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I have a few tricks that make these the best soft chocolate chip cookies that you’ll ever try. With hundreds of positive reviews from bakers around the world, I’m confident you’ll fall in love with this chocolate chip cookie recipe too. Chilling the cookie dough is imperative and cornstarch makes them extra soft and thick!

Rows of chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a household favorite, a timeless classic, an unparalleled snack, warm, cold, dunked in milk, in dough form, or in baked form. No one can resist the comfort of a chocolate chip cookie and everyone has their favorite recipe whether it’s on the back of the yellow Toll House bag or scribbled in your grandmother’s recipe book.

Heck, I even have separate recipes for crispy chocolate chip cookies and chewy chocolate chip cookies!

Like many of you, I’ve searched far and wide for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe: the best chocolate chip cookies, a recipe I can bake again and again for years. I’ve lost sleep, I’ve burnt dough, I’ve tested and retested and retested… and retested countless times. And I’m so happy to report that I finally found a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ll treasure for years. And I know you’ll enjoy these cookies too!

Chocolate chip cookies

How to Make Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Start with Butter: Use room temperature butter. You can soften butter quickly with this trick or set the butter out 1-2 hours before you begin.
  2. Use a mix of Sugars: Cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together. This process aerates the butter, which promises soft chocolate chip cookies. Brown sugar yields soft chocolate chip cookies and white sugar helps the cookies spread. For chewier and more flavorful cookies, use more brown sugar than white sugar.
  3. Dark Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar are interchangeable in most recipes. Though either works in this chocolate chip cookie recipe, I love using dark brown sugar for extra flavor because it holds a little more molasses.
  4. Add Egg & Vanilla Extract: Eggs provide structure and richness, while vanilla adds flavor.
  5. Use Cornstarch in Dry Ingredients: Cornstarch, a thickening ingredient, is the secret weapon in this cookie recipe, just like in shortbread cookies. 2 teaspoons give the cookies extra lift and leave them extra soft. You can’t taste it! You also need all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients: Combine all the ingredients, then add the chocolate chips.
  7. Chill the Cookie Dough: For extra thick chocolate chip cookies, chill the cookie dough for at least 1 hour. Chilling cookie dough will make or break the recipe! The colder the cookie dough, the less the cookies will over-spread. If you’re interested, here are 10 tips on how to prevent cookies from spreading.
  8. Extra Chocolate Chips: This is optional, but as soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a few chocolate chips on top. They’ll melt right down into the cookie, making them extra pretty. And melted chocolate is never a bad thing! I recommend doing the same with double chocolate chip cookies.
stick of room temperature butter

Room temperature butter is cool to touch and about 65°F (18°C), which may be cooler than your kitchen. To test it, poke it with your finger. Your finger should make an indent without sinking into the butter. The butter should not be shiny or greasy. You can’t cream cold butter and you can’t cream partially melted butter either. Room temperature butter is imperative to the outcome of these cookies! You need 3/4 cup, which is 1.5 sticks.

Warm chocolate chip cookies on silpat

Don’t Have Time to Chill Cookie Dough?

If you don’t have time to chill the chocolate chip cookie dough, try my Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. Or even these soft chocolate chip cookie bars, which don’t require individual cookie rolling either!

I also have an entire section of no chill cookie recipes. 🙂 Snickerdoodles are a favorite!

warm chocolate chip cookies on black plate

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Freezing chocolate chip cookie dough is really easy. I have a whole post dedicated to how to freeze cookie dough, but here’s a recap:

  1. After the cookie dough has chilled in the refrigerator, roll the cookie dough into balls. Chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a labeled zipped-top bag– large or small depending on how much dough you have.
  3. Label the bag with the month and the baking temperature and place the bag in the freezer.
  4. Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months. The date will help you determine when the cookie dough is fresh and the temperature is written for obvious reasons. Really, you can write whatever is helpful to you. The date, temperature, time, recipe name, etc.
  5. When it’s time to bake the cookies, remove them from the freezer. Preheat the oven according to the recipe’s instructions.
  6. Bake the cookies for a minute or two longer since the dough is frozen.

Bake the frozen cookie dough balls whenever the craving hits or when you need a big batch of fresh-baked cookies. I do it all the time!

Chocolate chip cookies on black plate

Sometimes the simplest recipes are what stick. I really don’t need to convince you– it’s a chocolate chip cookie. THE chocolate chip cookie!

Print
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warm chocolate chip cookies on black plate

The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

I have a few tricks that make these the best soft chocolate chip cookies that you’ll ever try. With hundreds of positive reviews from bakers around the world, I’m confident you’ll fall in love with this chocolate chip cookie recipe too. Chilling the cookie dough is imperative and cornstarch makes them extra soft and thick!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (225g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar together on medium speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add into the wet ingredients, then beat on low speed until combined. The cookie dough will be slightly thick. On low speed, beat the chocolate chips. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3-4 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  4. Once chilled, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together when you work the dough with your hands. Roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls.
  5. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. The cookies will look extremely soft when you remove them from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. If desired, while the cookies are still warm, press a few extra chocolate chips into the tops. This is completely for looks.
  6. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with preheating the oven in step 3. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
  3. Adapted from Anna Olson

Keywords: cookies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. My daughter said these cookies were amazing. I think the dark sugar added a dimension of flavor she had never tasted before in a chocolate chip. Will be making these again.

  2. 1. Can you make these larger like your other CC cookies that are 3 TBS each?
    2. Do you prefer the prebought chunks or chopping your own semisweet bar?
    thanks. I love your books and your website!! You bake like I love to eat!!

    1. Hi Sheree! Happy to help. (1) Yes. The bake time will be a little longer. Remove from the oven when the edges are lightly browned. (2) Either is fine, but using a real chopped chocolate bar, such as Bakers or Ghirardelli brands, creates delicious pools of melted chocolate in the cookies. That’s because the pre-packaged chunks typically contain stabilizers which prevent them from fully melting inside the cookie. Use either– your choice!

  3. These are my favorite chocolate chip cookie to make! No other recipe I’ve tried comes out as well as these do

  4. This is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever made where the cookies actually tasted soft and chewy the next day. I made my own dark brown sugar with molasses and used dark chocolate chunks. I was a bit concerned that they were underdone or raw when they came out, but everything turned out marvelously. Honestly delicious, and kind of dangerous—I can’t stop eating them. I’m saving this recipe!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I haven’t tried making these with an egg substitute. Let me know if you try it!

  5. Makes the most delicious chewy cookies! They freeze beautifully and are just perfect!

  6. These have quickly become our favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are perfect every time. My dough isn’t crumbly coming out of the fridge, so don’t be nervous if yours isn’t either. I have made SO many different recipes but this is our absolute favorite.

    1. These are my new son-in-law’s favorite chocolate chip cookies. I am making them for the favor bags for their reception and was trying to figure out when to bake them so they would be fresh in the bags that I bought for favors , allowing us enough time to bag them and do everything else. Any suggestions on how long they keep after baking? Thanks

      1. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Enjoy!

  7. I made these cookies yesterday and have been raving about them since to my sisters! Absolutely delicious!! Followed every step as you said (thank you for such detailed instructions by the way!) and they came out perfect! Also addicted to your blog now and have added lots of other recipes I want to try! Thank you!

  8. I first made this recipe the same year you originally posted it. Years later and other chocolate chip recipes later, this is STILL my family’s favourite recipe. They’re perfect every time. If I remember, I like to let this cookie dough chill overnight – really helps make the best cookie.

    One more note – I recently adopted a plant based lifestyle. And I was easily able to adapt these cookies to be vegan by using vegan butter, organic (vegan) sugar and an egg replacer in place of the egg. Still perfect and just how we loved them. Thank you Sally!

    1. I’m so glad you can still make these cookies work for you and your family, Hayley!

  9. Best chocolate chip cookies ever! Blamed my gas oven for years. Moved recently and have an electric oven. Previous cookies the same…. tasted ok but always flat. These are so tasty AND PUFFY! Great!

  10. I use this recipe everytime. They always turn out perfect! Thank you!

  11. This is my favorite!!! Sally has many recipes I have used and she is a baking genius!! Try the chocolate zucchini cake and her gingerbread cookies…also to die for. Just finished baking these chocolate chip cookies for all the family coming in for my wedding….they were requested by several!!! Thanks Sally!!

  12. Made this recipe the other night for my husband and he loved them! Making them again tonight! Keep the cookie recipe coming!:)

  13. I’ll keep this short and sweet. BEST. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. EVER

  14. Thank you, Sally for another perfect recipe. My husband says they are the best cookies he has ever had.

    I made a double batch and froze the extra dough balls. Thank you for all the tips!

  15. I just made a double batch of these, and they are DELICIOUS!! They are so puffy and really melt in your mouth!! I usually bake with salted butter, so I left out the salt, and I added 1 teaspoon of instant coffee to the dry ingredients to bring out the chocolate flavor. I used a cookie scoop to make big balls, and chilled 9 of them for 30 minutes before baking on a cookie sheet covered with a silicone sheet. I scooped the remaining cookies and froze them on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, and then put the balls in the freezer in a ziplock bag for future treats. Thanks for this great recipe!!

  16. I usually have a go-to cookie recipe that I like to use, but today I wanted to try something different.
    This recipe is absolutely delightful, and will now be my new go-to!! I used dark brown sugar instead of light brown, and added some sea salt once the cookies came out of the oven. This recipe is delicious, if you haven’t tried it out please do so!

  17. Hi Sally,
    This is the first time I’m trying chocolate chip cookies.Do I need to flatten the dough balls or just bake the balls and they flatten themselves while baking?

    1. They’ll flatten as they bake. Let me know how you like them!

  18. I made these cookies today with mini chocolate chips and oh my GOODNESS. They are so delicious. I have already eaten like 9 of them in the past hour. AMAZING!

  19. I just made these (I am a newbie baker)and now you have a fan for life. I want to try your extra chewy cookies but I feel like I shouldn’t mess with perfection.

  20. I thought this recipe disappeared from your website & I had a slight panic attack! This cookie recipe is phenomenal! Everybody that I make it for is amazed. We freeze the dough balls & bring them out when we want freshly baked cookies for dessert!

  21. Hands down the best cookies I’ve ever made. This is our new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’m tossing all the others!!!

  22. So soft! You weren’t kidding! These are our new favorite chocolate chip cookies. My husband asked for another batch 3 days later. Yum!

  23. These cookies were delicious! Thank you for a perfect recipe!

  24. If I were to make these into bars, would this be enough for a 13×9 pan?

    1. Hi Jennifer! This cookie dough will fit into a 9×9 inch square baking pan for cookie bars. I recommend doubling the recipe for a larger pan.

  25. This very recipe is what got me hooked on all of your recipes. I bought two of your book and continue to use this cookie recipe every time I make cookies. You taught me how to bake, and now I get so many compliments on my creations. Thank you so much!

  26. I made these last week and they were the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten! I made them for a church event and everyone kept saying how good these were! I made them exactly as written and they were soooooo delicious! I’ve never used dark brown sugar before and I LOVED it! Thank you, Sally, for another amazing cookie recipe!

  27. Hey Sally. Is there a difference if you roll the dough then refrigerate? And refrigerating then rolling into balls?

    1. No difference at all! I usually chill before rolling (depending on the recipe) because the dough is pretty soft before chilling, making rolling a little messy and sticky.

  28. Always a favorite in our house–this is my favorite cookie recipe ever!