Overnight Chocolate Chip Cookies

Overnight Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Messy Baker

13 Feb Overnight Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies by TheMessyBaker.com

My mother insists I didn’t drive her to what she politely referred to as “the brink of distraction.” She may well have found my inquisitive nature delightful, but my non-stop questions got under her skin. When Mom had reached her limit, she would cup her hand gently but firmly beneath my chin, lock her eyes into mine and say: “There are two ways of learning something. One is being told.”

I rarely learned the easy way. And I still don’t.

Over the years I’ve been told by experts and foodie friends that refrigerating cookie dough overnight will increase the caramel tones. Since I’m a Want-It-Now kind of baker this advice was swept away with the last of the cookie crumbs. I simply didn’t want to believe it. Surely the difference was only noticeable in a side-by-side test. Would the average person know the dough rested 10 minutes or 10 hours? And just who are these people who plan cookie baking a day ahead, anyway? Not me.

And then life forced me to cover the dough and pop it in the fridge overnight before baking it.

Dang! If it didn’t taste better.

Overnight Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Messy Baker

Am I going to always refrigerate cookie dough? Not likely. When the cookie craving hits, I don’t have several hours to wait. Hand me a fresh baked cookie or I’ll be scarfing chocolate chips straight from the bag.

But Mom also said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” And I’m always open to the workable compromise. In future, unless I’m baking for an event, I’ll bake a half pan to get me through the craving. Once sated, I’ll refrigerate the dough and bake more the next day. If I’m feeling particularly virtuous, I’ll drop and freeze some of the dough. Then when a crazing hits, I won’t have to wait much longer than it takes for the oven to preheat.

Chocolate Chip Cookies by TheMessyBaker.com

As usual, Mom was right. There are two ways of learning.  I wish I’d listened earlier.

Go any cookie tricks you care to pass on? My ears are open.

Overnight Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Baking
Cuisine: North American
Serves: Makes 3 dozen cookies
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 generous cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugars together until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the flour mixture and mix on lowest setting until just incorporated. Fold the chocolate chips in by hand using a wooden spoon or sturdy scraper. Transfer the dough to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight (or at least a few hours).
  4. When you're ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop drop dough about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden and the tops have just started to brown. Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 5 minutes or until they are set enough to be removed without falling apart. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
This recipe has been adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang ©2008.


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  • Robin
    Posted at 13:00h, 13 February Reply

    Who knew you could improve on chocolate chip cookies? I had never heard the refrigeration tip, but can’t wait to try it! Oh wait, as you said, waiting involved -never my strong suit when the sweet tooth hits. They look super yummy and I will be a hit at my next pot luck.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:07h, 13 February Reply

      Oh, there’s an entire science behind chocolate chip cookies. The butter (room temp, melted, browned), the flour (a bit of bread flour for chewier cookies), brown sugar vs white, whole egg vs yolk, baking powder vs baking soda… It’s enough to make your head spin.

      Me? Mix, scoop, bake (sometimes) and eat. YUM.

  • NS Foster
    Posted at 13:44h, 13 February Reply

    Okay, I have to say, this is the best/most appropriate typo ever:

    “Then when a crazing hits, I won’t have to wait much longer than it takes for the oven to preheat.”

    Do not get between a woman and her warm chocolate chip cookie.

    (And maybe not a typo, but in my head it’s pretty funny that way.)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:53h, 13 February Reply

      Ha! I meant to type “craving” but “crazy” fits too — maybe a little bit better. Subliminal writing? Perhaps. I think I’ll leave it as is! Thanks for the catch and the laugh.

      Yours in crazy cravings…

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    Posted at 16:19h, 13 February Reply

    Waiting on cookie does is the worst but it does taste better. I go back and forth or I make a whole bunch and then freeze the dough balls. That always helps when I need a quick cookie fix.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:53h, 13 February Reply

      I’m so glad I’m not the only impatient baker out there. Freezing the dough balls is my main strategy since I will eat the raw dough in the fridge. Yes, I’m that bad!

  • Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)
    Posted at 20:11h, 13 February Reply

    Hahaha! That’s exactly what I do. I do a double batch, one for my impatient, must eat it now, self and the other batch I let rest in the fridge. It’s the best of both worlds. Deep down I know rested cookie dough yields the best results but I just can’t help myself.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:42h, 13 February Reply

      I’m feeling less and less alone in the world. I don’t dare make a double batch (although the original does make twice as much) because I have no will power! Seems we cookie bakers are an impatient lot! Thanks for sharing your confession.

  • maggie
    Posted at 07:59h, 15 February Reply

    After reading this I was struck by a craving for chocolate chip cookies. I made a batch of cookie dough and let it rest all day and baked the cookies after supper. Dang!!! They were better. Thanks. I am going to take a dozen to the barn and let my friends test them as well.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:35h, 15 February Reply

      Hope your friends like them! Thanks for giving this trick a try and confirming the results. This makes the wait easier. :-)

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