Chocolate Chip Cookies – My Gateway to Cooking

Finished chocolate chip cookies on a pan
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When I was a teenager, I started to really enjoy cooking and baking on my own. There were definitely some foibles on my first attempts. I specifically remember a Thanksgiving where I made the green bean casserole with DOUBLE the pepper – and accidentally used cayenne instead of black pepper. But one thing I could consistently churn out were chocolate chip cookies.

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Let’s be honest. Chocolate chip cookies are not a complicated recipe. If you can follow basic directions and set a timer, you can make cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies on a plate

But I think chocolate chip cookies are one of those recipes that everyone does just a little differently and everyone has a slightly different opinion as to what constitute the perfect cookie. Chewy versus crisp. Lots of chocolate or add some nuts. Thin or cake-like.

This recipe is the cookie of my childhood. They’re soft, have the perfect nut to chocolate ratio (that’s half and half, people!), and if baked and stored properly will stay chewy for days – if they last that long!

Let’s Get Baking

First things first, let’s talk butter versus shortening. Butter definitely gives the cookie more flavor, but it tends to spread flat during baking. Shortening helps the cookie stay a little taller and remain tender, but isn’t quite as flavorful.

The solution? I use both! Do yourself a favor and get the Crisco Shortening Sticks. I hate measuring shortening and these sticks make it much less annoying!

On to the sugar. Many chocolate chip cookie recipes use a equal ratio of white and brown sugar. I prefer a moist and chewy cookie, so use a 2:1 ratio of brown sugar to white sugar.

Scooped Cookies on a Sheetpan

Also, temperature matters! If at all possible, I try to get my butter and eggs out of the fridge a couple hours before I intend to mix the cookies to allow them to come to room temperature. Once the cookie dough is mixed, I chill the dough for at least 30 minutes prior to baking. This helps the cookies to not spread too far on the pan and retain their shape.

I have a tiny kitchen, but when I downsized and got rid of tons of kitchen items, my cookie scoop made the cut. Using a cookie scoop ensures all the cookies are the same size and thus cook in the same amount of time.

In your opinion, what constitutes the perfect chocolate chip cookie?