Erika’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Erika is known for her chocolate chip cookies

My sister, Erika, is known for making chocolate chip cookies. She has baked thousands of these cookies…to rave reviews every time (and she always triples the batch!). This summer I asked her to make them for me and I’ve made them myself a time or two since. If you want a chocolate chip cookie recipe that comes out perfect every time, this is the one. I have made hundreds of batches of chocolate chip cookies and many, many different recipes. Sometimes they turn out great, other times I’m left wondering why they don’t hold their shape. This recipe is basically the quintessential chocolate chip cookie recipe. Perfect shape. Perfect bake. Little bit crispy on the outside with a nice soft and gooey middle and literally you can have one in your hands and belly within 20-30 minutes. 

Jump to Erika’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

So many versions of the perfect chocolate chip cookie are out there. Every person is going to have their own view (or nostalgic memory) of what the perfect chocolate chip cookie is to them. This cookie is my definition of the perfect bake-at-home chocolate chipper. It takes 20-30 minutes TOPS from mixing dough to baking to eating. The chocolate chip cookie holds its shape with just a little bit of crispy edges (not too crispy), but a soft and gooey middle. They are divine eaten warm after a few minute rest, but are also amazing frozen and snacked on straight from the freezer. If this is the kind of cookie you are looking for, look no further than this recipe. 

A Mix of Butter and Shortening

I admit it. For years I have kind of turned my nose up at this cookie…trying to find a better one because I did not want to bake with shortening. The truth is, the shortening is the key to this cookie. The mixture of equal parts butter and shortening (butter flavor or regular shortening is fine) is what helps this cookie hold its shape while increasing the tenderness of the cookie. Baking with shortening decreases the gluten production in the baked good resulting in a tender cookie AND gives you a taller cookie which makes it chewier. Butter on the other hand tends to give a crispier cookie and a richer flavor. All that said, equal parts of shortening and butter mixed together will produce the best homemade chocolate chip cookie. Can you substitute butter for the shortening, you may wonder? You can, but your cookie will be a little more crispy and a little less tender. 

Should I use Convection Bake?

This question deserves its own post. I believe that if you have a convection oven, your cookies should always be baked with the convection setting. Convection ovens have a fan and exhaust system that blow hot air around the food and then take it back out through a vent. This makes food cook more evenly and quickly than normal bake. For cookies this results in the perfect browning, a little bit crispy edges with a gooey middle. You can also cook many pans of cookies at a time in a convection oven and don’t have to worry about moving pans around halfway through the bake. Moral of the story: use it for cookies!

A Few Rules For Convection Bake

If a recipe does not specifically call for convection bake, the rule of thumb when using the convection setting is to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and bake for a little less time. In this recipe, these cookies bake at 350 degrees convection bake for 9 minutes. If you don’t have a convection oven, that is okay! You can still bake cookies and have them turn out amazing. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees on the standard bake setting (25 degrees higher than on convection bake) and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes (depending on how well done you like them). They will still taste amazing.

This is an example of cookies on left baked with convection. Cookies on the lower right are baked at the 375 degree temperature. They are a little darker, a little flatter but still delicious. The convection-baked cookies on the upper left look like perfection. If you have convection, use it!

Let the Cookies Rest

Another one of my cookie rules is to let the cookies set up just a bit on the pan after baking before moving them to a counter area. I usually like to give my cookies about 5 minutes resting on the pan to get them set up before moving them. The way the cookies cool helps set their shape. This in no way means you can’t snatch one up and eat a hot-off-the-pan cookie, but for the cookies you want to gift, freeze or eat a little later, give them a few minutes on the pan to set up and your cookie will be perfect. 

How to Freeze and Thaw Cookies

This recipe makes about 36 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie scoop (a favorite medium sized one linked, affiliate), but once the cookies are cooled, they can be frozen. I use a gallon-sized ziplock bag or a large Tupperware to freeze my extra cookies. They thaw well and I’ve even had kids (who am I kidding…I do it too from time to time) eat them slightly frozen from the freezer. You can give them a quick zap in the microwave to thaw or set them out a few hours before you need them, covered with plastic wrap, and they will be perfect. You can also freeze the cookie dough. I like to let the dough thaw before baking, but you can also bake from frozen, just add a minute or two to the bake time.

Does this recipe mean I’m done with searching for chocolate chip cookie recipes? No it doesn’t! I will always try any chocolate chip cookie recipe and keep testing and sampling new ones. But, this recipe is one I will bookmark and keep for the days that I need a quick and perfect chocolate chip cookie. They are so good. I hope you love them too!

Erika’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Quintessential chocolate chip cookies: Perfect shape. Perfect bake. Little bit crispy on the outside with a nice soft and gooey middle and only 20 minutes start to finish.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening butter flavor or regular
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you have a convection setting on your oven, use that instead and preheat to 350 degrees with convection.
  • Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, mix together the softened unsalted butter and shortening.
  • Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Mix until light and fluffy, usually a couple minutes.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix again until light and fluffy.
  • To the center of the bowl, add the baking soda, salt and one cup of the flour. Mix gently. Continue adding flour until all the flour is incorporated and mix until just combined. Feel the dough. If it feels too greasy/sticky, add another Tablespoon or two of flour. You want the dough to feel light and fluffy but it should not be overly sticky on your fingers.
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
  • On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drop spoonfuls of cookie dough using a cookie scoop (affiliate link). Each parchment-lined sheet should hold 12 cookies per pan.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees OR bake for 9 minutes using the convection setting until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes to set up before transferring to the counter to cool. Enjoy!
Keyword chocolate chip cookie

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Candy Jar Cookies

Most recent candy is from Easter

Do you keep a candy jar in your kitchen? I fill small bottles for every season and holiday with colorful candies. For me it is a decoration and an experiment in self control. My kids look at it as rewards for those special times I’ll let them pick something “from my jar” and my husband just likes that I’ve actually bought some candy and not just a bunch of ingredients to make things. I actually think he’s the one who gets into the jars the most frequently, especially when I put the gummy candy in…those are his favorites.

How do I use the leftover candy?

We really don’t eat a lot of the candy throughout the season and when it is time to change my jars, I end up with a lot of leftover candy. Instead of throwing the candy away, we like to make our favorite Candy Jar Cookies with the leftovers. These cookies can be made using any candy but I think they are best with a chocolate, caramel or peanut butter type candy. Do you still have Easter candy lying around? What about Valentines or even Christmas or dare I say Halloween? Any candy will work. You could also substitute chocolate chips or any of your favorite “chips” that you have lying around. That is one of the big perks of these cookies–use what you have so you don’t have to make an extra trip to the store.

These cookies are chewy, soft on the inside and have crispy edges. The addition of oatmeal gives them a yummy texture and the base of the cookie is so good that you can customize these to be whatever flavor you like. They are also quick and easy to make. You can double the recipe easily if you have a lot of candy to use up or neighbor kids to feed. One of my other tips in making these is whatever candy you choose, give them a quick whirl in the blender or chop them up a bit so they are about the size of chocolate chips. This will help the candy be more uniform and you get a delicious bite in every cookie.

These Cookies are so simple to make

One of the best parts of these cookies, is how simple they are to make. My eight year old son made these for us the other day and they were delicious. They check all the boxes: using up food from my pantry–check! Quick and easy–check! Have your kids make them for you–check, check, check! I hope you will be enjoying one of these cookies ASAP, whether you make them or give the recipe to one of your kids to make as a homework assignment…you’ll want to check for quality control purposes of course 🙂

Candy Jar Cookies

Yield: About 1 1/2 – 2 dozen cookies

Time: 15 minute mix, 10 minute bake

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½  teaspoon vanilla
  • ½  teaspoon baking soda
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (about 5 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup candy (chocolate, caramel, peanut butter candies work the best, you can also use chocolate chips or a combination of favorite “chips”)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, regular bake or 325 degrees convection bake. If your oven has a convection setting, do yourself and your cookies a favor and use it (I’ll explain why below)!
  2. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, mix the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar into the butter and mix again until creamy.
  3. Add the eggs and mix again. Add the vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix together. Alternatively, if you don’t want to dirty another bowl (I almost always do it this with a large family and lots of dishes to wash), add the baking soda, baking powder and salt to the wet mixture and then add the oats and flour. Mix to combine.
  5. Crush up your candy of choice until it’s about the size of chocolate chips. I throw the candy in my blender and give it a couple of pulses for the larger pieces of candy. If you are using chocolate chips, you don’t need to do this step. 
  6. Pour the candy into the cookie dough and mix to combine.
  7. Scoop the cookie dough into balls (about 2 Tablespoons per ball) and place a couple inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. 12 cookies should fit on a half sheet cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. If you are using the convection setting, bake at 325 degrees for 7 ½ minutes. Let cookies cool on the pan about 5 minutes before cooling. 

Recipe Notes: If your oven has convection bake, do yourself a favor and use it when baking cookies. It will give you a crispier crust, chewier middle and better overall cookie. Typically when you bake using convection you will decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees what most typical recipes recommend. You will also decrease the baking time a bit. However, be careful, because some ovens try to “help” you by subtracting the 25 degrees for you. For example, when I bake these cookies I have to type in 350 degrees to my convection setting and my oven will set it at 325 degrees convection. If I set my oven at 325 convection setting, my oven will set itself at 300 degrees. Double check your settings when you are first learning about convection baking.

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