Crispy and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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This chocolate chip cookie recipe makes soft cookies with golden edges and tender centers. Top them with a pinch of flaked sea salt.

crispy and chewy chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack

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!

hand holding a chocolate chip cookie with a bite out of it

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
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chocolate chip cookies stacked on a white table

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!
chocolate chip cookie dough on a beater above a mixer.

How to Make Chewy and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Soften butter. Be sure the butter is very soft before using it so that it will properly cream with the sugars.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Add dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until fully combined. Don’t overmix.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips. Mix chocolate chips in just until they are evenly incorporated.
  7. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Chill the dough for just 20 minutes while the oven heats.
  8. 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.)
  9. Deflate cookies. Firmly tap the baking sheet on the kitchen counter. This deflates the cookies so the centers are chewy and soft.
  10. 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.
  11. Enjoy!
chocolate chip cookie dough in a mixer bowl

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.


weighing flour for cookies on a kitchen scale

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.

chocolate chip cookies on a white background

And here’s what the cookies look like after cooling on the sheet pan for 5 minutes.

chocolate chip cookies after baking, topped with sea salt

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

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.

a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough in a teaspoon

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.

chocolate chip cookie dough in balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet

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)
  • M&Ms
  • Chopped Candy (chopped Heath bar is great!)
  • Chopped nuts – like pecans or walnuts

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:

  1. Form cookie dough into balls and line up in a single layer on a sheet pan
  2. Transfer sheet pan to freezer until dough is frozen solid, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Transfer dough to a freezer-safe bag and seal, removing as much air from the bag as possible.
  4. 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.)

chocolate chip cookie dough in balls on a sheet pan

More Reader-Favorite Baking Recipes

  • Kitchen Sink Cookies – Packed with so many delicious fillings (“everything but the…”), after these chocolate chip cookies, Kitchen Sink Cookies are my second most popular cookie recipe.
  • Easy Banana Bread – This banana bread is made with melted butter so it comes together super fast and every slice is incredibly moist.

chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack with a bite out of the center cookie

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chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack
4.27 from 1181 votes

Crispy and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These crispy and chewy chocolate chip cookies have golden edges and soft, tender centers. Top them with a pinch of flaked sea salt.
Note: If you use the buttons below to double or triple this recipe please note that the weight measurements will not change. This recipe is best made if using weight measurements, so just be sure to double those if increasing the recipe.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 27 minutes
Servings: 24

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Half Sheet Pan

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour (see note; 3 cups = 375g)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature (see note; 2 sticks = 1 cup or 16 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed (1 cup = 200g)
  • 1 cup Granulated (White) Sugar (1 cup = 200g)
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 teaspoon Flaked Sea Salt (totally optional, but try it if you like a salty finish on your sweets)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Flour – I used Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour when I tested this recipe and still use it for every batch to get consistent results every time. If you have having trouble with the consistency of the cookies, the culprit is most likely the flour. Try switching to Golden Medal Unbleached and use a kitchen scale to weigh your flour.
Kitchen scale – To get that crispy / chewy texture, it’s a really good idea to measure your flour and sugars by weight. If you have a kitchen scale, pull it out for this recipe. 
Softened Butter – This tends to feel like the most finicky step of making chocolate chip cookies, but it’s important. The butter should be soft enough that you can easily make an indent with your finger but should still be cool to the touch. You want it to hold its shape a bit as you combine it with the sugars and then soften to a fluffy texture after the full 3 minutes of beating.
To Freeze: Cookie dough can be formed into balls and frozen on a sheet pan. Transfer the dough balls to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 6 months. To cook, bake the cookie dough directly from the freezer at 325°F / 163°C for 16 to 18 minutes.
Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!
freezer label for chocolate chip cookies
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $4.50
Calories: 253
Keyword: chocolate, chocolate chip, cookies
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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379 Comments

  1. If tried this recipe and was pretty good but did not come out as the picture is there a possibility to use parts butter and margarine to get a chewier cookie?

    1. Absolutely! That should work. But make sure you read all of the tips in the post and you should get a result just like the photos.

  2. 5 stars
    These are the PERFECT cookie. My husband and I are different. He likes crispy, I like chewy. These are a favorite for us BOTH. I won’t make them any other way now

  3. 4 stars
    I’ve made these cookies a number of times to rave reviews. Unfortunately, today I doubled the recipe using the 2x feature and there is an error in your recipe. After 4 sticks of butter which is correct, it says (1 cup). 4 sticks is 2 cups of butter. Needless to say my cookies did not turn out correctly. 🙁 I will make them again because they are outstanding cookies.

    1. Oh my goodness Marlene – I’m so sorry. You’re correct – the weight measurements have to be added manually and thus don’t convert correctly when doubled or tripled. I’m going to go add that note to the recipe card now.

  4. I have been looking for the perfect cookie recipe FOREVER! And this recipe was it! I have followed many recipes to the TEE and haven’t had them turn out well. But this recipe had slightly different instructions (ie: put your eggs in together with vanilla and mix until just combined. Every other recipe I’ve used says 1 egg at a time. The explanation of not mixing too much because of letting air into the dough made sense! None of the other recipes said to add the eggs together and why not to mix it more.) the tapping the pan was a huge tip too! This RECIPE made PERFECT cookies! Well done! Thank you!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad this was helpful! It was so helpful to me when I went through all the rounds of testing these cookies to understand some of the science behind it and then the results turn out so consistent!

  5. 5 stars
    The absolute best cookies ever! I use See’s candy milk chocolate chips and wow! Been looking for something like Mrs. Fields for years and these cookies are just as good. Everyone loves them.

  6. I so* wish I had a scale because it ended up being too much flour (I’m guessing) because they were cake-like and puffy. I even scooped by tablespoons of flour and didn’t pack it, thinking it would be less than the 3 cups but it didn’t spread. 🙁 I’ll try again!

    1. Oh yes – a scale really does make a difference with baking recipes like this one. But I do hope you’ll give it another try! It could also be the type of flour you used, which is just something that’s hard to control. Different flours have different densities and grinds, so it’s just really hard to get all of the factors just right.

  7. 5 stars
    These are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve made! I ended up mixing dark and light brown sugar without any issues and otherwise followed the recipe. They are perfectly crisp on the edges and chewy in the center. Bookmarking this one for sure!

  8. 4 stars
    My butter and sugar didn’t cream together like fluffy icing but the end product was delicious. Best choc chip cookies I’ve ever made. I used 3 c of flour but very very loosely measured it. Those saying it’s too sweet, I used dark chocolate chips (my favorite) and it was perfectly balanced.
    I would’ve given 5 stars but it was a roller coaster of a ride making them. Maybe it’s my incompetence or lack of skill but it was a wild ride and I didn’t know how they’d taste at the end lol

  9. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe I have found that when you chop up bars of chocolate into fine pieces it is better then chocolate chips, also using crisco instead of butter. I love these cookies so much and they are always a crowd pleaser

    1. I’m so glad you liked them Lilly! And I’m so glad to hear that Crisco worked in place of the butter – that’s great to know!