How to Make Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies (And How to Substitute Ingredients)

Chocolate chip cookies have never tasted better.
Chocolate chip cookies have never tasted better.
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Chef Tracy Wilk has made a lot of chocolate chip cookies in her day. This recipe, which she taught us at the Institute of Culinary Education, is her go-to. It balances savory and sweet and creates an addictive chocolate chip cookie that has some surprises in store (like a mix of white, dark, and milk chocolate).

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

235 grams (1 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour
3 grams (½ teaspoon) baking soda
2 grams (½ teaspoon) fine sea salt
170 grams (6 ounces) butter, room temperature
165 grams (¾ cup) light brown sugar
110 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
4 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
300 grams (2 cups) chocolate (mix of white, dark, and milk), chopped
Maldon sea salt, as desired for sprinkling on top of cookies

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Place flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the butter and sugar. You want to mix on medium speed until the butter is fluffy. This will take about 5-10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the butter.

4. Once the butter and sugar is creamed, turn the speed to low. Crack your eggs into the container, and add your eggs and vanilla. Mix for about 30 seconds, just until combined.

5. Turn the stand mixer off and add your dry ingredients. Mix on slow speed until about three-quarters of the way combined. Turn machine off and add chopped chocolate, and mix on slow speed until the mixture just comes together.

6. Using a 1 ½ ounce ice cream scoop, divide the dough into 24 equal balls, pressing the palm of your hand against the scoop for a flat surface. Place cookie dough balls on a full sheet tray that has been lined with parchment paper and allow the dough to chill for at least 30 minutes.

7. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with a pinch of Maldon sea salt.

8. Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from sheet tray.

How to Substitute Cookie Ingredients

Chef Wilk used the recipe as a starting point to teach a lesson on the chemistry of cookies. Here are a few substitutions she experimented with, and the way they affect the final product.

Chocolate chips: Chef Wilk's recipe calls for high-quality couverture chocolate, which melts into a gooey final product. Commonly available chocolate discs have a similar effect. Chocolate chips have a lower cocoa butter content, which means they don’t melt at the temperature used in the recipe. Use chips if you prefer a less gooey cookie.

Melted butter: Using melted butter, rather than the recipe’s softened butter, allows less air to enter the cookie dough during the “creaming” stage. This creates a cookie with less rise and a bit of extra crispiness, along with a slightly nuttier flavor that some find appealing.

Brown sugar: Brown sugar has molasses, so a recipe that subs out all the white sugar for brown has a more distinct molasses taste. Because brown sugar is more acidic, it also activates the baking soda a bit more, creating a slightly puffier cookie.

White sugar: Conversely, subbing out all the brown sugar for white activates less baking soda. The result is a cookie that rises less and spreads more. It also lacks a certain depth of flavor that the brown sugar provides.

Baking powder: By subbing out baking soda for baking powder, the cookie puffed up a bit more in the middle, but had a less uniform rise.

Gluten free: Using gluten-free flour created a predictably less chewy cookie (because one of the defining characteristics of gluten is the chewiness it imparts in the presence of water). It also had less structure, and was more apt to crumble rather than breaking apart.

Vegan: Chef Wilk also tried an entirely vegan “healthy” cookie, swapping in canola oil for the butter, vegan dark chocolate for the chocolate combination, coconut sugar for brown sugar, and whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. As Chef Wilk admitted herself, there may well be a delicious vegan cookie recipe out there, but this isn’t it!

Blue Apron’s Memorial Day Sale Will Save You $60 On Your First Three Boxes

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

If you’ve gone through all the recipes you had bookmarked on your phone and are now on a first-name basis with the folks at the local pizzeria, it might be time to introduce a new wrinkle into your weekly dinner menu. But instead of buying loads of groceries and cookbooks to make your own meal, you can just subscribe to a service like Blue Apron, which will deliver all the ingredients and instructions you need for a unique dinner.

And if you start your subscription before May 26, you can save $20 on each of your first three weekly boxes from the company. That means that whatever plan you choose—two or four meals a week, vegetarian or the Signature plan—you’ll save $60 in total.

With the company’s Signature plan, you’ll get your choice of meat, fish, and Beyond foods, along with options for diabetes-friendly and Weight Watchers-approved dishes. The vegetarian plan loses the meat, but still allows you to choose from a variety of dishes like General Tso's tofu and black bean flautas.

To get your $60 off, head to the Blue Apron website and click “Redeem Offer” at the top of the page to sign up.

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Chuck E. Cheese Disguises Itself as Pasqually's Pizza & Wings on Delivery Apps

gsheldon/iStock via Getty Images
gsheldon/iStock via Getty Images

Chuck E. Cheese is best known for its arcades, ball pits, and birthday parties—things that have become health hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant part of the chain is less beloved, but it's the only component of the business that's still allowed to operate under some capacity. To keep revenue flowing while doors are closed, Chuck E. Cheese has transitioned to delivery—but you won't see its name on GrubHub or Seamless. As Food & Wine reports, the chain is delivering food under the name Pasqually's Pizza & Wings to broaden its appeal.

Reddit user u/KendallNeff uncovered the sneaky rebranding after she placed an order from what she thought was a local pizzeria in Philadelphia. When her food arrived, it looked suspiciously familiar. A text to her delivery person revealed that the pizza had come from a Chuck E. Cheese location with signs for "Pasqually's Pizza & Wings" in windows. The Redditor did some research of her own and found that Pasqually's and Chuck E. Cheese shared an address, and that Pasqually P. Pieplate was the name of a fictional chef in Chuck E. Cheese's cast of characters.

Chuck E. Cheese denies any deception on their part. In a statement to Food & Wine, the company said that while Pasqually's "shares kitchen space with the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant," it's a distinct offshoot of the brand. They also claim that the product sold under the Pasqually's label "is a different pizza that features a thicker crust and extra sauce," compared to what's served in the arcades.

One way to avoid falling for misleading names in delivery apps is to look up restaurants and call them directly. This saves small business from paying extra fees, and it gives you a better idea of what you're getting. Of course, if you're feeling nostalgic for Chuck E. Cheese, a taste of their pizza at home may be just what you need—and now you know how to find them.

[h/t Food & Wine]