December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

The Internet’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie, Straight From Simply Genius

The Internet's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie, Straight From Simply Genius

These miraculous cookies are somehow even easier, faster, and—I’ll say it—better than the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag.

There is no waiting, no ambiguity—is my butter soft enough? room temp eggs…even when it’s 90°F?—about when to pass go. (Butter: Cold from the fridge. Eggs: Cold from the fridge. Go!)

Go!

Photo by Julia Gartland. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.

But despite their speed and ease, they are the best sort of molten puddle cookies—buttery-bronze edges with a rippled give through the middle, and layers of pooling bittersweet chocolate throughout. There is nothing shortcut or half-measure about them.

I knew that they had to be a part of Simply Genius cookbook (which is finally, four years later, out today). The book was built around exactly this kind of smart, uncompromising recipe, with a desserts chapter driven by the promise that you don’t need a stand mixer, food processor, or blowtorch (or hours of prep time) to make memorable treats like this. Thankfully, Tara O’Brady, the cookie’s brilliant creator, agreed to share them with us.

When I first stumbled across the recipe on Tara’s blog Seven Spoons, their unassuming name drew me in: Basic, Great Chocolate Chip Cookies. Only later did I realize they’ve ridden wave after wave of popularity since Tara’s Seven Spoons cookbook debuted in 2015. They go by a tidy acronym (#BGCCCs) to those in the know, and were even recently referred to as “the best cookie recipe on the internet,” by Jesse Szewczyk on The Kitchn.

Their secrets? The right combination of gently melted butter and fridge-cold eggs to hit the perfect dough temperature for spreading. Chopped chocolate (or discs or feves—anything but stabilized chips)—to melt into layers and force the dough outward. The hefty 3-tablespoon portion—rolled into a ball, with no foot to restrain them—to give plenty of topography to crisp, ripple, crisp.

While we can’t necessarily go willy-nilly swapping melted butter and cold eggs into all our favorite cookie recipes (it took Tara over 700 batches to land on this one), Tara has riffed on her formula in countless ways. She mix-matches chocolates, sneaks in oatmeal and whole-grain flours and brown butter, and stirs in last-minute flair like sprinkles, torched marshmallow fluff, malted cereal crackle, and peanut butter.

This was my—basic, great—dream for this cookbook: A collection of timeless recipes so simple they’ll bend around whatever is happening in your life, and so genius you never want to stop making them.

What will you do to make them your own?

Tune into @food52 & @taraobrady on Instagram Wednesday 9/28 at 7pm E.T. to see me and Tara make BGCCCs Live! What riff will Tara dream up this time?

The Simply Genius cookbook is out now—you can snag a copy in our Shop, or so many other places! Like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Bookshop.org, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, Kitchen Arts & Letters, Now Serving, Omnivore Books on Food, Book Larder, or your favorite local bookstore.


Got a Genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what’s so smart about it) at [email protected].

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