Everyone has their own version of favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies. And with this recipe, I show you how to easily tweak each ingredient to get the BEST flavor and texture profile that YOU love, with your chocolate chip cookies! I’ve also provided tips to store baked or unbaked cookies for later.
These chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy – just the way I love ’em!
If baking is a labor of love, then chocolate chips cookies are the ultimate payoff. There’s a reason why classic chocolate chip cookies are perhaps the most popular type of cookie in the world! If someone said to me that they didn’t like chocolate chip cookies, I’d snub them. Snub them like a stale cookie. No two ways about it.
Just kidding! Maybe..
But what is it that defines a great chocolate chip cookie recipe? After all, there are dozens and dozens of chocolate chip cookie recipes online. And so many of them claim to be the BEST. So, I went right ahead and did the same.
The fact though is that, what makes a particular chocolate chip cookie the best for one person, is not the same for another. Everyone has their own preferences. Even in my home, I LOVE a softer chocolate chip cookie with chewy and crisp edges, while my husband prefers more of the chewy and crisp, and less of the soft.
So given all that, let me just say right off the bat that this right here is the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe in the world for me! 🙂 And my husband too. Especially him, since he will never stop raving about these! The reason is that these chocolate chip cookies have the best of both worlds – soft AND chewy. It’s also the best chocolate chip cookie recipe for me because I’ve made these a gazillion times since I was a kid and have tweaked the recipe to a point where I can easily adapt the recipe to suit whatever flavor/texture fancy that we are craving for! And today, I’m going to show how you can do that too.
I’ve tested variations of my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe to find out how to alter the texture and flavor for optimal results. I tested the effect of tweaking each of these ingredients,
- Chemical leavening agent (baking soda/baking powder)
I opted not to play around with sugar, because I’ve always felt that a balance of both white and brown sugar also gave me a great balance of chewy and crispy texture, and that was non-negotiable for me.
So let’s look at the effects of each of those ingredients.
Chocolate chip cookies made with softened butter vs melted butter
In terms of flavor and texture, there’s no difference. The cookies made with melted butter spread a tad more, but this difference is even less after the dough has been chilled (for a minimum of 1 hour).
Personally though, I prefer making chocolate chip cookies with melted butter, because this gives me the opportunity to do so much more in terms of changing up the flavor. Melted butter can easily be infused with different flavors.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to infuse flavor into the butter when making chocolate chip cookies.
- Making brown butter. This is easily my absolute favorite way of enhancing the flavor of classic chocolate chip cookies.
- Substituting half of the butter with some bacon fat. If you use a nice smoky bacon to render fat, then you end up with a smoky chocolate chip cookie with some amazing umami flavors!
- Infuse herbs and spices into the butter. This is another great way to elevate the flavor profile of your chocolate chip cookies. I particularly like the combination of rosemary and chocolate.
Chocolate chip cookies made with baking soda and/or baking powder
A chemical leavener is necessary for chocolate chip cookies. Traditional classic chocolate chip cookies use baking soda, but some other recipes use baking soda as well as baking powder.
Baking soda will give you a more crisp chocolate chip cookie. The cookie will also be flatter, because baking soda doesn’t create the same lift as baking powder.
Baking powder will give you a softer cookie. Baking powder will create more lift and a more cake-like texture which makes the cookie softer.
The combination of both gives you the best of both worlds, and that’s MY favorite version of a chocolate chip cookie. If you prefer chocolate chip cookies that are not too soft, then leave out the baking powder.
Types of flour
I tested the effect of using AP flour vs bread flour to make chocolate chip cookies.
AP flour is predominantly what I’ve used in the past, and will give you the flavor and soft texture profile that you typically associate with chocolate chip cookies. Bread flour yields a very chewy cookie, so I decided to use a mix of both types of flour, again for the best of both worlds! This is hands down my husband’s favorite, as he much prefers a chewier cookie.
If you think you’ve added enough chocolate chips to the cookie dough, then add a little more!
For these ultimate chocolate chip cookies, I make sure to use a good quality COUVERTURE chocolate.
A good quality semi-sweet chocolate or bitter-sweet chocolate is best for classic chocolate chip cookies. In Europe and Australasia, semi-sweet and bitter-sweet chocolate are collectively called dark chocolate usually. Use a chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 50%. The higher the cocoa content, the more bitter the chocolate.
I like to use chocolate with 50 – 75% cocoa content for the most perfect chocolate chip cookie, which gives me a great balance of sweetness and a little bitterness. I also prefer to use chocolate chunks over chips, but as long as it’s couverture chocolate, you should be fine.
How to make the BEST chocolate chip cookie ever!
- You can use either regular unsalted butter or unsalted brown butter as the first step. Is it worth to take that extra time to brown your butter first for the BEST chocolate chip cookie ever? Well, I think you know the answer. 🙂 But don’t worry, if you don’t have the time, you can use regular melted (and cooled) butter instead.
- A combination of granulated white sugar (for crisp chocolate chip cookies), and dark brown sugar (for soft chocolate chip cookies with great butterscotch flavor) is highly recommended. Regular white sugar has no flavor other than sweetness, but brown sugar is more moist with the added flavor of molasses, and will give you a deeper, richer flavor.
- Then cream the ingredients together to get a creamy butter + sugar base. But do not over whip to make it airy.
- I like to add a generous amount of salt (and the vanilla) at this stage too, so that the salt has time to dissolve and season the cookies evenly. DO NOT skip the salt. You can reduce it slightly if you like, but you want to add at least 1/2 tsp of salt to this recipe. It helps balance the sweetness and chocolate flavors. And if you like salted chocolate chip cookies, you can add a little extra salt on top of the cookie dough before it bakes (see pictures in the post).
- Once you’ve mixed the butter and sugar, it’s time to add the eggs. Use large eggs that are about 2 oz in weight (with shell). If you only have access to small eggs, then WEIGH the eggs first (with shell), and make sure they are at least 4 oz, or slightly more. Mix the dough until the eggs are just mixed through. Adding too much air when mixing in the eggs can interfere with the texture of the baked cookies and cause them to rise too much.
- Next step is mixing in the flour and chemical leavener together. You can use all AP flour, or a mix of AP and bread flour. Also, you can use both baking soda and baking powder, or just baking soda.
- AP flour + baking soda + baking powder = softer chocolate chip cookies that are a little chewy at the edges.
- AP flour + baking soda = More chewy chocolate chip cookies.
- Bread flour will make the cookies further chewy.
- My personal favorite is AP flour + bread flour + baking soda + baking powder. This combination produces cookies that have a delightful blend of soft and chewy textures. Irresistible!
- Next step is the chocolate. I add a very generous amount of chocolate chips to my cookie dough.
- The final step of course is baking. I HIGHLY recommend that you chill the dough first before baking. At least for 1 hour, or up to overnight, in the fridge. It’s easier to portion the cookie dough on a baking tray first and then chill. This way it’ll chill faster, and it’s easier to store for later too.
- Then bake the cookies to perfection, and let them cool before devouring! These cookies are best eaten while a little warm, because the chocolate will be gooey and melted inside. But they are just as great at room temp. too.
How to store unbaked chocolate chip cookies
This chocolate chip cookie recipe makes a total of 21 cookies that are about 4-5 inches in diameter. If you’d like to store the cookies for later, you have three options.
- Only make 1/2 of a batch.
- Freeze baked cookies for later.
- Freeze unbaked cookies for later.
I usually always make a full batch of cookies, and then freeze the unbaked cookies for later. The reason is that baked cookies can go stale pretty fast, and I’d much rather enjoy freshly baked chocolate chip cookies over thawed baked cookies.
You can portion the cookie dough using a scoop, and store the cookie dough portions in large gallon-size plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to store baked chocolate chip cookies
These cookies can stay fresh at room temp. for up to 3-5 days.
- Make sure to store the cookies in an air-tight container, at room temperature and NEVER in the fridge.
- Place a slice of bread OR a few tortillas in the same container along with the cookies, but replace the bread/tortilla every other day. For bread – place 1 slice of bread inside the box. For tortillas – place a tortilla between each layer of chocolate chip cookies in the container.
The reason for bread or tortilla is that their moisture gets absorbed by the cookies, keeping them nice and soft, which prevents them from going stale.
How to store chocolate chip cookies in the freezer
- Layer the chocolate chip cookies in an air-tight container and place parchment paper between each layer of chocolate chip cookies. Then transfer this to the freezer.
- Then when you’re ready to enjoy the cookies – remove frozen cookies and allow them to soften at room temperature (in a ziploc bag if you can). OR gently reheat the cookie until it’s JUST slightly warm.
How to maximize your chocolate chip cookie experience!
Maybe it’s because I grew up in New Zealand, but a chocolate chip cookie just isn’t the same for me if it’s not eaten warm! (Nothing like a warm Cookie Time Monster Cookie with gooey chunks of chocolate inside!).
So I ALWAYS warm them in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds first. This makes the cookies a little softer, with lots of melted chocolate chunks inside. That’s my type of chocolate chip cookie.
So let’s recap – how to make the BEST chocolate chip cookies
Choose your butter
- Melted and cooled unsalted butter OR
- For a nice flavor kick – unsalted browned butter (cooled)
Add your sugar (along with salt and vanilla)
- Half dark brown sugar (gives the cookies a soft texture and a butterscotch flavor)
- Half white sugar (for crisp edges)
- Add the sugar to the melted butter and stir to mix it in. You want to allow the sugar to melt in the butter, and form a smooth emulsified mix, WITHOUT adding any air into the mixture.
Add the eggs
- Make sure not to over-beat the eggs
Choose your preferred flour mix for your cookies
- Use all AP flour if that’s what you have at home. The chocolate chip cookies will be less chewy this way.
- For more chewy chocolate chip cookies, substitute some of the AP flour with bread flour.
Mix leaveners with the flour
- Use baking soda only, if you like your chocolate chip cookies a little flatter and more chewy.
- Use baking soda + baking powder, if you prefer cookies that are softer with a cake-like texture in the middle.
I like adding baking powder to mine, along with bread flour to get a nice balance of chewy and soft texture in my chocolate chip cookies.
The dough will come together to form a soft dough at this stage. If it’s not forming a dough, that means the dough is too warm (likely, the butter was not cooled down enough). The dough should be between 70 – 75°F.
Add the dark chocolate to the dough (between 50%- 75% cocoa content)
- Use store bought chocolate chips for easy to make chocolate chip cookies. However, the melting factor won’t be the same.
- For best results, use couverture chocolate, a mix of chips and chunks.
- For even better results, use couverture chocolate blocks that you cut into chunks yourself. (Like Lindt!)
You can also use milk chocolate or white chocolate if you prefer a sweeter chocolate chip cookie.
Let the dough rest for a few minutes (In the fridge if necessary), then portion them out into cookie dough balls, using a 3 tbsp cookie scoop. I like to keep the cookie scoops just as they are with a rough surface, so that the cookies have a beautiful crackly surface when they bake. DO NOT make round smooth balls.
If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you can make smooth round balls (20 of them), and then break the cookie balls in half, turn the two halves around and stick the soft sides back together – so that the rough broken sides are facing out. This way you also get nice and crackly surfaces on your baked chocolate chip cookies.
Make it extra gooey. To get the pools of chocolate on top of the cookies, stud the cookie dough portions with chopped chocolate! Use a good quality semi sweet chocolate bar and chop it into pieces. Stud the dough portions (while they are still soft) with these pieces of chocolate and chocolate shavings, and as it bakes it will melt ON TOP of the cookies leaving pools of gorgeous chocolate!
Salt em! Just before baking, sprinkle the cookies with a little finishing salt. I like using Maldon Seal salt flakes, but you can use your favorite finishing salt too. DO NOT use table salt or fine salt.
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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 226 g unsalted butter 2 sticks
- 200 g dark brown sugar 1 cup
- 150 g granulated white sugar ¾ cup
- 1 tsp sea salt use only ½ tsp if you prefer using less salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs Straight from the fridge
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder add baking powder if you prefer softer cookies
- 335 g AP flour 2 ⅔ cups + 2 tbsp, measured by spoon and level method
- 127 g bread flour + 208 g AP flour 1 cup bread flour + 1 ⅔ cup AP flour
- 12 oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate OR chocolate chunks OR chocolate chips or a mix of all
- Extra sea salt flakes like maldon or sea salt granules
- MAKING BROWN BUTTER - Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. (Optional - cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces to melt it more easily). Melt the butter in the saucepan while stirring occasionally. When it has melted and starts to bubble, use a spatula to stir the butter mixture more frequently to prevent milk solids from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Keep heating the butter until it stops bubbling. After a while, you will see white milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking the butter and stirring, until the milk solids turn a dark golden brown. This will happen very quickly once the milk solids turn light brown in color first, so keep stirring and don’t leave the pan unattended at this stage, to prevent the butter from burning.
- As soon as the milk solids turn dark golden brown, pour the butter into a measuring cup and let it cool to room temperature (ideally about 75°F)
- When the butter is at room temp., add just enough water to make 1 cup of liquid. (About 1 - 2 tbsp)
- Place the melted and cooled butter and water into the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl for a hand-held mixer). Add both sugars, salt and vanilla, and mix on low - medium speed ONLY until the butter-sugar mix becomes emulsified (creamy), smooth, and just a shade lighter (see pictures in post). It's important NOT TO INCORPORATE air into the mix, and to have the mixture smooth. Emulsifying the mix prevents the cookies from being greasy once baked. DO NOT MIX TOO MUCH, if you add more air, the cookie dough will end up needing more flour and have a cakey texture.
- Add the eggs, and mix until just mixed through. The cold eggs will bring the temperature of the dough down as well.
- In a separate bowl - sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Add the flour in two additions while the mixer is on the lowest speed. This is to prevent the flour from flying everywhere and making a mess, and also to prevent the dough from being over-mixed. The flour doesn’t have to be completely mixed in before adding more.
- When most of the flour is mixed in, add the chocolate chunks/chips, and mix on low speed until the chocolate chunks/chips are mixed through. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and let the mixture rest for at least 15 minutes, ideally 30 minutes, covered. IF the dough is too soft, let the dough rest in the fridge. It will harden up as it rests.
- Using a 3 tbsp cookie scoop, portion the cookie dough out onto a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan. Don't worry about spacing, as this is just to chill the cookie dough first.
- OPTIONAL - Add a few pieces of chopped chocolate ontop of each of the cookie portions. These will give the pools of chocolate as the cookies bake. It's easier for the chocolate to stick to the dough while it's still soft.
- If you want to bake the cookies right away, you can do so (but the cookies will spread thinner). But for best results, I'd recommend covering the sheet pan with plastic wrap and letting the cookie dough chill overnight (or at least 1 hour).
Baking the cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Place 6 cookie dough portions on a half sheet pan, evenly spaced apart.
- Optional - sprinkle some sea salt flakes on top. (I use Maldon salt flakes)
- Bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes. I like to bake the cookies for 14 minutes for a chewier texture, and 12 minutes for a softer result.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for about 10 - 15 minutes. Then carefully place the cookies on a wire rack and let them cool down more.
- The cookies are best eaten a little warm, but can be enjoyed at room temperature too.
- To warm the cookies, put the cookie on a microwavable plate and microwave for 10 - 15 seconds. The cookie should be a touch soft, and just slightly warm (NOT hot!).
To store the cookies
- Unbaked cookie dough - place the chilled cookie dough portions in a gallon-sized ziploc bag or an air-tight container, and store in the freezer. When you're ready to enjoy them, remove portions of cookie dough from the freezer and bake for 14 - 17 minutes at 350°F.
- Baked cookies - place some tortillas on the bottom of an air-tight container. Place one layer of chocolate chip cookies on top, followed by another tortilla, and then another cookie layer. Repeat with all the cookies (using 2 - 3 tortillas). Replace the tortillas every 2 days or so (when the tortillas look like they are drying out). Cookies can be kept up to 5 days at room temperature. For best results, warm the cookies in the microwave a little before eating.