5 classic American chocolate chip cookie recipes to bake at home

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Missing the sweet treats from your favourite coffee shop? Then satisfy your cravings with these delicious American chocolate chip cookie recipes, courtesy of Alison Roman, The Hummingbird Bakery, Gooey’s, Blondie’s Kitchen and pastry expert Heather Kaniuk.  

You’ve mastered banana bread, made your own tagliatelle, and even had a crack at hot cross buns. But if you’re missing taking a stroll to your favourite coffee shop for a sweet treat, then it’s time to consider adding chocolate chip cookies to your #quarantinecooking repertoire.

Cookies come in all shapes of sizes, of course, but we’re not talking about the crunchy, crumbly biscuits that break apart when you bite; rather the soft, saucer-sized, American-style chocolate chip versions you see stacked in bakery shop windows. The kind that once you smell walking down the street, you’re powerless to resist. 

To satisfy our cravings, we’ve asked five top cooks and bakeries to share their favourite chocolate chip cookie recipes. Pastry expert Heather Kaniuk’s rich chocolate chunk recipe is a classic, while Alison Roman’s salted butter and chocolate chunk shortbread is one you’ll return to again and again.

Prefer your chocolate chip cookies with nuts? Try The Hummingbird Bakery’s peanut butter recipe; the dark and white chocolate cookies with hazelnuts by American-style bakery Gooey’s; and the double chocolate peanut butter cookies from Blondie’s Kitchen (the UK’s only milk and cookie bar).

Freshly baked out of the oven, these cookies are just the thing to sweeten your tea break while working from home.

Gooey’s dark and white chocolate cookies recipe

Cookie recipes: Gooey's chocolate and white chocolate cookies

Gooey’s, an American-style bakery producing fresh cookies and doughnuts in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, is in the process of developing a home delivery service during the coronavirus lockdown. In the meantime, the owners have started a scheme called Feed Our Heroes to support NHS workers in Greater Manchester, which works alongside local restaurants and cafes to help provide meals for workers on the front line. You can donate to the fundraiser here

Recipe by Gooey head baker Lewis Loughman.

Makes 10 cookies

Ingredients

  • 210g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 85g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 655g plain flour 
  • 12g baking powder
  • 8g sea salt
  • 200g dark chocolate chips
  • 200g hazelnuts
  • 8g vanilla essence

Method

Preheat oven to 190°C.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. While you wait for those to cream, roughly chop the hazelnuts.

Once the butter and sugar is creamed, add the eggs and vanilla essence and mix until incorporated.

In a bowl, bring together the dry ingredients, then add this all to the wet ingredients in the mixer. Mix until completely homogeneous.

Finally add in the chocolate chips and mix again, making sure the chips are distributed evenly.

Scale the mix into individual lightly packed balls of 150g.

Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Bake at 190°C for 10 minutes.

If you can wait, allow the cookies to cool for around 20-30 minutes before eating.

Alison Roman’s salted butter and chocolate chunk shortbread recipe

Cookie recipes: Alison Roman's salted butter and chocolate chunk shortbread

These delicious salted butter and chocolate chunk shortbread are extracted from Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman (£22, Hardie Grant).

Alison Roman says: “I’ve always found chocolate chip cookies to be deeply flawed (to know this about me explains a lot). Too sweet, too soft, or with too much chocolate, there’s a lot of room for improvement, if you ask me. But no one asked me, and rather than do a complete overhaul on the most iconic cookie known to man, I took all my favourite parts and invented something else entirely.

Made with lots of salted butter, which has a slightly different flavour and a deeper saltiness than using just salt (I prefer unsalted butter everywhere else but here), the dough has just enough flour to hold it together and the right amount of soft brown sugar to suggest a chocolate chip cookie. The chocolate is cut into chunks to prevent chip congregation, and once the dough is formed into a cylindrical log, the whole thing gets rolled in demerara sugar for the crispiest-ever edges. Less chocolate chip cookie, more brown-sugar shortbread with chocolate chunks – they just might be the cookie you’ve been looking for.”

Note: if you find it tragically annoying to buy salted butter just for this recipe, you can use unsalted butter and add ¾ teaspoon kosher salt to the flour.

Do ahead: dough can be made ahead and stored, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or 1 month in the freezer. Cookies can be baked and stored in plastic wrap or an airtight container for 5 days.

Makes 24

Ingredients

  • 250g salted butter, cut into 1 cm (½ in) pieces
  • 110g sugar
  • 55g soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 335g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 175g semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped (you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • demerara or raw sugar, for rolling
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Method

Line a rimmed baking tray – two, if you’ve got ’em – with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium-high speed until super light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, followed by the chocolate chunks, and beat just to blend.

Divide the dough in half, placing each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic over so that it covers the dough, to stop your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay), form the dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. You can also do this using baking paper, if you prefer, but I find using plastic wrap easier when it comes to shaping the log. Each half should form two logs 5-6 cm (2-2¼ in) in diameter. Chill until totally firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Brush the outside of the logs with the beaten egg and roll them in the demerara sugar (this is for those really delicious crispy edges).

Slice each log into 1 cm (½ in) thick rounds, place them on the lined baking tray(s) about 2.5 cm (1 in) apart, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all. 

The Hummingbird Bakery peanut butter cookies recipe

Cookie recipes: The Hummingbird Bakery's peanut butter cookies

In the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, The Hummingbird Bakery is sharing baking advice and recipes twice a week on social media. Home bakers are also welcome to browse hummingbirdbakery.com, where cookbooks and baking merchandise are available to order. These delicious peanut butter cookies recipe are extracted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers (£11.99, Mitchell Beazley).

The Hummingbird Bakers say: “These are an all-time American favourite - and whether you put chocolate chips in or not is up to you! We use crunchy peanut butter for a better texture and flavour.”

Makes 24

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 240g crunchy peanut butter
  • 340g plain flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 75 g dark chocolate, chopped (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C (155°C fan)/ Gas 3½, and line 4 baking trays with greaseproof paper

Put the butter and sugars in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and beat in the vanilla extract and peanut butter.

Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well until a smooth dough is formed. Stir in the chocolate, if using, by hand until evenly dispersed.

Arrange six equal amounts of cookie dough on each prepared baking tray. Make sure that the cookies are spaced apart to allow for spreading while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for about ten minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and quite flat. Check them regularly to make sure they are not burning. When you are happy that they are cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the trays before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies should be soft and chewy.

Heather Kaniuk’s best ever chocolate chunk cookies recipe

Cookie recipes: Heather Kaniuk's best ever chocolate chunk cookies

Heather Kaniuk says: “This is the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever come across. I prefer to use a block of good quality chocolate chopped up for best results, keeping it chunky. The dough keeps well for a month in the freezer – just freeze the dough after scooping and allow the balls to defrost to room temperature before baking.”

Ingredients

  • 220g butter
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 240g chocolate chunks (use a mixture of dark and milk if you have it), plus a little extra for the tops
Cookie recipes: Heather Kaniuk's best ever chocolate chunk cookies

Method

Preheat your oven to 165°C.

Gently melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave. Set aside to cool.

Place the cooled melted butter, sugars and egg into a bowl of a stand mixer. Beat lightly just to combine.

Add the sifted dry ingredients, mix until just combined.

Lastly, add the chocolate chunks and mix to form a dough.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop balls of the dough onto a lined baking tray, allowing enough space for the cookies to spread. Top with a little extra chocolate chunks.

Bake the cookies for 5 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven and tap firmly on a firm surface. This helps the cookies to spread and creates the distinctive rustic cracked look.

Return to the oven, cooking for a further 5-8 minutes, or until lightly golden on the outside and gooey inside.

Blondie’s Kitchen double chocolate peanut butter cookies recipe

Cookie recipes: Blondie’s Kitchen double chocolate peanut butter cookies recipe

Makes 10-15 cookies

Prep time: 20 mins 

Bake time: 10 mins per tray

Ingredients

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten with a fork
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 30g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 200g quality milk chocolate pistols/chopped into chunks
  • 75g crunchy peanut butter (smooth will work if its all you have)
  • 100g salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and line two trays with greaseproof paper. Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy.

Add in the egg and beat until fully combined, before tipping in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Beat on a slow speed until just combined. Then tip in the chocolate and beat until it’s scattered evenly through the dough.

Swirl the peanut butter through the dough and beat on the slowest speed, and then sprinkle over the salty peanuts.

Ball the dough into 65g cookies and weigh each one so they bake the same. Leave plenty room between each cookie as they do spread when baking. You can cover and chill for 24 hours before baking but if you can’t wait…

Bake for 8-10 mins until the edges are crispy and the middles are soft. They will look under baked but they firm up once cooled on wire racks for at least 30 minutes. 

Serve with vanilla ice cream for dessert if you’re feeling fancy.

Photography: Peter Cassidy; Michael Graydon, Nikole Herriott

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.