Although I can never resist trying out new recipes for chocolate chip cookies, you know I have standards of almost Herculean-heights in order for me to consider a new recipe good enough to join the ranks of the ones I already hold in high esteem, namely Alton Brown's and Crazy for Crust's recipes for chocolate chip cookies. They don't spread much, stay thick, have the perfect consistency in terms of chewiness and, perhaps, the real standard, tastes good even at room temperature.
That might sound funny but I have many chocolate chip cookies that are fantastic when you taste the cookie 10 minutes out of the oven yet I'm less enthused about them an hour or two later or, "heaven forbid" says my snobby taste buds, a whole day later. Cookies stale quickly and I lose all interest in consumption if they're more than a few hours old. When you've been spoiled eating warm chocolate chip cookies when the mood strikes, you tend to have high standards for said cookies.
So it should come as no surprise that the recipe that joins my Top 3 list for "This One's a Keeper" chocolate chip cookies comes from Averie Cooks. I've made other chocolate chip cookies from Averie's blog that were also good but this particular one easily joins my Top 3 list. I expected it to be good because it's from her blog but I admit to a little surprise by how much I liked it.
It has vanilla pudding mix which I've baked in chocolate chip cookies before so I expected it would add to a soft texture. Surprisingly, while it did that, this cookie also still had the requisite crisp edges I like in a freshly baked cookie. Good taste, great texture, excellent 10 minutes out of the oven, good even completely cooled. The dough was also a dream to work with, not too soft or sticky (make sure your butter isn't too soft or warm) and held its shape well even when scooped into large dough balls.
Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies
From Averie Cooks
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1-1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
one 3.5-ounce packet instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
one-12 ounce bag (2 cups) milk chocolate chips or chunks (I chopped up a bar of Trader Joe's milk chocolate into good-sized chunks)
1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the chocolate chips; beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
4. Using a large cookie scoop or 1/4-cup measure, form approximately 14 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart and bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don't overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving.
Related post at The Pastry Chef's Baking: Death by Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies