Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Recipe: It took a special recipe to turn me into a chocolate-chip cookie fan fiend. For starters, the recipe calls for cold butter, that's right, there's no waiting for the butter to soften! Second, the recipe follows an unusual mixing method that ensures the ingredients are very, very well-mixed. Third, it makes what to my taste is the most amazing chocolate chip cookie ever, tall and tender (but not cakey), slightly craggy and crispy on the outside while chewy on the inside.

So if you're a fiend for fan of a plain but perfect homemade chewy chocolate chip cookie that's easy to make, you'll love this recipe. Read on.

And that's just the cookie. If you're a cook who lives to evoke smiles? You'll get it. Read on.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies ♥ KitchenParade.com, crispy on the outside, chewy in the center, no waiting for butter to soften!

So yeah, this chocolate chip cookie, the cookie itself, grabbed my heart. It was the technique, the taste, the texture.

But then? The real magic happened.

Long-time cooks who love to feed people will understand. Don't we live for that special moment? that flash when someone we love lights up? when we see that smile of surprise? those eyes full of pleasure?

So yeah, that's what happened here. When Mr. Kitchen Parade first bit into an Old-Fashioned Chocolate-Chip Cookie, his face lit up, his blue eyes blazed. And then he exclaimed with child-like amazement, "This tastes just like my mother used to make!"

Truth be told, in the last eight years, I've baked chocolate chip cookies all of four times. But in eight weeks? I baked these cookies seven – make that eight, EIGHT – times, all to repeat that magic moment. Wouldn't you, too?

PASTRY FLOUR VS CAKE FLOUR But here's one thing. The inspiring recipe calls for pastry flour, that's the lower-protein flour that makes so many baked goods extra-tender. It's not cheap, especially if you end up ordering online from somewhere like King Arthur Flour.

Not everyone will want to invest in pastry flour just for chocolate chip cookies. Heaven knows, I work hard to make my recipes accessible so nobody needs to hunt up special stores for special ingredients.

Enter my friend Helen Fletcher, cookbook author and St. Louis professional baker and pastry chef, in her spare time she blogs at Pastries Like a Pro. Helen taught me that the "standard substitute" for pastry flour is that 1 cup pastry flour is the equivalent of 2/3 cup all-purpose flour plus 1/3 cup cake flour. So I've written the recipe at right for all-purpose flour and cake flour, both easy purchases at grocery stores. Naturally, I tested the blend too. With cake flour, the cookies turn out very well albeit "not quite as good" as with pastry flour.

For anyone who wants to join me in choosing pastry flour for this recipe, omit the cake flour entirely. Then use 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour and 3 cups (380g) pastry flour.

COOKIE SCOOPS For years, I've listened to bakers rave about cookie scoops for easy scooping and even sizing – but me, I just never "got" the need. But for these cookies, yes, please do use a cookie scoop! My usual "roll the dough into a ball" technique compresses the dough too much, even with gentle rolling, the cookies turn out tough and are prone to over-baking. And cookie scoops help shape a "tall, lofty cookie" that has just the right balance of crispy cookie exterior and chewy interior.

For a large cookie, use the #24 scoop that holds 1.33 ounces, that's almost 3 tablespoons. I'm happy with this big scoop I purchased on Amazon but if you like, buy the scoops from here at Kitchen Conservatory, St. Louis' great kitchen store and cooking school. DISCLOSURE The store is owned by my long-time friend Anne Cori but there's no $$$ relationship. For a small cookie, I recommend the #60 scoop that holds .53 ounces, that's a touch over a tablespoon.

COOKIE SIZE, SMALL vs LARGE For the record, I always-always-ALWAYS make small cookies, just two or three bites big. Just check my other cookie recipes. But for Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies, I'm thoroughly smitten with the large cookie, it's the perfect balance of crispy exterior and chewy center. I so-so-SO wish I hadn't even started with the large ones!

ALANNA's TIPS Who knew that Crisco has a short shelf life? I now buy a small container and keep it in the fridge. Do take a sniff of your Crisco, if it doesn't smell clean and neutral, you're due for a replacement. Yes, five minutes of mixing time is needed! In part, it's because the ingredient list specifies cold butter but it's also to ensure that the ingredients are really well-mixed. In fact, I set the timer for a full six minutes, this allows time for scraping down the bowl every so often.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes to mix, 30 minutes to bake (large cookies, more for small cookies)
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes 32 large cookies or 8 dozen (96) small cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/114g) cold salted butter, in 16 small cubes
  • 1/2 cup (100g) vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 1-1/4 cups (250g) sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups (300g) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 500g
  • 1 cup cake flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g
  • 1-3/4 cups (290g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, preferably a mix of mini & regular

Heat oven to 375F/190C.

FIVE MINUTES Combine the butter, shortening, sugar, leavening, salt and vanilla in a large bowl and mix on low to medium low speed for five minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beater several times.

ONE AT A TIME One at a time, add the eggs just until mixed in, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beater after each one.

STIR Stir together the flours and chocolate chips in a separate bowl really well, thoroughly mixing. Drop the flours and chips into the mix bowl in one fell swoop.

SLOWLY NOW With a spatula, begin working the flour into the dough. (Why? The mixer will be very full, starting with a spatula prevents the flour from flying all over.) Turn the mixer on low, mix just until combined, no more.

SCOOP! For large cookies, use a large cookie scoop that holds about 3 tablespoons dough, for small cookies a scoop that holds about 1 tablespoon dough. Allowing for just a little room for spreading, arrange the cookies on a bare baking sheet (no silicone, no parchment).

BAKE & TURN Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, turning the baking sheet about halfway through.

CHECK! After 10 minutes, check the cookies, if needed, bake for another one to five minutes, one minute at a time. In my oven, the large cookies are done after a total of 10 to 13 minutes, the small cookies are done at 10 minutes (but some times 11). They should be golden on top but still slightly soft to the touch because they'll keep baking out of the oven. Timing is extra-important here, if they're baked too long, the cookies will turn out crisp instead of chewy. You don't want that!

COOL A BIT Let cookies cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tray, they will stick just a little, use a metal spatula.

HOW IT KEEPS OId-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies stay fresh for three to five days, not that they'll actually last that long, if you know what I mean. The cookie dough keeps for several days in the fridge and for several weeks in the freezer. That said, I prefer the cookie texture with just-mixed dough.

CHRISTMAS BAKING? I don't usually think of chocolate chip cookies as "Christmas Cookie Plate" cookies. But these qualify! Who's gearing up for holiday baking? Check out my Holiday Baking Tips from a Certifiable Cookie-Baking Fiend.

Whole Batch (easy math for larger/smaller cookies): 7738 Calories (yikes!); 281g Tot Fat; 156g Sat Fat; 935mg Cholesterol; 5064mg Sodium; 1210g Carb; 33g Fiber; 703g Sugar; 94g Protein.
Per Small/Large Cookie: 80/241 Calories; 3/9g Tot Fat; 2/5g Sat Fat; 9/29mg Cholesterol; 52/158mg Sodium; 13/38g Carb; 0/1g Fiber; 7/22g Sugar; 1/3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2/5 & WW Points Plus 2/7. CALORIE COUNTERS Make seven dozen cookies so 1 cookie = 107 calories (1g protein).
Adapted from a recipe provided by the lovely folks at Chaumette Vineyards & Winery for my column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

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The Classics: More Old-Fashioned Cookie Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Molasses Cookies
No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies Lemon Crinkle Cookies with Poppy Seeds Perfect M&M Cookies
~ more cookie recipes ~

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna