The Perfect Cookie

I lived the latter half of my childhood in Germany where kitchens are generally small. As a girl who had little interest in cooking and baking to begin with, it didn’t bother me that there usually wasn’t room for me in there. When I got to college with minimal culinary skills (I could microwave a quesadilla!), I was the cause of some good laughs in our apartment!

The kitchen episode I’ve yet to live down is the time I unwrapped sticks of butter and attempted the difficult task of stuffing them into measuring cups to get the desired amount the recipe called for. I had no idea that half a stick of butter was the same as half a cup, let alone that there are measurement markings on each stick of butter! So, you better believe I felt like I’d achieved domestic goddess status when about 10 years into our marriage, I not only knew how to measure butter properly, but I had finally figured out how to bake beautiful and tasty chocolate chip cookies! I don’t know if you’d agree, but it’s not as easy as it looks!

So, here is my tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe that my kids give two thumbs up, I know by heart and always double (see? arrived!). And my #1 tip for anyone still in the poke-your-eyes-out stage of mastering this All-American treat: don’t stuff butter into measuring cups to measure it!


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts toasted and chopped (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside.

Next, cream the butter (if the butter is not at room temperature, I just stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds) and then beat on high speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add the granulated and brown sugars and continue beating until the mixture doesn’t feel too gritty. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until just blended.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed or stir until just blended. Finally, add the chocolate chips!

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and equally space 12 balls onto large ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies until they begin to brown around the edges, about 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool briefly by setting the pans on wire racks before using a spatula to transfer them directly onto the racks to cool completely.

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