You really can’t go wrong with chocolate chip cookies. Almost any recipe will result in a cookie that tastes great. But there is a certain style that I have been trying to figure out for the past year and that is a chocolate chip cookie that is more puffy and cakey than you typical chocolate chip cookie.
I first had this style of chocolate chip cookie at Le Gourmand – a cafe in Toronto, and it is still my favourite (they keep winning the “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in Toronto” award for a reason. Their chocolate chip cookie is also similar to the one made by Levain Bakery – a famous bakery in New York City which has their chocolate chip cookies all over the internet.
I tried using different combinations of bread and all-purpose flour, using egg yolks and different amounts of egg. Thinking back on it, I could have just used a copycat recipe for the Levain chocolate chip cookie. It involves using two different kinds of flour and chilling the dough for at least an hour before baking to reduce the amount of spread that occurs in the oven.
But I wanted to make cookies that were slightly smaller in size (because the ones I previously mentioned are quite hefty to have in one sitting) and that could be made within an hour. So after countless hours of testing, and batches of cookies being given to my neighbours, I FINALLY cracked the code on how to get puffy and cakey chocolate chip cookies in under and hour. The secret ingredient – corn starch! The recipe below makes slightly puffy and cakey cookies. They aren’t quite as big or high as the ones you can get at the bakeries I mentioned I am going for smaller sized cookies and ones that can be made in under an hour.
There are a couple modifications I have listed at the end if you really want to elevate them but I would start with this base recipe first.
Chocolate chip cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, measure the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Cream and combine until smooth.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl, add the vanilla and whisk to mix together. Add it into the bowl with butter and sugars. Stir to combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three additions. Mix until almost blended.
- Stir in the chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
- Scoop out spoonfuls of dough and shape them into a ball (a little larger than a golf ball).
- Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Space cookies so they are three finger widths apart from each other.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Ways that you can modify the base recipe to your liking:
Brown the butter: Take the butter and melt it in a pan over medium-high heat until you start to see dark brown/amber bits start to form. These are the milk solids that are browning and it gives the butter a delicious nutty flavour. Mix it in with the sugars and continue to follow the recipe. You will need to chill the batter before forming the cookies because the batter will be too soft. After forming the cookies, chill the portioned out dough for at least an hour before baking.
Swap out the sugar: You can substitute demerara sugar (a very dark brown sugar which has more molasses flavour) than regular brown sugar. I listed brown sugar in the recipe because you can easily find it at most grocery stores. I would not recommend using only white sugar because the acidity of the brown sugar helps activate the baking soda which gives the cookies their puffiness and rise.
Use chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips: Using larger chunks of chocolate looks impressive in a chocolate chip cookie. Hersey’s sells dark chocolate chunks as well as chocolate chips that are pre-packaged making it very convenient. I usually take large chocolate callets and give them a rough chop so that I have nice large pieces (and more chocolate flavour) in each bite. If you really want the cookies to be packed with chocolate, add in ½ cup more.
Add toasted walnuts: I usually don’t include walnuts if I’m teaching kids (due to food allergy concerns) but I add them in when I make them for myself. Be sure you toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until they start to smell fragrant. Allow them to cool before adding them in with the chocolate chips. You can add in up to 1 cup of chopped nuts. I like to use walnuts but feel free to use pecans, macadamia nuts or hazelnuts.
Let me know if you try the recipe and there are any modifications that you like to make. Enjoy!