When setting out to bake the internet’s favorite chocolate chip cookies, it came as no surprise to me that Martha Stewart, the domestic goddess that she is, has a very popular classic chocolate chip cookie recipe (I’m talking upwards of 9,000 reviews). They’re described as being fast and easy to make — just three steps and they’re in the oven. They’re also supposed to yield soft and chewy results every time, perfect for a sweet snack or after-school treat. I had to find out whether Martha’s go-to recipe would become mine as well.
How to Make Martha Stewart’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
As promised, the process is simple, and very standard for a chocolate chip cookie. You’ll whisk together the flour and baking soda in a small bowl; cream together the butter and sugars; then add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, then fold in the chocolate chips and drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a baking sheet. Then into the oven they go — no strange ingredients, no tricky techniques, no need for the dough to refrigerate. Aside from a store-bought log of slice-and-bake cookie dough, it doesn’t get much easier than this.
The step that requires the most attention in Martha’s recipe is bake time. You’re looking for crispy, golden edges but slightly doughy, very soft centers. Think of these cookies like you would scrambled eggs — you want to pull them off the heat (or, in this case, out of the oven) before they’re totally done, because they’ll continue cooking as they cool. Just like scrambled eggs that are cooked until totally set will end up tough and rubbery by the time you dig in, these cookies will lose their soft and chewy appeal if they’re baked for too long. (If you’re unsure, err on the side of pulling them out too early — better to have an under-baked cookie than an over-baked one.)
What I Thought of the Results
I thoroughly enjoyed Martha’s cookies. I loved the contrast between the crispy edges and the super-soft, chewy, dough-like center — the best of both worlds when it comes to a cookie. Because they’re pretty flat, the chips rise above the tops of the cookies, allowing the chocolate to take center stage. And just like Alton Brown’s cookies, they call for more brown sugar than white, which gives them their chewy texture.
I also liked these because they taste just as great a few days after you’ve baked them. Unlike some cookies, which turn into rocks, these actually stay — as promised in their title — very soft and chewy.
If You Make Martha Stewart’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies …
1. Plan ahead and let your butter come to room temperature. After reading through some of the comments on Martha’s website, it seemed like problems arose whenever someone tried to speed up the butter-softening process. Although it might be tempting to microwave your butter until it feels softened, you won’t be able to achieve the same consistency as sticks that have been left to soften naturally. Instead, you’ll have sticks that are cold on the outside but molten on the inside, which will result in cookies that spread too much. If you’re really in a hurry, try one of these butter-softening methods instead.
2. Cream the butter and sugars until very, very fluffy. Martha doesn’t specify how long to cream the butter and sugars for, but you’ll want to let the mixer run longer than you think — about three to four minutes. This ensures the sugar is evenly dispersed, and gives your cookies tenderness and lift.
Overall Rating: 7/10
One note: Interestingly, when we photographed these cookies in our studio — versus when I baked them at home — they didn’t spread quite as much, and therefore weren’t as delightfully chewy. Although these were winners in my book, I knocked them down a few points because the recipe yielded inconsistent results.