This large chocolate chip cookie is soft, chewy and not too sweet. Flaky salt, edible gold flakes and its large size elevates this classic treat for gift giving and special occasions.
Fancy Ways to Elevate Chocolate Chip Cookies for Gift Giving
Chocolate chip cookies are the no-drama treats that everyone needs in their recipe box (ahem!..macarons...). My husband's favorite sweet treat of mine is this fancy soft chocolate chip cookie which I can whip up easily and turns out perfectly every time! It's a modified version of my friend, Olivia's perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I made these cookies a lot, each time tailoring them for our own tastes while adding fancy elements to it for special occasions. This is my go-to cookie for gift giving, I always get a special text back from my from loved ones that they LOVED the cookie so much.
I know... I know... although delicious and irresistible, regular chocolate chip cookies may seem a bit basic for gift giving or special occasions. To make them look and taste "fancier", they can be elevated with the use of:
- Better chocolate chips - since chocolate is such an integral part to the flavor profile, using a better chocolate is an easy and immediate way to instantly bring your chocolate chip cookies up to another level.
- Flakey salt - provides a nice contrast to the sweetness in chocolate, giving the the cookie a more complex flavor pairing.
- Edible gold flakes - nothing says fancy better than pure gold 🙂 Using just a tiny amount of edible gold will bring up the glam factor for gift giving.
- Giant size - making these chocolate chip cookies in a larger size makes them look substantial inside a gift box, you only need a few to make a big impact. Alternatively, they can be made in the regular small sizes too.
Using Cake Flour for Soft Cookies
When I was taking pastry classes during my free time, I remembered one of my instructors was a real "flour snob". I say this endearingly as I did indeed learn a lot from him. He was very particular with his flours and declared that, "all-purpose flour is good for nothing!" According to him, cake flour should be used for better cookie texture and I have followed this advice ever since.
Cake flour is one of the reasons for the soft texture in this chocolate chip cookie. It is a low protein flour which will help make this cookie softer than if using AP flour. It usually has a protein content between 6-8% while pastry flour, also a lower protein flour, usually has a protein content between 8-9%. Grocery stores usually sell a combination of cake and pastry flour at 7-9% protein. Cake flour can be substituted with all-purpose flour but the cookies won't turn out as soft. The best results come with using the correct flour for the recipe so it's best to use cake flour. It's not expensive so I recommend stocking a bag in your pantry, many cakes like this tender chocolate cream cheese pound cake will have fluffier and lighter texture just by substituting AP flour for cake flour.
Although it's not entirely the same, cake flour can be simulated by removing some of the AP flour and then replacing it with corn starch. The idea behind it is to remove some of the protein while preventing gluten formation with the addition of the cornstarch. (Source: Bob's Red Mill)
Freezing Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Chocolate chip cookie dough can be frozen for future use making it an extremely convenient last-minute treat for unexpected guests, bake sales, gift giving, parties and special events. I always keep half the dough in the freezer so I can make freshly baked chocolate chip cookies whenever I want. To freeze dough:
- After all the ingredients have been incorporated, divide up the dough into two equal parts and place on a piece of plastic wrap.
- Place another piece of plastic on top and gently push down until the dough is at a one inch thickness. Seal off the sides and fold up the excess to secure in place.
- Wrap one more time with plastic wrap and note date with a marker. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
- To bake, defrost the cookie dough in the fridge overnight. To quickly defrost, place frozen cookie dough in a Ziplock freezer bag, push all the air out and seal. Submerge bag in cold water (not warm or hot) and weigh it down with a mug. It should defrost to a workable consistency within an hour or so. The dough can be baked partially frozen, watch it and give it one or two minutes more if needed.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Cake flour (or pastry flour) - cake flour usually has a protein content between 6-8% while pastry flour, also a lower protein flour, usually has a protein content between 8-9%. Both can be used in this recipe. Although it's not entirely the same, for this recipe, cake flour can be simulated by removing 4 tbsp of the AP flour and then replacing the same amount with corn starch. Make sure to sift several times to ensure the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed.
- Baking soda - is a leavening agent. It is not the same as baking powder.
- Butter, unsalted - butter should be at room temperature so it can be uniformly creamed with the sugar, allowing air to be trapped inside resulting in an airy texture after baking. Melted or cold butter will not work for this recipe.
- Demerara sugar is a type of brown sugar, it contains molasses in a smaller amount than dark brown sugar so it has a more mellow caramel flavor. It can be substituted with brown sugar or granulated sugar but will change the taste and texture of the chocolate chip cookies. If using brown sugar, it will have a stronger caramel flavor. With granulated sugar, it will be more crisp.
- Granulated sugar or white sugar gives the cookie a bit of crispiness. This recipe can be made with 100% white sugar, brown sugar or combination. There will be changes in the taste and texture. I find the ratio of different sugars used in this recipe is at an optimal level for chewiness and softness. If you really want to buy only one type of sugar for this recipe, I recommend using all demerara, it helps make the cookie softer.
- Sea salt - salt brings out the flavors in the chocolate and contrasts well with the sweetness. It gives the cookie a more complex flavor. If using regular table salt, use half the amount.
- Vanilla extract - vanilla helps enhance the flavors in the chocolate chip cookie and just makes the dough more flavorful. There is already a lot of other ingredients in this soft chocolate chip cookie to support the flavor profile so this ingredient can be left out if you don't want to buy it.
- Large eggs - eggs should be at room temperature for better incorporation with the batter. To speed up the process of bringing cold eggs to room temperature, soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- Chocolate chips plus more for sprinkling - I like to use chocolate chips inside the batter and sprinkle large couverture chocolate chip callets on top of the dough ball before baking. This allows the chocolate to sit on top of the cookie after baking and is purely an aesthetic choice, you can skip this if you're in a hurry. Note that chocolate chips are formulated not to melt while callets are meant to be melted into the recipe. Sprinkling some callets on top gives the chocolate chip cookie a gooey chocolatey goodness. I don't recommend using callets inside the batter as it will melt while baking causing the dough to spread.
- Optional: flaky salt like Maldon. Inspired by one of the recipes in Jackie Kai Ellis' beautiful memoir, I like to infuse my salt with vanilla like the way she instructs. In an air tight container, add 1/4 cup Maldon salt, break open vanilla bean, scoop out the seeds, add into salt and stir to combine. Add bean into salt to further infuse flavor. It will be ready to use after 2 days. A substitution for flaky salt can be sea salt, it won't have the same texture but will provide a similar taste.
- Optional: gold flakes. Pure gold pounded into very thin sheets provides cookies with fancy gold accents.
Tips for the Best Large Cookies
- Allow batter to firm up in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or better yet, overnight, before baking. This helps in better flavor development and appearance. The dough is easier to shape when it's cold and doesn't spread as much, creating a beautiful rippled edge when baked.
- When rolling out the dough balls, keep half of it in the fridge so it remains cold as you work.
- Flatten the dough ball before baking. This will help the large cookies spread out into a disk shape instead of remaining domed. Skip this step for small sized cookies.
- For the best soft cookie texture, watch the cookies closely during the last few minutes of baking. For large cookies, use a lower heat (325F) to allow the entire cookie time to bake through fully instead of having the edges be done before the insides have fully baked through. The cookies are done when the edges are golden brown and the tops are slightly golden. Remember the cookies will continue to cook on the hot cookie sheet.
Step By Step
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda and salt. Stir well to combine. In a separate bowl, cream room temperature butter and sugar together on med-high until lighter in color and fluffy.
Lower mixer speed to medium, add eggs one at at time until fully incorporated. The mixture will look glossy and smooth.
Add vanilla extract. Turn off mixer and add dry ingredients in 3 separate additions. Stir on lowest setting until just combined. Do not over mix.
Add chocolate chips and mix until chips are evenly dispersed. Stop mixer, fold in the rest of the dry ingredients by hand.
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until firm, about 3 hours. If time allows, let sit overnight for better flavor development. To bake, pre-heat oven to 325F. Roll cold dough into golf ball sized spheres (50 grams each) and place them 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
Flatten with palms to a height of around 1 cm and add a few chocolate chips on top. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. The center may be puffy and light golden in color. (Note: it will continue to cook on the hot baking pan once out of the oven.)
Take out of oven, lightly sprinkle flaky salt on top. Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack (5 minutes for smaller size.) Place in an air tight container for up to 5 days. Before serving or packaging, add gold flakes to chocolate. Enjoy!
- 285 grams cake flour* (Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 225 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 210 grams brown demerara sugar
- 70 grams granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips plus more for sprinkling
- Optional: flaky salt
- Optional: edible gold flakes
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda and salt. Stir well to combine. (Note 2)
- In a separate bowl, cream room temperature butter and sugar together on med-high until lighter in color and fluffy.
- Lower mixer speed to medium, add eggs one at at time until fully incorporated. The mixture will look glossy and smooth.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Turn off mixer and add dry ingredients in 3 separate additions. Stir on lowest setting until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Add chocolate chips and mix until chips are evenly dispersed.
- Stop mixer, fold in the rest of the dry ingredients by hand.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until firm, about 3 hours. If time allows, let sit overnight for better flavor development.
- To bake, pre-heat oven to 325F. Roll cold dough into golf ball sized spheres (50 grams each) and place them 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
- Flatten with palms to a height of around 1 cm and add a few chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. The center may be puffy and slightly golden. Note: it will continue to cook on the hot baking pan once out of the oven. (See Note 3 for temperature and time for small cookies.)
- Take out of oven, lightly sprinkle flaky salt on top.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
- Place in an air tight container for up to 5 days. Before serving or packaging, add gold flakes to chocolate. Enjoy!
1. Although it's not entirely the same, for this recipe, cake flour can be simulated by removing 4 tbsp of the AP flour and then replacing it with corn starch.
2. If using AP flour to substitute, make sure to sift several times so the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed.
3. For regular sized cookies, bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
This recipe makes 20 large cookies or 36 regular ones (using medium cookie scoop). See post on how to freeze dough.
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Valrhona Chocolate Chips Dark 60% 1LB Bag
Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White Fine Pastry Flour, 5-pound
Manetti 23K Edible Gold | Semi-Loose Leaves | 3.4" x 3.4" Inches | 5 Leaves Booklet
Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, 4 ounces
Maldon Salt, Sea Salt Flakes, 8.5 oz (240 g), Kosher, Natural, Handcrafted, Gourmet, Pyramid Crystals
Cooptop Premium Silicone Spatula Set of 3 - Heat Resistant Baking Spoon & Spatulas - Pro Grade Non-stick Silicone with Steel Core (Dark Grey)
Amount Per Serving Calories 391Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 43mgSodium 187mgCarbohydrates 71gFiber 1gSugar 59gProtein 2g
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although indulgewithmimi.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.