While there’s no denying the perennial appeal of the “back of the bag” chocolate chip cookie recipe, with a few simple tweaks you can give those cookies a serious upgrade.
To start? Brown the butter. Browning butter is as easy as melting it down and gently cooking till it starts to smell deliciously nutty – this simple change adds incredible flavor, and you won’t look back once you try it.
Next? Swap the chocolate chips for chopped chocolate. This is major, for a few reasons. First, standard chocolate chips are designed to hold their shape and not melt, so that when the cookie cools you get the same taste and texture in every bite. Using chopped chocolate, you will bake up cookies with fudgier, meltier bits of differing shapes and sizes, resulting in a much more luxurious experience (when did you ever think that about your basic batch?).
Finally, top each scoop of unbaked dough with a good pinch of flaky sea salt. This bit of crunch is utterly delightful, and the salt beautifully offsets all that butter, sugar and chocolate. Best of all, the unbaked scoops of dough can be frozen so that you can bake off as many or few cookies at a time as you like!
Give these upgrades a try, and bring your bake sale contribution to the next level!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Upgrade:
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound, or 16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 ounces (about 2 cups) roughly chopped good quality semi or bittersweet chocolate
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally. When the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty remove from heat and cool slightly. Refrigerate till it is no longer liquid.
Scrape the chilled butter into a mixer bowl, being sure to get all the brown bits at the bottom of the bowl. Beat with both sugars till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat again. Add the flour, baking soda and kosher salt and beat till combined. Scrape down the sides and add the chopped chocolate, beating till just incorporated.
Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to scoop dough into balls onto a parchment-lined tray – at this point you can freeze for future use (once frozen, transfer to a ziploc bag and keep frozen; you can bake off as few or many as you like).
If you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees; line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 12 – 15 cookies on each tray and sprinkle with a good pinch of flaky sea salt. Bake for 7 – 10 minutes, or till golden brown around the edges (if you like your cookies crispy, bake on the longer side). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.