There were two major influences on this recipe: the Nestle Toll House back-of-the-package recipe (which I think we can all agree is pretty much The Standard as far as chocolate chip cookies go) and a recipe from Christina Tosi’s cookbook Milk Bar Life.
It’s thanks to Christina’s recipe that I discovered the wonders of this one special ingredient that makes all the difference.
Have you ever used powdered milk in cookies?
Before coming across Christina’s recipe, it had never occurred to me to use milk powder in anything except my California Emergency Earthquake Preparedness Kit.
But nibbling on the first cookie in the batch, I was amazed by the subtle caramel flavor and slightly chewy texture it gave the cookies.
Right then and there, I decided that milk powder deserved a spot in more of my cookie recipes — and particularly my signature chocolate chip cookies!
Milk powder, also called powdered milk, keeps forever in the pantry (which is why it’s so good in emergency kits). Even once the package is opened, milk powder will keep for several months if kept in an airtight container.
Aside from the milk powder, this is a pretty straightforward adaptation of the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe — though I daresay I’ve managed to make a few improvements on the classic.
I prefer an equal mix of brown sugar and regular white sugar, just like the original recipe, but I’ve found that I like ever-so-slightly more flour in my cookies.
This gives the cookies a sturdier structure that is both satisfying to eat and also less likely to crumble when squished into a lunchbox or shipped to a friend.
I also highly recommend giving the batter at least a 30-minute chill in the fridge before scooping the cookies and baking them. This lets the dough have time to hydrate and firm up.
If you’re in a rush, it’s fine to bake them right away, but they will spread out more and have a thinner, more delicate structure.
Bake these cookies only until you see that the tops are fully puffed and the edges are starting to look toasty, then let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack.
As they cool, the puffy dome will collapse on top of the chocolate chips inside, giving the cookies their signature crinkled, craggy appearance.
These chocolate chip cookies are absolutely irresistible on the day they are made: the edges are buttery and crispy, the middles are soft and chewy, and the chocolate chips are perfectly semi-melty.
They lose some of their crispness overnight, becoming softer. But I promise they are no less delicious and no less capable of satisfying your cookie cravings.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
If you’re feeling wild, add up to 3/4 cup of any of the following: chopped nuts, peanut butter chips, crumbled graham crackers, rice krispies, cornflakes, toffee chips, or other small candy.
Freezer instructions: Freeze individual scoops of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet until firm. Transfer to a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake straight from the freezer, adding an extra minute or two to the cooking time.
Adapted from Nestle Toll House.
- 2 1/2 (350g) cups all-purpose four
- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (161g) dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks, or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounce bag (about 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1 Mix the dry ingredients: In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, milk powder, salt, and baking soda and whisk to mix. Set aside.
2 Mix the sugars and the butter: With an electric mixer or in a stand mixer with a beater attachment, beat together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and softened butter on medium speed until combined, 30 to 60 seconds. Pick out any large pebbles of hard brown sugar that you see. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters.
3 Mix in the eggs and vanilla: Add the two eggs and vanilla to the butter-sugar mixture and beat at medium speed until no clumps or streaks remain, 10 to 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters.
4 Mix in the flour mixture: Add the flour mixture all at once. Beat on low speed just until no more dry streaks of flour are visible, 20 to 40 seconds. You may still see some flecks of milk powder — this is fine.
5 Mix in the chocolate chips: Add all of the chocolate chips and beat on low speed for just a few seconds until the chips are evenly incorporated.
6 Chill the dough: Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beater. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to three days. (Or freeze in individual scoops for up to 3 months.)
7 Heat the oven to 375F: Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheet with silicon baking mats or parchment.
I usually bake my cookies one sheet at a time to help them bake evenly. If you prefer, or are crunched for time, bake two sheets at a time with one sheet in the upper third of the oven and the other in the lower third of the oven.
8 Scoop the dough: Use a medium cookie scoop (or a well-mounded tablespoon measure) to scoop the dough out onto one of the baking sheet. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart.
9 Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes: While the first batch bakes, scoop the cookies for the next batch.
The cookies are done when they look slightly puffed in the middle and are starting to turn toasty at the edges.
10 Cool the cookies: Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, or until the puffed middle collapses down and the cookies have firmed a little. Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
11 Continue baking cookies in batches until all the cookie dough has been used.
12 Enjoy! These cookies are at their crispiest best on the day they are made. Store leftovers in an airtight container; they will soften a little overnight but are still very delicious. They keep for about a week before becoming crumbly (at which point, I recommend crumbling them over ice cream!).
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