In February of 1988, Country Cupboard Cookies began as a wholesale bakery in a 200 sq ft separate kitchen of our home. My husband I grew the business over the years, moving to a 1800 sq ft commercial location, selling cookies and brownies online, offering cookie gifts for every occasion and shipping nationwide. In May of 2015, we closed our bakery. I will explain more about that journey in later posts for those of you interested in the details of starting and operating a food related business, but today I’m sharing one of my favorites, our original cookie recipe, Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Of all the cookie flavors we baked over the years, classic chocolate chip was always the top selling and the favorite of the majority of our customers. We baked the soft, chewy, loaded with chocolate chip cookies from scratch with unsalted butter, Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla, whole eggs, unbleached flour and Callebaut chocolate. I was always trying to bake that “perfect” chocolate chip cookie. This one is close.
The most important thing that I’ve learned about baking a great chocolate chip cookie is to follow the directions carefully, and then to NOT follow the directions all the time! I know, what do I mean? Baking is a wonderful science where you can take simple ingredients and watch them come together to create something that will make people very happy. Smiles and friendliness and thank yous result from a simple chocolate chip cookie.
But when you bake, things will be different from day to day. The weather, the variety of ingredients, the room temperature, your oven, the size of your cookie scoop, your mood that day. So, you may have to break a few rules. If your dough seems too sticky, add just a sprinkle more of flour, chill your dough a bit longer, underbake a bit, or bake a couple of minutes longer. Baby your cookies! It’s your cookies and half the fun of baking is to experiment and be willing to adapt when needed.
Cookie baking is fun and relaxing but you wouldn’t know it when my cookies turn out too flat! I have on occasion, dumped an entire full baking sheet of cookies into the 30 gallon garbage cans we had at the bakery. With a lot of drama. ( I’m not proud of that) Well, flat cookies are my pet peeve, which is why I started adding 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal to my cookies. Perks them up a bit.
Chilling the dough helps keep the cookies keep their shape also. And using unbleached flour. ( I love King Arthur flour ) And baking your cookies at a little higher temperature. You know your oven best, but I think 375 degrees works well. Try using butter not at room temperature but still a little chilled. ( I leave mine out 20 minutes in a 70 degree home )
My, I sound serious about these chocolate chip cookies! I’m not really. I’ve baked thousands of cookies and when I take from my oven a pan of glorious, perfectly browned cookies with the perfect texture and thickness, ( I do think a golden brown cookie has more flavor than pale, but you be the judge for yourself ), I am sometimes giddy and people around me are happy too.
I’d like to share those ideas with you, and learn from you too. So, try my recipe and let me know what you think! I’ll be posting more cookie recipes this summer of 2015. Some I haven’t even thought of yet. Come bake with me!
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature for 20 minutes
- 7½ ounces packed light brown sugar (1 cup)
- 7 ounces granulated white sugar (1 cup)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TBL pure vanilla
- 1 ounce rolled (old-fashioned) oats (1/4 cup)
- 13 ounces unbleached flour (3 cups)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (approximately 2½ cups)
- Cream together butter and sugars in mixing bowl, careful not to overbeat. Combine the eggs with vanilla and add to your mixture, mixing just to blend the egg with the sugars and butter. Add the rolled oats.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips, using your hands to finish mixing in. Portion 2 oz of dough with a cookie scoop ( ice cream scoop) for each cookie or you can use a ¼ cup measuring cup to estimate.
- Chill the dough balls 24 to 48 hours. When ready to bake, leave at room temperature for 10 minutes while oven is preheating to 375 degrees. Bake 12 minutes. Let cool on tray until set, then enjoy!!
When cookies are done baking, they will have a light brown edge and the dough will still be soft in the middle. Don’t worry, they will continue to bake on the pan.
You can chill your dough balls up to one week. They will bake up browner the longer you chill. I think 24 to 48 hours is best, but experiment with different times. If you want to keep the dough balls longer than 1 week, I recommend freezing the dough.