Christmas is just around the corner and even though there’s lots to do, there’s always time for a batch of Christmas cookies. Especially a simple cookie, like these stamped shortbread cookies, that go together quickly, taste great, and look fancy and festive. They’re great for sharing and go well with things like that afternoon coffee or tea.Read More
Happy Halloween to you!
Always at this time of year, I like to make some fun Halloween treats with the kids to share with our friends and neighbors. This year we’re making my favorite caramel popcorn, as always, and these painted Halloween sugar cookies. The “paint” is made from egg yolk and water, painted on before the cookies are baked, so the end result is a slightly crackly and colorful egg-wash that makes the cookies festive and easy to make.Read More
My husband and children prefer cookies to scones. Fortunately, I love to bake cookies. I enjoy the whole process, from making the dough to eating the final product. I like unfussy cookies that are relatively easy to throw together and make me feel like I really have my act together.Read More
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies - Every home baker needs a good classic chocolate chip cookie recipe in her repertoire. It has to be the kind of recipe that you can make on any given weekday afternoon, whether for the family, the whole soccer team, or just for yourself. For me, the classic cookie I crave is soft in the middle, crispy on the edges, full of chocolate, and flavorful through and through.
I've been perfecting my recipe for as long as I have been baking, which is a long time. I have tried countless recipes, tweaking elements here and there to get the result I was after. My current go-to recipe is a combination of several of my favorites including these, from Jacques Torres found on Martha Stewart, these from Whipperberry, and these from the New York Times. The keys to this recipe are to use both semisweet and milk chocolate, so that you get a bit of caramel undertone in the cookie, add at least two teaspoons of good vanilla, use a full teaspoon of salt, use a little cornstarch if you aren't going to eat them immediately after baking, make them large for best texture, and, most importantly, let the dough rest in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours before baking. If you can't wait 24, try to wait for at least 3. This lets the flour fully absorb the fat in the butter and gives the flavors a chance to come together and ripen.
Though I like to make these cookies big, they work well in a small size if you need to feed a crowd, or just don't want to make large cookies.
- 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. cornstarch (optional)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2+ oz. chopped milk chocolate or milk chocolate chips (use as much as you like)
- 8+ oz chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips (use as much as you like)
Cream together softened (not melted) butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beat to incorporate. Add vanilla and beat until well-combined and fluffy. Measure all dry ingredients, except chocolate, and add to the bowl. Mix slowly until thoroughly combined, but don't over mix. Add milk and dark chocolate to the dough and mix until evenly distributed. Store dough, tightly sealed in plastic or parchment, in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. This dough gets better with age, so the longer the better. It will keep for up to a week, or more, in the fridge.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 350⁰ and if you have a convection option, I recommend using it.
These cookies have the best texture if they are made large, the size of a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, but small cookies work well too. I use a scoop to portion the dough so I have similarly-sized cookies. You can also roll the dough into a log before placing in the refrigerator for slice and bake ease. Place balls of cookie dough (roll them slightly if they are not shaped well) onto ungreased cookie sheet. Large cookies will bake for 13-14 minutes, small for 9-10. They should be turning golden brown on the edges but still very soft, under-baked, in the centers. The tops should be browning and set, not raw, but still soft. The cookies will continue to bake and set for a few minutes when they are out of the oven, so it is best to pull them out while under-baked and a bit puffy or they will turn hard and lose their chewy center. Leave them to cool on their pan for about 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.
These cookies are best eaten fresh but will keep in an airtight container for two to three days. The cornstarch in the dough will help them to maintain their soft, chewy interior if you don’t plan to eat them right away. I like to make this dough and keep it in the refrigerator to have on hand so I can bake up a few cookies at a time. You can also portion out the dough and freeze it so you can take cookie dough balls out of the freezer and bake them up at any time.
Enjoy! - Kate