I love an excuse to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies. And when I spotted a recipe for Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies over at Averie Cooks, it was a very compelling reason to get baking!
Who doesn't love Mrs. Fields! I live in the land of malls in New Jersey but sadly, Mrs. Fields cookie kiosks are hard to come by these days. When I do walk by one, I am always assaulted (in a very good way) by the irresistible aroma. How do they make those cookies smell so good, I always wonder! I think it has a lot to do with the quantity of cookies being baked in a small space but whatever it is, Mrs. Fields cookies are some seriously delicious cookies.
I'm so glad Averie posted the recipe and shared the source from over at Popsugar. If you click over, there's actually a video talking about the "secrets" to making these cookies and a demo straight from a Mrs. Fields shop (I recommend watching it because the recipe doesn't list all the steps mentioned in the video).
1) Cold butter. It apparently makes for a more stable, evenly baked cookie. What does that mean? I read that cold butter has the ability to hold air, giving baked goods more structure. I had a good feeling about this going in. Not only is using cold butter more convenient, my favorite chocolate chip cookies (which happens to be whole wheat) also starts with cold butter...could there be a connection? Apparently yes, because these cookies turned out nice and sturdy, dense and firm, yet still moist and chewy in the center.
2) Low and slow, bake at 300 degrees. Instead of the typical 350 degree oven, these cookies are baked in a low 300 degree oven, for a longer period of time, about 18-22 minutes. This is supposed to help create the crisp edge yet soft and chewy center. I was a little skeptical. Would the cookies turn out too soft and would the Maillard reaction (or "browning" reaction) have a chance to happen? I didn't want anemic looking cookies but I needn't have worried because these baked evenly and browned nicely. The edges are indeed crisp; the center is chewy.
3) Chill for at least 30 minutes and cool immediately. After mixing the cookie batter, let chill for 30 minutes or so before baking; this makes for a thicker, chewier cookie. Scoop dough into 1/4-cup mounds using an ice-cream scoop if you have one. The larger bakery-style cookies give you more of a contrast between the crispy edges and the soft and chewy center. After baking, immediately remove the cookies to a cool surface to stop the cooking process.
In a nutshell, these cookies turned out better than I expected. Maybe I should've had more faith to begin with but how many times have you tried a "copycat" recipe that fell short? But these cookies are like the Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookies we remember. The thing I like most about it is the "commercial" look and feel of them. That might sound strange but what I mean is they have the appearance - the heft, sturdiness, contrasting textures (crisp sides, chewy centers) - that I want to mimic at home and often find hard to do. I often suspect that those bakery-style cookies involve shortening but now I see it can be achieved without special flours and with butter.
Instead of just using semisweet chocolate chips, I took the opportunity to "clean out" my chocolate stash, using a mixture of chocolate chunks, semisweet chocolate chips, and bittersweet chocolate chips. I like the variety.
That's why you see different colors and shapes of chocolate in my cookies.
I'd also like to share a couple of things I noticed from baking these cookies:
- The cookies spread less when you bake the dough on silicon mats. I hadn't really noticed this since I almost always bake cookies on silicon mats but when I incidentally baked a couple on parchment, I noticed those spread more. Although it may be more convenient to use parchment in this recipe (easier to slide the entire sheet off to cool right after baking whereas silicon mat will be hot straight out of the oven), I prefer a thicker cookie so I go with the silicon mat.
|Cookies baked on silicon mat spread less and are thicker|
|This one, baked on parchment paper, spread more and is a bit thinner|
- I baked some of the cookies (the ones used for this post) after chilling them about 45 minutes and they turned out just fine. I also baked some after about a day in the fridge. Maybe it's in my head but I think an overnight chill makes cookie dough a little more flavorful, and they bake up a bit darker. I would recommend it but it's not totally necessary.
Like with most chocolate chip cookies, these are so good fresh from the oven, still vaguely warm! I hope I gave you a good excuse to bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies soon, and maybe you'll give this easy Mrs. Fields recipe a try!
Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Popsugar via Averie Cooks
- Makes approximately 20 large (1/4 cup measure) cookies -
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt*
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, cold and cut into cubes*
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
* If you use unsalted butter, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon salt (there is typically about 1/4 teaspoon of salt per stick of salted butter but it varies by brand)
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Place sugars into the bowl of a stand mixer and combine on medium speed. Add cold butter and mix until a grainy paste forms, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add eggs and vanilla, mix on low-speed until just combined. Add flour mixture and chocolate chips. Blend at low-speed until incorporated; do not overmix. Chill cookie dough for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper (I find cookies spread less on a silicon mat). Drop 1/4 cup mounds of cookie dough, using an ice cream scoop, onto the baking sheet, spacing cookies at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the sheet pan midway (bake time can vary - official recipe suggests 20-22 minutes though I found mine were done closer to 18 minutes). The cookies are done when they are set in the middle and golden brown, particularly along the edges (Mrs. Fields recommends the "touch method" where the cookie should bounce back when lightly pressed in the center).
Immediately transfer cookies on to a cool surface by carefully lifting silicon mat (it'll be hot straight from the oven) or sliding entire sheet of parchment paper with the cookies on it to a wire rack. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove individual cookies onto wire rack and/or eat right away (as you might expect, these are excellent fresh from the oven).