Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've tried lots of different chocolate chip cookie recipes. But I always come back to Grandma's. To me, they are perfection. Soft and almost gooey in the middle with a slightly crisp edge.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently, in a conversation with my mom and sisters we were discussing how my mom doesn't add many instructions in her recipes. My mom made the comment that "well everyone knows how to do that".

For example, when making cookies, my mom taught us that first you cream the fat and sugars, then stir in the eggs and vanilla, and finally mix in the dry ingredients. Mix in's like chocolate chips are added at the very end. I've made cookies for a long time and it's become easy to me to know how to assemble a cookie recipe even if I've never made it before.

This conversation made me realize that sometimes when we've done something for a long time, we assume that everyone else knows how to do what we know how to do.

With that in mind, I'm going to do my best to explain how I make cookies step-by-step. If you're confident in cookie making feel free to skip ahead to the recipe. But for those of you who would like someone to walk you through it, this is for you!

Want to see more of our favorite cookies: Visit our Best Cookie Recipes page.

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How to Make Cookies Step By Step

 Step 1 - Cream shortening and sugars

The first step when making cookies is to mix together the fat and sugar. 
I prefer to use a wooden spoon. I feel like using a mixer, incorporates too much air into the cookies and they don't turn out the same. 

Stir until the shortening and the sugar are completely combined. This may take a little time and you may have to scrape the shortening off the spoon a few times as you go.

Step 2 - Add the wet ingredients

Wet ingredients include the eggs and vanilla. Some recipes may call for milk or water or a different extract, this is the time you would add those to the recipe. Add them to the bowl and stir just until combined.

Step 3 - Add Dry Ingredients

 Sift in flour, baking soda and salt. I have a measuring cup sifter that I use for flour. After I've sifted in about half of the flour, I add the salt and baking soda into the flour in the sifter. Then I sift it all into the cookie dough. It's an easy way to disperse the small quantities of those ingredients. Stir until combined.

Step 4 - Stir in Mix Ins

Once the dough is made, it's time to add in the fun stuff. For this recipe we are using chocolate chips. Other recipes may use butterscotch or peanut butter chips, nuts, raisins or other dried fruit. Any of these type of add in's will be stirred in at the end.

Add chocolate chips and stir just until they are mixed evenly throughout the dough.

Step 5 - Bake the cookies 

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Make sure they are very slightly browned on the edges and they should seem a little gooey.

Let cool on pan for 2 minutes

 Move to wire rack to cool.

Butter vs. Shortening in Cookies

You can substitute butter for shortening in equal amounts.

Shortening tends to yield higher, lighter textured cookies.

Butter has a lower melting point and therefore will spread faster and will give you flatter and crisper cookies. Butter will add more flavor than it's counterpart.

To get the best of both worlds, I use a butter flavored shortening. It brings the butter flavor, while keeping the lighter texture.
My favorite chocolate chip cookies

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tip #1 - Use a wooden spoon 

A mixer is tempting when making cookie dough. It can mix things up quickly. However, I rarely have had a good cookie when I've used a mixer. The mixer will incorporate a lot of air into the dough, which is not ideal. A wooden spoon may take a little bit more elbow grease, but will yield a better result.
An exception to this is my Peanut Butter Cookies. 

Tip #2 - Use butter flavored Crisco. 

Above I shared the pros of both butter and shortening. I like the results that shortening brings to cookies. But I also like the flavor butter brings. The compromise is using a butter flavored shortening.

Tip #3 - Measure shortening without the messy cleanup!

 A tip I learned about measuring shortening.  Crack your eggs into your measuring cup. Swirl it around until egg has covered it. Then dump the eggs into a small bowl. When you fill it with shortening, it will slide right out and it's way easier to clean.

I also recently found out about this cool measuring cup that squeegees the sides as it pushes the shortening out. I really would like to get one!

Tip #4 - Use a good baking sheet

My favorite baking sheet is the Nordic Ware Baker's 1/2 sheet. It heats evenly and the cookies turn out great. Sometimes with an inexpensive or poorly made cookie sheet the cookies burn on the bottom or in spots because the pan doesn't heat evenly. Also cheap pans are prone to rusting and peeling in a short amount of time. The Nordic Ware may cost a bit more in the beginning, but it will last you years and years.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are so good all by themselves. But sometimes we make "monster" cookies with them. When they are hot out of the oven, we top them with a scoop of ice cream and then spoon some homemade hot fudge sauce over the top. It's pure heaven! 

chocolate chip cookie

 These are to die for right out of the oven, but I love them cooled or slightly warmed in the microwave too.  Make sure you grab a few before your family eats them all!

More Cookie Recipes

chocolate chip cookies

chocolate chip cookies


  1. Mmmmmm...this is really similar to my recipe. Now I want to make these--yum! :)

  2. Thank you for taking the time to explain some of the things that will help make a better cookie. I wasn't taught to cook as my mom worked and didn't have time to bake. All the things you listed make sense and I will be doing as you do. Especially will be giving up the mixer for the spoon.

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad you found it helpful.

  3. Can you ever really have enough chocolate chip cookie recipes? I think not. Especially if they're gooey in the center and have nice crisp edges :-)

  4. Your Chocolate Chip Cookies look very special and will be so good! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen