It’s not that chocolate chip cookies need anything at all.
They don’t need the razzmatazz. They don’t need and songanddance beyond their own simple perfection.
But…. but but but but.
You know I can’t leave well enough alone around here. If we’re not adding browned butter to cookies then we’re adding an extra pinch of sea salt. A chocolate chip cookie is perfect unless you want to make it MORE perfect. And you know we’re always doing-the-MOST around here.
These cookies are inspired by my Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies and brought to life a few weeks ago when I rolled frozen chocolate chip cookie dough in sprinkles to bring as a quick gift to a friend for her birthday… which is to say -if I find out it’s your birthday I’ll sprinkle and bake whatever I have in the freezer and we hope it’s something other than steak.
Sprinkles or no – this is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I developed it for The Washington Post’s Baking Basics Series and it’s gold! It’s the cookie to bake – to be sure.
Here’s what you’ll need for cookie magic:
• room temperature butter, mostly room temp eggs, and nearly room temp milk.
We use room temperature ingredients because they incorporate evenly into the batter, aerating the batter and melding the ingredients as they should.
• all-purpose flour (though I’ve made these cookies with a gluten-free flour blend with equal success), baking soda, and salt.
• a big-deal amount of brown sugar (because we love our deep molasses flavor) and granulated sugar.
• vanilla extract because we’re special.
• chocolate chips, chunks, or disks. I’ll talk more about chocolate down a ways.
• sprinkles, specifically rainbow jimmies because they bake and chew more amicably than the pearl guys.
Start by creaming the softened butter with the two sugars.
Here’s the thing about softened butter – I try to plan ahead and leave my butter on the counter overnight. A few hours will usually suffice. BUT here are some butter softening tips should you have a cookie emergency.
I cream the butter with an electric hand beater slowly, on low speed.
It’s absolutely possible to cream the butter and sugar to fluffy by hand with a wooden spoon too.
However you low and slow – incorporate the sugar and butter well.
One egg and one egg yolk.
We use one whole egg for the richness of the yolk and the binding powers of the egg white. The additional yolk adds to the richness of the cookie without adding too much fluff from the white.
Milk to make up for the lost moisture of the egg white.
Vanilla extract deepens the flavor of the cookie to perfectly familiar.
Whisk together the dry ingredients before adding to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture.
Beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until almost combined.
Add the chocolate – in generous amounts.
Let’s talk about the chocolate. I’m very particular about the chocolate and chocolate shape I put in my cookie. I want taste and I want chocolate spread. My number one chocolate choice is Guittard’s baking disks. My number two choice is the chocolate chunks in the baking aisle at Whole Foods. My third choice is the chocolate chunks from Trader Joe’s. And that’s that on that.
We’re adding a few tablespoons of sprinkles for good measure. We love good measure.
Stir to combine and here’s the thing – we have to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. Overnight in the fridge is best but an hour will do.
Chilling the dough will help the flour absorb the moisture and help rechill the butter so the cookies don’t spread more than we’d like in the oven.
Spoon the dough into generous balls (2 tablespoons or so) and roll lightly in sprinkles. Place on a baking sheet and press lightly to flatten. Bake to perfectly golden – 1 cookie sheet at a time, 7 minutes, rotate the rack and 5 more minutes.
It’s a classic plus a party. From me to you!
Photos with my friend Jon Melendez.