{Ultimate} Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You know you live in California when your Kindergartner goes to school in his winter gear — ski jacket, hat, yes, even gloves — so he could run amok in a snowball fight…of marshmallows.

I guess we have to do what we must, right, to celebrate winter? I had never heard of a marshmallow snowball fight before, and when the teacher sent home notice that there was to be an epic snowball fight for all the kindergarten classes, I expected the school to call in a snow making machine to blanket the kindergarten courtyard and transform the playground into a little ski slope. Isn’t that the logical thing to do?

Of course, marshmallows were surely much more exciting to the little guys!

Other than our escapes to Tahoe, the kids don’t have that living-with-snow experience. They’ve never had to really bundle up for school, never sat by the radio (or these days television?) to anticipate school closings, and never shoveled the driveway. They may ski (better than me, in fact), but they haven’t had much practice making snowballs. It’s certainly not as easy as it looks. Rolling dough for Chocolate Chunk Cookies is much easier.

And eating them is even easier.

Wouldn’t you love to come in after a romp in the snow for a bite of this?

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{Ultimate} Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies.

Over the years, I have made dozens and dozens of chocolate chip cookies batches, only to be disappointed. I have long sought after what I consider a proper cookie, and after many attempts, I think I have finally arrived at what I consider the Ultimate (capital U) Chocolate Chunk Cookie. It's lofty, thanks to a combination of cake* and all purpose flours. It's tender, thanks to butter and a little cream cheese. It's gooey, thanks to big hunks that I chopped from a decadent chocolate bar. And for the few that remain from the batch the following day, you can rest assured it maintains that perfect bite.

Ingredients:

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened at room temperature
4 oz cream cheese (1/3 less fat)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz chocolate chunks (bittersweet or semisweet)

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese on high speed until thoroughly mixed and creamy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the granulated and brown sugars until fully incorporated. Beat in the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly again.

In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flours, baking soda and salt. Slowly add this to the mixer and beat until just incorporated. Do not over stir. Fold or stir in the chocolate chunks.

Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours (or overnight).

Preheat the oven to 350°F. and place the racks in the center of the oven. Prepare your baking pans with parchment paper.

Take a medium ice cream scoop (equivalent to about 2 tablespoons) to scoop out the dough and roll into a ball. Place the cookie dough 2-3 inches apart, about 8 per cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through to insure even baking.

When the cookies are golden brown on top and a nice amber color on the bottom, remove the tray from the oven and allow the cookies to settle on their trays for a few minutes; they will be very soft initially. Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!!

I had never considered using cake flour in my cookies until I saw The Cilantropist's adaptation of Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies. Amanda and Jacques (if I may call him Jacques!) use a combination of cake and bread flour. I was intrigued, but it absolutely made sense. Incorporating cake flour into my recipe made a huge difference.

Chilling the dough at least 2 hours (or if you can wait, overnight) is critical. The butter needs to return to a more solid state to bake properly, otherwise the dough will melt away in the oven.

If two dozen cookies is too much for you to handle, freeze half the batch after you roll the dough into balls. Then you can bake whenever you have a craving!

Cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container.

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by Liren Baker on January 25, 2012

20 Responses to “{Ultimate} Chocolate Chunk Cookies”

  1. Maureen — January 25, 2012 @ 5:32 am (#
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    You called them ultimate so I couldn’t resist baking them myself, right? Well you guessed correctly.

    I must make these soon and make sure I have guests coming so I don’t eat every one myself. Delicious!

  2. Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane — January 25, 2012 @ 8:33 am (#
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    You have to give major creativity points for the invention of the marshmallow snowball fight. I’m sure that will be a huge hit — especially at that age. I’m with Maureen. It’s almost impossible to pass up a recipe when it has the word ultimate in it, so off to bake I go.

    • Liren replied: — January 25th, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

      Ha ha, YES, major creativity points! I love what the teachers come up with, the kids just have a blast. I know the word ultimate is almost challenging, but I really do think they’re amazing :)

  3. Mary@siftingfocus.com — January 25, 2012 @ 9:16 am (#
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    Liren, funny story. Many years back my husband brought home to me a copy of Jacques Torres’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and asked me to make it. He heard it being discussed on NPR. Requesting a particular recipe is something he never does so I was happy to oblige. I love this recipe and it is my CCC of choice as long as I have the time to wait for the dough to chill. Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s an emergency and we need a warm, chocolaty cookie NOW!

  4. lea davenport — January 25, 2012 @ 10:06 am (#
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    I love the photograph of the cookie against the white table. Looks like a primitive table – when asked recently why he married me 30 years ago, my husband said because I made good chocolate chip cookies! He’s not very deep I guess, but some things are just important! I’ll make these soon. Thank you….

  5. Lacy — January 25, 2012 @ 11:56 am (#
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    Yummmm!! This looks amazing! So drooling over here for some delicious warm, chocolate chunk cookies. The “ultimate” just makes them even more mouth watering. I’m going to have to try these immediately!

  6. Vijitha — January 25, 2012 @ 4:23 pm (#
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    That’s a wonderful idea to do snowfight with marshmallow. It would have been a super dooper hit with kids. I live in the Bay area too and my son is just 14 month old now and I am looking forward similar times during his growing up years. Cookies with milk looks so comforting to me. I am sure it would have tasted yum!

  7. Gina — January 25, 2012 @ 5:48 pm (#
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    These look delicious and I cannot wait to try them. I found you through a retweet on twitter today. I really like your blog. Cooking is my passion and I love it. It is nice to find others with the same interests. I hope you will stop by and visit my blog. :)

  8. Kim Bee — January 25, 2012 @ 7:13 pm (#
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    These cookies are incredible. I’ll be right over.

  9. Anna @ hiddenponies — January 25, 2012 @ 10:29 pm (#
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    These do look ultimate. I’ve been seeing cream cheese in cookies lately, and the cake flour totally makes sense, gonna have to try that! Also, is 2 dozen really too many chocolate chunk cookies for anyone? :)

  10. Simply Tia — January 26, 2012 @ 3:42 am (#
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    You take such great photos of your food! These cookies look soooo good and so very delicious. I’m definitely going to give this recipe a try!

  11. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — January 26, 2012 @ 4:16 am (#
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    These are beautiful cookies and, like you, I’m intrigued by the combo of flours. I’m pinning these for the next rainy day!

  12. Kathy — January 26, 2012 @ 8:57 am (#
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    I love the photos!
    The notes are just great; I’ve always known that refrigerating dough makes the cookies more plump and soft but I never exactly knew why. Hehe~

    http://milk-and-tea.blogspot.com

  13. Rachel @ Bakerita — January 26, 2012 @ 11:24 pm (#
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    Cream cheese in a chocolate chip cookie?!
    I’m intrigued. I’ll definitely be trying out this recipe…never can have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes.

  14. Beth Michelle — January 27, 2012 @ 2:00 am (#
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    A marshmallow snowball fight! Sounds amazing to me. So do these cookies! They look delicious.

  15. Lindsey — January 27, 2012 @ 12:33 pm (#
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    First of all, as someone who makes choco chip cookies all the time for clients (and often struggles to get them homogeneous in form), I must say yours are gorgeous! They make me want to take a bite out of the screen! They all spread evenly? Every oven is different but how long did you end up baking them- closer to ten or fifteen minutes?

    Will be giving this recipe a shot for sure :)

    • Liren replied: — January 27th, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

      Lindsay, that is the ultimate compliment. Thank you! Yes, they do indeed spread evenly! For my oven, I baked them at about 13 minutes, and I was definitely very careful to rotate the baking sheets. Hope you enjoy the cookies – I’m actually planning on baking another batch tomorrow – the natives are restless for more :)

  16. Barbara — January 29, 2012 @ 3:41 pm (#
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    These ARE the ultimate! I have tried probably 5 new chocolate chip cookie recipes in the last 6 months and these blow them all away. I still love my old standby (Cooks Illustrated), but these are different enough to add to my recipe book. Never thought I would describe a cookie as “creamy”, but that’s what they are!

  17. Liren — January 29, 2012 @ 3:50 pm (#
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    Barbara, than you for making my day. I’m so glad you loved the cookies and consider it a keeper!

  18. Liz — January 29, 2012 @ 6:19 pm (#
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    Gorgeous cookies! Chocolate chip cookies are ALWAYS a hit here. My family loves the Jacques Torres recipe…and I’m trying yours next :)

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