Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies?

ivoryhut perfect chocolate chip cookies

Two days ago, Christopher Kimball (@cpkimball), founder of America’s Test Kitchen, tweeted this:

The “Best” Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe? You try it and let me know!

So I did.

Having a son perennially hungry for cookies, it’s never a question of what kind of cookies to make—it’s more like, how fast can I bake them? An entire batch can go in a matter of two or three days, and since chocolate chip cookies are his favorite kind, I couldn’t resist the call. Especially not when the call came from Christopher Kimball, who is just about the only male television personality I look forward to watching more than Hugh Laurie of House, M.D. Come to think of it, I haven’t watched House, M.D. in a while, but continue to watch America’s Test Kitchen every chance I get. So I guess Mr. Kimball’s pulling ahead in the polls.

Uh-huh. We can have polls in our house. It could happen.

I read the recipe and immediately wanted to try it out. Two things intrigued me the most: the use of browned butter, and the whisk-rest-whisk-rest way of mixing the wet ingredients before combining with the dry. Here was something that was fundamentally different, instead of simply modifying ingredient amounts. It satisfied the geek and the chocoholic in me.

ivoryhut perfect chocolate chip cookies

The recipe calls for browning the butter in a stainless steel skillet, which makes it easier to judge just how brown the butter is.

Note that the original recipe calls for butter that’s a deep golden brown, darker than my photo above. I was being a wimp and was scared I might burn the butter, so I pulled it out early. What I’m saying is, don’t worry if your butter looks much darker! That’s actually how it’s supposed to be.

Then you add the sugars and the eggs, repeatedly whisking and then letting the mixture rest a while before whisking it again. Look Ma, no mixer! Plus, I get to use the resting periods to clean up after myself and feel super efficient and productive and all.

It doesn’t take much, I know.

ivoryhut perfect chocolate chip cookies

These puppies were BIG. I usually make smaller cookies and can fit about 12 to 15 in one of my sheets. For this, I only had room for about 8 cookies.

Another thing I loved about this recipe is that you just let them set on the baking sheet, which you leave on a wiring rack. No need to transfer the cookies out. Which is great for me, since I tend to forget about them and leave them on the sheets too long.

So, moment of truth. These cookies?

ivoryhut perfect chocolate chip cookies

They were some of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve had. The edges were slightly crisp, the center moist, chewy and oh-so-chocolaty. I knew these would be discernibly different as soon as I mixed the sugars with the browned butter. The resulting sugary sludge smelled so nutty, and after mixing in the eggs, the thick goo had a lovely caramel taste and aroma. I think it produced a unique depth of flavor, and I’m trying to hold myself back from taking a break right now and grabbing another one.

Ah, Mr. Kimball. You’re so good, and yet so bad for me. Thank you. I think.


Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen)

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 sticks butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.

Melt 1 1/4 sticks butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Keep swirling until butter has a dark golden brown color and a nutty aroma, about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl and mix in the remaining butter until melted.

Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla to the butter and mix well. Add the egg and the extra yolk; whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Let it rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again for about 30 seconds, before letting it rest again. You’ll want to whisk this about 4 times, until you have a thick, glossy, and smooth mixture.

Gently stir in the flour and baking soda just until combined. Stir in the chocolate and nuts.

Form dough balls about 3 tablespoons in size, and place them on a lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes (mine took 10 minutes), then put the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool on the sheets.

ivoryhut perfect chocolate chip cookies

So, was this indeed the “best” chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve tried? Pretty much. And if not, then they’re awfully, awfully close. But I’d say most likely yes. Although … hmmm …

I think another taste-test is in order, just to be sure. You know me. I’m all about responsible reporting.


45 Responses to Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies?
  1. Melanie
    February 25, 2010 | 9:38 am

    Now THESE I will have to try! My mouth is watering just looking at them, along with the sudden realization that I will probably be a little chubby all of my life because I don’t ever want to give up chocolate chip cookies.

  2. Kara
    February 25, 2010 | 12:25 pm

    There’s just something about chocolate chip cookies… as much as I like to try all sorts of unique recipes, anytime I see a chocolate chip cookies (especially with such an amazing review, and your beautiful pictures!), it’s the only thing I want to make… for ever, and ever. I can’t wait to try these!

    PS – THANK YOU for the picture of your browned butter. I’ve tried browning butter before and was never sure that it was brown enough so your picture was extremely helpful!

    • ivoryhut
      February 25, 2010 | 12:48 pm

      Kara, if you follow this link to the recipe on America’s Test Kitchen, you can see an accompanying video. Their browned butter is actually much browner than mine in the photo. I was being a scaredy cat and didn’t want to end up burning the butter.

  3. kanniduba
    February 25, 2010 | 1:40 pm

    Okay…do you deliver?

  4. Memoria
    February 25, 2010 | 6:39 pm

    I’m afraid of browning my butter too much. I’m also not that crazy about the nutty flavor. Nevertheless, your cookies look absolutely AMAZING!! I love how they look on the cookie tray. Wow. Your photos are stunning.

  5. Susan
    February 25, 2010 | 9:10 pm

    I can vouch for how good these are. They are the best I’ve eaten. I even like the fact that they call for less chocolate chips than most recipes so that you get to taste that chewy, deep browned butter, butterscotchy, cookie, too. It’s like a double treat. I love them!

  6. Janice
    February 25, 2010 | 11:45 pm

    I love these cookies. The browned butter adds so much depth of flavor, and the texture is good too.

  7. Karma
    February 26, 2010 | 3:04 pm

    Ok, I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend! …besides hosting a sleepover birthday party for my 15 year old daughter and her friends. Somebody help me!

  8. Christie
    February 27, 2010 | 11:29 am

    I ALWAYS use dark brown in my chocolate chip cookies. Now I’ll have to try browning the butter . . .

  9. Pioneer Woman
    March 1, 2010 | 12:45 pm


    Look so darn good. I’m dying.

  10. Scott Thomas Photography
    March 1, 2010 | 1:54 pm

    Perfect you say? I’m going to see about this. Will report back after I have thoroughly, tested the recipe.

  11. Cowgirl Wannabe
    March 2, 2010 | 12:14 pm

    I wonder how they would be with a little instant coffee mixed in like PW suggests on Tasty Kitchen today?? HHMMMM

  12. Christine
    March 4, 2010 | 11:39 am

    thank you Thank You THANK YOU for posting this recipe! I saw it and I made it last night and these cookies are AMAZING. Hands down the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. I love how they keep their shape/size and don’t just melt down like regular Tollhouse. I’ve been using the regular Test Kitchen recipe from their cookbook, but this one blows even that one out of the water.

    I did take your advice and let the butter get browner than you have it. Well worth it. The nutty toffee flavor had me at hello.

    • ivoryhut
      March 24, 2010 | 6:26 pm

      Didn’t that browned butter just smell amazing?

  13. Kitchen Butterfly
    March 7, 2010 | 11:50 am

    I haven’t told you …yet but I have you to thank for a lot! My glorious beach photos and silhouettes… metered to perfection, and my food macros….also with my spot meter. Last year you posted something on PW about sunsets….and I’ve been working on my photos. Thank you

    • ivoryhut
      March 24, 2010 | 6:27 pm

      Aww. Thanks, Kitchen Butterfly. I loved reading that.

  14. Marly
    March 22, 2010 | 5:22 pm

    I’m vegan so I love “veganizing” recipes. This one looks super yummy. I can’t wait to try it!

    • ivoryhut
      March 24, 2010 | 6:28 pm

      Great! So what would you change to veganize this? I’d love to know.

  15. DessertForTwo
    April 23, 2010 | 12:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try ’em! :)
    P.S. Found you through Three Many Cooks.

  16. Jenny Flake
    June 9, 2010 | 12:02 pm

    You are right, those do look like the perfect choc chip cookie! YUM!

  17. Michelle
    June 9, 2010 | 12:36 pm

    Browned butter adds so much flavor to any baked good. I especially like to add browned butter to frostings!

  18. Tracy
    June 9, 2010 | 2:09 pm

    Browned butter really does add another dimension of flavor to whatever you’re using it in. These look incredible!

  19. Cookin' Canuck
    June 9, 2010 | 6:00 pm

    Every baking recipe I have tried from America’s Test Kitchen has far exceeded my expectations. It sounds as though these cookies would be no exception. Thanks for passing on the recipe!

  20. Maria
    June 9, 2010 | 7:39 pm

    They look perfect to me!

  21. Jen @ How To: Simplify
    June 10, 2010 | 4:04 pm

    Wow, these cookies look great! My husband would love them!

  22. Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker
    June 10, 2010 | 6:10 pm

    I’ll have to try these! Their “Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies” are my absolute favorite!

  23. Maggy
    June 11, 2010 | 2:16 pm

    Chocolate Chip Cookies are my absolute favorite – these look so delicious. And now, since you say they are perfect….I HAVE to try them :)

  24. Fuji Mama
    June 19, 2010 | 10:17 pm

    I’ve wondered about the recipe, and now I know I have to try it too! I LOVE browned butter in things and am happy to hear that the nuttiness comes through in the flavor of the cookies.

  25. […] reason why I chose it. I haven't had the patience yet so far.  I found the recipe on The Ivory Hut, which she got from American Test […]

  26. Mary
    November 29, 2010 | 4:51 pm

    I am a big fan of Cooks Illustrated and have been making these cookies for a while. LOVE THEM! And so does everyone else!

  27. Shannon
    November 29, 2010 | 4:52 pm

    I am making these this weekend for a family cookie baking day. My brother-in-law swears by these. I am really anxious to try them. Browned butter makes everything wonderful!!!!

  28. Sue in Grapevine
    November 29, 2010 | 5:18 pm

    Do you think it would work & have the same great texture to make smaller cookies. We like to eat smaller ones in greater numbers ;) If so, how would you adjust the cooking time?
    Thanks for any help.

    • ivoryhut
      November 29, 2010 | 5:22 pm

      I’ve been making them smaller, and they’re just as good. I bake them closer to 9–10 minutes, but start checking after around 8 minutes or so. The browned butter gives it such a wonderful hint of caramel flavor. Let me know how you like them!

      • Sue in Grapevine
        November 30, 2010 | 9:52 am

        Thanks. I told my husband about them & he is anxious to try them. I’m waiting ’til after my WW weigh-in this week!

    • Sue in Grapevine
      December 17, 2010 | 7:19 pm

      Finally made these – Oh. My. Word! They are everything you lead me to believe they would be! My husband was thrilled.
      I was not timid in browning the butter & it paid off. They are full of what we call in my husband’s family “nutty brown goodness”
      Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I love Christopher Kimball too.

  29. donna
    November 29, 2010 | 5:23 pm

    wow! those look delicious.

  30. Wenderly
    November 29, 2010 | 8:35 pm

    Gorgeous…and I’m so jealous…sure wish that I had taken that bite. And I love the new digs BTW, so soothing and lovely, just like you.

  31. April Hunt
    December 2, 2010 | 9:55 pm

    I made this recipe tonight..and they were amazing!! I used white chocolate chips and dried cranberries instead of the regular chips and walnuts! SOOO good!!! I can’t wait to try them with regular chocolate too!! Thanks for sharing!

  32. […] been wanting to try since I e-mailed the link to myself last week. I found the recipe on a blog that was featured in WordPress’ Freshly Pressed. That food blogger found the recipe at America’s Test Kitchen (which if you’ve never […]

  33. […] an interval of 3 minutes to allow all those confusing chemical reactions to happen in the bowl. As one fan points out, these little intervals appeal to the neat-freak baker who likes to clean things up while their […]

  34. […] Recipe from Ivory Hut […]

  35. book on modeling
    July 26, 2011 | 2:37 pm

    I am a thorough reader and this post had my interest from the start. Nice post, webmaster! Where did you get the design you used on this blog? It looks pretty cool!

  36. […] don’t know what made me say that. Maybe because these Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies have been on my mind, and when I went to my cupboard to check if I had chocolate chips, I saw two […]

  37. […] Well as we speed ahead to the festive season, it means it is time for baking cookies and chocolate treats. Pop back soon to se some of my best recipes. In the mean time I have found a recipe which claims to be the best chocolate chip Cooke recipe, we will just have to test it. The recipe can be found here Link […]

  38. Holmes
    November 12, 2015 | 9:26 am

    Fabulous idea to brown the butter. I will try that in many other recipes also. Thank You

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I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.