Monday, January 3, 2011

Flat and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I thought my first post of this brand new year should be about something sweet and perfect, something you can easily share with all the important people in your life. I have baked a lot of chocolate chip cookies in my life. I've baked thick, gooey ones that reminded me of cake. I've baked thin, crisp ones that shattered delicately along my tongue with the first bite. I've baked ones that completely flopped (too sweet, too floury, too much butter), and I've baked ones that most everyone raved about. But I've never baked a chocolate chip cookie quite like this one.

The difference here is in the amount of salt it contains--there's a lot of it. Enough of it to make you look twice at the recipe, blinking hard at the numbers before hesitantly pouring in a full tablespoon of good sea salt or kosher salt. Also, did you know that you should make the dough the night before and let it chill in the fridge overnight so that all the liquids are totally absorbed before you stick it in the oven? I didn't. And what a difference it made. These are just about the best cookies I've ever made--just sweet enough with a defining, but subtle, hit of salt to make you sit up and take notice. And the texture is spot on--they're crisp and toffee-like at the edges and soft and chewy in the middle.

In short, these really are the elusive perfect chocolate chip cookie. Perfect for a snowy day, like when I baked them (that's snow crushed up against my window in the picture above), perfect to give out to friends, perfect with a tall ice-cold glass of milk on a quiet night at home. Try them--I guarantee, at the very least, a definitive spike in popularity. xo

Flat and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, by Amanda Hesser
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt (do NOT use regular iodized table salt)
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (chunks and shavings) or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used a full bag of Ghirardelli bittersweet chips)

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate. Refrigerate the dough until chilled, preferably overnight.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll 2 1/2 -tablespoon lumps of dough into balls, then place on the baking sheet and flatten to 1/2 -inch-thick disks spaced 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Chill the dough between batches.

Bake until the edges are golden brown, 15 to 16 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack.


  1. THANK YOU! you can get flat crispy cookies (Tate's Bakery) and ... chewy ones (everywhere) but the combo ... sigh

    and it IS the salt! i knew it.

    so excited to make these

  2. I came to this recipe on pinterest and have been using it the past 3 months. I will forever be making these cookies, so thank you for sharing!...and yes, I agree it IS the salt!