Pastry chef Tara Lane shares how to make the best batch of chocolate chip cookies ever. You're welcome.
Here’s a hot HoneyKids team tip: every parent should have a good chocolate chip cookie recipe up their sleeve. Not only is it a great way to reward the kids after a busy day of homeschooling, it’s also our sneaky way of rewarding ourselves for surviving yet another day of motherhood #fistbump! And because sharing is caring, we’ve decided to hit up our fave baker (and HoneyKids writer Jana’s not-so-baby sister) Tara on how to nail baking the best chocolate chip cookies. Here we go!
Hi Tara! What are the essentials for making a great chocolate chip cookie?
Figure out what you’re looking for in your dream cookie. Is it bite-sized and crunchy? Is it giant and gooey? Or is it slightly crisp on the edges with a chewy middle (my personal favourite)? Then decide which recipe you’ll use based on this.
Does the kind of butter/chocolate chips/flour you use really matter? What could potentially be different if you used better quality ingredients?
YES! Especially with something as simple as chocolate chip cookies, the more minimal the ingredients, the more you will taste each one. In chocolate chip cookies, don’t skimp on the chocolate – it’s the star of the show! You’re the one eating the cookies, so pick whichever chocolate is your favourite. Next up: the butter and the sugars. Stick to good-quality butter and select a good white and a deep dark brown sugar so your cookies will stand out from the rest. Different types of flour can get more complicated and change the structure of your cookies so stick to plain all-purpose to keep things simple and consistent.
What are the biggest no-nos when making chocolate chip cookies?
There are no big no-nos when it comes to making cookies – experimenting to perfect your recipe is all part of the fun! But one thing to keep in mind is not overloading the dough with too many different mix-ins, especially with something wet like peanut butter or caramel, as this will change the balance of the recipe. And maybe don’t eat too much raw cookie dough!
What about the fluctuations with ovens?
Get to know yours – many home ovens have hot spots and sometimes the temperature knob isn’t always as accurate as you think. It’s always a good idea to have an oven thermometer on hand to know the true temperature. Learn where the hot spots are and be sure to turn/rotate your cookies halfway through the baking time to ensure even results. Also, bake your cookies from chilled! Depending on whether you’ve used melted or chilled butter in your dough, I’d recommend chilling your dough in the fridge for at least two or three hours, but overnight is ideal!
So, spill the deets. What’s the best chocolate chip cookie recipe you’ve tried?
The Nestle Toll House cookie recipe is still one of the simplest but best chocolate chip cookie recipes out there and is a great place to start experimenting from.
Now, for the fun part: how do you tweak it?
To make your cookies chewier: Use melted butter and more brown sugar than white, add in an extra egg yolk, and take them out of the oven when the edges are crisp and the middle still looks a little underdone.
Crispier: Use more white sugar than brown, bake them for longer at a lower temperature
Chocolate-y: Add more chocolate! Or sub in some cocoa powder in place of some flour.
Cakey: Skip the baking soda, and cream your butter with your sugar until light and fluffy. Plus, use cake flour if you can get your hands on it.
It’s time to get baking, peeps! Grab a glass of milk and tell us, how do you like your chocolate chip cookies?
About Tara Lane
Tara studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in London and is now head baker at a popular London bakery.