Introduction: Fast Scratch Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever made. It has less fat/oil than regular recipes so that the cookies hold their shape better during baking. But this results in a cookie that dries out faster than average, so keep them in a sealed storage container after baking, and eat them all within 2 days or so… that is usually not a problem around my house!

The recipe is simple and takes about 20 minutes, from getting out the ingredients to the first bite. It produces 24 cookies.

Step 1: First Ingredients

Turn on your oven to 350°F.

½ Stick of butter (4 Tablespoons)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup packed light brown sugar

Put the butter alone in a bowl and melt it in a microwave. Add the salt, vanilla, and brown sugar.

Step 2: First Mix

Mix these ingredients together.

Step 3: Add Egg

Add the egg at this point rather than earlier so the temperature of the hot butter is reduced by the sugar/vanilla/salt and does not cook the egg.

Step 4: Second Mix

Mix in the egg.

Step 5: More Ingredients

1 ¼ cups of all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Add the flour first, then put the baking soda on top of the flour.

Step 6: Premix

Switch to a spoon, and distribute the baking soda throughout the flour first.

Step 7: Third Mix

Then, mix it all together.

Step 8: Maybe...

Sometimes the dough is a bit too soft and sticky, so you may have to add a little more flour (~1/8 cup at a time).

Step 9: Proper Mix

You have the right amount of flour when the dough sticks to itself, not the bowl, and looks smooth when you turn it over in the bowl.

Step 10: Chocolate Chips

Add ½ (generous) cup of milk chocolate chips (not semi-sweet chocolate chips!)

Step 11: Fourth Mix

Work the chocolate chips into the mixture, so that they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Step 12: Make Logs

Take the dough, and roll it together into a thick log, then break the dough into 2 equal halves. It should be smooth, and not stick to your hands very much at all.

Step 13: Roll It Out

Roll one of the halves on a flat surface to make a long column, about 1.25 inch diameter.

Step 14: Bisection

Cut the column in half, then bisect the pieces, making 4 equal length logs. Cut these four logs into three equal parts each, so that you make 12 equal-length short columns from this first half of the dough. The short columns will be about 1.25 inches long.

Step 15: Placement

Use parchment paper to avoid cleaning your cookie sheet. Place the 12 cookie columns on their flat ends in a pattern to allow for expansion during baking.

Step 16: Baking Sheet

I use a 14 inch X 16 inch ‘Air Bake’ cookie sheet to avoid overcooking the bottom of the cookies.

Step 17: Form the Rest of the Dough

Form the other half of the dough in the same way. Some of the pieces may have to be reformed by hand, but the goal is to make round columns, not dough balls.

Step 18: Place the Rest

Add the other 12 short column cookies to the baking sheet.

Step 19: Baking

Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 350 °F for 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 20: Finished!

They should be slightly brown and fully expanded when you remove them from the oven. The insides will seem a bit undercooked, but let them cool for 10 minutes (I just pull the parchment paper off the cookie sheet to speed the cooling process) and the middle will solidify.

The mechanical technique of rolling the dough and creating columns rather than balls or thin, regular-cookie-diameter shaped dough, prevents flat cookies. It also works well with other cookie recipes, but you often have to reduce the amount of butter/oil/fat in those recipes, so that the dough maintains its shape while baking, does not just flatten out, and yields a cookie with a soft interior.

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