perfect chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate chip cookies hold a special place in everyone's heart. We all have certain memories associated with them...baking the prepackaged ones as kids, eating too much dough from the bowl and getting in trouble from our parents, eating them as a special treat at school or on a trip. Whatever your special memory of chocolate chip cookies is, I wanted to bring you a classic and delicious recipe that you can add to your family's go-to recipes. Now, these are a little unique in that I use graham cracker in the dough, a secret I learned from my darling friend Mathew Rice who is a pastry genius. They add a bit of texture and the taste is phenomenal. I also am a huge believer in dark I honestly can't eat some milk chocolate any longer. It just doesn't taste as good to me, so I always use dark chocolate. But of course, feel free to use your favorite type of chocolate! I am not here to judge your chocolate choices! These cookies are for sure gooey and chocolatey though. Like be careful or you'll be covered in chocolate kind of cookie...which is my favorite type. But be sure to read the instructions thoroughly and tips below to get it to be the perfect cookie for you. Whether you like them gooey or crispy, thick or thin, it really all depends on what tips you follow!

Tips on Ingredients:

I do say this often, but of course the better the ingredients, the better your food will always taste. However, I do like to go over which ingredients that you don't have to have the best quality for and those that I think are best to get better quality if possible.

The items I would suggest getting better quality for, due to their flavor profiles and how that will affect the bake. - Butter: I always suggest using a good quality when it comes to your dairy. This always helps the texture and flavor profile. I personally am a big fan of butter like Kerrygold. - Flour: this can be a little controversial for SURE, but I am always a believer in a good all-purpose flour. Some just don't hold up the same. You will notice a change in flavor if you're using a good quality...or even just one that hasn't expired/been sitting in an open bag. Always be sure that once you open a bag of flour that you seal it back up thoroughly or that you place it into sealed jars. - Chocolate: Yes, this one is really important. A good versus bleh chocolate is going to make the difference here people. So, my go to dark chocolates are Ghirardelli, Guittard, or my go to, the Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate baking bar. Now, a baking bar is a bit different, because I cut it up to make my chunks. But truly I love it because you get little flecks of chocolate everywhere, then huge chunks depending on how big you cut it. Best Tips and Knowledge to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies: - Creaming: Creaming the butter and sugar is an essential part of making cookies and baked goods. I always say do this for like 4-6 minutes. It's the difference between something having a granular and dense bake or a light and fluffy, clean bake. So take your time when creaming your butter. - Graham Cracker: Okay, while I love this addition and think it adds a special crunch to the cookie, it's okay if you don't/don't want to use it. So, if you would like to omit it, go for it, just replace the 1/4 graham cracker with an additional 1/4 cup of flour. It's that simple. - Salting: Salting post bake to me is essential for a delicious cookie, but I also understand that some people don't love a salty dessert. It is essential for the dough to be made with salt, but you can always omit the extra flakey salt on top of course. - Chilling Time: So, chilling the dough is a VERY important part of making any cookie. Most require it, but also this will dictate whether you have a thick or thin cookie. The longer they chill, the thicker they will be. My trick for making them thicker quicker, is to pop the dough into the fridge for 15-30 minutes, ball the dough and place it on a baking sheet with parchment paper, then toss it in the freezer for 1-3 hours. This will help the rise. If you have more time feel free to leave them in the fridge for 24 hours, or freeze the balled dough for 30 minutes, transfer to a freezer-safe bag or Tupperware. More chilling time always equals a fluffier cookie. - Saving Dough: If you decide not to bake all the dough at once, you can ball the dough, place it on parchment paper in the freezer for about 30-ish minutes (should be very cold), then transfer into a freezer-safe bag or Tupperware for up to 2 weeks. It can take a few extra minutes to bake, so keep your eyes on the oven to check.

- Bake Time: Now, this is the difference of a gooey or a crispy cookie. I like to bake mine crispy on the edges and gooey in the center. So, you bake for the minimum time below. But if you are a crisp all the way through, do the longer time. Also, each oven/altitude/climate can change your bake, so keep your eyes on the oven and bake to your liking. If your cookies are frozen, they may need an additional 1-3 minutes of baking time. I also check on mine to make sure the edges are brown and I use a spatula to make sure I can pick up the edges. - Puddles of Chocolate: To get those amazing puddles of chocolate on top of your cookies, there are a few tricks. My go-to is balling the dough, then taking extra chocolate chips on top of the ball, rolling again, and placing down onto the baking sheet. - Reusing Parchment Paper: Yes! As long as it's not completely burned, you can and should reuse the parchment paper during a bake, maybe using just 1-2 sheets for all the cookies. - Cool Baking Sheets: Now, you can reuse the parchment paper and of course you can bake using just 1-2 baking sheets. However, before you place dough or bake it, your baking sheets should always be cooled down. This helps with a good bake and keeping those cookies thick. - Perfect Circle: This is my favorite Cloudy Kitchen tip! Use a round cookie/biscuit cutter that’s just a bit bigger than your cookie. Right when the cookies come out of the oven, place cutter around cookies and quickly move cutter in a circle motion to create a perfect cookie shape while still warm and moldable. This makes for a perfectly circle cookie. - Reheating: If you are left with extra cookies after you bake, be sure to store in an air-tight container. Then when you go to eat them, be sure to heat those cookies before eating. I do about 20-30 seconds in the microwave before eating so they are nice and gooey!

Ingredients • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp • 1 1/4 brown sugar • 3/4 cup white • 2 large eggs, room temp • 2 tsp vanilla extract • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour • ¼ cup graham cracker, ground finely (with a blender or processor), optional (makes cookie more crispy) • 1 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 2 cups of dark chocolate chunks, divided • Extra flakey salt for topping cookies, optional

Instructions 1. In a large mixing bowl from your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, add butter and sugars into the bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined and fluffy. This can take up to 5-6 minutes. 2. Add eggs, one at a time. Then add in vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. 3. In a second medium to large bowl whisk flour, graham cracker, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the mixer turned onto low/medium speed. 5. Once well mixed, fold in 1 ½ cup of chocolate chips (leaving behind about ½ cup for topping balls). 6. Cover and chill dough in the fridge for 1-24 hours. I recommend chilling the dough for longer for a fluffier cookie. I personally put mine in the fridge 15 minutes, balled the dough onto parchment, then placed it in the freezer for 2 hours, then baked. This made for a higher rise on the cookie. More tips above. 7. When you’re ready to make cookies, preheat the oven to 350° F and prepare 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. 8. Scoop about 2 Tablespoon sized balls, add some of the remaining chocolate chunks to the top side of your ball. Roll again in your hands to smooth out as much as possible. Place balls onto baking sheets (chunks side up) and a few inches apart. 9. Bake for 10-12 minutes (1-3 extra minutes if frozen). Remove from oven and top with flakey salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack. 10. Enjoy!

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