This recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies is one of my all-time favorites. I've had it for many years, and it's one I turn to when I need a cookie that stands out from the rest. The reviews from the original source (Gourmet Magazine) are all over the place. For some people these are among the very best. Others found them boring, and others found that they either did not spread or came out flat as pancakes. I've had the latter happen, but have been making them long enough to know why.
Egg Amount in Gourmet Cookies
The first thing to know about these cookies is they have a weird amount of egg. At home I refer to them as "the weird egg cookies". The amount of eggs is just shy of 2 ½ eggs for the full batch, so my half version has 1 egg plus about ¼ of an egg. That's 1 whole egg and about 1 tablespoon of egg. The gram amount depends on the size of your whole egg. Mine are usually 48 to 54 grams, then the extra tablespoon of egg is about 12 grams. These should work with anywhere from 60 to 70 grams of egg total. It sounds super nitpicky, but too much egg (like too much flour) can make them cakier. One the other hand, this recipe has so much sugar you'd also have to add too much flour to really make them cakey.
There are 3 cups of flour in this recipe. One person might use 3 cups that weigh 420 grams. Another person using a different brand of flour in a different kitchen with a different set of measuring cups might use 3 cups weighing 385 grams. My version is a half batch and I've used anywhere from 190 to 210 grams. I think I prefer 190, with a decent amount of chill time.
When I refer to kosher salt, I always mean Morton brand kosher because that's what's at most mainstream American grocery stores. Chefs and bakers say kosher salt and sometimes mean Diamond, which is a wonderful product, but about half as salty as Morton. Without specification, the term kosher salt can be ambiguous. For this recipe, I used ¾ teaspoon of Morton kosher -- the one that's saltier. My cookies are a bit salty, but with all the sugar they're sweet & salty and still good. Others might find them to be too salty. I never did when I was younger. Now I'm old and they taste a little saltier. It's possible the original cookies were made with Diamond in which case they'd be only half as salty.
This recipe appeared on the scene before everyone realized that most cookie doughs benefit from an overnight chill, therefore the recipe doesn't say to do it. If you don't do it, your cookies will still be good, but might be flat and chewy. If you do chill the dough, the cookies should be thin and chewy (and much prettier).
Baking Time and Temp
You can bake these at 350 or 375 degrees F. 350 will give you a slightly more even texture, while 375 will give you really crispy edges and an even chewier center. But baking at 375 is a little trickier because the edges bake a lot faster. When I bake at 375, I pull the cookies out when the middles are still kind of pale.
In addition, the cookies may spread, so as soon as I pull the pan from the oven I use the tip of a spatula to gently shove the edges inward. As the cooks cool, they firm up with lots of ridges and folds. Also, the middle actually browns a little as it cools.
If you realize that you've pulled the cookies out too early and the edges seem brown but the centers still seem underbaked even as the cookies cool, don't worry. Just let the cookies cool completely and put them in the freezer for a bit. They'll have a chewy underbaked center, but they'll still taste good.
Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 large egg plus 1 tablespoon of beaten egg** (62-70 grams)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and completely cool (114 grams)
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar (145 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (95 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt, scant** or cut to ½ if you want
- 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (190 grams-210 grams)
- 1 ½ cup extra dark chocolate chips or bittersweet use more or less as desired
- Beat together butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed for 1-2 minutes. The mixture will become pale and a bit lighter.
- Add egg to butter mixture, beating with mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla, baking soda and salt.
- By hand, stir in flour until just blended; stir in chocolate chips.
- Using a generously heaping tablespoon measure, scoop up 14 mounds of dough and arrange on a foil lined plate. Chill until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or for crisper edges and softer centers, 375F. Have ready two ungreased or foil lined cookie sheets. You can line them with parchment if you want, but they the cookies will spread less if you use regular foil or just leave the cookie sheets ungreased.
- Arrange dough mounds about 2 ½ inches apart on cookie sheets (7 to a sheet).
- Press down centers just slightly. Bake 1 sheet at a time on center rack for about 12-15 minutes or until edges are browned.
- If the cookies spread while baking, use the back side of the tip of a spatula and gently push the edges inward.
- Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about 3 minutes, then transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.
- The amount of egg is strange, but the end result is worth it. You could probably get away with using a jumbo size egg, but I typically have large or extra large eggs so I use an egg and an extra tablespoon. If you have a scale, just beat two eggs together and weigh out 70 grams.
- Cookies made with chilled dough have a slightly better texture and bake up thicker. I like to bake a few right away, then keep the rest of the dough mounds in a heavy duty zipper bag in the refrigerator or freezer to be baked as needed. You'll probably have to increase the baking time if you are baking cookies that are chilled through and through.
- For crisper edges, bake the cookies at 375 F. and adjust the baking time. A higher temp should give you paler centers and darker edges. If you bake at 375 the cookies will have very brown edges and pale centers. Pull the cookies out even if the middles look a little underbaked. They will bake internally as they cool.
- If you add the sugar to the butter while it is still hot, the hot butter may melt the sugar and you may get shiny cookies (this has happened to me on occasion). If you do add the sugar to the butter while it's hot, the dough will probably require some more chilling.
- The amount of chocolate chips seems really high, but if you like chocolate you should be happy with the results. Even though the dough seems packed with chips, the cookies spread in the oven and the ratio of chips to dough seems pretty reasonable. Also, since these cookies are sweet, I use extra dark (Guittard) chips to offset the sweetness a little. Toasted nuts are always a good addition, too.
- If you use chunks of chocolate rather than chips, be sure to chill the dough. Sometimes chunks of chocolate, depending on the brand, cause the cookies to spread more.
- Using Plugra makes the cookies slightly thicker and denser. Other European style butters may not yield the same results, but Plugra works well.
- Bread flour also helps curb spreading.
- These have salty kick to them with the full ¾ teaspoon. You can use less if you want.