means gently adding ingredients to a mixture.

Cookie doughs are much more forgiving than soufflé doughs, but they can still be deflated with too much mixing.

To avoid this, add the flour to the icing sugar, butter and egg mixture in stages and mix gently from bottom to top until combined.

Instead of chips, use your favorite type of chocolate bar

From milk to dark, everyone has a type of chocolate, so go with your preference when making your favorite cookie.

That said, substitute the classic chocolate chips for chunky pieces by roughly chopping a bar of your choice. Add the contents to your dough using a wooden spoon for better distribution.

Let your dough rest for 24 hours

Chocolate chip cookie dough in a metal bowl with a green spatula

Letting the dough rest will make it tastier and more tender.

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This simple step is an absolute game changer.

Letting the dough sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours allows the gluten strains to relax, resulting in a more tender cookie. The flavors also blend and deepen in a really great way.

Divide your dough into equal, medium-sized cookies

For best oven results, make sure your cookies bake evenly by dividing the dough evenly.

Use a small ice cream scoop (or half a large one) to keep the cookies thick. You can also roll the dough into a tube, cool it, and then cut it into slices.

Watch the clock carefully

Baked chocolate chip cookies on metal tray in the oven

Make sure not to overbake your cookies.

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Timing is everything when it comes to cookies. A few extra minutes can make the difference between chewy and chewy or crispy and crumbly.

Set your timer several minutes less than expected and check how your cookies are working. They should have spread and browned during the cooking process and smell toasty and ready.

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