How to Create the (Almost) Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate chip cookies with ingredients and notebookMost of us love to indulge in a little of the anti-oxidant rich chocolate (yes, I shamelessly cling to every study promoting the benefits of my favorite food) a few times during the week.

Working on a new bake book, my obsession with creating the almost-perfect recipe for chocolate chip cookies probably goes a bit deeper than most people. Some people even consider it a bit odd.  Nonetheless, my efforts benefit my roommates, family and friends with tried-and-true recipes and a plateful of cookies. I have been recipe testing the “ultimate home chef’s chocolate chip cookie” recipe for the past few weeks. I think I’m close to calling this one my favorite recipe.

Being a home chef is not only about creating something delicious from raw ingredients. The home cook knows there is more that happens in the kitchen. Something happens to me.  Something happens to the other people who share the space and the food.  The art and science of food preparation builds not only good food, but wonderful memories and relationships.

Magic happens when people come together in the kitchen and mix laughter with chopping nuts and chocolate, talking about the day with measuring flour and vanilla.  How does one create the almost perfect chocolate chip cookie?  Just follow this recipe:  people + good recipe + working in the kitchen = the almost-perfect cookie and a near-perfect experience.

Whether you are cooking something savory or baking something sweet, I hope you take the chance to pull someone into the kitchen with you and enjoy the beauty of delicious food and nurturing relationships this weekend.

Melissa’s Ultimate Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 cubes) butter, softened
2 eggs at room temperature (pull out eggs about 40 minutes before putting together the batter)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 ½ cups of flour
1 bag (12 oz.) of chocolate chips – pick your personal favorite: semi sweet; dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Mix the sugars and the butter together until they are creamed together. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until blended. (You can use a beater too. It does make everything a bit faster!)
Add in the salt, baking powder and baking soda and stir. Add in the flour one cup at a time and mix until the flour is completely dissolved into the batter. Fold in ¾ of the bag of chocolate chips.

You can use a variety of things to scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets. I like my cookies to look very pretty and round so I roll the dough in my hands – about the shape of walnuts. You can use a teaspoon for a similar size.

Take some of the leftover chocolate chips and smoosh them gently into the top of the cookies. This is a completely “let’s make these cookies prettier” step. If you don’t want to do this, simply add all the chips to the batter. I like to have chips sticking up out of my cookies.

Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes. If you like your chocolate chip cookies on the chewy side, take them out at 9 minutes. If a crispier cookie is your preference, leave them in for 11 minutes. Be careful if you like them crispier. It is easy to go from crispy to burnt in less than a minute!

Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for one minute before moving them to the cooling rack. Removing the cookies off the cookie sheet too soon will cause them to fall apart. If the cookie rack has gone MIA or is being used as a landing pad for the Lego tower, foil or paper towels work well.

Enjoy the cookies warm or keep them in an airtight container to eat over the weekend. Chocolate chip cookies freeze beautifully. The literature tells me frozen cookies retain their freshness for up to 6 weeks. I will have to take the experts at their word because cookies never last that long in my freezer.

Melissa is a freelance writer, blogger and enthusiastic home chef. You can follow her on Twitter @melissauclair or find her at where she writes about working towards the location independent lifestyle.

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Melissa lives online at where she blogs about her journey to a location independent life and how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies. She is enthusiastic about all things entrepreneurial, having coffee with friends, helping creatives build a lifestyle around their art and sending snail mail.


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