Back-to-School Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

The William-Sonoma Baking Book's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a success!

The William-Sonoma Baking Book’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a success! I love how these turned out, chewy inside and crisp outside. A perfect lunch box treat!

It’s that time again, back to school for lots of kids today. Even though I am not in school, I still feel that new-beginnings energy and love this time of year. Fall is my favourite season, and it is upon us very quickly.

Heading off to school for me always meant new school gear, stationery (my favourite part), clothes, and packed lunches. If I were going back to school today, I’d enjoy having a classic chocolate chip cookie in my lunch as a treat sometimes.

And I have just the recipe for those of you at home looking for a new one to try.

Recently I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe for me, and rather than searching the internet, I went back to my library of baking books. I selected the trusted Williams-Sonoma Baking Book [Amazon.ca], on page 14, I found their Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, it was too my liking so now I must share it with you.

My review of the Williams-Sonoma Baking Book (and why I love this book):

  • It is full of the right balance of photos (i.e. enough that you know what to aim for and select an appropriate recipe for your baking occasion).
  • The sidebars are filled with tips related to the adjacent recipes, and make for a sturdy baking-basics cookbook.
  • Many of the recipes are similar to the array we baked our way through in pastry school too, making this a great essentials resource for home bakers (just as their sub-title indicates).
  • I also like the design of the book, from it’s hardcover, to the recipe formatting which includes both metric and imperial measurements – appealing to a broader baking audience.

If you don’t have a copy of this cookbook and are looking for one that is a reliable resource for classic recipes, then this is your book.

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The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book (published 2009)

This book has you covered from a basic recipes summary in the back, a glossary of terms, baking tips & techniques to help you brush up on the fundamentals, basic cake decorating tips, and a handy metric conversion table, measurement quick guides, and a table of ingredient substitutions and equivalents that are relevant to the recipes in the book and will help you in times of buttermilk shortage, etc.

So, onward to sharing the recipe.

A few tips first:

  1. Inventory that you have all the ingredients, and measure them out before you start mixing. For example, make sure your butter is room temperature.
  2. If you plan to bake them right away, then prepare your cookie sheets and pre-heat your oven to 350F.
  3. If you plan to store some cookie dough in the freezer then have some plastic wrap ready for storing the dough.

The Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (with my own notes)

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (use the good stuff!)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips*
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (as this is optional, I chose to add 3/4 cup rolled oats instead – I love the taste of oats in a cookie)

*I used half white chocolate, and hale semi-sweet for a black & white look

Recipe Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Have ready 2 ungreased baking sheets
  3. Sift your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
  4. In another large bowl with a hand mixer, or use a stand mixer, cream your butter until it’s pale in colour and noticeably fluffy. Scrape the sides of your bowl down.
  5. Add the sugars and continue to beat until the mixture is well combined and fluffy. Scrape the sides of your bowl again.
  6. Add the egg and vanilla and beat slowly until blended, and scrape the bowl at this point again – ensuring everything is well combined.
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture and combine on a low speed so you don’t end up with a cloud of flour all over your kitchen (trust me, i’ve done it before!)
  8. At this point you can continue to mix by hand with a good wooden spoon, or just keep your mixer on (but the dough is thicker now and takes a little muscle).
  9. Add your rolled oats, or nuts, and chocolate chips, and mix just until it’s combined.
  10. Now I chose to pack my dough in the freezer and divided it into two portions. Then you can take it out and bake it as needed. You can also choose to scoop your dough now and bake right away. It’s nice to let the dough rest in the fridge over night, well covered in a bowl, as this allows the butter to chill and the ingredients to combine and bake nicely for a chewy thicker cookie.
  11. When you’re ready to bake, you can roll into small balls, and bake on baking sheets a couple inches apart, and bake for about 12 minutes until golden edges appear.
  12. Let them cool and enjoy (you can also bake them all and freeze too)

Cookie dough can stay in your freezer for a couple months, and if raw, it can stay in your fridge for 1-2 days before baking.

I enjoy rolling the dough in packs like the store-bought cookie dough, so it’s easy to slice and bake right away. Or you can allow the dough to come to room temperature and roll into balls.

How to make evenly sized cookies?

For consistent cookie sizes, you can use dough scoops, whatever size you want, and scoop the dough into portions and freeze, or bake right away. Here is a few of my scoops. You can also weigh your dough, a medium-small cookie is about 15g in weight, and a larger cookie is about 30g in weight.  Weighing the dough is tedious, but if you want really consistent sizes then it’s the best route to go, dough scoops are the next best option.

Where to buy dough scoops?

In Vancouver, BC, you can buy them at Gourmet Warehouse, Ming Wo, Russells Food Equipment, and generally most cooking stores will have them but these stores have multiple options.

Baking scoops - different sizes for your baking needs.

Dough scoops – good for all sorts of baking, from cupcakes to cookie dough.

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