Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chewy chocolate chip cookies are thick, rich and filled with chunks of chocolate chips. This is a classic recipe you will use time and time again!
Nothing beats a chewy chocolate chip cookies. Warm cookies right out of the oven with melted chocolate chips and a cold glass of milk—that to me is pure bliss. Today I’m going to share with you my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’ve been using it for years and it’s one of the few recipes I have memorized.
I’ve made these cookies so many times I swear I can bang out a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies in under 15 minutes. I’m going to share with you all the tips and tricks to making chocolate chip cookies so you can perfect this classic!
Chewy chocolate chip cookie ingredients
- All purpose flour has the appropriate protein content to make soft, chewy cookies. Wheat flour has more protein and therefore makes a tough cookie whereas cake flour has less protein and makes a cake-like cookie.
- Baking soda helps cookies rise and spread slightly.
- Cornstarch keeps the cookies soft and thick.
- Salt activates the baking soda allowing the cookies to rise.
- Unsalted butter is melted to make chewy cookies. The flour absorbs the butter in the dough, which is then chilled to reduce spreading when the cookies bake.
- Light brown sugar has a little molasses and moisture in it so it helps make the cookies chewy. A higher ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar guarantees a chewy chocolate chip cookie.
- Granulated sugar is dryer than brown sugar and is necessary to help the cookies spread slightly.
- Eggs acts as a bond to keep the ingredients together. The key here, though, is using one large egg and one egg yolk. The full egg helps the cookie rise, but the additional yolk binds the cookies and adds richness.
- Pure vanilla extract enhances the flavor of baked goods. Use pure vanilla extract (as opposed to imitation) for the best flavor.
- Semisweet chocolate chips are the preferred chocolate for these cookies, however, dark chocolate or milk chocolate chips may be used as well. It’s baker’s choice!
How to make chewy chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are easy to make following these steps.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together. The flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt must be whisked together in a separate bowl. This will guarantee even distribution of the baking soda and cornstarch in the dough later on. It also gives time for the baking soda to interact with the salt, which allows the cookies to rise.
- Beat butter and sugars together. The easiest method is using a stand mixer or hand mixer. However, since the butter is melted you can do this step by hand. Beat for at least 4 minutes until the mixture is light in color. The sugar will fully absorb the butter.
- Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix just until combined. Beating the eggs for too long will make the cookies cake-y. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl if necessary.
- Stir in the dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture in spoonfuls to the dough when the mixer is on low. Once the flour is incorporated stop the mixer. Over mixing the flour will result in tough cookies.
- Stir in the chocolate chips. Again do this just until combined. Since the batter has melted butter and may be greasy, it takes a few extra strokes to get the chips incorporated.
- Chill the dough. This is the most important step. Chilling the dough solidifies the melted butter and as a result takes the cookies longer to spread when baked. Thus, keeping the cookies thick and chewy.
- Bake the cookies. Bake the cookie dough balls at 350 F for 10 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are golden brown.
Brown sugar in chocolate chip cookies
Brown sugar makes thick, chewy chocolate chip cookies because it contains molasses. Light brown sugar has about 10% molasses while dark brown sugar contains closer to 20%. I opt for light brown sugar so the taste isn’t affected. Molasses adds moisture and helps the dough to firm up faster (read: chewier consistency). It’s still important to use white sugar because you need a little dryness in the dough.
Why you should chill cookie dough
Another key step is chilling the cookie dough before baking the cookies. It gives the ingredients time to meld together and also keeps the cookie thick in the baking process. Cold cookie dough = less spread. You can chill the dough then scoop or vice versa!
I prefer to scoop the dough into balls (using a medium cookie scoop) and placing them on a baking sheet before chilling in the refrigerator. That way they are ready to go once they are chilled!
How to store chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are best when kept at room temperature in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for up to a week, however are best when eaten the day they are baked.
Chocolate chip cookie dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days before being baked. You can also freeze chocolate chip cookie dough for up to three months. If the dough is rolled into balls before freezing, you can bake the frozen dough directly from the freezer. The baking time will increase to 14 minutes.
High altitude adjustments for chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate chip cookies require less baking soda and less sugar at high altitude. I tested this recipe in Denver, CO, which is at an altitude of 5,280 feet (1609 meters). Decrease the baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon. Decrease the brown sugar by 2 teaspoons and the granulated sugar by 1 teaspoon. At higher altitudes, you may need to add 1 teaspoon of water to the flour mixture to make up for the lack of moisture in the air.
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Get the Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe was last updated January 2020.
- 2 ¼ cups (280 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch¹
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- ¾ cup (150 g) packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (220 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat on medium speed the melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about four minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Beat until combined, 20 to 30 seconds.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the dough. Careful not to over beat. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of cookie dough (I use a medium cookie scoop), shape into a ball, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat placing each ball of cookie dough about 1- to 2-inches apart. Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or overnight).2
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove plastic wrap from baking sheet and bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges start to turn light brown. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Cornstarch helps keep cookies soft and thick, but it can be omitted if you don’t have any.
- Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough in the bowl and scoop chilled dough immediately before baking. Dough can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking.
- Storing chocolate chip cookies: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
- Freezing chocolate chip cookie dough: Cookie dough (in the bowl or scooped into balls) can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen in balls, you can bake them directly on the cookie sheet with an increased baking time of 14 minutes.
- High altitude adjustments: Reduce baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon. Reduce brown sugar by 2 teaspoons and granulated sugar by 1 teaspoon.