I don't know if it's possible to find THE best chocolate chip cookie. I just don't think it's possible. Why? Well, everyone has different preferences. If you told a group of people to imagine the best chocolate chip cookie, I am willing to bet very few imagine the same cookie.
Some like a gooey cookie, some like chewy. Some like crunchy over-baked cookies, some like fluffy pillow-soft cookies. Some like a ton of chocolate chips, some like a few. Some like flat cookies, some like 'em fat and puffy. The varieties are endless!
The variety I am focusing on today is the latter. The flat/chewy vs puffy/soft debate. It's a grand debate that is surely split nearly even. Half love a flat, chewy, buttery, cookie with crispy edges. The other half want a big, fat, soft, fluffy cookie that melts in their mouth.
These cookies, ones I am deeming The Best Chocolate Chop Cookie, are of the puffy and soft variety. There are a few different ways to change the end result of a freshly made cookie and all it takes for this one is the swap of ONE ingredient.
Have you ever substituted Crisco (shortening) for butter when baking cookies? Growing up, my sisters and I used to bake a lot. As you may recall, it was something we did with my mother all the time. We also baked with my Auntie Sue (my father's sister) from time to time and the treat we made the most with her was her chocolate chip cookies. Her cookies were different. They were big, round, puffy, and soft. They tasted different from a typical cookie, too. They were just so good.
Her secret? Crisco.
Instead of butter, my Auntie Sue used Crisco. Because of this, the cookie dough doesn't spread. Instead, it keeps a round shape if you place the dough onto the sheets in round scoops. If you use butter, your dough will spread and flatten depending on the state of the butter when baked (if you refrigerate your dough and let the butter get more solid again, the cookies won't spread as much, but if you bake your dough straight from the mixer with melted butter or softened butter, your cookies will spread as they bake).
We always look back fondly at her cookies. Recently, we started reminiscing and therefore, started to crave her cookies again. In hopes to satisfy our craving and get a healthy hit of nostalgia, we decided to try to duplicate her recipe. We found a recipe claiming to be "the best chocolate chip cookie" and swapped out the butter for Crisco in hopes to recreate history. And while they weren't EXACTLY like our Auntie Sue's, they were pretty damn yummy and became our new favorite recipe.
If you're concerned about flavor when using Crisco over butter, don't be. What you miss from omitting butter, you get from the brown sugar. It adds a molasses-y touch that makes up for it. I also want to try these with different extracts. Mmm...raspberry extract. You know I can't resist chocolate and raspberry!
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from JoyFoodSunshine
- 1 cup Crisco (or your favorite shortening)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease cookie sheets (or line with parchment paper).
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar until combined.
- Add your eggs and vanilla. Mix until fluffy.
- Slowly add dry mixture into the wet mixture, mixing carefully.
- Add chocolate chips.
- Roll your dough into balls (I went for golf ball size) and place on prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the cookies are JUST starting to brown. DO NOT OVERBAKE! They may not seem done but trust me, THEY ARE.
- Cool on pans for 2-3 minutes and then move cookies to a cooling rack.