Nothing has the power to instantly turn us into children faster than a chocolate chip cookie. All is takes is one whiff of the warm cookie straight from the oven and we are transported to the family kitchens of our youths. We are there in a flash, melted chocolate smeared on our faces and hands, hair unruly, energy boundless. We could conquer the world back then, no worries or fears or real responsibilities! That is maybe why I love baking cookies – even though I don’t like dessert all that much.
My mother was never big into baking. Everything I learned in the kitchen, I learned from my Grandma Katherine. She was handy with the dough and made very elaborate concoctions on many occasions. However, the humble chocolate chip cookie was never in her repertoire. I am not sure exactly why, maybe she considered it too pedestrian. Maybe…who knows.
As an adult, I searched rather diligently for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. I tested dozens of them. Some were too crispy, some too sweet, some just plain weird. It was a long process but I think I finally have it. The Holy Grail, well, if the Holy Grail was a chocolate chip cookie.
I hope that next time your inner Cookie Monster comes calling, you let the little bugger out and bake a batch of my favorite cookies. These are easy to make, chewy and chocolate-y without being cloying. They have been tried and approved by kids of all ages (including my friends, who, let’s face it, are just big kids!). It’s hard to eat just one, so buy some milk, invite your pals over and have a cookie eating contest. The Cookie Monster would be proud!
Soft Baked Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Whisk in the vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients until combined. Stir in the chocolate and walnuts (if using).
Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes (but check them after 9 to 12 minutes), until the cookies are just brown around the edges. The centre of the cookies should be soft and slightly puffy. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets or a wire rack.
Recipe credit: The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle