There are a zillion recipes for the classic chocolate chip cookie. And everyone seems to have their favorite earmarked for those day-to-day occasions when the simple cookie is the perfect go-to. But Jessie Lugo, executive chef at San Francisco’s newest gastropub, ALX, has some secrets to share on how to make our all-time favorite even better.
Using a little cornstarch in the cookie, she says, creates a crunchy, crave-worthy exterior that gives way to a soft, chewy cookie center.
“Cornstarch helps the interiors of cookies stay moist, because the starch helps soften proteins in the flour, while still providing a cookie with crispy edges,” she explains.
And skip the chocolate chips: “I like using chocolate chunks,” Lugo says, “because they are a little more irregularly shaped than chocolate chips, which means they get dispersed more thoroughly in a dough and lead to more melted chocolate in every bite.”
Buy chocolate chunks at the market or just chop up a chocolate bar yourself.
More tips: Use a scoop to keep the cookies a uniform size, so they bake evenly in the oven, and rotate the pans midway through baking so the cookies brown evenly. And chilling the dough before baking will help the cookie spread a bit less, which means you end up with a smaller, taller cookie with crispy outsides and gooey insides.
“I usually make a large batch of dough, which I then pre-scoop and freeze or refrigerate,” Lugo says. Take the cookies out of the freezer and put them into the fridge the night before you want to bake them. Then place the cookies on a baking sheet and let them sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before putting them in the oven.
Leave a cookie or two for Santa — the rest are all yours.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 2 dozen
¾ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk chocolate chunks
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla; mix until smooth.
- Add flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt. Mix until smooth. And chocolate and vanilla extract.
- Use a 2-ounce scoop to form cookies or form into balls by hand. Place on a nonstick or parchment- lined cookie sheet and bake for 4 minutes. Turn the tray and bake for an additional 4 minutes.