Chef Michael Smith’s Chocolate Chip Cookies


Sorry for the late post, but we’ve been making rather merry this weekend at Christmas in November. Saturday night was the gala dinner, at which I sat beside Michael Smith and Bill Pratt, the executive chef in charge of feeding the athletes at the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver. We ate asparagus shooters, salmon on chilled Isreali couscous, beef tenderloin with bearnaise sauce and cheddar scalloped potatoes, and a maple yule log for dessert. Eggnog and cranberry martinis before dinner and Mission Hill wines with, which were undoubtedly contributing factors to Mike (mine, not Smith!) dancing with a hundred or so women and a feather boa afterward, and doing the limbo. The next morning I found a feather boa at the foot of the bed, and a trail of feathers leading up to our cabin. The dance floor looked like we had been sacrificing chickens.

What I love about this shot: not only is he getting jiggy with it, he has Dwight Schrute hair.

At around eleven the power went out – the entire JPL property (200+ buildings) and half of the town of Jasper. I walked back to the cabin to relieve the babysitter (W fully expected a giant baby to show up on our doorstep when we told him about her coming) and with the stone fireplaces roaring and candles lit on every table the live band kept playing, and the party went on. The generators kicked in before midnight and all was well – it was, in fact, one of the highlights of the weekend. We may have to figure out how to pull the main breaker during the next gala evening.

During the days, the long main ballroom is sectioned off into three rooms, and I’m sandwiched between Chef Michael Smith and Ken Kostick as we do our respective sessions. It’s a ton of fun. Sunday morning we were all a little worse for wear, and Ken paid a visit to my room in an attempt to keep us quiet; I ran over to his and begged his crowd to laugh a little louder at his jokes. Then I went to the other side and heckled Michael about his baking pans (which were much shinier and newer than mine) and stole some of his cookies.

His topic: the science of the chocolate chip cookie. He claims to have come up with the ultimate recipe, and who am I to argue when faced with a basket full of them, warm from the oven?

This is his chocolate chip cookie recipe from the newly released Best of Chef at Home (which I’ll draw a name for tomorrow, and get him to sign it for you!). The addition of a bit of corn syrup allows the cookies to brown more quickly, so that they come out of the oven when they’re cooked properly, rather than overbaked – people tend to want their cookies to be golden, but that often means that when they cool down they’ll be crispy instead of chewy. So a bit of corn syrup helps them look done closer to the point when they actually are done. Consider it a little extra insurance against overbaking.

In terms of timing – I would have to add that exactly 12 minutes is going to produce different cookies depending on their size and the accuracy of your oven, so do make sure you check them early. It’s easier to bake them a bit longer than to reverse time. They should be golden around the edges, set but still soft in the middle – if you like them chewy, remember that they will firm up as they cool.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe link


November 9, 2009

from The Best of Chef at Home, by Michael Smith


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. corn syrup (optional)

1 egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips


1Preheat your oven to 375F.

2Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. If you don't have a stand mixer, beat vigorously by hand in a mixing bowl.

3Add the corn syrup, egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a spoon, scoop out a ball of dough, roll it a moment in your hands and then drop it onto a lightly greased cookie tray. Slightly flatten the balls but leave lots of room in between to allow the cookies to expand.

4For a soft, chewy cookie, bake for exactly 12 minutes. For a cookie with a bit of crispy crunch, bake for exactly 15 minutes.

5 Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie tray and then remove to cool further.


One Year Ago: We were on our way to CIN! And look how little W was…


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47 comments on “Chef Michael Smith’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Aimee
    November 9, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I’d be rendered empty-minded when face with basket of these too, Julie! That’s quite the claim, Chef Michael is professing, but I am willing to give them a try!!

    Tell us, what was your session on??

  2. sue.d
    November 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Love that pic of the menfolk!

    Golly how I wish I was there…

  3. Jen
    November 9, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I’ve been making Anna Olson’s cookings for several years now which call for cornstarch as their secret ingredient. I will now give the corn syrup a try!

  4. Jen T
    November 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Does the gal in the photo have a set of devil horns on her head? Was this a costume party?

    Chocolate chip cookies – that’s good enough for me!

  5. Katharine
    November 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Ahhhhahahaha! I love Dwight, I mean, Mike with a boa!

  6. LesliCKellow
    November 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing what the CIN weekend was like up in Jasper! Interesting about the corn syrup…

  7. Cheryl Arkison
    November 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I don’t know, I’m pretty sure your choc. chip cookies are the best ones I’ve ever made. Seriously, I’m not kidding. This recipe doesn’t look too different.
    So glad that you shared that photo of Mike!

  8. Amanda
    November 9, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I am always up for trying a perfect choc chip cookie recipe!

  9. Mary Ann
    November 9, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve been making Michael Smith’s cookies for years and they are so good! Your weekend sounds more fun than mine, which involved several hours in a car with my cranky three month old niece.

  10. Carolyn
    November 9, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Julie — doesn’t your lower fat chocolate chip cookie also have corn syrup? I think your recipe (when the dough is refrigerated for 24-48 hrs) is the best chocolate chip cookie, around!(Not taking anything away from Michael by saying that.)

  11. Kim
    November 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you! I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. (shhhhh I like mine a bit crisp, I think I am in the minority) I have been following you on Twitter & enjoying your quips & thoughts.

  12. Dani
    November 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I don’t think I ever use the same chocolate chip cookie recipe twice – there are just so many to try! I love them all, but especially soft and chewy.

  13. Karyn
    November 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    mmmm….chilling the milk now to icey cold in anticipation of a plate of choc chip cookies later this afternoon! Oh, it’s summer here :+) Thanks for the suggestion.

  14. lovetocook
    November 9, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Julie, I’d like to be in on the draw for Best of Chef at Home.

  15. DJ
    November 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Count me in on the draw for Michael Smith’s cookbook.
    I always bake the Tollhouse choc chip cookies and use half ww flour – i have been told they are the best cc cookie with ww flour, but I am always up to a yummy experiment!

  16. Kelly
    November 9, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    yum yum yum! i have a stack of choc chips a la costco that i need to use :) thanks for the recipe

  17. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    November 10, 2009 at 6:36 am

    There is nothing quite like a perfect chocolate chip cookie. Will make up a batch and bring them over to my sister who is recovering from surgery. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Mama__B
    November 10, 2009 at 6:57 am

    That’s Michael Smith in that boa? Seriously? Wow.

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m looking forward to the book.

  19. Pat
    November 10, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Sounds like you’re having a blast! Right now I’m watching JOHN CUSACK on Regis. So sorry you missed him!

  20. Nancy
    November 10, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Sounds like a great time in Jasper!
    Will try the chocolate chip cookie recipe and mail them to my son in Alberta…..
    Always enjoy reading about your activities!

  21. JulieVR
    November 10, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Mama B – No no no, that’s my husband Mike! Not Michael. Although it would have made a great photo if it was!

  22. Corine
    November 10, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I’ll have to try these! Have been making the recipe from my trusty Canadian Living cookbook for years, with great results.

  23. Sarah (Calgary)
    November 10, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Yummy – guess that answers how I’m spending part of tomorrow! Great shot of Mike – he must not read the blog. And Willem is always adorable. I was checking out Michael’s new book yesterday so a free one would be the best.

  24. erin
    November 10, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Thanks Julie – I am always on the hunt for the perfect cookie recipe!

  25. Theresa
    November 10, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Can we substitute another syrup…I tried your low fat version with maple syrup and those totally rocked.

  26. Uncle D
    November 10, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Dancin’ Mike – on party boats in Vancouver and now in Jasper. He’s like those stolen gnomes that show up all over the place. Looking again now, he looks suspiciously like a gnome and with that shirt and tie, a class guy.

  27. Leah
    November 10, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I borrowed the Chef at Home cookbook from the library last week and have marked a ton of recipes to try. The chocolate chip cookies were the first and they turned out exactly as described! (I had been looking for a recipe to replace my old standby which has shortening as one of the main ingredients.)The Chef at Home met all our criteria: chewy, chocolatey, and soft for days – if they last that long!

  28. Sue (London, ON)
    November 10, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I agree with many of your readers – your cookies have corn syrup and they are delicious. Due to my fondness (understatement) for Michael, I will try this recipe too!!

  29. Mar Hein
    November 10, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Wow!! anything chocolate chip is my favorite. nothing can beat chocolate chip cookies!! what fun you are having!!

  30. JulieVR
    November 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Yes – mine have corn syrup too, for that same reason! They only contain 1/4 cup butter though, so half the fat of a traditional chocolate chip cookie.

  31. Lana in South Mountain (ON)
    November 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I will try these cookies,,,maybe this weekend!
    Would love a new cookbook!
    Happy to hear you are having such a great time.

  32. Rose in Red Deer
    November 10, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Would love to be in on the draw for the cookbook! Thanks for the great recipe for chocolate chip cookies and enjoy the rest of your time in Jasper — (I am so jealous!)

  33. Nancy
    November 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Oh that sounds so fun!! Sandwiched between little Ken and big Michael? Where’s that pic?? So funny. The cookies look delish too! I just made a batch of your 2 bite brownies for my Mumvet group tomorrow, still loving Grazing!

  34. Barb
    November 10, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    WooHoo! Get down Mike! Does he know you posted this pic? Is he still speaking to you?

  35. Mixing Bowl Mama
    November 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, thank you for sharing and I’m wondering…is Michael Smith as wonderful in person as he seems to be. I’m quite smitten with him and look forward to trying this recipe. Thanks again for sharing.

  36. Teresa
    November 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks, Julie!
    I love Micheal Smith and can’t wait to try these cookies…

  37. Lauren
    November 10, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Yummy! Looks fantastic =D.

  38. Hilary
    November 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I thought I already had the perfect recipe, but if Michael Smith says these are it, then I’ll have to try ’em out. I love Michael Smith!

  39. brandy
    November 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    printing out the recipe right now to make for my three-year-old cookie monster… Christmas in November – you have the best job!

  40. brandy
    November 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Ok I just made the cookies — didn’t have corn syrup (rats!) and I forgot to flatten them a little so they look like a smaller, chubbier version of Michael’s but really yummy!

  41. LisaGee
    November 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    What a great week it sounds like you’re having! I’m a bit jealous of you right now, seeing as I have the teensiest crush on Chef Michael. His new cookbook is definitely on my Christmas list. Thanks for the chocolate chip recipe.

  42. Bellini Valli
    November 12, 2009 at 7:33 am

    I made his cookies last week when I reviewed his cookbook. Even better the second day…. if they last that long:D

  43. JulieVR
    November 13, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Yes – he is as wonderful in person! Not all TV personalities are, but he’s genuine.

  44. Natalie
    March 23, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I am craving a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie today – do you think if i made a straight substitution of 1/2 C peanut butter for the 1/2 C butter in Michael’s recipe that it would work out well?

  45. Mel
    April 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Im wondering if its best to use unsalted butter or salted for this recipe .. Thankyouuuu

  46. JulieVR
    April 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Mel – I use salted. If you go unsalted you’ll need to add salt anyway!

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