Kitchn Love Letters

I’ve Baked Hundreds of Chocolate Chip Cookies — These Are the Best I’ve Ever Had

published Sep 30, 2023
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Overhead view of chocolate chip cookies on a white stone surface and cookie in the top right corner has a bite taken out of it.
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer ; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

If you’ve ever been to a Milk Bar bakery or been gifted some goodies from there, you know that the franchise leans heavily into nostalgic favorites with a twist (think: Cereal Milk soft-serve). I have been a big fan of chef-owner Christina Tosi’s recipes (she has written several cookbooks) and her updated versions of comfort-food classics. So when I found her recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I knew I had to include them in our recipe showdown. 

At first glance, the recipe ingredients look rather traditional: butter, brown and granulated sugars, egg, vanilla, flour, salt, leavening, and standard chocolate chips. Oh, but wait, what’s that in the middle of the ingredient list? Aah, a couple of tablespoons of nonfat milk powder. I needed to know if this was enough to make her recipe stand out in a significant way. 

Get the recipe: Christina Tosi’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to Make Christina Tosi’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Because you don’t need to chill the dough before baking, these cookies come together quickly. As the oven preheats, you’ll mix together — by hand — softened butter with brown and granulated sugars. Once those ingredients are thoroughly combined, you’ll stir in an egg and some vanilla extract until the mixture becomes fluffy. 

In a separate bowl, you’ll then combine all-purpose flour, some nonfat milk powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. You’ll then stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, stir in the chocolate chips, scoop the dough onto baking sheets, and bake the cookies. They’ll take 10 to 12 minutes in the oven, and should be cooled completely on the baking sheets.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer ; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

My Honest Review of Christina Tosi’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, the recipe does require some elbow grease, and you’ll get a nice arm workout stirring together the dough. I liked that about this recipe; I love it when I can get more “analog” with something I’m cooking. (If that’s not your jam, see my tips below.) 

These cookies immediately sent me into nostalgic bliss, as they spread a little on the pan and baked up slightly thin — looking just like the chocolate chip cookies of my childhood from the Better Homes & Gardens checkerboard cookbook. They were crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle, which to me is the chocolate chip cookie ideal. The recipe uses a standard 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips (I used semisweet), which provides plenty of rich bits in the cookies while also allowing you to enjoy the actual cookie part, too.

The cookie base itself gains amazing depth of flavor from two things. First, a good bit of table salt (1 1/4 teaspoons) balances and amplifies the flavors of the butter, sugar, and chocolate so that each of those ingredients tastes like itself times two. The milk powder (one of Tosi’s favorite baking ingredients) creates a creamy vanilla effect in the dough, along with adding a sort of malty richness that I couldn’t get enough of. With its stir-together ease, speed of preparation, and superior flavor through and through, this recipe was a real winner. 

If You’re Making Christina Tosi’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies, a Few Tips

  1. Know that you can use a mixer if you want. Although I enjoyed mixing together the dough by hand, I’ll admit that it’s a workout. You can certainly make the dough with an electric mixer instead. First cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed, then add the egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and then add the chocolate chips and mix until they’re just combined (trying not to overbeat, which could make the dough too soft).
  2. Line your pan with parchment paper. The recipe calls for coating baking sheets with cooking spray, but I never bake cookies without lining my pans with parchment paper. The paper helps to even out any hot spots on the pan and always ensures the cookies don’t stick. 
  3. Vary the chocolate. The recipe calls for a 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips, and I went with semisweet, as they’re traditional. But you could use milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips to suit your preference or use a combo. Or you could opt to chop 12 ounces of your own favorite chocolate by hand.

Overall rating: 10/10