A melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece, the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie is the middle ground with the best characteristics of all our cookie types: a little crispy and a little chewy with just the right amount of cake-like softness. This baseline recipe beautifully balances all of the ingredients and variables we manipulate to get the desired results in our Cakey, Crispy, and Chewy variations. Using slightly more brown sugar than granulated sugar keeps the Classic crisp on the edges and tender in the center. A standard amount of all-purpose flour and leavener lends a hint of airy texture.
Who Does it Best: Macrina Bakery, Seattle
With its signature cake-like lift, this softy is the inflated version of the Classic. The airiest and lightest of the bunch, the Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookie has more flour than the rest, which gives it more height. We compensate for the extra flour by adding milk, which keeps the cookie tender. The addition of lower-protein cake flour to the all-purpose flour keeps the cookie soft (cake flour produces less gluten). To give it even more height, we included baking powder as an added leavening agent. While the Cakey cookie bakes, the soda and powder break down into carbon dioxide gas, which makes the dough rise. These gases also leave little holes in the cookie, making it lighter. The higher the proportion of butter to other ingredients, the more your cookie will spread as it bakes, so we reduced the amount of butter and the amount of granulated sugar (which causes crispiness) to help keep these cookies thick and supple
Who Does it Best: Jacques Torres, New York City
When you break the Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookie, there’s no bend—only that satisfying snap. Brown sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs more moisture from the air, and has more moisture than granulated sugar. Taking brown sugar out of the equation is the main factor that gives this cookie its lightness and crunch. As the Crispy cookie cools, the granulated sugar recrystallizes giving it even more crispness.
Who Does it Best: Tartine, San Francisco
Most of the Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie’s chew comes from the addition of cornstarch and substituting bread flour for some of the all-purpose flour. Bread flour has more protein than all-purpose flour, which helps with gluten development. The more gluten you have, the denser your cookie will be. Reducing the amount of egg whites beefs up the dough by removing some of the moisture and reduces the amount of spread. When cooked, egg yolk forms a protein shell that keeps the cookie’s interior tender, and gives it an even chewy texture throughout. Using melted butter reduces the amount of air creamed into the batter, keeping the cookies more compact and moist.
Who Does it Best: Levain Bakery, New York City