There are lots of recipes called Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, but this one is special. First, it is from Cooking for Engineers, a blog by my old neighbor, Michael. Michael has been posting the science behind recipes for years, and his blog has always been enlightening. Second, the recipe is not actually from Michael himself, but from a reader who recommended it and cited W. Richard Stevens, a Unix guru and author or many books on the subject.
Flo Braker's Creaming Method
W. Richard Stevens was a Flo Braker fan, and he used her creaming method to make his Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. The recipe starts with cold butter (this was back before everyone was starting their chocolate chip cookies with cold butter) and then the eggs are beaten separately and added in a little increments over a period of 3 minutes. Also, Richards recommends chilling the dough overnight and stresses that without that chill-time, the cookies will be just regular chocolate chip cookies. These days everyone knows that chilling the dough makes a better cookie, but W. Richard Stevens was one of the first to really emphasize that and included it in his recipe.
I’ve linked to the original recipe and recommend you follow it, but in case it goes away or you need to know how much the flour weighed, here’s my adaptation. I increased the salt by a pinch.
Santa's New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- 2 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour (315 grams)
- 1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 ⅛ teaspoon of salt use ½ teaspoon if using salted butter
- 8 oz unsalted butter (230 grams)
- 1 cup very firmly packed light brown sugar (200 grams)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups toasted pecans or walnuts chopped
- 3 cups chocolate chips (Guittard) 18 oz -- Use only 2 cups if desired
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set side.
- Beat cold butter until creamy in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add both sugars and continue beating at medium speed for about 3 or 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down bowl occasionally.
- Meanwhile, mix the eggs and vanilla together in a separate (small) bowl or measuring cup and slowly, one tablespoon at a time, add the egg mixture to the cream mixture while the mixer is in motion. This should take another 4 minutes.
- With mixer on lowest speed or by hand, add dry ingredients. When incorporated, add chocolate chips and nuts and stir to mix.
- Shape dough into golf ball size balls and arrange on a cookie sheet right next to each other. At this point, you are chilling them not baking them so you don’t have to worry about spacing. Cover dough balls overnight or for 6 hours. Remove and let warm to room temperature (30 minutes). Arrange cookie balls on ungreased cookie sheets spacing about 3 inches apart. Flatten a little to resemble a hockey puck, about ¾-inch high. Make edges go straight up and down. Make a slight depression in center with finger.
- Bake at 400 degrees, 8-10 minutes (mine took a little longer). Edges should be golden brown but center 1-inch pale. Let sit at room temperature 5 minutes before taking off baking pan.
- Makes about 32 cookies if you use all the chips and nuts, but if you use only 2 cups of chips and leave out the nuts you'll get somewhere around 28 cookies.