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Big Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Isn’t it wonderful to sit down to a big, soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie?  While most of my cookies are nut-butter cookies, I do enjoy making these cookies from time to time, just to remind myself where it all began.      These are your basic chocolate chip drop cookies – workhorse recipes that have evolved from the backs of many packages of chocolate chips.    They have chewy, sometimes crispy edges and soft (sometimes oozing, depending on how long you bake them) middles chock full of chips, nuts and other delectable goodies, according to the whim of the baker.

Here are a Few Tips for Making  What I Call “Nutless Wonders”:

These cookies have a tendency to spread a bit more than my Nut Butter cookies (will be sharing a few recipes in the near future!).  You can keep them from spreading too much by chilling the dough for about 30 minutes before baking the cookies.  It is easier to scoop the dough before chilling it.  Just line a pan with parchment or nonstick foil, scoop the cookies, leaving just a little space between each dough ball, cover and chill the scooped dough for about 30 minutes (or freeze it for 15 minutes).  Bake as directed in the recipe.

Another way to combat “the spread” is to freeze your add-ins before you add them to the dough.  This will have the same effect as chilling the dough or scooped dough detailed above.

Now for the recipe:

big-soft-and-chewy-1Big Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a traditional or basic chocolate chip cookie made with melted butter resulting in an ultra-soft and delicious cookie.

FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH:

1 cup (16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly

1 ¾ cup light brown sugar

3 Tablespoons light corn syrup

1 large whole egg

1 large egg yolk

2 tsp.“Kelly’s Secret Weapon” — Homemade PURE VANILLA EXTRACT

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. fine sea salt

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE ADD-INS:

2 cups (about 12-16 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup (about 6-8 ounces) white chocolate chips

2 cups (about 4-6 ounces) toasted walnuts (optional), coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper, a silicon nonstick mat or nonstick aluminum foil.
  2. FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH:  In a large bowl or in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine the melted butter, the brown sugar and corn syrup and mix by hand or on medium speed until thoroughly combined (since you are not creaming the cold/solid butter there is no need to mix for ore than 1-2 minutes, or just until the butter and sugar are thoroughly mixed and emulsified).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, yolk and vanilla extract and mix by hand or on medium to medium-high until creamy.  Add the baking soda, salt and flour and mix on low until the flour is somewhat incorporated and then on high for about 20 seconds to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
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    Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the add-ins (chips and nuts) and mix just until everything is evenly distributed.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl one more time and check to see that the mixture at the bottom of the bowl is as well-mixed as the mixture at the top of the bowl.  NOTE:  Some mixers have a tendency to not evenly mix the ingredients, especially if you are making a large quantity of dough.  If the mixture is not thoroughly mixed, half of your cookies will spread too much and the other half will be big lumps (both might taste good, but they won’t be too pretty).  If the bottom is noticeably softer , remove the bowl from the mixer, use a rubber spatula to fold the bottom of the dough on to the top, replace the bowl on the mixer and mix again on high until thoroughly incorporated (about 30 seconds – again being careful not to mix any more than necessary to achieve a homogeneous blend). 

  4. Cover the bowl let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.  If you want to scoop and chill the dough before baking, do this after letting the dough rest.  If you plan to bake the cookies at a later date, cover it tightly and refrigerate it (up to 3 days) or freeze it (up to 1 month).  Let it come to room temperature before proceeding (you CAN bake the dough right out of the refrigerator or freezer, but unless you have pre-formed the dough balls you might break your arm trying to scoop the cold dough).  If you want to pre-form the dough before refrigerating or freezing it, see instructions in the Tips, Tools and Techniques Section. 
  5. Scoop the dough into ¼ cup balls (I use a ¼ cup ice cream scoop).  Place 6 dough balls on each half-sheet pan, evenly spacing them so they have enough room to spread when they bake (three on each long side of the pan).  Flatten the dough balls slightly with the palm of your hand.  Bake 1 or 2 sheets at a time for 9-10 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges but still a bit soft in the center, rotating the pans top to bottom and back to front half way through baking.  Remove from the oven and, if desired, follow the Post-Bake-Shaping instructions in the Tips, Techniques & Ingredients section of this book.  Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.  Repeat scooping and baking with remaining dough.  MAKES 25-30 large cookies.