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The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

I’m having so much fun reading about everyone’s favorite version of the PB&J that I’ve decided to ask you all about another burning culinary question. Opinion is often just as divided and just as firm on this one: the chocolate chip cookie.

Homemade or commercial? Crisp or chewy? Nuts or no? Do you like a touch of mocha? Or is any flavoring beyond the chips and a touch of vanilla too much? Served with milk? Coffee? Something stronger? Sans liquid?

For my part, I like my chocolate chip cookies chewy and as fresh from the oven as possible. I’m sure it will be no surprise to any of you that I make them for myself. I’m a big fan of nuts – hazel, if I can get them, but walnuts and pecans are also favorites – and I love to play with spices. A touch of coffee or a dash of cinnamon is always welcome to me. Ginger and cloves are also favorites of mine. It’s a matter of mood and what I’ve got on hand in the spice rack when I get inspired to start baking. Depending on what I’ve tossed into the dough this time, what the weather’s like, and my mood at the moment, I’ve been known to down: coffee, tea, juice, or ginger beer with my cookies.

So what about the rest of you? What’s your perfect chocolate chip cookie?

32 Responses to “The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie”

  1. dr nic August 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    My favorite is chocolate chip cookie is my variation on the Nestle Toll House slice and bake recipie (that comes on the chocolate chip bag). I cook them nice and chewy and substitue peanut butter chips for the nuts.

  2. Bree August 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    Homemade old fashioned chocolate chip cookies, made with brown sugar, white sugar, butter, flour, chips, and eggs are my favorite. I also love “cowboy cookies,” which are oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that have a little more crunch.

    For the not-from-scratch, I prefer Duncan Hines’ chocolate chip cookie mix and all you do is add egg and butter. They’re about as close as you can get to the real thing. When I make those for parties, everyone thinks they’re homemade.

    I’ve tried chocolate peanut butter chip cookies, chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I even have a recipe for cinnamon chip cookies (and cinnamon chips are very hard to find in my area). But nothing will top the regular old standby for me.

  3. Amber August 24, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    I always start with the Betty Crocker recipe for Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, and it is one of the very few recipes I stay mostly true to. I always use pecans (halved and split into smaller pieces myself by hand, and slightly more than is called for by the recipe) and I always use Ghirardelli chocolate chips (and it makes a huge difference!). The only changes I make are to add dashes of vanilla and cinnamon.

    I take these to work and a double batch is gone in hours. I fail to bring them in during the holiday season, and I get very polite and sideways inquiries if I’ll be bringing them again this year.

    I don’t mind experimenting and trying other recipes. But this is THE cookie that never fails, for me.


  4. Sarah August 24, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    I’m all for homemade, and usually just bake the tollhouse recipe on the bag. But I love them to be just as they are out of the oven, so I’ll usually toss them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to make them a little warm and chewy! It makes them soooo much better!

  5. eninnej August 24, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    My absolute favorite are my dad’s homemade chocolate chip oatmeal coconut cookies with almond and vanilla extracts. When they’re made right (with butter, and a long, slow bake) they’re crisp AND chewy, although they’re not soft. The moisture and texture from the oatmeal and coconut is what makes the difference. They’re absolutely perfect with a cup of hot sweet tea.

  6. Julie August 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm #


    This recipe from the New York Times is perfect. I didn’t want invest in the fancy chocolate, so instead I just chopped up Hershey Special Dark bars. They were fabulous enough to win a blue ribbon at the county fair.

  7. harveypenguin August 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    I make them with regular chocolate chips, walnuts, and crushed peppermints. It’s delicious!

  8. Sarah D August 24, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    This: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Best-Big-Fat-Chewy-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie/Detail.aspx is my favorite chocolate cookie recipe. I’m a from scratch kind of gal and these are the best I’ve ever had. They’re amazing and even better the second day when they’ve had some time to sit.

  9. Cat August 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    I’m a chocolate chip cookie purist. No nuts. No cinnamon. Homemade, of course. I prefer a nice middle ground between soft & chewy and crisp. Crisp edges with a softer middle is the best.

  10. Lucy August 24, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    I tend to go for the classic Tollhouse chocolate chip or chewy oatmeal chocolate chip but, when I’m in the mood for something a bit different, I like to add chopped candied orange peel. I tend to candy tons of peel around the holidays (dipped in dark chocolate for the family and/or gifts) and keep any leftover peel frozen. It sounds a bit gross but chocolate/orange lovers tend to swoon for the combination.

  11. Kathy August 24, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    I am with Cat as a fan of the uncomplicated chocolate chip cookie – homemade, no nuts, Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, mostly chewy.

    Unsurprisingly, I love my chocolate chip cookies frozen (I swear, its just PB&J and cookies – I’m not normally so enamored with my freezer), so crispy cookies are a deal breaker for me.

  12. Gabrielle August 24, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    Always homemade. My favorite are really chewy and moist, with five different kinds of chocolate chips in them, about 3 minutes removed from an oven.


  13. La Petite Acadienne August 24, 2008 at 7:24 pm #

    Goddamn, you guys. Between the PB&J thread, and now the chocolate chip cookie thread, I’m having wicked cravings, even though I’m still stuffed from supper.

    No nuts in my cookies, thanks, unless we’re talking about white-chocolate macadamia cookies. Milk chocolate, not dark, thank you. I think I’ll have to try those Ghirardelli chips, though. I usually just use good ol’ Chipits, so I am now intrigued.

    Slightly off-topic, but harkening back to the PB thread, am I the only human being on the planet who enjoyed peanut butter on hot dogs as a kid?

    (Hey, that’s a good idea for a thread — the weirdest food combo that we enjoy!)

  14. jenn August 24, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    Homemade, with milk, bittersweet, and white chips, plus pecans. I use the recipe from “Baking Illustrated”, which has you do a few quirky steps, like melting the butter and adding an extra egg yolk. In a word, SENSATIONAL.

    To La Petite Acadienne: PB on hotdogs?? Really? I had a college friend who ate mustard on grapefruit, and until now that was the weirdest combo I’d encountered. :)

  15. La Petite Acadienne August 24, 2008 at 8:13 pm #

    It is now 9:15 at night, and I’m baking cookies, thanks to you guys. (I’m trying Amber’s recipe, but I gave it a slight twist by adding a bit of vanilla — no, not vanilla extract, but the real vanilla scraped from the inside of a fresh bean.)

    Mustard on grapefruit. That is pretty weird. But I loathe mustard, so I’m not the best judge.

  16. Katie August 24, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    I love cookies, and chocolate chip have a VERY special place in my stomach, sorry, I mean heart. I have a hard time finding a good cookie recipe, since I love them thick and moist. I can find a fantastic cookie at my campus coffee shop, but that means no cookies during break :( My favorite way to eat chocolate chip cookies is with a glass of ice cold skim milk. But not to dip the cookie, just take bites and sips. Now I’m hungry, but talking about those cookies sure makes me in a good mood ;)

  17. Ripley August 24, 2008 at 10:27 pm #

    I like the classic Toll House recipe. No nuts. Never never never never never shall nuts defile my chocolate chip cookies.

  18. Kathy August 24, 2008 at 11:34 pm #

    Ripley: …Never never never never never shall nuts defile my chocolate chip cookies.


  19. AmazonPrincess August 25, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    I use the classic Toll House recipe, sometimes I’ll mix it up by substituting Ghiradelli baking cocoa mix for the brown sugar and white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate. Sort of a reverse chocolate chip cookie. If I’m feeling really decadent, I’ll throw in some toffee morsels with the white chocolate chips.


  20. Tiff August 25, 2008 at 1:57 am #

    I typically go with the Toll House recipe as well. A few things I do that make a difference-

    1. Three kinds of chocolate- milk, semisweet, and dark
    2. Mexican vanilla from Penzeys.com. Believe me when I say that good Mexican vanilla is a completely different matter from Madagascar vanilla (which is probably what’s in your grocery store), and let us not even speak of “Imitation Vanilla.” If you can walk into a Penzey’s store and smell the difference for yourself, do, and you’ll see what I mean.
    3. Dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar.

    Chewy, rich, and right out of the oven is the only way to go. With ice-cold milk, preferably from a local dairy that treats its cows right.

  21. Twistie August 25, 2008 at 2:26 am #

    Tiff, I absolutely agree with you about Mexican vanilla! I don’t have a Penzey’s in the area, but there are plenty of other grocery stores around here that service the Mexican ex-pat community, and I sometimes to go one of them in large part because I can get amazing vanilla and really good spices at insanely low prices.

    Oh, and I have to make an addition to my perfect chocolate chip cookie: bittersweet chocolate. I like my chocolate dark and bitter, like my soul.

    Peanut butter and hot dogs? Love the butter, lose the dog. No, really. Even as a kid I didn’t like hot dogs. I was strange even then.

    Then again, while I love mustard and I love grapefruit, never the twain shall meet in my mouth. There are some taste treats the world just isn’t ready for.

    I will, however, admit to a brief and bizarre love of mustard sandwiches during my childhood. Good, spicey brown mustard on dark rye bread. That was it. Now I would insist on adding some meat and a few good veggies, but the mustard and the bread would still be welcome together.

  22. chachaheels August 25, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    You know that urban legend Neiman Marcus cookie recipe story cookie? I’ve made that cookie and I have to say it’s still one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had.

    Otherwise, the tollhouse recipe made with really good dark chocolate chips (the quality of the chocolate does so make a difference, no two ways about it), a little cinnamon thrown in because chocolate and cinnamon together are fantastic, and that’s all I need. I love them when they’re right out of the oven too–crisp and yet gooey and soft. Coffee’s the best accompaniment–or, a a cookie or two decorating a bowl of really good vanilla ice cream, accompanied by a neat little glass of ice wine, if I’m feeling really festive.

  23. KS August 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm #

    Dark/semisweet chocolate chips, no nuts, a classic recipe with lots of brown sugar and vanilla and butter. Warm out of the oven with a cold glass of milk. Bliss.

  24. Elaine August 25, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    No nuts in chocolate chip cookies. Ever! I like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies when given a choice, and definitely won’t eat anything but homemade. Chewy, not crispy. Maybe a hint of cinnamon. Warm, with milk. WHY did I have to read this at work today???

  25. Elaine August 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm #

    Oh, and on the weird food combo, my best friend likes plain yellow mustard on vanilla ice cream sometimes.

  26. Monica the tiara chick August 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    I bake the Duncan Hines mix from the supermarket, with one difference – I add one whole extra bag of semisweet chocolate chips. This results in semisweet chocolate chips held together by some cookie dough. At parties, volunteer events, etc. when I show up with my foil-wrapped bundle, the cry goes out “OMG it’s THOSE cookies!” and the batch decimates within minutes. Even though I make no secret of exactly how I make them!

  27. Carol August 26, 2008 at 7:54 am #

    Favorite chocolate chip cookies? The ones in front of me. Milk or dark chocolate – with or without nuts – add vanilla or cinnamon – soft or chewy. I don’t care…just make some and leave them on my desk thankyouverymuch. sigh…

  28. Twistie August 26, 2008 at 11:44 am #

    (sings) And if you can’t be with the cookie you love, honey, love the cookie you’re with!

    Carol, I would happily leave some cookies on your desk if only I knew where to deliver them. Er…and had just baked some. My mission for today is German Chocolate Cake. Two friends of mine happen to have birthdays within two weeks of each other and I promised them German chocolate.

    Yes, I squished my friends’ birthdays together. They both wanted the same kind of cake.

  29. J.P. Vonderhaar August 26, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    I don’t have a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe. I only make them once or twice a year, and I usually just Google “all-butter chocolate chip cookie recipe” and make whatever’s the first result.

    The all-butter part is vially important, because I think making chocolate chip cookies (or anything else, really) with margarine is a vile abomination. Any cookies I make are all-butter, no exceptions. But I’m kind of fanatically anti-margarine… I don’t allow margarine or shortening in my home for any reason ever, period.

    Oh, and I use half the amount of white sugar the recipe calls for and make up the difference with brown.

    Also? Try using chocolate covered raisins instead of chocolate chips in your favorite recipe. It’ll BLOW YOUR DAMN MIND.

  30. Katherine August 27, 2008 at 7:18 am #

    Ok. My favorate all time cookies are the symphony of overkill cookies I make. White chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, A cup of oats, a touch of brown sugar, and an utter mess of gooey chocolate. Sometimes, I like to add penutbutter to make the perfect balance to the sweeet of the cookies.

    My newest cookie, which is the best, is a penutbutter cookie with a thumbprint of jam in it. Its a PB&J cookie! WIN!

  31. Twistie August 27, 2008 at 10:43 am #

    Kathering, your PB&J cookie sounds superfantastic, indeed! Would you mind terribly sharing the recipe with us? (drools in terribly unladylike fashion)

  32. Melissa Sutton September 24, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    I had this recipe that I lost that was the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’m actually trying to find it again via internet. It’s hard to find as it has cream of tarter in the ingredients.
    I have two little “secret” ingredients, if you will, that make my cookies unique and delicious. I add almond flavoring and Lipton’s Lemon Ice Tea powder.