I thought about calling these “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies” or “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies,” but unless my mom’s cousin Jeff says something’s “The Best,” I can’t really be sure it is, and “Perfect” is equally subjective. Whether you think they’re perfect or the best, they are hands-down my favorites.
Without being puffy and cake-like, these cookies remain light and tender. A slightly crispy exterior gives way to a soft, chewy interior. These cookies are not too sweet, but have a nice caramel-y flavor thanks to the dark brown sugar. And the chocolate? Even though I only use 5 ounces (a bag chips is usually 12 ounces), there are plenty of silky melted chocolate chunks throughout.
*I heartily recommend using a coarse salt for these. It gives little pops of flavor and a touch of texture. If you fear this or don’t have it, you can substitute 1 teaspoon table salt.
*If you hate the thought of using Crisco, you can use all butter, but the cookies will not be as light.
*I prefer using Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate for these. It doesn’t have any wax in it, so it melts easily and stays soft.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (3.4 oz) package French vanilla instant pudding mix
2 teaspoons medium-coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 360 degrees F.
Chop chocolate into whatever size you prefer, and set aside. I like mine with some small pieces and some larger chunks.
Cream butter and sugars on medium speed (5 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) for 4 minutes, scraping bowl down occasionally.
Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition, for a total of about 3 minutes.
Stir in vanilla.
Add dry pudding mix, salt, baking soda, and 1 cup flour, and mix just until incorporated.
Add the rest of the flour 1/2 – 1 cup at a time, mixing just until incorporated.
Gently fold in chocolate.
Drop by rounded spoonful (I use two small eating spoons for this) onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 – 13 minutes, just until edges start to brown.
Remove from oven and cool on sheets for ~5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
*Creaming and flour measurement are key to replicate these cookies. Don’t skimp on the mixer time. The butter/Crisco/sugar mix should be fluffy, and VERY fluffy after the addition of the eggs. To measure my flour, I gently scoop into the flour container and then level the cup off with the flat side of a knife.