Monday, January 3, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is one of my really solid, go-to recipes which I make pretty often, and though I have posted it here before it was back when the blog was just new, and I made it as one of my dash-home-from-work-in-my-lunch-hour-and-whip-something-up recipes, so it didn't really get any explanation or process stuff.

It's dead easy, and makes a generous batch of cookies to share around, so feel free to divide the recipe in half if you don't want too many. I often bake half and freeze the other half of the dough, wrapped in two layers of glad wrap to protect it from evil freezer burn.

The recipe starts with combining both brown and white sugar with the butter, but in this case the butter is melted, so hand beaters or even a wooden spoon are adequate stirring devices. The eggs and vanilla go in, the rest of the dry ingredients, and then, finally, the all important chocolate chips.

The chocolate chips do really make or break these cookies, so use something yummy - I use Callebaut, which are quite pricey but very yummy. My recommendation for anyone not quite as chocolate mad as me would be to get a block of your favourite supermarket chocolate and chop it up, as chocolate chips from the baking aisle are usually compound chocolate (i.e. no cocoa butter) and just aren't as nice. The cookie part is quite sweet so I usually go for bittersweet chocolate chips - about 50% cocoa solids - but I do also like them with milk chocolate, and if you're more a dark chocolate person that'll work fine too. You could also change out some of the chocolate (or all, but surely you want some chocolate, right???) for nuts or dried fruit - so long as the total volume of add-ins is still 1 1/2 cups it'll be fine.

Unlike the cookies (or rather, biscuits - hard and crunchy right through once cooled, which is what I consider to differentiate biscuits from cookies - cookies stay chewy) we made when I was a kid, which were pressed down with a fork before baking, these will turn out perfectly when the dough is just placed on the baking tray as a ball - no flattening required! (making patterns with the fork was always my favourite bit but I'll sacrifice a bit of fun for a cookie which stays soft)

When it comes to baking them, don't overbake! This is a recipe which is very tempting to cook for longer than you ought, as the cookies are still quite soft when they're ready to come out of the oven. The test is to touch the edge of the cookie - if the edge has a crust and doesn't give way to a light touch, they'll be done - even if the middle is still squidgy. You won't be able to take them off the tray intact straight away - they need a couple of minutes to cool and firm up - but they will stay chewy and delicious even once they've completely cooled (and I'm sure I don't even need to mention that they're fantastic hot).

And as a random experiment, I thought I'd see how they worked out in the microwave. Strange idea, I know, and I didn't really expect success, but it wasn't too bad. The chocolate got a bit singed and you definitely wouldn't want to eat them once cooled, but they tasted okay. It probably won't catch on, though, because it only takes about 12 minutes to bake them properly (plus 10 to heat the oven - but if you haven't premade the dough you'll use that time) and they're definitely waaaaaaay better baked.

Do you ever microwave things just to see how they'll work out? Do you have any surprisingly microwaveable recipes? Please share!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
180g butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups semi-sweet choc chips

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius and adjust racks to divide oven into thirds.

Beat together butter and sugars, then beat in egg, yolk and vanilla. Mix together flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl then add and mix until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake for 11-14 minutes – cookies should be light golden brown with slightly hardened edges but centres still soft. Cool for a few minutes on the tray before transferring to a rack to cool fully.


  1. I need a cookie. I used to microwave cookie dough (from the Pillsbury roll - I don't know if I've seen them in New Zealand - slice and bake cookies) - anyway - I used to spooon out a hunk of that dough and microwave it - definitely not as good as a properly baked cookie, but as a cross between dough and a cookie, not bad. I feel somewhat ill thinking about it, though, so maybe it was worse than I remember...

    Some people swear by microwaving rice, but the hob (or a rice cooker) works fine for me.

    I'm off to eat some chocolate now!

  2. I don't use the microwave for much at all. I guess I'd use it most for things like softening butter for baking.

    I'm not a big fan of the chewy cookie. I like crunchy biscuits all the way. You don't have a tried and true crunchy biscuit recipe do you? :)

  3. Yuuuuum!!!! They look so good!! The only random thing I can remember microwaving was a creme egg. I'd broken my jaw & couldn't open my mouth much so I thought if I microwaved it a bit it would soften up. I think I only did 10 seconds and it looked fine until I bit right through. I didn't really think about the whole cooking from the middle thing. I don't think I could taste for a week!

  4. I have a microwave brownie recpie that is never fail once you work out your microwave times. Chewy and if you really hate dishes you can make in the dish you are going to microwave in (but easier in a bowl). Will fish out recpie for you

  5. I have a microwave brownie recpie that is never fail once you work out your microwave times. Chewy and if you really hate dishes you can make in the dish you are going to microwave in (but easier in a bowl). Will fish out recpie for you

  6. I don't actually have a microwave so can't help you there.

    This recipe looks great - definitely agree about the quality of the chocolate being important! Chunks are better than chips too :)

  7. Thanks for sharing- my batch is just cooling now and hubby reckons its the best cookie he's ever eaten. :D We used a block of creamy milk Whittakers but I might try a block of almond gold next time... mmmm

    I used to do a bit of experimentation in the microwave but had so many fails so I havent in a long while! Sarah I think I know the recipe you mean- I remember making a great microwave brownie in Home Ec.

    Thanks, Emma

  8. Mary, I've heard of rice in the microwave but have never seen the need myself either (though I definitely burned a couple of rice pots in my early flatting days!). I think you can buy frozen cookie dough here but it's not a big thing, I think a pretty recent addition.

    Kaz, I'll have to try to get Mum's choc chip biscuit recipe we used to make when I was a kid - that's got the crunch going on. Keep an eye out (though it might be a few weeks in the making). :-)

    Nichola, that's so funny (except also awful!) - I can imagine myself doing exactly the same thing if I had that problem. I still have a scar on my wrist from a pop-tart incident so knowing my luck I never would have regained my tastebuds, either. ;-)

    Sarah, thanks!

    Laura, my sister usually does her Christmas cookies with all the flavours of the confectionary aisle as chunks in her cookies, and I have to say I do quite like the black forest ones!

    Emma, hope you enjoyed them! Almond gold cookies sound like a sure recipe for success, too, yum!

  9. Attempting to make a gluten-free version of these tomorrow.. watch this space!

  10. Amy, let me know how they turn out - hope it works! :-)

  11. I know it's been a while but how did the gluten free version go Amy? :0)

  12. I'd swear by rice in the microwave, works so much easier than putting it on the stove, and if you already have a microwave, cheaper than buying a rice cooker which has kind of only one purpose and just takes up unnecessary space.
    How'd the gluten free version go?
    Has anyone tried a dairy-free version?

  13. Anon, I never did try gluten-free but Bakels GF baking mix is a pretty good flour substitute. For dairy free I tend towards recipes not intended to have copious amounts of dairy since it can change things quite a bit... Sorry that's not very helpful!


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