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ChocoChipCookieThere are only so many ways to make a chocolate chip cookie.  Most recipes are similar and don’t deviate from the basics. Flour, butter, egg, sugar, salt, vanilla, and chocolate chips. In fact, one of the best recipes is on the back of the Nestle Toll House bag of chocolate chips! It is right there for the taking, in plain view! Amazingly, if you gave 100 people the recipe, you would get 100 different cookies. Crunchy, soft, burnt, salty, overly sweet, and flat just to name a few.

Trust me when I say, I am no pastry chef. I am only a girl who has spent a good deal of time learning to make a good cookie. While I won’t give my exact recipe, I will give away some of my secrets!

1. Start with a tried and true recipe, The Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie.

2. BUTTER!!! The real thing and unsalted.  Let the butter soften to room temperature. Don’t melt it in the microwave to soften it.  Also, don’t store butter in the refrigerator next to things that stink! Have you ever bitten into a cookie that tasted funky? This might be the reason.

2. FLOUR! Buy unbleached. It just seems odd to eat anything bleached.  Secondly, flour will absorb the flavors around it. If you have it stored next to your garlic powder, ect., it will taste like it.  How old is your flour?  It might be time to buy new especially if you can’t remember.

3. SUGAR! I love to use pure can sugar. I buy it at the grocery store and it is pretty cheap.

sugarI use this in place of the “white sugar” in my recipes. It measures cup for cup.

4. VANILLA! Use the real stuff and don’t be shy about adding an extra 1/2 tsp.

5. THE CHIPS! This is personal preference. I prefer dark chocolate or semi sweet.  Milk chocolate is too sweet.

6. Once you have your dough, put it in the fridge for at least an hour. Cold dough makes a better cookie.

7. Make all of your dough balls the same size. I use a measuring tablespoon. By keeping them the same, all of your cookies will be done at the same time.

8. How is your oven? Does it cook evenly? If not, consider turning your baking sheet during baking.

9. Lastly, be careful not to over bake your cookies. I know some people like them crunchy, so it is a matter of preference. The best cookies are moist and soft…well in my opinion at least.  If I feel a batch is close to being done, but not quite, I turn the oven off and give them a few more minutes.

I get the most compliments from my chocolate chip cookies. When I am asked for the recipe, I always smile and say in the voice of Phoebe Buffay from Friends, “Why they are Nesle Toulouse.” And really, I am being truthful! What are some of your baking secrets? I would love to hear them!