The Most Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (Make Now or Make Ahead!)

Today I’d like to talk about chocolate chip cookies. It’s so tempting these days to try and alter classic treats to accommodate the eating trend of the week. Chocolate chip cookies–a classic American sweet that has been around since 1939–does not need reinventing. They are perfect just the way they are.

A friend in college introduced me to her grandmother’s recipe, and it was love at first chewy, chocolatey, buttery bite. White flour, unsalted butter, sugar, and lots of chocolate chips. Yes, there are dozens of “classic” chocolate chip cookie recipes. But this recipe is perfect in a few ways.

First, this is a big-batch recipe. We’re talking at least four dozen. No more hiding the goods from your family if you need them for an event; you can eat your baby’s weight in cookie dough and still have enough to take to the office.

Second, the “secret” ingredient of hot water helps the baking soda to activate more quickly, resulting in a perfectly shaped cookie. Run, don’t walk to your mixer and make these today!

The most perfect chocolate chip cookies recipe ever

Perfectly Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Recipe adapted from my friend’s grandma)

In a mixer, cream together until smooth:
1 c. butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar

3 eggs (add one at a time)
4 T. hot water
2 t. vanilla

Mix until well blended.

4 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1 lg. package chocolate chips (This is about two cups–eye ball it and add more if you’re in doubt!)

Scoop onto ungreased baking sheets with a medium scoop or rounded spoonfuls (about 2 T. per cookie). Bake for 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make-ahead tip:

Scoop balls of dough with a medium scoop and place on a cookie sheet. Put the whole sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid, individual balls. Remove from sheet and place in a plastic bag or container. When you need a cookie, preheat your oven to 375 degrees, remove from freezer, thaw (or not) and bake as few (or as many) as needed, depending on the day you’ve had. Watch baking time as they may need a little longer if you’re baking right out of the freezer.


Sherri is a transplant from Oregon who came to be a Hawkeye in 2006 and stayed for the sweet corn...and for the Iowa boy she met along the way! She and her husband (Kyle) have a 9 year-old daughter, Aissa. Sherri earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The University of Iowa and works for Ruffalo Noel Levitz as an Enrollment Marketing Consultant for colleges and universities. When she's not working, you can find her with her family, enjoying Iowa City and cheering on the Hawkeyes.


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