I don’t know if you’ve gotten the impression this month, but I love me some chocolate chip cookies. Aside from sentimental reasons, chocolate chip cookies are just good. They’re sweet but not too sweet, nicely balanced with chocolate and brown sugar. They’re great by themselves, with milk, or with a glass of wine. And there are so many things you can do to jazz them up!

Every time I make chocolate chip cookies, I tweak the recipe just a little. If it’s a new recipe, I’ll make it exactly as indicated so I’ll have a baseline. Then I’ll try adding a little more flour, a little more vanilla, maybe a little less salt, until I have the recipe just as I like it. Then I’ll try a different recipe to see what it’s like. All this experimentation has resulted in The Sugar Vine’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and very flavorful.

So what makes these cookies so special? Extra vanilla and brown sugar help the dough pop, and dark chocolate is nice and bold. If you’re like me, you may often cut back some on the salt, but I don’t recommend doing that this time. The salt really helps draw out the flavors; without it the cookies aren’t bad, but they’re not spectacular. So don’t be afraid of the salt! These also have a little more flour than you normally find in a standard batch of chocolate chip cookies, which helps hold the cookies together when they bake. One common problem with making chocolate chip cookies is that they spread and get hard and flat. These stay nice and thick. And the beauty is, you can bake them right away, or refrigerate the dough for up to one week if you want to prep the dough ahead of time and make them later (or make a couple every day for fresh baked cookies daily!).

Making these cookies is not terribly difficult, even for a beginning baker. If you’ve ever made cookies from scratch, the process is going to be pretty familiar because the basic steps are the same, no matter what chocolate chip cookie recipe you’re following.

The first step is to pull 2 sticks of butter and 2 eggs out of the fridge to warm up. Softening the butter makes it easier to incorporate into the rest of the dough, and the same is true for the eggs to some degree. It’s not the end of the world if these are not room temperature, but mixing the dough might be a bit more challenging.

Once the butter and eggs are room temperature, you can start making the dough. If you plan to bake the cookies right away, preheat the oven to 350. Start by stirring the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Just a couple quick stirs are enough to ensure that they’re well-mixed.

Next, put the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in a large bowl and use a hand mixer on low to medium speed to beat them until they are smooth.

Then add the two eggs and vanilla to the butter-sugar mixture and beat until smooth again.

The dough will look a little runny at this point, when you add the flour mixture and beat until smooth again. I highly recommend starting on low and working your way up to medium-high; otherwise you’ll end up covered in flour!

Now, dump the chocolate chips into the bowl and stir with a spoon until they are mixed into the dough. Make sure to get them into the bottom of the dough as well, so you don’t have any chocolate chip-less cookies.

Now you can either make the cookies right away or refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake. If you refrigerate them, make sure to move them into a tightly covered container.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (foil will do in a pinch but parchment paper is really best) and drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the pan. Put the pan on the top rack of your preheated oven and bake for 8-11 minutes. The cookies should spread very slightly and turn a nice, light brown.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then move them onto a rack to finish cooling. Be careful moving them off the pan while they’re too hot- they’ll break apart at this point and that’s never fun.

And that’s it! Measure carefully and watch the baking time, and you will have some amazing cookies to eat by themselves, with milk, or with a glass of wine!

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The Sugar Vine’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2.5 c Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • .5 c Sugar
  • 1 c Brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 c Chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. About 30 minutes to an hour before you want to mix the dough, pull out the butter and eggs to warm up.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Stir it around so it’s well-mixed.
  3. Beat the butter and 2 sugars together until it’s nice and smooth
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and beat until smooth.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips
  7. Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto cookie sheets
  8. Bake the cookies at 350 for 8-11 minutes

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