This chocolate chip cookie recipe makes soft cookies with golden edges and tender centers. Top them with a pinch of flaked sea salt.
This chocolate chip cookie recipe was first published on March 24, 2020 when things in the world were strange and uncertain. I deemed it a virtual hug in the form of my favorite, gooey chocolate center, crisp caramel edges, warm and cozy chocolate chip cookies. Since that time, they have gained many fans. Check out the reviews and comments below to see why you should make these today!
I can’t even begin to describe how awesome these are! I made them exactly the way the recipe says! I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies for 30 yrs. I’ve always wanted them to turn out just like these, and never was quite right. These are the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie! Thank you ever so much! My hubby and I ate about a dozen immediately! So so good! This will be my go to recipe from now on!❤️❤️❤️- Vicky
Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Cookies
The ingredients for these Chocolate Chip Cookies are classic, and are probably things you already have in a well-stocked pantry. Here’s the run-down:
- All-Purpose Flour - I tested this recipe with Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour. It gives me reliable results every time. One of my primary goals in creating this recipe was finding a great cookie that used only all-purpose flour, which most of us always have in our pantry. (Before I fine-tuned the recipe shared below, my favorite cookie was the infamous David Leit recipe from the New York Times. A few times a year, I would go buy bread flour and cake flour for the sole purpose of making David Leit’s cookies, and then would never again touch those flours until they got far too old and had to be tossed right in the compost.)
- Baking Soda - These provide the dough with just a bit of lift, giving the cookies that soft and tender texture. Be sure to replace your baking soda every few months (yes! every few months!). Old baking soda won’t give you the same results as a fresh box.
- Light Brown Sugar and White Sugar - These cookies use the same amount (measured by weight) of light brown sugar and white sugar. Those two sugars work together to give the cookies the balance of crisp edges and soft centers.
- Unsalted Butter - It is important to use unsalted butter to get the measurement for salt (see below) right. If using salted butter, it’s a good idea to skip the added kosher salt in the dough so that the cookies don’t become too salty. Don’t forget to take the butter out of the fridge in advance. It needs to be softened while still feeling slightly cool to the touch.
- Kosher Salt and Flaked Sea Salt - A decent amount of salt in chocolate chip cookies balances and enhances the flavor of the sugar and chocolate chips. Be sure to use kosher salt which comes in larger grains than traditional table salt in the cookie dough. (If you only have table salt, reduce the amount listed in the recipe by half to avoid your cookies being too salty.) At our house, we also all love a light sprinkle of flaked sea salt (I use Maldon) on top of the warm cookies. It’s totally optional but gives the cookies a hint of extra salt and a tiny bit of crunch.
- Eggs and Pure Vanilla Extract - You can’t have great chocolate chip cookies without these two things. The eggs add texture, the vanilla extract adds flavor. Egg yolks are essential to giving cookies that familiar chewy texture.
- Semisweet Chocolate Chips - These are the classic, but see below for other ideas!
How to Make Chewy and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soften butter. Be sure the butter is very soft before using it so that it will properly cream with the sugars.
- Whisk together dry ingredients. Carefully measure dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, and salt. (Use a kitchen scale for the flour if you have one or gently scoop it out of the bag into a measuring cup so that it doesn't compress.)
- Cream butter and sugars. Don't skimp on this step. It should take about 3 minutes for the butter and sugars to be light, fluffy, and very pale in color.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix eggs and vanilla into butter-sugar mixture. Keep the mixer on low so that you don't beat any air into the eggs (this can cause the cookies to be cakey).
- Add dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until fully combined. Don't overmix.
- Refrigerate 20 minutes. Chill the dough for just 20 minutes while the oven heats.
- Bake at 350°F for 9 to 12 minutes. Use a heaping tablespoon to measure out the cookie dough onto a greased or parchment paper-topped baking sheet. (These are large cookies.)
- Deflate cookies. Firmly tap the baking sheet on the kitchen counter. This deflates the cookies so the centers are chewy and soft.
- Let cool on the pan. This step is important. The cookies will look soft in the center when you remove them from the pan, but let them cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
What causes cakey cookies?
- Using too much flour - This is almost always the answer. Measure your flour by weight or, if you don't have a kitchen scale, very loosely spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then use a knife to scrape the excess off the top. Be very careful not to compress the flours you measure it. If you are following the recipe exactly and keep getting cakey cookies, it may be simply be an issue with the brand of flour you are using. I tested these cookies with Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour and find it gives the best, most consistent results.
- Using too much egg or over-beating it - Another cause of cakey cookies is using too much egg or beating too much air into the mixture after you've added the eggs. Double check that you are using standard "large" size eggs and be sure to stop mixing them as soon as they are evenly combined with the butter-sugar mixture. If the eggs are extra-large, use one full egg and one egg yolk. Egg yolks help to give cookies a chewy texture. Egg whites give cookies a cakey texture.
- Using cold butter- Make sure that your butter is softened to room temperature before you start. You should easily be able to indent it with a light press of your finger.
- Cookies are too small- Be sure to follow the instructions on the size of the cookies. Cookies that are too small won't have enough space to spread out and have chewy centers.
- Not Deflating After Baking - Always firmly tap the baking sheet on the counter right after bringing the cookies out of the oven. This will deflate the centers of the cookie so that they compress and stay chewy once cool.
The “Right” Baking Time
Baking these cookies for the right amount of time is key to their chewy + crispy texture. Look to the edges of the cookies (not the centers). The cookies are done when the edges are light golden brown. The centers will still be very pale and soft.
Then, and this is important, let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes. As they cool, the cookies will continue to firm up and the surface will turn golden brown.
Here are what they should look like right as they are pulled out of the oven. Puffy and pale in the center.
And here’s what the cookies look like after cooling on the sheet pan for 5 minutes.
50 years of searching and I've finally found THE chocolate chip cookie recipe. My daughter is an accomplished baker and she agrees. I followed the recipe and instructions to the letter and they came out perfectly. We are still puzzling over how they can continue to brown out of the oven, but they do!- Debra
How To Shape Cookie Dough
Use a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop out the dough, but make them heaping spoonfuls with the dough rounded over top. The cookies will be 3 to 4 inches across after baking.
Photo-Worthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
To make your chocolate chip cookies look extra polished (you know there are few things that Instagram loves as much as a beautiful cookie shot), just press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the dough balls right before they bake.
Fillings for Chocolate Chip Cookies
While semisweet chocolate chips are the classic, here are a few other favorite fillings:
- Chocolate Chunks
- High-Quality Chocolate Bars, chopped (great if you want to combine different types of chocolate - I love half bittersweet chocolate and half milk chocolate)
- Chopped Candy (chopped Heath bar is great!)
- Chopped nuts - like pecans or walnuts
How to Freeze Cookie Dough
Frozen cookie dough is like money in the bank. (Though I have to keep it in my downstairs freezer…and out of reach.) You can bake one at a time or the whole batch any time you need them. The best way to freeze cookie dough is:
- Form cookie dough into balls and line up in a single layer on a sheet pan
- Transfer sheet pan to freezer until dough is frozen solid, 2 to 3 hours.
- Transfer dough to a freezer-safe bag and seal, removing as much air from the bag as possible.
- Freeze for up to 6 months.
To bake cookies from frozen: Bake the cookie dough directly from the freezer at 325°F / 163°C for 16 to 18 minutes. (This lower temperature and longer cook time is important for the dough to defrost and cook all the way through.)
More Cookies to Stock Your Freezer
- Peanut Butter Cookie Cups - Soft peanut butter cookie cups stuffed with chocolate peanut butter cups – always a crowd favorite.
- Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies - These rich dark chocolate cookies are filled with creamy caramel and topped with a sprinkle of salt.
- Mini Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies - Their miniature size is likely my favorite thing about these cookies. Perfect for lunch boxes.
Crispy and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Stand Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- Half Sheet Pan
- 3 cups (375g) All-Purpose Flour (see note)
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature (see note)
- 1 cup (200g) Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 cup (200g) Granulated (White) Sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 ½ cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 teaspoon Flaked Sea Salt (totally optional, but try it if you like a salty finish on your sweets)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and creamy, about 3 minutes (it should resemble fluffy frosting).
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on low until completely combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low until just combined (stop mixing as soon as there are no dry spots of flour in the dough - do not overmix).
- Add the chocolate chips and mix into the batter on low just until combined.
- Transfer the mixing bowl to the refrigerator and refrigerate for 20 minutes while the oven heats. (This step is important as the cold dough is key to the soft centers of the cookies.)
- Heat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- Lightly grease a sheet pan or line it with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper.
- Use a tablespoon measuring spoon (use the measuring spoon as a guide, but make these “heaping” tablespoons with dough rounded over the top) to scoop out even portions of cold cookie dough. (Note: Be sure that the cookie dough is about the size of a golf ball. If the cookies are smaller than this they won't spread out enough to have soft, chewy centers.)
- Arrange the cookie dough on the prepared sheet pan, leaving space for the cookies to spread out.
- Bake the cookies until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown and the centers are still very pale and soft (they will continue to firm up and darken after you remove them from the oven), 9 to 12 minutes.
- When you remove the sheet pan from the oven, tap it firmly on the kitchen counter a few times to deflate the cookies (this step helps to give the cookies lightly crinkled edges and a dense center).
- Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with flaked sea salt (this is optional and you may not need the full amount; just add a small pinch on top of each cookie if you want that salty crunch).
- Leave the cookies on the sheet pan to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. (Note: If you try to move them too early they may fall apart, but will firm up as they cool.)
- Store cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.