I don’t believe THE perfect chocolate chip cookie exists – unless you can get magical ones that change according to your mood and particular tastes. Instead, there are different chocolate chip cookies for different moods and preferences. I’m not fussy and will scarf down any and all of these wonderful CCCs happily, but consider these possible options.
Salted Peanut XL Cookies
Why it works: The water, raising agent and high quantities of chocolate and butter help these spread into massive, crispy cookies. You also bake them lower which aids the spread. These are an adaptation of Sarah Kieffer’s Pan-Banging Cookies. You don’t quite get the look of the original recipe but they are lower effort. While you need the sugar content to get the right texture, I like to add salted peanuts to help balance the sweetness.
Be aware of: In the UK we have smaller standard-size ovens, and on my large-ish baking trays I can only fit three cookies due to the spread! So be prepared to be patient as you may need to do a few rounds of baking and cooling.
Makes 13 huge cookies
- 285g plain / all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda/ bicarbonate of soda
- 1 heaped tsp flaky sea salt, crumbled, or 3/4 tsp fine salt
- 225g room-temperature/ soft butter (I use European-style, high fat)
- 200g light brown sugar
- 150g regular sugar (I use golden caster sugar, but granulated would be absolutely fine)
- 1 large egg (50-60g)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 100g dark chocolate (mine is 71% cocoa solids), chopped
- 100g milk chocolate (mine is 35% cocoa solids), chopped
- 200g salted peanuts
- Whisk the butter and sugar together. Since you aren’t looking for a tall cooking, you don’t really need to cream for ages.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk in.
- Add the flour, baking soda/ bicarb, salt and flour and combine.
- Add the chocolate and peanuts and combine.
- Throw in the fridge for half an hour or so, or until you’re ready to bake.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350F / 180C / 160 fan/ gas 4.
- Measure 100g of dough, shape into a rough ball and plop on a lined baking tray, very well spaced apart. As it says above you may need to do a few rounds of baking and cooling as they are so huge. Bake for 12 minutes until they look relatively well set. When under-baked, they’re still delicious but don’t hold their shape.
Brown Butter, Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are absolutely incredible. Deeply flavoured, caramel-y, gooey, chewy, crispy. These are now my favourite chocolate chip cookies. Adapted from Food and Wine.
- 250g butter before browning – around 205g after browning
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g flour
- 250g dark brown sugar
- 50g caster/ granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (c. 120g)
- 1 tsp flaky salt, or 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 250g chocolate – I used 125g 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate and 125g 40% cocoa solids milk chocolate
- Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a saucepan, and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, until foamy, smelling nutty and starting to brown. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Leave to cool to barely warm (around 15 minutes in my experience).
- Beat the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. and combine
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda/ bicarb, salt and chocolate and combine.
- Roll into balls of around 76-77 g each. You should have about 15. Cover with cling film or something else to stop them going dry. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more. You can also freeze these before baking.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 375F / 190C / 170C fan / gas 5. If frozen, they will take about 2 minutes longer for a gooey cookie. For a texture like baking from the fridge, reduce the temperature and increase the time – I found 15 minutes at about 360F / 185C / 175C fan was just right.
The Soft, Sophisticated One (also Vegan): Olive Oil Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Why it works: Refrigeration allows the flour to hydrate properly, giving a more even consistency, as well as firming them up. Minimal baking at a pretty low oven temperature ensures softness. Also, unless they’re really under-baked (in which case they lose structural integrity), I found they lasted a good 3-4 days after baking without getting stale, which must be thanks to the olive oil. Oh, and this might be weird but I also quite like eating them straight out of the freezer. (I do the same with Hobnobs, a salty chocolate biscuit we have here.)
Adapted, barely, from Rukmini Iyer’s The Sweet Roasting Tin. (I am, in my view anyway, Rukmini’s biggest fan.)
Fancy a twist? Add about a couple of sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped finely. Or 10 sage leaves, chopped. (You may want to set a few leaves aside of either for decoration.)
- 325g all purpose / plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes (I used Maldon)
- 150g chopped chocolate – dark is good, so is a mix of dark and milk. (On one occasion I used a hazelnut vegan chocolate a bit like a non-vegan milk chocolate.)
- 170g soft light brown sugar
- 125g light olive oil
- 85g water
- 100g nuts (optional) – hazelnuts or pecans are both great and could be pre-roasted, chopped, whole or roughly broken
- Mix the flour, baking powder, 1 tsp crumbled sea salt flakes and chocolate
- Whisk the sugar, oil and water. This is easier to do with an electric whisk.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and combine. Refrigerate for about two hours.
- Towards the end of this time, preheat the oven to 350F / 175C / 155C fan / gas 3.
- Roll out the cookies with your hands into golf ball-sized balls. Space apart a bit. Bake for 12 minutes. It’s okay if they look soft and light-ish in colour.
- Allow to cool on the baking tray.