Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe on Food52
In 1999, my dad and I memorized how to make chocolate chip cookies in case Y2K actually happened. I’m not sure what kind of world we were expecting if it had, but we feared the future might be cookie-less. And a world without the classic Nestlé Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe was not a world we wanted to live in. I admit, that was pretty ridiculous and, yes, we were mostly joking. Partially because I actually did memorize the recipe and still have it memorized to this day. In fact, when people ask, “What’s your favorite thing to make?” (and when you cook for a living you get asked this question often), I always say: chocolate chip cookies. Those cookies are always the first in mind, for me, which is helpful because when you’ve got a recipe memorized, it’s easy to experiment with it. After many years of sweet successes and admitted failures, I came up with my own “perfect cookie combo” based on the classic recipe. Though, after so many adjustments, it’s arguably become a new recipe of its own. In my cookies, I use milk and dark chocolate chips, some heartily ground oats, whole-wheat flour, and a big pinch of coarse salt, plus a little more for sprinkling on top. I was curious to see how others personalize their baker's dozens, so I did a little crowdsourcing on Instagram. Some suggested replacing some of the all-purpose flour with bread or pastry flour. Others traded in chocolate chips for chunks or wafers. There were plenty of suggested pinches and dashes of things from cardamom to orange zest. But one comment was so intriguing, I had to try it out for myself: "With buttermilk added, please and thank you," the comment read. Which immediately sent me on a mission to create a buttermilk-y chocolate chip cookie! After all, why have milk and cookies when you could have (butter)milk IN cookies? I had to make a few adjustments to accommodate for the extra liquid. I started by adding some more flour. Since the acidity in the buttermilk would naturally help the cookies rise and help bind the dough, I decreased the amount of eggs to one. I also chilled the dough before baking. (This prevents the cookies from flattening too much in the oven.) And, inspired by a recent trip to Levain Bakery, I decided to make these cookies really, really LARGE. The colossal cookies have both a slightly cakey texture with a gooey, moist center. And the touch of tang from the buttermilk is the perfect counterbalance to the incredible sweet, slightly salty dough. You could make these cookies smaller if you wanted, but their gargantuan size helps make them the perfect texture. This dough recipe makes nine LARGE cookies, which I like to bake three at a time. Each chocolate chip cookie comes out perfectly this way. And, like all cookies, this big buttermilk CCC is easy to customize. So how will you personalize yours?