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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. I made these yesterday and followed the instructions but they ended up spreading completely flat! I’m so disappointed! I dont understand, any suggestions as to what went wrong? The flavor was great just no height at all, I was really looking forward to a fluffy thick cookie 🙁

      1. I read through that page after my first pan of chilled dough spread. It seems to be a trend with me, almost all my cookies spread paper thin and I can’t figure it out! I’m not a novice baker either, this is very frustrating. Thank you for all your recipes and taking time to answer questions!

  2. Well from one Sally to another….these came out picture perfect! I had to try one while still warm….mmm. My hubby loves nuts so I will bake half the batter without and with nuts. Thank you so much for helping me find the perfect cookie! Sally S. Medford, OR

    1. Had to come back to my comment….I decided to roll the dough in crushed walnuts instead of mixing them in the dough. Wow, a new type of cookie with nuts. Now I don’t have to guess which cookies have nuts in them; they are easy to see. Very delicious too! Sally

    2. So sweet! I’m thrilled you both enjoyed these cookies 🙂 Thanks for your positive feedback!!

  3. This is officially my go to recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Is it possible to make this in a 9″ cake pan?

    1. I’m thrilled you enjoy it so much, Miya! You can follow the baking instructions for this cookie cake: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/chocolate-chip-cookie-cake/
      Enjoy!

  4. The best cookie recipe I have ever had. I use it all the time and get so many compliments!! It makes a ton, so I always have enough for a party or a few days for my family. You are a genius!

    1. Also I would like to add that I have never been able to make cookies untill this recipe! I have always tried recipes and they never turned out. I would always cave and buy them pre-made until now!

  5. I once used parchment to bake chocolate chip cookies and they were crispy. It seemed like they needed the butter that was drawn out onto the paper. Can these be made just on the baking sheet? I really want them to stay chewy. My recipes have always been inconsistent with that. I’m hoping this one is the answer!

    1. Hi Janice, Were you using this recipe when that happened? If this dough is appropriately chilled that shouldn’t happen even when using parchment paper! I always bake my cookies on a silicone mat – it’s one of my favorite baking tools! The ones I use are number 2 on this list: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/10-best-cookie-baking-tools/

  6. My husband absolutely loved these! I even made an extra batch of dough to go in the freezer – do you know how long the dough will keep if it is vacuum sealed and frozen?? Thanks! 🙂

  7. Love this recipe! The cookies are incredible every time I make them! Every one is a fan in our house!

  8. I LOVE this recipe and whenever I make it I get tons of compliments, my boyfriend loves when I make these cookies for him and he even like to eat the cookie dough so this is leading me to ask this question, how long does the cookie dough stay good in the refrigerator?

  9. My first ever go at chocolate chip cookies and they are absolutely crazy delicious… thank you so much! Big hug from France!

  10. I just want to commend you on your recipe writing. I’ve tried sooooo many of your baked goods recipes and they are so clearly written, listed in order of use, and fully explained (i.e. PACKED brown sugar, scoop and level method.) I’m a personal chef who is obsessed with food and I’m just starting my recipe blog. I want you to know what an inspiration you are. So many blogs/websites have terribly written recipes, but yours are concise and well explained. Just wanted to drop a note of thanks! I’m making these perfect cookies for an event tomorrow and they’re truly the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

  11. I have been baking cookies for years and I’m almost embarrassed that I handed out boring crispy chocolate chip cookies. I now have a favorite go to cookie recipe that my friends and family beg for. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  12. Made these for the first time today. Embarrassed that I ever served anything else! These are definitely my new favorite! Thank you Sally!

  13. This is the ONLY chocolate chip cookie recipe I ever make!! Amazing ! Crispy edges and soft in the middle!

  14. These cookies are the best! You’re right, this recipe is the superb! Thanks, Sally, for sharing your recipe with us! Cheers to more of our baking adventures!

  15. Love this recipe! It’s my go to for chocolate chip cookies. I’d like to add in chopped walnuts. Should I change anything if I do that?

    1. I’m so happy you love it! You can certainly add walnuts without making any other changes. I suggest you keep the total amount of walnuts to 1.25 cups.

  16. Best recipe I’ve tried!! I’d say they’re like little Levain Cookies and that’s the best compliment I can think of…

  17. Best chocolate chip cookies ever! My family and friends can’t compliment me enough when I make them. So easy, so delicious. Will never make another chocolate chip cookie recipe, NEVER!!

  18. I made the cookies for a family gathering. Two batches vanished within in minutes )) thank you Sally so much for the great recipe and hard work.

  19. LOVE this recipe! The only Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I will use. I never take the time to chill the dough – and they still turn out perfect for me, every time. I sometimes add caramel bits and pecans, maybe a little sprinkle of course salt on top! Amazing every time! Thank you Sally for all of your wonderfully delicious recipes! I look to your site first whenever baking anything.

    1. You can definitely double this recipe no problem, however I usually recommend doubling then making 1 more batch if you need 3 batches. In most cases, tripling recipes can slightly alter the taste and texture.

  20. Have you ever added nuts? The recipe I usually use I add chocolate chips and toffee.

    1. Sure have! You can add any add-ins including chocolate chips, chopped nuts, toffee pieces, dried cranberries, etc as long as the total amount is about 1 and 1/2 cups.

  21. Sally, love the cookies but hate scooping the dough with my favorite PC cookie scoop when the dough is chilled. Could I make my cookie balls first and then refrigerate them for the applicable amount of time before baking?? I don’t see where that should make any difference and might even require a shorter time period in the refrig since the dough ball should chill quicker.

    1. Yes, absolutely. Sometimes I recommend chilling the cookie dough BEFORE scooping/shaping because the dough is too soft. However, this dough would be fine to shape (scoop), then chill.

  22. I have fiddled with chocolate chip cookie recipes for ages. None compares to this one. The last person I baked these for said “oh my, you should sell these “. Sally’s Baking Addiction is my go to baking site for everything.

  23. there is nearly always a batch of these waiting in the freezer to bake. These are one of my two go to cookie recipes. The way. It uses both white sugar to give shape and brown sugar for gooey yumminess is brilliant. Definitely worth the title of best chocolate chip cookie.

  24. Made these this past weekend to take to my son in college when we visited for Parent’s Weekend. They were delicious and he loved them! Wonderful warm out of the oven too.

  25. Definitely the best chocolate chip cookie ever!! I have been baking these for my family for some time now, and they disappear in no time! Thanks Sally for this wonderful recipe!

  26. Hi Catherine, that works too! You might have to re-roll the balls after removing them from the fridge if they spread out a bit but it will be easier to roll at this point. Enjoy!

  27. These were the best soft baked cookies I’ve ever tried. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  28. Stop looking for any other chocolate chip cookie recipe and make this one. Crispy edges, soft centers, and they stay fresh for days. Sally, thank you for this flawless recipe. I followed it exactly and they were perfect!

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