Anyone who has ever tried to bake can tell you it's an exact science. However, that doesn't mean it isn't an art form, as well. Few baking endeavors lie at this captivating intersection quite so boldly as the chocolate chip cookie. Everyone has a favorite style of chocolate chip cookie, and unless you're privy to the inner workings of chocolate-chip chemistry, it can seem impossible to satisfy each and every craving.
Cookie enthusiasts, prepare yourselves: We've gathered together all of the secrets of baking the ideal chocolate chip cookie, no matter what that means to you. We've listed the basic recipe and the alterations below so you can try it out for yourself. While you're concocting the perfect baked good, munch on some of these fun chocolate chip facts:
- The first chocolate chip cookie came about completely by accident. Ruth Graves, the co-owner and chef of the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, ran out of baker's chocolate and used semi-sweet chocolate instead. Unlike baker's chocolate, which melted into the batter to make chocolate cookies, the semi-sweet chocolate held its shape. Thus, the cookie we know and love today was born.
- The world's largest-ever chocolate chip cookie was 102 feet wide and weighed over 40,000 pounds. The Folk Artists' Foundation in Flat Rock, North Carolina, wanted to create a museum. The group decided the best way to raise funds would be to set the record for biggest cookie, which it did on May 17, 2003. The foundation sold slices at $10 each, and raised nearly $20,000 for the museum.
- Together, Americans eat over 2 billion cookies a year. This works out to about 300 cookies a person. The average American eats 35,000 cookies during his or her lifetime. Now, granted, these numbers include all kinds of cookies, but it's fairly safe to assume that chocolate chip cookies make up a sizeable portion of that number.
Does all of this info have you aching to dive into a batch of freshly baked treats? Here's a basic recipe and a helpful infographic on the ways you can make them just how you like:
- 1 cup, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup, 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Heat your oven to 350°F. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine baking soda, flour and salt in a mixing bowl, and set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until the mixture has a creamy texture. Add in the vanilla and egg, and beat so the mix is fully blended. Slowly add in the flour mixture, beating to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips, then place 1½ tablespoon-sized balls onto the cookie sheet, evenly spaced.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes, then let cool. After the cookies have set for five minutes, move them onto a wire rack and let them cool completely.
Want to mix it up? Try these variations to see what works best for you. If you're not sure what you like best, try them all! You might be surprised to find which is your favorite: