Every baker needs a signature cookie recipe, and I’ve been working on mine for a couple of weeks now. When it comes to cookies, I like them to be soft but chewy, sweet, but not too sweet and they must, at all times, be oozing with chocolate. I didn’t think that was too much to ask which is why I refused to compromise when it came to my signature cookie recipe.
Although I now have a freezer full of cookie dough from previous experiments, it was well worth it to finally master the recipe. And as I’m feeling generous, I wanted to share with you a couple of tips to help you perfect your own Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
Now, if you want a soft but chewy cookie, it all comes down to the kind of sugar you use. In my first few batches, I opted for standard caster sugar, but I found this very often gave the cookies too much of a bite. Naturally, I moved on to golden caster sugar to see if this would make a difference, but I had no luck. It just added a slightly buttery flavour which I definitely wasn’t against. However, it was soft light brown sugar that gave me the texture I was looking for.
For those of you that don’t know, soft light brown sugar is slightly moister than traditional cane sugar because of the molasses that are added. The additional moisture in the sugar helps keep the cookie soft when baked and gives it the desired chewiness I was looking for.
In terms of flavour, it can be very easy for a cookie to be overly sweet especially with the amount of sugar and chocolate I like to use. To combat the sweetness and add a slight richness to the cookies, I experimented with browned butter. Now, let me tell you, this has been an absolute revelation in my baking and has helped elevate all of my recipes.
Although this additional stage may seem like an extra hassle, I implore you not to skip it. As well as imparting a darker colour to the cookies, browning the butter also adds a nuttiness and a rich caramel flavour that I haven’t been able to get with other recipes. Trust me, taking the additional 5 minutes to brown your butter will take your cookies to a whole nother level.
Now, when it came to ensuring there was enough chocolate in every bite, this simply came down to the amount of chocolate I used and the size of the chunks. Now you’ve got two options here, you can either look to use chocolate chips in the recipe, and if you do, I recommend Guittard’s Baking Chips, or alternatively, you can take a chocolate bar and chop it into large chunks.
In my opinion, the bigger the chunk the better. If you cut the chocolate too small, it will simply be incorporated into the mix which isn’t what you want. You want visible bits of chocolate in your cookie dough that will melt into delicious puddles of goodness when the cookies are placed in the oven.
And there you have it, some very simple, but effective tips to ensure you get delicious, soft but chewy cookies with very generous amounts of chocolate every time.
Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 250 g lightly salted butter
- 450 g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 500 g light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g dark chocolate, 72% cocoa or above
- pinch of flaked sea salt
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter until the mixture starts to foam, and then the milk solids start to brown. Stir the butter continuously throughout this process to ensure that the butter doesn’t burn.
- Place the butter into a large bowl and set aside to cool before whisking in the sugars. Add the eggs one at a time until they are combined into the mixture. Add the vanilla and whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and then add to the butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, combine all the ingredients until just combined.
- Chop the chocolate into large chunks before adding to the dough. Place the dough in the fridge for 2-3 hours until the dough is firm.
- Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan) and line two baking trays with baking parchment.
- Using an ice cream scoop or two spoons, form small balls of dough. Place the balls of dough onto the baking sheets a couple of inches apart and sprinkle each ball with the flaked sea salt.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes and then remove the baking tray from the oven and firmly bang on the work surface to remove the air and create the ripple effect. Place back in the oven for a further 2 minutes before repeating the process. Continue doing this until the cookies are golden brown around the edges but still soft in the middle.
- Once baked, leave the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
These cookies are best enjoyed straight out of the oven but will keep in an air-tight container for several days.