Yum: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

The No. 1 requested recipe I get? Chocolate chip cookies. Easily!

Honestly, between us, I’m not sure why this is everyone’s favorite item I bake. I feel like this is a common staple most begin on their baking journey. Which is why I’m more than happy to share it with you. I’ve basically used the Nestle cookie recipe. Over time, I’ve tried different variations. For example, I’ve added a tablespoon of peanut butter and crushed Reese’s (in addition to the chocolate chips) if I’m feeling extra-indulgent. I’ve also added a hint of almond extract (approximately 1/2 teaspoon), because I absolutely love baked goods with a hint of almond.

I’ve found, though, that the most important thing is in the technique.

Bottom line: the most important thing to the perfect chocolate chip cookies is about temperature. Your ingredients need to be room temperature before you begin baking. (And no, throwing it in the microwave just doesn’t cut it.) Take out your butter and eggs at least 1 hour before you begin baking. The other thing to be mindful of is the fine balance of mixing or overmixing. You can also mix your heart out before you add in the eggs, but once the eggs are added in, try not to overmix your ingredients. (This is why your cookies might fall flat.)

Picking the right products: when to save, when to splurge

The last thing I’ve discovered about making the perfect cookie? The ingredients!

Look, I’m all for fresh ingredients. But if you are on a tight budget, there are some things where you can cut corners. Flour. Sugar. But there’s two things I think are worth the extra cost. Vanilla. And sea salt. (The latter is a nod to Ina Garden herself.) As you know, salt is what contrasts and balances the sweetness of the recipe. By sprinkling a pinch of sea salt on your cookies, you get a teensy bit of bite that brings your cookies to the next level. Just be careful not to overdo it.

As for vanilla, I use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract (or in the case of my frosting, their vanilla paste.) Yes, it’s expensive. I know. But imitation vanilla does not have the intensity of flavor.

The perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe

The ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips (measure this one with your heart)
  • A pinch of flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy – about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add in your eggs and vanilla to the mixture, slowly.
  5. Slowly incorporate your dry ingredients until just combined. (Do not overmix.)
  6. Remove the bowl from your mixing stand, and pour in your chocolate chips. Fold in the chocolate chips equally throughout the batter. Truthfully, I’ll usually add in more than 2 cups to make sure every cookie gets plenty of chips.
  7. Cover the mixing bowl and put them in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so. This helps keep the inside of the cookies extra soft and gooey when you bake them.
  8. Take them out and prepare small 2 inch balls on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Arrange them so they are about 2 to 3 inches apart from one another. Gently press the middle downward with your palm. (You’ll need a couple trays to give them room to spread out.)
  9. Bake for approximately 9-10 minutes. The center should look slightly underdone.
  10. Cool before removing from the tray.

This will make around 20 cookies. (I make my cookies slightly larger than the original recipe, which calls for ~40 cookies.) You can freeze these, but honestly, I’ve never had too! They are quick to disappear. But, if you’re storing them, just be sure to put them in an airtight container and bring them to room temperature before baking.