Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
October 15, 2020 by Nicole Collins
I'm having a party.
A party for two.
Inviting nobody. Nobody but you.
You guys remember that Shania Twain song?
I have to rewrite the chorus a little bit today to say that I'm having a party for one, though. Because it's 2020, and this year is crap. But no matter how much poopoo this year continues to throw at us, we're throwing a party today.
Because, today is my birthday!
That's right. Another trip around the sun. Officially closer to 40 than 30. The big 36.
WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? Didn't I just celebrate my 25th birthday? Where have the last 10 years gone?
But, you're only as old as you feel, right? And today, I feel like the age where all I want to do is stuff my face with sweet goodies. So that's what I'm going to do. Because it's my birthday. And birthdays are like a free pass to eat whatever the heck you want. And one of the perks of being a grown up is that I'm old enough to be able to make the decision to eat all of the junk food I want for myself.
So today, we're making Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies!
I'll tell you, I've been making cookies for 2/3 of my life, and these cookies are the best I've ever made. I even considered calling these cookies that...something along the lines of the world's best cookies/best cookies ever...but, I recognize what a big claim that is. And, I recognize that there are people out there that prefer a crispy cookie over a soft one. So, I tried to show a little humility.
And it wasn't easy, because these cookies are dabomb.com!
So, let's talk cookie dough. We're using standard chocolate chip cookie dough ingredients here: butter, flour, two sugars, egg, vanilla. But, I have a few secrets to keep these cookies nice and soft in the center. And, one of those secrets is cornstarch. I don't know all of the science behind it (it's something about the cornstarch breaking down the proteins in flour), but there is a significant difference in the texture of cookie baked with cornstarch; and it's a trick I've been using for years.
Another trick that we're using to keep our cookies perfectly soft is that we're going to be really careful not to overmix our batter. If we get too crazy with the mixer, we'll overwork the gluten in the flour, and that will make for a tougher cookie. So, we'll turn on the mixer to beat the butter, sugars, and egg until they're light and fluffy. Then, we'll slowly mix in our flour/salt/baking soda/cornstarch mix. Once the flour is just combined, there will probably still be some flour mix that we need to scrape off the sides of our bowl. We're not going to turn the mixer back on after we do that. We'll stir in any flour remnants by hand along with our chocolate chips.
Let's talk about those chocolate chips. I just finished reading a book where one of the main characters made his cookies with a mix of dark and milk chocolate chips as opposed to semisweet chips. I thought that was the most brilliant idea, so I had to try it myself. And, it was brilliant. Every bite tastes just a little different based on the way the chocolate disperses through the dough, and it's absolutely magical.
Before we roll our dough into nice big 2tbsp sized balls, we need to chill the dough. It may be tempting to skip this step, but don't. Chilling the dough for a good couple of hours helps to cool the butter back down in the dough which prevents our cookies from spreading out too thin. This also helps with the fluff factor!
After our dough is chilled, balled, and ready to bake; it's time to throw them in the oven. We're going to take them out of the oven the moment they just look like they're just set, and then we're going to bang the whole tray on the countertop to knock any air bubbles out of the cookies. Again, I don't know the science behind doing this. But, two pastry chef trained culinary aficionados have taught me this trick, so I'm going to trust them. And even though our cookies may still look a little light or underdone in the center, carryover cooking will happen which will make these perfectly moist on the inside.
No dry cookies here!
Now, after we roll our dough balls and before we put the in the oven, we need to give them a little pinch of flaky sea salt. Just a sprinkle is all we need, and the salt provides an amazing balance to the sweet cookie. If it looks like all of your salt fell off in the oven, feel free to give the cookies another little pinch of salt before you transfer them to a cooling rack. The salt is a delicious touch, but you can absolutely choose to leave it off. These cookies are amazing both ways!
After all the little extra steps of care we take through the whole cookie baking process, we're rewarded with the softest, chewiest, sweetest, chocolately chip cookies in all of the land. And, that little pinch of salt at the end really takes these cookies from wow to WOW. You have the sweet/salty contrast. You have the soft, melt in your mouth texture. You have that sensation of sweet and more bitter chocolate balancing out in harmony. It's absolute perfection as far as I'm concerned.
And since it's my birthday, what I say goes!
I know even all the crispy cookie lovers will love this recipe. So, I can't wait to hear how many converts we have to the “chewy side” after you try these.
So, enjoy! And, let's eat!
Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serves: 36 cookies Print
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips
1 heaping cup milk chocolate chips
flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch with a fork to incorporate the ingredients. Set aside.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the mix looks light and fluffy, about 2 mins. Add eggs 1 at a time, and beat until incorporated.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, and gradually add in the flour mix until it is just incorporated into the dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add both chocolate chips to the bowl. Stir the chocolate chips and any flour from the sides of the bowl into the dough by hand using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Place the bowl in the fridge to chill the dough for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into 2 tbsp balls, and place them on the prepared cookie sheet spaced roughly 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the top of each dough ball with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Bake for 10-12 mins until the edges just start to turn golden brown and the tops look set but still light in color. Remove from oven, and immediately smack the tray of cookies on the countertop to release any air bubbles. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat as necessary with remaining dough, making sure the cookie sheet cools down between each batch. Serve!
*If you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix the dough using a hand mixer. Beat the butter and sugars as listed in the recipe. Add eggs one at a time. But, beat in 1/3 of the flour mix at a time until it is just combined. Stir in the chocolate by hand.
*I like to use a 2 tbsp (medium) cookie scoop for portioning out the dough. Then, I just quickly roll it in my hands to form a ball.
*It's tempting not to chill the dough, but it really does help keep the cookies from spreading like crazy. It will take a few batches to make all of these cookies, so make sure you keep your dough chilled in the fridge until it's time to roll the next batch of dough.
*Leftover cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
*I like to use Maldon salt to top these cookies. You can certainly make these cookies without the salt on top, and they'll be equally as delish.
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