The Emperor of Cookies, chocolate chip cookies are an American classic engraved into our society. The gooey, soft, brown sugary dough mixed with chocolate chips make for a delectable treat.
I know I posted this recipe before, but I wanted to update it and give it some more… va-va-voom!
Chocolate chip cookies are one of those fascinating treats where every family seems to have its own variation, and every individual has their own preference in flavor, texture, and amount of chocolate. My favorite is inspired by the ones served at some of the dessert cafés I used to frequent back home.
They were chewy and gooey on the inside, with just enough golden brown goodness on the edges.
I learned that the secret to the slight crisp at the edges, gooey softness in the center, and overall toffee-like flavor is in the amount of butter, eggs, and brown sugar. Out of the hundreds of recipes out there, this is my favorite one.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make
- Fewer than 10 wholesome ingredients
- Delicious brown sugar flavor
- Soft on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside.
The Origin of Chocolate Chip Cookies: Ruth Wakefield and Toll House Inn
The story begins in the early 1930s with Ruth Wakefield, who, with her husband Kenneth Wakefield, owned Toll House Inn, a popular restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts. Ruth was known for her exceptional cooking skills and was constantly experimenting with new recipes to please her New England customers. One day while preparing her signature Butter Drop Do cookies, she discovered she was out of baker’s chocolate. Undeterred, Ruth improvised by breaking up a bar of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate into small chunks, hoping that it would melt and disperse throughout the dough. Instead, the chocolate pieces retained their shape and added a delightful texture to the cookies.
The newly created cookies were an instant hit, and customers couldn’t get enough of them. The popularity of Ruth’s creation spread like wildfire, and soon, people from all over the region were visiting the Toll House Inn to savor these delicious treats. Recognizing the potential, Ruth struck a deal with Nestlé, and they agreed to print her recipe on their semi-sweet chocolate bar packaging. In return, Ruth received a lifetime supply of chocolate, and Nestlé gained massive exposure and increased sales.
The recipe, known as the Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie, quickly gained popularity nationwide. The simplicity of the recipe, combined with the widespread availability of Nestlé chocolate bars, ensured its widespread adoption. Home cooks and bakers across the United States began making their own versions of the chocolate chip cookies, and it became a staple in households.
In the following years, variations of the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe emerged. Some included nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, for added crunch and flavor. Others experimented with different types of chocolate, such as white chocolate or dark chocolate chips. These adaptations allowed for a personalized touch and further expanded the possibilities for enjoying this timeless treat.
The popularity of chocolate chip cookies continued to grow, and by the 1950s, pre-made refrigerated cookie dough, with chocolate chips already mixed in, became available in supermarkets. This made it even easier for people to enjoy homemade chocolate chip cookies without the hassle of measuring and mixing ingredients from scratch.
In the late 20th century and into the 21st century, chocolate chip cookies became a global phenomenon. They found their way into countless bakeries, coffee shops, and dessert menus worldwide. The versatility of the recipe and its ability to be adapted to various dietary preferences, such as gluten-free or vegan options, ensured its enduring popularity across different cultures and communities.’
Today, chocolate chip cookies continue to hold a special place in our hearts and taste buds. They evoke memories of childhood, warm family gatherings, and the simple pleasure of indulging in a delicious treat. Whether enjoyed with a glass of milk or paired with a scoop of ice cream, chocolate chip cookies remain a timeless classic that has delighted generations and will continue to do so for many years to come.
So the next time you bite into a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, take a moment to appreciate the rich history behind this delightful creation. It is a testament to the power of culinary experimentation and the enduring appeal of a simple, yet irresistible, combination of ingredients.
The Original Butter Drop Do Cookies
There is very little information about them, but the original butter drop do cookies are in an 18th century cookery book called American Cookery by Amelia Simmons (1796).
|from American Cookery by Amelia Simmons (1796)||Butter Drop Do|
Rub one quarter of a pound butter, one pound sugar, sprinkled with mace, into one pound and a quarter flour, add four eggs, one glass rose water, bake as No. 1.
|from American Cookery by Amelia Simmons (1796)||(In case you’re wondering, the recipe below is No.1)|
Gingerbread Cakes, or butter and sugar Gingerbread, No.1
Three pounds of flour, a grated nutmeg, two ounces ginger, one pound sugar, three small spoons pearlash, dissolved in milk, one pound butter, four eggs, knead it stiff, shape it to your fancy, bake 15 minutes.
They are unlike the chocolate chip cookies we know today, but they are the starting point of the classic cookie.
Our Chocolate Chip Cookies
Everyone has a preference for how they like their chocolate chip cookies. I enjoy mine soft in the middle, and slightly crispy at the edges. In order to get the most delicious cookie, here are some tips:
- Measure your dough properly: Use the correct measurements for the ingredients. Too much flour, for example, can result in dry and crumbly cookies.
- Use more brown sugar: A higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar makes a softer cookie. Brown sugar contains more moisture due to its higher molasses content, which helps keep the cookies moist and soft.
- Don’t overmix the dough: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix just until they are incorporated. Overmixing can lead to tough cookies. It’s okay if there are a few streaks of flour remaining in the dough.
- Chill the dough: Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. Chilling allows the fats in the dough to solidify, resulting in cookies that spread less during baking and retain their softness.
- Baking time and temperature: Bake the cookies at a slightly lower temperature than called for in the recipe. This helps the cookies bake more evenly and stay softer. Additionally, reduce the baking time slightly to avoid overbaking. The cookies should still be slightly soft in the center when you remove them from the oven. I typically start with the shortest baking time.
- Use airtight storage: Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out. You can also place a slice of bread in the container to help retain moisture.
- Enjoy warm: For the ultimate soft and gooey experience, enjoy the cookies while they’re still warm from the oven. If you’re not planning to eat them all at once, you can reheat them briefly in the microwave before serving.
Keep in mind that these are not small cookies. If you would like “Chips Ahoy” sized or standard sized cookies, use only a tablespoon of cookie dough and bake for 9 to 10 minutes.
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Special Tools and Equipment
Rubber or silicone spatula
2 large mixing bowls
Tablespoon or small ice cream scoop
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 16oz (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¼ Cup (240g) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- ½ Cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 Teaspoons (10g) vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/3 Cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ Cups (370g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix into the sugar and butter mixture until fully incorporated. Do not over-mix to prevent dough from becoming bread-like and chewy.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours. For the best results, chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
In heaping tablespoons, drop cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, giving each cookie at least four inches of space between each other.
Bake cookies in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cookies are ready when the center still looks a little raw. Cookie will continue to bake as it cools.
Butter Drop Do Cookies, (2013). Reference.com. Retrieved from https://www.foodreference.com/1796/html/r1796butterdropdo.html
Michaud, Jon (19 December 2013). “Sweet Morsels: A History of the Chocolate-Chip Cookie”. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/sweet-morsels-a-history-of-the-chocolate-chip-cookie
Olver, L., (2015). The Food History Timeline. Food Time Line. Retrieved from https://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcookies.html#cccookies
Simmons, A., (1796). American Cookery. Hudson & Goodwin.