I strongly believe, that for every amateur baker, there is at least one food item that they struggle to make. For myself, American style cookies have always proven challenging. With cookies, every single batch I’d ever tried to make either spread into each other on the baking tray, crumbled as soon I tried to take them off the baking paper, or were overcooked.
A fortnight ago, I became determined to overcome my ‘cookie issues’. Over two weeks, I made endless batches of dough: I tried everything from refrigerating the dough overnight, to placing the baking tray in the freezer and I played around with the ingredient balances.
Finally, my two weeks of testing produced something edible.
Not just edible actually, but delicious. The perfect chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookies. They were so good in fact, that when I took them into work for taste testing, the presumption was that they’d been bought from a bakery.
Even better, this recipe does not require that the dough is chilled in advance. You can make it and bake straight away, you just have to make sure you pop them onto a well-greased baking tray lined with greaseproof paper (I used a silicone tray liner, which are excellent).
To make 9-12 cookies, you will need..
100g white sugar (I like to use raw cane sugar with a coarser texture)
55g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
190g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
200g chocolate chips or chunks (I used 100g milk chocolate chips and 100g white chocolate chunks)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 F) or 150 degrees C for a fan assisted oven.
- Next, measure out the sugar and the butter. Cream both together.
- If you haven’t got the butter out ahead of time, and it’s still pretty solid, it’s perfectly fine to microwave it for 20 seconds or so. In fact, you could actually make these with melted butter – the result is just as good. (I’ve made them with both soft & melted butter, and I can confirm there’s no discernible difference!)
- The butter and sugar should be well blended and light. At this point, beat in the egg and the vanilla. Mix well.
- Next, sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and add in the pinch of salt. Mix well. At this stage, the dough should start to come together with a stiff but not wet texture.
- If the dough is too wet, add a bit more flour. It’s important it isn’t too wet. Stir in the chocolate chips. Ensure all the flour is properly incorporated then mix the chips in so that they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Form the dough into evenly sized balls. I used a batter/ice cream scoop for this, which I picked up at Lakeland. Space them well apart on a greased & lined baking sheet. You may need more than one sheet – do NOT reuse a hot tray, as this could cause the cookies to spread too thinly.
- Bake for between 9 and 11 minutes. Keep a careful eye on them: you will want to remove them as soon as they’re starting to turn golden on the edges if you would like them to be chewy (hey will still be quite ‘soft’ when you take them out). If you’d like a crunchy cookie, bake them for a bit longer until the tops start to turn golden.
- Remove the cookies from the baking sheet using the liner. Allow them to cool on this before trying to remove them.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to devour one (or three) with a big cup of tea. Mmm!