Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I am going to tell you the secret to why my chocolate chip cookies are so good. They really are; not to brag, but it’s true! As a personal chef, I am always trying to come up with kind of surprising desserts or entrees. Sometimes when I suggest Chocolate Chip Cookies, the reaction I get is kind of… lukewarm. Everyone has had them a million times. Shouldn’t a personal chef come up with something a little more creative than that?  Well. Just wait and see what you think.

 

Even moms that hate to cook have made chocolate chips cookies. I have probably made them a thousand times. Having made these changes over the years,  I am now satisfied that these are the best chocolate chip cookies. One of the busy moms that I work as a personal chef in Chicago for, asked me to make this dough, and she keeps small batches of it in the freezer so she can thaw it and have fresh cookies whenever she feels like baking them!

 

The  original Tollhouse recipe is what I started with, but I have made a few minor changes, which I’ll get to. First a word about the ingredients:  I always use King Arthur Flour. (It was very hard to come by in these past few months, but I have had luck finding the 10 pound bag at Costco.) The butter I use is always unsalted; my favorite butters for baking are Trader Joe’s or Kirkland. (Organic butter doesn’t work as well.) My ratio of dark brown sugar to white sugar is higher than the original recipe.

 

For the chocolate, instead of regular chocolate chips, I like to use Trader Joe’s chocolate chunks. They are semi-sweet and I just like the big hunks of chocolate throughout the cookie. Another key: I also triple the vanilla; I like Costco’s Kirkland Vanilla. (Or Penzey’s Double Strength Vanilla when I have it, really takes it over the top!)  Vanilla prices have been sky-high the past few years, but there is no getting around it. You can’t use imitation vanilla or try to substitute. There is no substitute for vanilla.

 

Another inngredient that I love to add, which was not in the original Tollhouse recipe: toffee bits. About a half bag seems to be the right amount; they add a nice crispy crunch!

 

Here is the most important tip which is something I learned about 15 years ago: Make the dough three days ahead of time! The ingredients in the cookie batter meld together in a cohesive way, and almost become caramelized. I confess, many times, I have left the dough in the refrigerator just on the edge of too long! Every day it gets better and better, but don’t push your luck. About 5 days is the maximum. If you aren’t going to bake them by that time, just put the dough in the freezer in an airtight container (a Ziploc freezer bag will work fine). Try it, you’ll never want to make cookies the regular way again! 

 

Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur preferably)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chunks
  • approx. 1 cup toffee bits

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar in large mixing bowl until creamy.  Add vanilla, and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks and toffee bits. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.