These big chocolate chip cookies boast slightly crisp edges with gooey, soft middles. While there is a bit of chill time involved, you don’t need any room temperature butter. Which means you can get baking right away! Shall we, friends?
Some Materials You’ll Need:
- Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
- Various mixing bowls
- Whisk + spatula
- 1/4 cup cookie scoop (can just use 1/4 cup and shape into balls if you don’t have a large scoop)
- 2 large baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Cooling rack
Do cookies need room temperature butter?
Traditional cookie dough calls for room temperature butter, but is it necessary? The short answer is no. It really just depends on what kind of cookie you’re looking to whip up. Softer, room temperature butter will typically cause your cookies to spread more during the bake. Cold butter will allow your cookies to hold their shape more and not spread as much (depending on the other ingredients you’re working with).
For these big chocolate chip cookies, I wanted to take out the hassle of having to wait for your butter to get to room temperature. Or rather, remembering to place it out on the counter ahead of time (guilty as charged). You’ll still cream your butter and sugar together as you normally would.
The addition of dark brown sugar in this recipe will add a bit of spread (because of the added molasses), but these are still quite thick in the end. Partly to do with the amount of baking powder and the chill time time involved.
So now you’re asking: why have me use cold butter and then chill the cookie dough?
Let’s answer that below…
Why chill cookie dough before baking?
Chilling cookie dough is typically done to prevent excess spreading during the bake. This is especially necessary with recipes containing browned butter, as the melted butter will give you a wetter dough that wants to spread out quite a bit. That being said, you don’t have to chill these ones if you’re wanted a super thin or crispy cookie.
With recipes containing room temperature butter, it just depends on the ratio of wet to dry ingredients and what end result you’re looking for. Most basic recipes don’t have you chilling them because they’re using mostly granulated sugar or low ratios of brown sugar (less molasses to cause spread).
So why chill cookie dough, you ask? It’s not just about the spread—it’s about the flavor too. For these big chocolate chip cookies, the chilling (in combination with the cold butter and leavening agents) will give you larger, thicker cookies. But the chilling step serves another purpose—to deepen the flavor.
Chilling your cookie dough allows it to hydrate, letting those dry ingredients soak up the wet, almost concentrating the flavors in the flavors. When you’re working with a browned butter cookie recipe, that added toastiness is taken to new heights when allowed to chill and permeate the dough (especially overnight).
So don’t just think of chilling your cookie dough as an added, annoying step—think of it as a necessary one in achieving the best cookie possible. One with deeper, richer, and more complex flavor.
Chocolate Chunks vs. Chips in Cookies
Chocolate chips or morsels contain stabilizers to prevent excess melting or melting altogether. While these have their place, if you’re looking for cookies with gooey, melted chocolate throughout (like you might find at a bakery)—you have to use chopped chocolate from a bar.
That being said, you should pay attention to the type and quality of chocolate bar you’re using. “Compound” chocolate bars, typically listed with ingredients like “powder” or “oil”, are designed to hold their shape more like chocolate chips.
“Couverture” chocolate is what you should be looking for, as they don’t contain any sort of stabilizing powder. This is what most chocolate bars should be, but if you’re not sure—the darker the better when it comes to bars. Dark chocolate tends to melt faster since it has a high melting point with its higher percentage of cocoa.
You can also do a mix chips and chocolate chunks for variety’s sake, but for these big chocolate chip cookies it’s bar or bust, baby. Trust me.
How do you get those melted chocolate puddles in chocolate chip cookies?
When trying to achieve those big puddles of melted chocolate on top of cookies, you want to use a high-quality (typically dark) chocolate bar. Chop it up into little 1-2 inch chunks and place a piece or two (or three) on top of each cookie right before the bake.
The reason for it being dark chocolate (as just mentioned above), is that dark has a higher melting point and will spread more, giving you big gooey puddles. Shoot for at least 66% cocoa, which should be listed right on the front of the packaging.
Just make sure to lightly press your chunks into the top into the top of each scoop so they stick in place (don’t press too hard so as to flatten the ball shape). See photos above for what mine looked like right before the bake!
Tag me @joshisbaking over on Instagram if you make these big and gooey chocolate chip cookies! Show me those puddles, friends.
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These big chocolate chip cookies boast slightly crisp edges with gooey, soft middles. Not to mention gooey puddles of melted chocolate throughout.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (320g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (7g)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (2g)
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (5g)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold (226g)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed (105g)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (170g)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste (12g)
- 2 large eggs (100g)
- 8 oz (typically 2 bars) chopped dark or bittersweet chocolate (226g)
- If using bittersweet, make sure to grab a bar of dark chocolate (at least 66%) for the chunks on top, as bittersweet won’t melt correctly. I used two full bars in the dough and grabbed a third bar of dark to break off some chunks.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- Cut your cold butter into tablespoon-sized pieces (15g). Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat your cold butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl, add both sugars, and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until light and creamy (scraping down the bowl halfway through and after). Add in the eggs one at a time, beating each on medium speed until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Then beat in the vanilla paste on low.
- Continuing with the mixer on low, gradually add in your dry mixture until just incorporated and no streaks remain. Fold in your chopped chocolate with spatula, saving some little chunks (roughly 12) to put on top of each scoop right before the bake.
- You can also use two full bars of chopped chocolate in the dough and use a separate, third bar to break apart for some chunks.
- Using a 1/4 cup scoop (or 1/4 cup measuring cup and shape into a ball, ~115g), scoop out the dough onto a small parchment lined baking sheet or place, and chill for 2 hours or up to overnight (cover the with plastic wrap if chilling overnight). When there’s 15 minutes left of chill time, preheat the oven to 375°F and prep two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Then place 6 scoops on each sheet, spaced several inches apart (these spread quite a bit).
- Place 1-2 reserved chocolate chunks on top of each scoop, slightly pressing them into the dough. Bake both trays on the upper and lower third racks at 375°F for 16-18 minutes or until the edges have browned and middles still soft (make sure to rotate your trays halfway through). Let rest on the baking sheets for 15 minutes before transferring to a separate rack to cool completely (or not—enjoy!).
These will keep up to a week stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: While I don’t recommend it (because the flavor will be so much better with it), you can sub the vanilla bean paste with pure vanilla extract 1:1.
- Chilling the Dough: Don’t skip this step! It allows the dough to hydrate and deepens the flavor. If you skip it, your cookies will not look like they do above.
- I like to place my cookies on a smaller try to chill together and then transfer to the large baking trays to bake. Mostly because I struggle to fit two large baking trays in the fridge at one time.
- Chocolate Puddles: See my notes in the blog above on what kind of chocolate is best to use to achieve those big, gooey chocolate puddles.
Looking for something else to bake?