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You know the way you feel when you achieve something monumental, like run a marathon, figure out how to fold a fitted sheet without losing your mind, or as in this case, discover the best chocolate chip cookie recipe in existence? I’ve accomplished two of these three goals already (and if you know me you’ll figure out the other one pretty quickly), so I think it’s safe to say I’m feeling pretty good about myself.

I’m one of those people that never gives up on finding the perfect cookie recipe, especially for that golden standard of cookiedom – the chocolate chip. I’ve tried it all, from recipes on the back of bags and boxes, to recipes from cookbook tomes that promise the DEFINITIVE chocolate chip cookie to beat all others (Liars, all). After nearly two decades of searching, I believe I’m done. And I didn’t have to go far to find them. Friendly blogosphere to the rescue. The winning recipe comes from Not Without Salt, that amazing and brilliantly photographed blog by Ashley Rodriguez that contains more things I want to eat than I thought possible.

The secrets to this recipe are threefold. One, it uses chocolate chunks instead of chips, which were a complete revelation. Who knew how chalky and tasteless chocolate chips could be in comparison to the real thing? Second, it adds sea salt, that magic ingredient that makes every baked good taste more awesome. And finally, it uses not one, not two, but three kinds of sugar to produce a perfectly chewy but still slightly crisp cookie. Although I’ve tested the recipe with just two sugars and it still works great.

The result is the best cookies ever. That’s all that needs to be said, really. Don’t let me waste any more of your time. It is a rainy Monday after all, aka time to the crank up the oven and get cozy with a good book and a plate of cookies. Or, you know, just a plate of cookies.

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipe from Not Without Salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (can be subbed out for more brown or white sugar if needed)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 pound chocolate (I love milk, but semi or dark are good too), cut into chunks
Flaky sea salt, to finish

Heat oven to 360°F (not sure how those extra ten degrees make a difference, but why argue?) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks. Yes, it’s a lot of chocolate, but no, it’s not too much.

Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds, spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still gooey and soft inside. Out of the oven, let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.

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