Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven? Making them from scratch, however, can seem like a daunting task for those inexperienced in baking. Fear not- we’re here to help!
This article is a step-by-step guide on how to make delicious chocolate chip cookies from scratch, perfect for beginners or anyone looking to improve their baking skills. We’ll also share expert tips and tricks, offer ways to put your own spin on the classic recipe, share time and budget-saving tips, and discuss ways to make them healthier.
A Step-by-Step Guide
Baking cookies can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or by hand, cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy- about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix- the dough will become tough and your cookies will be dry and crumbly.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. If desired, add a few extra chocolate chips on top of each cookie dough ball.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown and the centers are still slightly soft.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for Success
- Use room temperature butter and eggs to ensure even mixing.
- Measure all ingredients carefully, especially the flour. Use a kitchen scale if possible for the most accurate measurement.
- Make sure the baking soda is fresh- it will not work effectively if it is too old.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes to an hour before baking to prevent spreading and achieve a thick and chewy consistency.
- Add a pinch of sea salt to the tops of the cookies for an extra pop of flavor.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Even experienced bakers make mistakes. Avoid these common pitfalls:
- Overmixing the dough- this can lead to tough and dry cookies.
- Using too much flour- this can lead to dense and crumbly cookies.
- Overbaking- cookies will continue to bake after they are removed from the oven. They should be slightly underdone when you take them out for the perfect soft and chewy texture.
- Not following the recipe exactly- baking is a science, and even small changes can have a big impact on the final product.
Expert Tips and Tricks
For even more success in baking chocolate chip cookies, we consulted with a baking expert for their insights and advice. Here are their top tips:
Ingredient Quality and Proper Measurement
According to our expert, ingredient quality is key for achieving the best-tasting cookies. Use high-quality chocolate chips and avoid using margarine or shortening in the recipe.
Proper measurement is crucial for baking- err on the side of being too precise rather than too casual. Use measuring cups or a kitchen scale for the most accurate results.
Adjusting the Recipe
Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on the classic recipe. Experiment with different types of chocolate (dark, milk, white), nuts (walnuts, pecans), or fillings (toffee bits, dried cranberries) to create your own unique variation.
Our expert also suggests experimenting with different types of flour to make the recipe a bit healthier. Swap out half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat or almond flour, or use oats in place of some of the flour for a heartier texture.
Adding a Twist
While the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe is hard to beat, sometimes it’s fun to mix things up a bit. Here are some recipes for delicious variations on the classic:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Add 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter to the dough and substitute the semisweet chocolate chips for milk chocolate chips.
Double Chocolate Chip
Substitute half of the all-purpose flour for cocoa powder and use both semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
Nutty Chocolate Chip
Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts to the dough in addition to the chocolate chips.
Time and Budget Saving Tips
Baking can be time-consuming and expensive, but there are ways to make it easier on your wallet and schedule:
If you don’t have time to make the dough from scratch, consider using store-bought cookie dough to save time.
If you don’t want to bake all of the dough at once, freeze portions of the dough in an airtight container for later. They can be baked directly from the freezer, although they may require an extra few minutes of baking time.
It’s no secret that chocolate chip cookies aren’t the healthiest snack option out there, but there are ways to make them slightly more nutritious:
Healthier Ingredient Options
Use whole wheat flour or oats in place of some of the all-purpose flour for added fiber. Substitute coconut oil or applesauce for part or all of the butter to reduce saturated fat content.
One cookie (assuming a yield of 24 cookies per batch) contains around 140 calories and 8g of fat. While this may seem high, it’s important to remember that cookies are a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation.
With this step-by-step guide, expert tips, variations, time and budget-saving ideas, and nutritional information, you’re well on your way to making perfect chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Whether you prefer classic, peanut butter, or double chocolate, this recipe is sure to please.