Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Around 25 years ago (give or take a year or two), I ate the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever had in my life.  I was young and spent time with an elderly babysitter during the summer and after school.  My elderly babysitter’s mom, who, of course, was even more elderly, lived just down the road from her.  On one occasion, I was able to visit my babysitter’s mom.  Her house was the classic elderly home; it even smelled elderly.  But it was a lovely home, and this aging woman was even lovelier (I, unfortunately, do not remember her name).  I wasn’t allowed to touch anything, so instead I wandered about with my hands clasped behind my back.  She had her front door blocked off with furniture, which I thought was odd.  I think she had a birdcage hanging from a stand, but there wasn’t a bird inside.  I don’t remember much about her home.  What I do remember, however, and have remembered for 25 years, is what I ate there.  This little old lady had been baking homemade chocolate chip cookies.  She offered me one, lying the tray on the table and winking at me.  I was shy, but my babysitter encouraged me, so I grabbed one off the tray and sank my teeth into the chewiest, meltiest, gooiest chocolate chip cookie that has ever existed.  I might have even had two of them.

25 years later, I am still talking about these chocolate chip cookies.  Every time I try a version of homemade chocolate chip cookies, or bake a batch myself, I always compare them to the cookies that my babysitter’s mom made upon my visit to her house when I was little.  And in the past 25 years years, no cookie has ever compared.  I’ve tasted wonderful chocolate chip cookies, of course, but none of them have brought me back to that time I took my first bite of the best chocolate chip cookie in existence.

Recently, on FoodGawker, I saw a recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies.  The cookies themselves looked completely unassuming and not exactly spectacular, but the description claimed that these were the most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever, thanks to a special ingredient.  I shrugged the recipe off at first, but bookmarked it for future reference.

The secret ingredient was cornstarch.  What good could cornstarch do in a cookie recipe?

I chose the cornstarch chocolate chip cookie recipe for my 7-year-old daughter to prepare on her own.  She had been wanting to make chocolate chip cookies since she successfully prepared a wonderful batch of blueberry muffins last week.

And so, she began work on these cookies, with a bit of help from me now and then.  The dough was so delicious that I kept stealing bits of it as she was dropping it onto the cookie sheet.

cookiebaking

Yes, she learned how to use my digital scale to make sure all the cookies were the same size.

The first batch we put straight into the oven.  While this batch baked, we refrigerated the rest of the dough.  We discovered that we preferred the look of the finished cookies from the very first batch, rather than the refrigerated dough, so we left the dough out for the final batch (we had three batches go into the oven).  Oddly enough, the chilled dough seemed to flatten out more than the unchilled dough!  So we had some wider, flatter cookies and also some not-so-wide, thicker cookies.  I mainly chose the thicker ones for the photos you’ll see below.

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We used exact ingredients and only changed the preparation method slightly; instead of adding the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt separately, we combined them in a small bowl and whisked them together before adding these ingredients to the dough.

When measuring out the cookie dough, we used 30g of dough to make each cookie.  We rolled them into a rough-shaped ball, and pinched the tops in a few different places to get a rustic look on the finished cookie, as you can see above.  Our chilled dough didn’t hold the pinches as well as the unchilled dough.

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We could barely wait to taste these.  It was excruciating, waiting to take the cookies off the baking sheet and placing them on the cooling rack.  My daughter got first pick.  I saw the chocolate ooze out of the bite she had taken of the cookie.  My turn!  I chose my cookie and took a bite.

You know how on movies sometimes, when someone remembers something, and a flashback scene dramatically appears with flashes of light?  That’s what happened to me when I took my first bite of this cookie.  Everything about it, right down to the flavor, reminded me of my babysitter’s mom’s chocolate chip cookies.  Warm, soft, chewy, gooey; in other words, perfect.  I was shocked.  And floating dreamily in heaven.

I couldn’t believe it.  Now I’m left wondering if, perhaps, my babysitter’s mom knew the secret of using cornstarch in chocolate chip cookies.  It couldn’t just be a coincidence that the cookies my 7-year-old daughter made ended up being my legendary cookie.  I’ve eaten and baked dozens of chocolate chip cookies, none of them anything like the cookies I remembered, then a recipe appears that uses cornstarch as a secret ingredient and suddenly I am transported back in time, standing shyly in that old woman’s kitchen, with chocolate smeared on my lips, not even knowing that 25 years in the future that that moment would be one of the highlights of my foodie life.

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I don’t know what cornstarch did to these cookies – did it make them chewier, fluffier, tastier?  What would these cookies be like if I left out the cornstarch?  No idea, but I’m not going to fix what’s not broken.  For me, this recipe ends all other chocolate chip cookie recipes.

Upon the second day of life for these cookies, I can tell you that while they still tasted nice, they were nothing like they were on the day they were made.  Upon the third day, despite having been in an airtight container, they began to taste and feel a little stale.  So, my recommendation is to make these cookies on the day you want to serve them and make sure you’ve got friends around to eat them all up, fresh from the oven.  They’ll disappear like Houdini.

 

5.0 from 6 reviews
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These chocolate chip cookies use cornstarch as a secret ingredient to make them chewy and thick; perhaps one of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes in existence!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Approximately 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Place flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
  4. Mix in flour mixture on low speed. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  5. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. The tops of the cookies shouldn't brown; it is imperative that you do not baking the cookies any longer than 10 minutes.
  6. Let cool, on the baking sheets, on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Elisa says

    I promised my daughter we would make chocolate chip cookies this morning and then I realized it was one of thoese days you only have ONE egg in the fridge! This recipe was the only one I could find that called for one egg and I am so happy it was! The cookies turned out beautifully, light and fluffy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. We baked them for 8 minutes and that was just perfect! Thank you so much for the recipe, you saved the morning! Now off to the market for more eggs….

  2. aioki says

    i love recipes that deliver! Though my dough was a little dry which got me worried (i was mixing everything by hand) everything turned out beautifully. I pulled out the cookies just as they began to turn golden at the sides.
    They are delicious! thank you so much

  3. shelby says

    I made these for my boyfriend as a feel better present. I was a little nervous because the dough seemed kinda dry, but they turned out great! Super moist and chewy and delicious! Thanks for a keeper!

  4. Pamelasockgirl says

    I don’t know what I did wrong but my cookies are more cakey than chewy, they crumble and have crumbs instead of being stretchy and dense. Any ideas what I’ve done wrong

    • Cam says

      Pamela-
      The second time I made these I accidentally doubled the eggs and they turned out exactly like what you’ve described. They weren’t bad but they were a huge let down after making them the “right” way the first time!

  5. whitney says

    I cant wait to try this recipe! Pamelasockgirl, I think you may have cooked them too long?

  6. Troye says

    I also don’t care as much for these cookies after the first day, that is until my daughter came in and insisted I try a bite of the one she had. It tasted just like when they came out of the oven. All she did was put it in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds and it softened it right up. Try it :)

  7. says

    YUMMY! I made these for my son to bring back to college; he and his friends loved them! They said they tasted just like Subway cookies, and I LOVE their cookies. Making them again right now for hubby when he comes back in from harvesting the corn fields. Thanks you! :)

  8. winnerchickendinner says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I tried it tonight and it was delish! Just what I was looking for, a soft center with subtle crisp exterior :) yummy!

  9. Rose says

    I’ve been making cookies for over 20yrs and I must say this was one of the most disastrous chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. Right away I knew this wasn’t going to turn out because of how dry the dough was. I gave this recipe the benefit of the doubt and baked them anyways.
    I ended up with cookies in the exact same size and shape as my cookie scooper. And that was after baking them for 12 mins.
    Disaster.
    I think I will stick with Alton Brown’s trusted recipe for “The Chewy”. It never fails.

  10. Saray says

    This is by far the best recipe ever for chocolate chip cookies!!! Thank you so much. I make it once a month and for any school or church events. I LOVE them, my kids LOVE them, anybody I give them LOVE them. These are the starts of the party :)

  11. Saray says

    Oh and the dough can get a bit dry so I shape them incase they don’t melt enough. Can’t bake them longer than what she says. Mine bake for 9 minutes and are perfect. I also sometime use 1/4 cup of coconut oil instead of 1/4 butter and it gives them this delicious coconut flavor that is so good.
    I agree they aren’t as great the next day but if you pop them in the toaster oven for 3 minutes they are just as amazing as the first day.
    I’m so obsessed with this recipe. Truly the best!
    Again thank you for sharing it. No other chocolate chip cookie will ever do for me!

  12. L. Thomas says

    I made them. They taste great. But they didn’t spread. I probably won’t be using this recipe again.

  13. Laura says

    I freeze already baked cookies and pull them out as needed to maintain freshness. Works great for every cookie I’ve tried

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