Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book


These cookies were just featured in the New York Times! We’re so thrilled for Sarah and it just confirms what we already know about them, they are AWESOME!

You are on the right site, we are just taking a short break from baking bread to bring you one of our absolute favorite recipes from Sarah’s new book, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. You all know Sarah’s gorgeous work here on Breadin5, but you may not be as familiar with her baking website. Sarah has been working with us on the Breadin5 website and has been instrumental in our cookbook photoshoots as a food stylist. During our last marathon photo session she brought us cakes, cookies, scones and even pie she was testing for her own cookbook. When she brought in these chocolate chip cookies we took a moment out of the shoot to declare them the best cookies any of us had ever had. I do not say that lightly, considering I had a cookie company in college, have baked no fewer than 500 chocolate chip cookie recipes and have consumed even more. These are the best and now you have the recipe.

We are thrilled for Sarah and are so proud of her and this brilliant book! She and her publisher have graciously offered a copy of her book to a lucky winner of our GIVEAWAY. Just leave a note in our comments and we will select someone at random. It will make a great addition to your cookbooks or a lovely gift for someone on your list. All our normal contest rules apply. This contest is over.


CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

makes 10 cookies

2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

½ pound (2 sticks; 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1½ cups (297 g) granulated sugar

¼ cup (50 g) packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces averaging ½ inch with some smaller and some larger

To bake the cookies:

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 Baking Sheets with aluminum foil, dull side up. (I used parchment paper, because I was desperate to make these and was out of foil. I found the results were excellent, but I would suggest doing it on foil, as Sarah suggests.) This helps create the crinkles in the cookies.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a Beater Blade, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix on low to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low into the batter.


Scoop the dough into 3½-ounce (100g) balls (a heaping ⅓ cup each). Place 4 balls an equal distance apart on a prepared pan and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. After you put the first baking sheet in the oven, put the second one in the freezer.


This step is essential for getting the crinkles on the edge.

Place the chilled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 inches and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down (this will feel wrong, but trust me). After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake 16 to 18 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.


Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.


NOTES: These cookies are rather large, but to get the edges to spread out and crinkle, they need to be on the big side. If you want to make the cookies smaller, you won’t get as many ridges on the outer layer, and your center won’t be quite as gooey. They will still be delicious, but not quite what I intended for you.


If you skip freezing the cookies, they will spread too much on the pan and will not form the crinkly outer layer.


I’ve made several recipes from Sarah’s book and they are now staples in my kitchen. It is a great book for both beginners and more advanced bakers. You’ll want to start with these cookies, but then quickly make her chocolate cake. I am known for my chocolate cake and I now use Sarah’s.


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181 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

  1. I am on the endless quest for a chocolate chip cookie that will satisfy the various tastes of my family members. These look like they may fit the bill! Thank you for the fun contest.

  2. I will make these perfect chocolate chip cookies this weekend. If they taste as good as they look my search will be over! Thanks for sharing.

  3. These cookies look AMAZING. I can’t wait to try them. And I’ll definitely be adding your book to my Christmas wish list. 🙂

  4. I will make these perfect chocolate chip cookies this weekend. If they taste as good as they look my search will be over! Beautiful book cover. Thanks for sharing.

  5. These look amazing….and I was already sold at “vanilla”. Anything Zoe recommends this highly must be the bomb!!!!!!!!!!! I need this book:o)

  6. The picture on the cover of The Vanilla Bean Baking Book draws me in and makes me want to read all the recipes. I love reading cookbooks, imagining what the finished products will taste like.

  7. Thanks to both of you for sharing this recipe and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Sarah’s book is added to my shelf this holiday season!

  8. The picture on the cover of The Vanilla Bean Baking Book makes me want to sit down and read it cover to cover, then start baking. Looks like a great book!

  9. Hooray for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe! Thx for sharing!
    I love everything I make from The Vanilla bean blog.
    So thrilled about this cookbook.

  10. I made cookies that looked like these once. I accidentally added the butter twice so they spread out like crazy. They still tasted pretty good, though I did have butter running all over my pan. I’ll have to give these a try. Thanks.

  11. I )almost) always have a tub of HB in 5 master bread dough in the fridge. I don’t think having a batch of this dough all the time would be such a health idea. Looks delicious!

  12. Oh dear, even the picture looks good enough to eat! I look forward to making these cookies–thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  13. This new cookbooks looks amazing! I’d love to give it a try.

    I have your bread book on order after having some bread at a friends house. Can’t wait to bake your bread recipes too.

  14. This book sounds so fantastic, especially if every cookie is as god at this one. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  15. Having made many thousands of chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime for family and friends, this recipe looks like the best yet.

  16. I’m confused. The recipe calls for pans lined with aluminum foil. Yours are lined with parchment. Which should be used?

  17. I never comment on blogs, but came here through the vanilla bean blog post and decided on a whim to make these cookies rather than my typical go to recipe. These are, hands down, the absolute best chocolate chip cookies I have ever EATEN, let alone MADE! Thank you so much for the recipe of a lifetime! All the banging and freezing and tinfoil is 100% worth it. Follow the recipe to a T!

  18. look pretty! I will bake it this weekend! I have a question that is granulated sugar and powedered sugar the same? thanks!

    1. No, they’re not–main problem is that they don’t volume-measure the same, and powdered sugar has a little anti-caking agent, something like cornstarch.

  19. Just curious… the recipe calls for baking on aluminum foil but the photos show thecookies being baked on parchment paper.
    I prefer not to use aluminum foil – will the cookies still have the same look baked on parchment?

  20. Awe..sad I missed the giveaway..but, beyond pleased you posted Sarah’s
    Beautiful..big chocolate chip cookie recipe!

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