The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Learn how to make the most popular recipe on my blog: the chewiest, softest, thickest, and most delicious chocolate chip cookies. Careful explanations and a ton of step-by-step photos. No mixer required!
Happy National Chocolate Chip Day!
Appropriately enough, today I’m deciding to dive into the delicious world of chocolate chip cookies. Soft, chewy, thick, and ultra comforting chocolate chip cookies. Grab a glass of milk, a big bowl of vanilla ice cream, some coffee… whatever your cookie pairing of choice and join me, won’t you? Best dessert ever. ↓
These are BEST chocolate chip cookies. It’s quite the title to live up to, no? But I am confident in my title of choice! Just ask the thousands of readers who swear by the recipe. You may just be one of them. My Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies is the most baked recipe on my website and has been the most popular recipe since I first posted it. In the first week after its debut last May, it was pinned on Pinterest over 150K times.
In fact, I think these cookies have a cult following all over the world. We are all a bunch of chocolate chip cookie freaks and it’s awesome.
I personally make them every chance I get because (1) they are loved by all (2) there is no mixer required (3) they’re so simple. I made them over 40 times last summer (yes, I counted) to continually test them since I published this recipe with the addition of M&Ms in my cookbook “Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookies.” Page 110.
I made the cookies again this week to send to my publisher as a little thank you. And since this national chocolate chip day is a huge holiday here on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I decided to photograph all of the steps for you.
I’m not sharing a NEW recipe today. Rather, I’m bringing my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe back to life for those of you who may have missed it or are looking for step-by-step break downs. With my photos and careful explanations, you can see exactly what your ingredients and cookie dough should look like to achieve cookie perfection. Not only that, I will show you different ways to make this cookie including stuffing with M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, salted caramel, and mocha minty-ness.
Warning: this post is quite lengthy. The reason is because I need to explain to you exactly what makes these cookies so chewy, soft, and thick in order for your cookies to be a success. I advise you to read through it!
So here we go. All the steps to making my best-ever chocolate chip cookies.
The first step is to whisk your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. There are only 4 dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and my favorite: cornstarch. It gives cookies an ultra soft-baked, thick consistency.
I will tell you that if you do not measure your flour accurately, your cookies’ appearance and taste will not be ideal. Too much flour will keep the cookies from spreading and soak up too much moisture, resulting in a slightly dry interior. Too little flour? Spread city. Thin and crisp. A big mess all over your baking sheet.
You’ll need a precise 2 and 1/4 cups (280 grams) of all-purpose flour. I advise you to spoon and level the flour – do not scoop! I explain a little more about spooning and leveling in this post. I also advise readers to invest in a kitchen scale.
Here is the one I have – the handiest tool in my kitchen at this point.
No gluten free or whole wheat substitutes will produce the same cookie, unfortunately. See my gluten free recipe section if you’re looking for a gluten free cookie recipe.
Set your dry ingredients aside and get your wet ingredients mixed.
Melt the butter in the microwave. Since we are using melted butter today, we do not have to cream it – and therefore will not need a mixer. Yep, no mixer required!
Why do I use melted butter? In my recipe testing, I learned that melted butter increases the chewy factor in a baked cookie. Melted butter can make your cookies greasy, so I made sure there was enough flour to avoid that from happening. A ton of my cookie recipes use creamed butter, but I prefer this one with melted.
I melt the butter in the microwave until it is *almost* melted. Then, remove it from the microwave and stir it quickly until it is smooth. Why do I do this? Melting it completely in the microwave will make the butter extra greasy, thinner, and more liquidy. If you remove the butter when it looks like the below picture (left) and then stir it until it is smooth, the consistency will be a little thicker. That’s what you want.
Next, mix in the sugars. I prefer more brown sugar than white sugar. Brown sugar lends a slight molasses flavor, as well as makes the cookies chewy and moist. White sugar induces spread. You typically need a combination of both in chocolate chip cookie recipes.
PS: here is the adorable spatula I am using!
Make sure the butter and sugar mixture is smooth, thick, and uniform in texture. This will take a minute or two of rapid stirring. Now, the egg and vanilla. I use 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk. Why do I do this? Another way to ensure my chocolate chip cookies are extra chewy is to add an extra egg yolk. I learned this in my recipe testing last year. The extra egg yolk adds richness, soft tenderness, and binds the dough.
You can freeze the extra egg white in a ziplock baggie for up to 1 month or make a batch of Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins.
I make sure to use room temperature egg + egg yolk. Why room temperature? It’s important that your ingredients are all the same temperature. The butter is a little warm from being melted, so the eggs shouldn’t be cold. Typically, if a recipe calls for room temperature or melted butter, it’s a good idea to use room temperature eggs as well to obtain even disbursement among every cookie. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, simply place the eggs into a glass of warm water for 5 minutes.
Next, add the vanilla – 2 whole teaspoons of it. Vanilla, as well as the melted butter and brown sugar, will give these chocolate chip cookies their superior taste. Whisk everything together vigorously until the mixture is thick and evenly combined.
Now, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together. The dough is incredibly thick, but should be a little wet and soft.
Now, slowly fold in the chocolate chips. Again, the chocolate chip cookie dough should be very thick, soft, and slightly slick.
Try not to taste test. Who am I kidding? Taste test at this point.
Now is the most important step of all – chilling the cookie dough!
Chilling the dough is mandatory for most of my cookie recipes. It allows the ingredients to settle together after the mixing stage. But most importantly? Cold dough results in thicker cookies. This cookie dough will spread in the oven if you bake it at room temperature. Cover the cookie dough and chill the dough for at least 2 hours, and even up to 3 days.
In all my recipe testing, I find that the longer I chill the cookie dough – the better the flavor of the cookie. Something I find interesting since I am a huge nerd: notice how the cookies pictured in the recipe are a little smoother and the photos I’m sharing today are a little more crackled? The “crackled” look is from only chilling about 2-3 hours. The smoother look is from allowing the cookie dough to chill for longer, letting the melted butter inside the dough fully solidify.
After chilling, let your cookie dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling into balls. Alternatively, sometimes I chill the cookie dough for 2 hours, roll into balls, and then chill the balls on a paper plate for 1 day. The cookie dough is quite hard after being chilled after the 6-8 hour mark, so that way is a little easier.
A lot of cookie dough goes into 1 cookie. 3 heaping Tablespoons, or about 2 ounces of dough each. The batch only makes about 16 cookies since you will be rolling the cookies so large. After chilling, the cookie dough may be slightly crumbly. That’s ok! The warmth of your hands will allow it to come together in a smooth ball.
Tip for thicker cookies: Roll the cookie dough balls taller, rather than wide as I discussed and showed here. This little tried-and-true trick will result in thicker cookies. I do it for every single cookie I bake.
Use a silicone baking mat. There is no better option out there, as far as I know and with the chocolate chip cookie practice I’ve had. Again, I’m a nerd. But seriously, a silicone baking mat (such as Silpat) will prevent spreading because its grips will “hold on” to the underside of the cookie. Furthermore, the silicone allows for even heat distribution around the entire cookie. They’re a breeze to clean, dishwasher safe, and take up zero space. I own 5 of them. There is not one cookie on my website or in my cookbook that was not baked on a silicone baking mat.
The cookies are baked at 325F degrees – a temperature a little lower than usual because they are so large. They take 11-13 minutes in the oven and will continue to “set” for about 10 minutes as you allow them to cool on the cookie sheet. If you like your chocolate chip cookies a little more brown, bake for 14 minutes. All ovens are different, so it is best to just go with your gut feeling about when they are done or not.
Looking good: usually, right when I remove the cookies from the oven, I press a few more chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies while they’re warm. This makes the cookies look extra pretty, so save a handful of chocolate chips for this step!
I replaced half of the chocolate chips/chunks with M&Ms and baked them for about 13 minutes – notice how they are a little more brown in the photo below? Kevin, who is just as obsessed with these as I am, likes a little extra crisp on the outside.
So there you have it! The best-ever chocolate chip cookies. Well, according to my tastebuds. Underbaked for a little softness, cornstarch for a little thickness, more brown sugar than white for some moisture and flavor, egg yolk and melted butter for chewiness, enough flour to soak up the butter but not dry out the cookie. And, of course, chilling the cookie dough. These are my secrets to chocolate chip cookie success!
Here is the recipe for The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.
My Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Variations:
I have made these cookies well over 100x in the past year for recipe testing, friends, family, neighbors, Kevin’s coworkers, bake sales, book signings, promotional appearances and more. Sometimes I play around with the add-ins to create new cookie recipes.
Here is the same chocolate chip cookie recipe, but with Reese’s Pieces and butterscotch:
And here is the same chocolate chip cookie recipe stuffed with salted caramel:
And here is the same chocolate chip cookie recipe with a mocha/mint flair.
Here is the recipe again with a little coconut/dark chocolate action:
And here it is using half chocolate chips and half M&Ms:
And a brown sugar version:
Bonus!! Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day with a batch of my cookies AND with a 35% discount off my cookbook! Hop on over to my publisher’s website and enter the code COOKIE35. The discount code expires after today (May 15th 2014).
Then hop on over to Quarry Spoon, my publisher’s blog, for more detail and a little interview we did together about baking, my blog, and my favorite cookbook recipe! Enjoy my best-ever chocolate chip cookies.