Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Secret to Chocolate Chip Cookies

In my little corner of the world, I'm known for my chocolate chip cookies.  My wife's co-workers request them for potlucks.  The kids tell strangers in stores about the treats.  Since I'm a sharing kind of guy, here's not only the recipe that I use - but the secrets that I employ so the cookies turn out "just right."

Jeffrey's Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag of Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips
1 bag of Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, until smooth.  Blend in molasses.
  3. Stir in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  Stir in salt.  Stir in baking soda.
  4. Thoroughly stir in flour.
  5. Add chocolate chips and stir into mixture.
  6. Add water (as necessary) a small amount at a time until the batter returns to a smooth, almost sticky consistency. The batter should not be runny.
  7. Drop by large spoonfuls (about the size of a golf ball) onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for approximately 12 minutes in the preheated oven.
  9. Remove from oven and let cookies sit on the heated cookie sheet until cookies begin to deflate.
  10. Remove from cookie sheet and allow cookies to fully cool.
The original recipe included three steps in the directions, but I've worked all of the tips into it.  Here are a couple of notes.

Secret #1:  I always add the chocolate chips at the very end, mostly because there's a lot of chocolate chips in these cookies and the batter gets hard to stir after you've added them in.  Partly that's for ease, partly because you can stir the batter much more thoroughly without the chips in the way.

Secret #2:  The batter should not be lumpy.  That's why I add the water in Step 6.  Your batter should NOT look like this...

But should look like this....

Please note, the chips have not been added yet. (see Secret #1)  After the chips have been added, the dough will look like this...

When moved to the cookie sheet to bake, the "drops" of cookie dough will be about the size of a golf ball and look like the following picture.  There's no need to roll them into balls with your hands, just take a portion of batter and place it on the cookie sheet.

Secret #3:  The cookies should be just the slightest bit undercooked when they come out of the oven.  You do not want them to start turning brown around the edges or they've cooked for too long.  What you want is for the cookies to have smoothed out and very slightly changed color - its very subtle.  It's easiest to call them "done" when you first start to notice any of the peaks or edges turning golden brown.

When you leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for those two to three minutes, they'll actually deflate.  You know they're ready to move to a cooling rack when they've gone from looking smooth and puffy (above) to seeming as if someone stuck a pin in them and let the air out...

The cookies will continue to change shape as they cool (having been removed from the rack) and will end up looking like this...


These are soft, yummy, and not the slightest bit crunchy - just the way that I like my chocolate chip cookies.  Part of the secret is in the ingredients.  Both the quality and quantity of chocolate chips (the original recipe called for two cups worth) as well as the additional vanilla really make a difference.  The rest is making sure that the ingredients are thoroughly blended and keeping in mind that the cookies continue to bake - both from the heat of the cookie tray and from their internal heat - after you remove them from the oven.


  1. Yum, yum, yum, yummmmmmm!!!! Thanks sooooo much for the pictures, Jeffrey! They really help!! I think I'm actually gonna try this today! :D I think the last time I baked was 8 years ago. :o

  2. @Kat You're VERY welcome! Next up (not in the blog, but in my kitchen) is deep dish Chicago-style pizza. I've got the cheese mixture just right (three to five cheeses depending on the pie) and I'm happy with the sauce. The crust is "just about there." The really good news? It's surprisingly easy. :)

  3. The people at my office will attest - these really are the best chocolate chip cookies EVER!! :)