The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week I am baking my chocolate chip cookies for another event.  Since I first posted this five months ago, I have made a couple of changes to ingredients and a couple of the tools and ingredients are on sale.  My blog will have it’s sixth month anniversary on Friday, so it seemed like a good time to update this.

The original post (with updated links):

I love baking chocolate chip cookies for my family and they are my go-to for events and fundraisers at my son’s school.  The challenge in the past was that when I needed to make them, I needed at least three to four dozen.  A certain amount for the fundraiser, my husband’s office, my office and of course the ones we want to eat right out of the oven.

I love Alton Brown’s recipe The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie. As he states, his recipe is essentially a hack of the Nestle recipe.  You melt the butter, so you don’t have to bring it to room temperature.  You do need to chill the dough for one hour before baking, so it involves some planning and time management.  When I made the cookies after work it was a long night. After some practice with the recipe, I  streamlined a few things and created a few of my own hacks, so that I can make two batches more efficiently.

My son waiting for the dough to chill
Last Mother’s Day I received a KitchenAid stand mixer in my favorite color of navy blue (the color is called blueberry).  My other stand mixer was on its last legs.  I now have two mixing bowls.  This is key.  You can always buy a second bowl.  This allows me to quickly make two batches at once and not wait for the mixing bowl while the dough is chilling.

KitchenAid Design Series in Blueberry
I measure all the ingredients ahead of time and do them two at a time.  Two sets of flour, the sugars, and the egg mixture.  That way I can get the first bowl in the refrigerator and start making the next batch immediately.  Both batches can then chill together.

My favorite Ingredients
I know I am not to first to say this, but it really is all about the quality of the ingredients starting with the vanilla.  I use Nielsen-Massey which is currently 20% off at Williams Sonoma.

For flour, I like Perfect Flour Pastry Blend from Sur La Table.

My favorite chocolate for these cookies is Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet.  You can get them at most supermarkets and they are a larger size chip.

For butter, I use Pulgra unsalted Butter

These cookie sheets from Williams-Sonoma have made all the difference in baking a perfect cookie.  I use them only for cookies along with this ice cream scoop which I have in both small and medium.  Today I am using the small size.

This scale is so easy to use.  You weigh all the ingredients for this recipe.

Kid approved
Having the right equipment (and enough of it) along with the best ingredients makes these cookies perfect every time.

Happy Baking!




JAE and the Chocolate Factory

John Kelly Chocolates are simply the best.  Fair warning, it is hard to enjoy other chocolate after trying them.  They have a boutique in Santa Monica that is right near my bank, so I find myself there frequently for a treat.  They make great gifts by the box and I have  been the lucky recipient more than once.  The pieces are generous and that allows one to be very satisfying.  I was talking about how much I love them when I was in the store a few weeks ago and they suggested that I visit the factory.

The factory is on Hollywood and also has a boutique.  It is a bit off the beaten path and was originally only the factory.  They had so many people stopping by wanting to buy chocolate that they added the boutique.  They also ship nationally (you can order here) and are featured in a number of gourmet markets and fine hotels. You can search for a location near you here.

The Hollywood Boutique

The Cacao Bean

The process starts in a 150 pound kettle.  Each truffle fudge batch is 150 pounds. The truffle fudge is cooled and cut. The bottom and top are coated separately.  Then either a hand drawn letter or salt is added.  They use six different artisanal salts.  They were one of the first chocolatiers to use salt with chocolate in a major way.  They are included with not just caramels as you may have tried elsewhere.  The Peanut Butter with Himalayan Pink Salt is one of my absolute favorites. You can read more about the ingredients they use here.

The belt moves at a nice pace for all the handmade work.  It did make me think of the “I Love Lucy” episode which is noted in several fun posters. The staff of artisans all took  happy pride in their work.

It was such a treat to see the artisans at work.  My family was happy that I made a purchase in the boutique.

My outfit:

J. Crew Necklace

J. Crew Shirt

J. Crew Lookout High Rise Jeans similar here (on sale!) and here

J. Crew Paisley Gemma Flats

Hairnet issued by John Kelly

Enjoy some handmade truffle fudge chocolates today!