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I Tried Joanna Gaines' Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe And I'm Never Following Any Other Recipe Ever Again

Chunky, chewy, and way too good to not bake more.

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Hiya! My name is Jasmin and I've been baking desserts for about 14 years (that's a lot of cupcakes and pies). But the one treat I keep coming back to has to be a good ol' classic chocolate chip cookie.

I've tried various recipes over the years, looking for one I could love forever, and thought I had found ~the one~. But when I heard the buzz about Joanna Gaines' chocolate chip cookie recipe from her Magnolia Table cookbook, I just couldn't say no to another cookie experiment.

A cookbook cover showing HGTV star and author Joanna Gaines sitting at a table full of vegetables smiling
HarperCollins

Personally, I love a cookie that's soft and chewy. I have a huge sweet tooth, but an overly sweet taste can definitely have me stepping away from the cookie jar for a while.

If you decide to grab a copy of the book for yourself, you can find it on Amazon for $16.59 (also available for the Kindle), on Barnes & Noble for $26.99 (also available as a Nook book), or Bookshop for $26.99 (to support local bookstores).

So I did what any cookie-loving baker would do: I gathered my ingredients and got to work. This recipe starts pretty normally, with measuring and mixing your dry ingredients and softening butter to room temp.

A medium shot of a bowl of flour and a whisk sticking out of the flour
Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

I like when my finished cookie has a nice, rounded top, so I usually use baking powder instead of baking soda. But we're experimenting, so we're going all in!

But here's where things get interesting: I usually use a combination of white sugar and brown sugar in my chocolate chip cookies (and so do most recipes). This calls for ONLY brown sugar, which you cream together with the butter, using an electric hand mixer, till the mixture is light in color and nice 'n' fluffy.

Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

I suspected that using only brown sugar in the recipe would make the cookies richer in taste, which was music to my ears because who doesn't love a deeper-tasting cookie?

I didn't have sticks of butter, so I literally counted out eight scoops using a tablespoon measure — but if you have sticks of butter on hand, then that's a little less work for you!

I also typically melt the butter completely and combine it with the sugar by hand — not too much work, since the butter is no longer solid, and it usually helps me end up with a product that has the perfect amount of chewiness. For Jo's recipe, I spent about five minutes creaming the two together to reaaally make sure it was fluffy.

In go two eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. I ~looooove~ the smell of vanilla extract, and I'm always tempted to "accidentally" pour just a teensy bit more than needed. But I successfully refrained from doing so (this time). Once combined, dump in the dry ingredients and get that hand mixer going until you end up with a delicious-looking heap like this one right here.

A medium shot of the bowl with the cookie dough inside. After adding vanilla, eggs, and the flour mixture, the dough looks thick and has taken on a darker color
Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

I mixed it *just enough* to bring the dough together. I honestly could've just spooned some into my mouth right then and there, but alas, I had to stay focused on the mission: fully cooked, amazing chocolate chip cookies.

NOW FOR MY FAVORITE PART: the chocolate!! I'll admit that I couldn't help myself, and added more than just the recommended 1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips. Sorry, not sorry.

A close-up of the dough with chocolate chips and chocolate chunks incorporated throughout
Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

So I actually spiced things up a little here, and instead of using JUST semisweet chocolate chips, I combined them with semisweet chocolate CHUNKS. I know, I know, I'm such a dessert rebel...buuuuut you'll thank me later.

I love any excuse to use my handy-dandy cookie scoop, so that's exactly what I did when it came time to drop the mounds of dough on my silicone baking sheet — no need to flatten them.

A close-up of a round-shaped mound of cookie dough on a silicone baking sheet along with more mounds of cookie dough in the background
Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

I was able to scoop out 36 beautiful lil' spoons of cookie dough (I definitely overfilled a few. Oops). They bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes (ah, the hardest part of baking is waiting for it to be done).

(Regular tablespoons and parchment paper work totally fine for scooping cookie dough and baking your treats, but if you want a cookie scooper and silicone baking mat, you can find 'em on Amazon for $13.85 and $13.99, respectively.)

Eleven minutes later and LOOK. HOW. DELICIOUS.

A plate full of fully baked cookies piled on top of each other
Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

The brown sugar actually made them chewier and gave them a nicer, richer taste that wasn't as sweet as cookies that use a mix of white and brown sugars. And those chocolate chunks I added melted and gave it a nice, gooey effect. Observe:

A cookie broken in half with chocolate chips inside and a gooey-looking melted chocolate chunk
Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

My gosh, I COULD NOT stop eating these cookies!! Everything about this cookie was perfect — the taste, the softness, the chewy factor. My mouth is watering just thinking about these cookies! Even though I made 36, my family of four tore through the cookies in TWO DAYS.

All in all, I learned that *only* using brown sugar is my ticket to a cookie that better suits my taste buds, and that I'm SO IN LOVE with Joanna's recipe and want to make more cookies ASAP.

A close-up of a broken cookie with the halves stacked on top of one another to reveal the chocolate chips and the chewy texture
Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

Here's the recipe so you can try it out for yourself (the only thing I did differently was using chocolate chunks in addition to chocolate chips):

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 heaping teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips (see Tip)

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until blended.

4. Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix on medium just until the flour is mixed in, then turn the mixer to high speed for a few seconds to pull the dough together; it will be chunky.

5. Add the chocolate chips and beat on high for about 5 seconds to thoroughly and quickly mix in the chips.

6. Drop by large spoonfuls on the lined baking sheet; don’t flatten them. Bake until lightly browned on top, 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on the pan on a rack for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

7. Store the cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes about 40 cookies.

TIP: Depending on what you’re in the mood for, you can add ½ cup more or less chocolate than what is called for.

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines. Copyright © 2018 by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.