Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Updated: Jan 20
Our favourite, classic cookie. Whenever we bake these cookies we go back to recipe posted in NYT Cooking section. There are so many variations of chocolate chip cookies - all deeming to be the best of the best. However, the classic recipe from NYT is hard to beat. Why do we love it? The base ratios are beautifully intact and form a solid cookie base. We can then take it from there and depending on the texture we are going after adjust butter:flour:sugar ratio, add spices, nuts and types of chocolate, to get the cookie we want.
The recipe below is John’s favourite type of chocolate chip cookie. Tells you nothing - right?! So - what are you getting here?
First and foremost cookies are baked on salted butter with addition of coarse sea salt. This brings great twist to the classic recipe and intensifies dark chocolate flavour. The butter is creamed together with light brown and caster sugar. As a result, you get cookies which have golden and crisp edges but soft and slightly chewy centre. Light brown sugar brings out caramel notes and caster sugar adds volume to the texture. The cookie is lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and scented with vanilla. To top it up - it’s packed with coarsely chopped dark chocolate. We recommend using coarsely chopped chocolate in this recipe. Why? You can use chips too but using coarsely chopped chocolate not only gives you chunky pieces of dark chocolatey heaven melting into your cookie but also small, little bits which are mixing in with cookie dough creating unique cookie taste and texture (you will not get that with chips). Flour - although the original recipe calls for split between cake and bread flour - we use and have been using all-purpose flour - works very well, every time!
All in all - our regular, go-to recipe for classic American cookie with crisp edges and soft centre, packed with melted, rich, dark chocolate.
For a good bake here (read more in Hints section below the recipe):
- use eggs and salted butter at room temperature,
- cream butter with sugar for 8-10 minutes to prepare fluffy cookie base - add sugar gradually to pale and fluffy butter,
- use good quality dark chocolate (>60% cocoa),
- flour - mix only until combined and don’t over mix,
- refrigerate cookie dough for 12-24 hours before baking,
- shape cookies - form round cookie balls (don’t flatten, cookies will spread when baking),
- refrigerate formed cookie balls for 15 minutes before baking and make sure to preheat the oven well before baking cookies.
We usually prepare the whole portion of the dough and freeze unbaked and shaped cookie balls (no need to thaw when ready to bake). This gives a great little treat being readily available whenever it’s needed.
Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Yield: 35 cookies
Time: 20 min prep +12-24 hrs cooling + 20 min prep + 10 -12 min baking
Tin: large baking tray
- 290g salted butter, soft but not oily, diced
- 150g (3/4 cup*) caster sugar
- 200g (1 cup) light brown sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 450g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 100g (2/3 cup) rye or wholemeal flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 and 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 400g dark chocolate (> 60% cocoa), coarsely chopped
*cup = 250ml cup
1. Coarsely chop chocolate. Set aside.
2. Sift flours with baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl mix caster sugar with light brown sugar. Set aside.
4. Prepare cookie dough: In your main mixing bowl beat soft, diced butter for 2 minutes on high speed until pale and fluffy (use handheld mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment). Start adding sugar (from Step 3) - 2-3 Tablespoons at a time, constantly mixing on high speed. It will take you 8-10 minutes to incorporate sugar fully. Scrape sides of the bowl every so often to incorporate the sugar evenly. Once done, add vanilla extract and coarse sea salt and mix for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add eggs - one at a time, mixing well in-between addition. Mixing on low speed (or using wooden spoon or paddle attachment) gently mix in sifted flour (from Step 2) in two turns. Don’t over mix (otherwise you may loose fluffy texture and may end up with hard cookies). As a last step, gently fold in coarsely chopped chocolate. The dough will look fairly sticky - and that’s OK. Don’t add more flour. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for 12-24 hours (and anything up to 72 hours).
5. Shape cookies: When ready, line large baking tray with parchment paper or silicon baking matt. Using tablespoon or ice-cream scoop shape the cookies - use 1 Tablespoon (1 scoop) per cookie, form ball shape with your hands and place max 6 cookie balls on a large baking tray (cookies will spread - 5cm in diameter - hence place max 6 at once, don’t flatten cookie balls). Once shaped, place the tray with cookie balls in the fridge for 15 minutes - in that time preheat the oven to 175C.
6. Bake at 175C for 10-12 minutes (if you like your cookies soft - cookie will have golden brown, crispy edges and middle will look fairly soft) or for 13-15 minutes (or until almost fully set and golden) if you like your cookies crisp and crunchy. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring onto the cooling rack.
1. Type of butter - we baked these cookies on Kerrygold, Lurpak, Connacht Gold - all worked well.
2. Creaming butter and slow incorporation of sugars are key to success here. Cut butter into small pieces 30 min to 1 hour before baking (you want soft butter but not oily). Beat soft butter first for 2 minutes until pale and fluffy - don’t take shortcuts here. In this way the butter will bind sugar easier. Then, take full 8-10 minutes to slowly incorporate sugars. Don’t add the whole amount at once - add 2-3 Tablespoons mixing well in-between additions. Creating soft and fluffy, sugary mixture will give you a sound base for delicious cookies.
3. Flour - add in two turns, don’t over-mix (you may end up with hard cookies), few turns should suffice to combine all ingredients.
4. Chocolate - for this cookie use dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa). We usually use Lindt (they also offer 70% Cocoa baking chocolate which is great for these cookies!) or Callebaut.
5. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours before baking - in this way the ingredients have time to blend in (you will end up with fuller flavour) and cookies will keep better shape when baking.
6. Placing shaped cookie balls for 15-30 min into refrigerator just before baking will help in getting the desired shape. Make sure to preheat the oven well - as you want to hit cooled (cold) cookie dough with high and right temperature immediately. Keep baking time short (10-12 min max).
7. Storage: store in airtight container for up to 7 days. You may opt to freeze formed cookie balls (our favourite option!). Place cookie balls into small freezer bags, refrigerate for 15 minutes before freezing (this prevents cookie balls from sticking when frozen). Bake frozen cookie balls for 14 minutes at 175C (no need to thaw).
Jazz it up:
1. Butter/flour/sugar ratio - don’t be afraid to play around with this recipe. If you want thicker cookies - decrease butter content in the dough. Have a look at thicker cookies from this recipe - these are more bulky, the type of cookies you would get in supermarkets (just better ;). The version above is chewy, crisp - more bakery-style type. So less butter and sugar - keeping other ratios intact - will give you thicker cookies. The other end - more butter and sugar will give you crispier, thinner cookies.
2. Add toasted nuts, raisins, cranberries, different types of chocolate. Go for harder nuts when chilling the dough (blanched hazelnuts, almonds), go for softer nuts when you decide to bake without chilling (pistachios, pecans, pine nuts - use ice-cream scoop to shape as the dough will be sticky).