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Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” Chocolate Chip Cookie

There are many recipes for chewy chocolate chip cookies floating around the universe, but Alton Brown’s was the first one that I came across that used bread flour in place of all-purpose flour. Doing so increases the protein content and helps to achieve a chewier cookie. Along with a high ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar and an extra egg yolk, this little trick ensures that your cookies turn out thick and chewy, not the least bit thin and crispy. A smaller-sized cookie than some of the others that appear on the site, this recipe enables you to eat more than one without feeling too guilty ;-)

Alton Brown's "The Chewy" Chocolate Chip Cookie

Yield: About 24 cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter
12 ounces (about 2¼ cups) bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces (¼ cup) granulated sugar
8 ounces (1¼ cup) light brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Beat together the melted butter and both sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup or small bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

5. Gradually add the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the flour mixture is incorporated, add the chocolate chips and mix briefly to evenly distribute them throughout the dough. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F; place oven racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven.

7. Scoop the dough into 1½-ounce portions onto parchment-lined half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake 2 sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven, slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack and wait at least 5 minutes before serving. Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Alton Brown)

 

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49 Responses to “Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” Chocolate Chip Cookie”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on October 16, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Ive known theoretically about bread flour, brown sugar to white ratios, extra yolk, etc and what they should do but it’s good to hear what they do in reality, in practical taste measures. I know you know your cookies – thanks for this post!

    Reply

  2. Debra on October 16, 2012 at 2:33 am

    These look very moist. Does that make them chewier? :)

    Reply

    • Julie on April 16th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Maybe I did something wrong but these are the thinnest flattest cookies I have ever had the misfortune of making. I am too embarrassed to send these overseas to my brother who is stationed there in the Army. Agghhhhh!!!!

      Reply

      • Tbought on May 1st, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        I had the same problem!!! These are the worst cookies I’ve ever tasted. I looked back at the recipe and am thinking I might have put too much granulated sugar in … Can’t quite remember but I feel like I put 3/4 and 1 tablespoon instead of 1/4 … I wasn’t going to try the recipe again but now I’m rethinking it!

        Reply

      • Alisha on December 15th, 2013 at 11:14 am

        Did you properly chill the dough? If you don’t keep it cold until it goes int he oven, they spread and become SUPER thin, and not good at all.

        Reply

  3. Maria on October 16, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Thanks for the info…I have tried the original CI recipe and the NY Times cookie, so I will have to attempt this one next. I bookmarked it a while ago. I am on the fence with the sea salt texture in the NY recipe, but my kids loved them.

    Reply

  4. Deneen on October 16, 2012 at 6:41 am

    I want to make these and the New York Cookes, I’m just wondering if the flour is 12oz or 8 1/2 oz. They both call for 2 cups minus two tablespoons, but are diffrent weights.

    Reply

  5. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on October 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I think there should be an ultimate chocolate chip cookie cookoff to find the absolute perfect chocolate chip cookie. Now I need a cookie…

    Reply

  6. Andrea Bukowski on October 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Hi there! I’ve tried all these cookies, and all are good. But hands down, Alton’s is the best! I have played around with this receipe for a long time. After many many batches, and my son the science expert, we decided to use less butter. OMG, only use 1 1/2 stick of butter, and increase the milk to 2oz, makes a world of difference! Good Luck!

    Reply

    • solofiore on November 12th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      If you don’t mind me asking, what difference did it make? Was the cookie even more chewy or was it more crisp…? Thanks

      Reply

  7. Momina on October 21, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Can I add oatmeal to the recipe?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Hi Momina, I would not add oatmeal to these cookies, as it will make a drastic difference in the texture. I have a number of oatmeal cookies on the site; I would recommend adding chocolate chips to one of those vs. adding oatmeal to these.

      Reply

  8. Christine on October 22, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I can’t wait to try these cookies. I do have a question about the cooking. We just got a convection oven which cooks 25 degrees lower than the programmed temperature. Do you think it will be necessary to cook each batch a little longer? Also is it still necessary to put the pans near the top and bottom and rotate the pans while cooking? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Hi Christine, Eek, I am not at all familiar with convection baking (I use a traditional oven). I do have a link to a conversion chart in my FAQ questions. That may point you in the right direction! http://www.browneyedbaker.com/faq/

      Reply

  9. Celia on December 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Is it okay to refrigerate the dough for more than an hour? Could I refrigerate it for a few days?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 17th, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      Hi Celia, I would say you could refrigerate the dough up to overnight or a day, but I wouldn’t do so for longer. Usually cookie recipes that can be refrigerated for a long period of specifically state that, and this one doesn’t.

      Reply

    • Cher on May 4th, 2013 at 12:31 am

      I’ve made this recipe and left it in the fridge for 48 hours and they come out AMAZING…..the absolute best.

      Reply

    • m00se on June 13th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      The key to these cookies is actually to let the flour hydrate. Keep the dough in a sealed container 2-3 days before baking.

      Reply

  10. Cat on February 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I happen to live at 9,500ft. Do you have any ideas on how to change this for high altitude?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 5th, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Hi Cat, I don’t, unfortunately as I do not bake at a high altitude. If you have a set method of adapting recipes for your altitude level, I would apply those same principles. There are also a number of online calculators to help guide you in altering a recipe for altitude. Good luck!

      Reply

  11. Valerie on March 2, 2013 at 1:37 am

    I made these cookies today and they turned out flat and crispy. I followed the recipe exactly. Any idea why this might have happened?

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 2nd, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Hi Valerie, A couple of things. Did you line your pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat? Greasing a baking sheet can often result in cookies that spread and are crisp. Also, are you using an oven thermometer to ensure that the temperature is correct? Many ovens can be off by a significant amount, which can cause baked goods to not turn out.

      Reply

      • Valerie on March 2nd, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        I did line the sheets with parchment. I was using an even that I’m pretty unfamiliar with so I’m going to try again at home. You and Alton have never steered me wrong before!

        Reply

  12. Jenn on March 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I’m sure I followed the instructions. I was really careful this time. Really. But instead of fat little chewy cookies, I had giant flat crunchy greasy sad cookies. Just sad. More flour maybe? Is it because of the insulated baking sheet?

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 21st, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Jenn, It could be the baking sheet, it could also be the oven. Be sure that the temperature is accurate by using an oven thermometer.

      Reply

  13. cat on March 21, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I followed the exact instructions as well, but unfortunately they came out way overcooked & like mentioned above, crunchy & crisp. I’m guessing pay attention to your oven, as they all vary & adjust the timing. 15 minutes was way too long for me. I also used parchment paper on a baking sheet. Will give this recipe another shot though ;)

    Reply

  14. Gale on March 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Bread four! That’s the secret! I’ve been searching for a chewy cookie recipe and I hit the jackpot. Have used this recipe at least six times in the last month it’s the only one I’ll keep using! Now I no longer have to beg my girlfriend for her secret recipe! Thanks from the novice baker!!!

    Reply

  15. Vanessa on April 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Hi! so excited to make these, they look amazing! just wanted to clarify, on alton’s website the 12 ounces of bread flour equals to 2 1/2 cups, so im a bit confused.. did you adjust the original recipe because you found this to be better?

    Reply

  16. sue griffore on May 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I have made these cookies for a long time. It is the only recipe I have with bread flour. I cannot find a recipe for peanut butter cookies —- either they are too dry/flavorless/ do not want nuts or butterscotch chips in them………. do you think I could add peanut butter to this recipe — ???? would I need to eliminate something ——- eventually skipping the choc chips???? It just seems that this is a good formula ———- but REALLY would like “the perfect peanut butter cookie”…………….. thanks…………..

    Reply

  17. Candice on June 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I have made just the dough so far and it needed a lot more flour, I think the flour measurement is off.

    Reply

  18. jena on June 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    It’s tricky if you are using volume instead of weight. For me to achieve the weight, I ended up using 2cups + 1/4 cup (lot more than what’s on the ingredient list as far as volume). Also chilling the dough is important too if you want the right texture. I left mine in for 2 hrs, and it turned out great.

    Reply

  19. Lauren on July 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I followed the recipe to a T, using dark brown sugar instead of light, and I think they cookies are AMAZING. And I mean I followed every letter down to 6 cookies per sheet — EVERYTHING. And they are definitely chewy and delicious.

    Absolutely love. Just for information’s sake too – I used a hand mixer instead of a standing one because I don’t have one. It worked fine.

    Reply

  20. Lauren on July 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I also forgot to say that I measured everything by weight (flour, sugars, etc) with my kitchen scale. This may have helped also for those who aren’t getting the right results.

    Reply

  21. peggy on July 14, 2013 at 12:29 am

    i use too always make the tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, but something happened with them. i contacted them and they said they have always kept the same recipe. has anyone noticed the change in appearance? i sure miss the old ones, as a matter of fact, they used to look like the #C cookies yo have, but now they look like your #D. is the flour different, or what is it?

    Reply

  22. Heather on August 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I love these cookies.
    I freeze the dough and then when I need a cookie, just pop one (or two!) on a pan and bake. In my humble opinion, they are the best when baked from frozen because they don’t “fall” as much and the centers are really soft. YUM!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  23. Josephine on August 9, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    These cookies are great! I used my scale to measure out the flour and let the dough sit in the fridge for a few hours, and they came out wonderfully. I made very big cookies and put 2 sheets in the oven at a time. 15 minutes baking time was perfect, but if the cookies were smaller I think 15 minutes would be much too long.

    Reply

  24. Lena on September 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I made this recipe according to the volume measurements and ended up with very flat and thin cookies as mentioned by others. I was really upset because I was making these for teachers as a way to wish them well for the start of the year and my sister and I had made the recipe in the past (from a different site) and they came out wonderfully. I looked up the actual recipe on foodnetwork.com where volume measurements have been listed (and are mentioned in the video) and found your measurements were completely off. The flour was too little, there should be a different ratio of brown to granulated sugar, and others. Please do correct the measurements so others don’t make the same mistake.

    Reply

  25. Alex on October 19, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    If you’re using a scale, this recipe should turn out well. Unfortunately, the conversions to cups for those without a scale are incorrect. After watching Alton Brown’s “Three Chips for Sister Martha” episode, I was able to find the correct measurements.
    12 oz bread flour = 2 1/4 cups
    2 oz granulated sugar = 1/4 cup
    8 oz light brown sugar = 1 1/4 cup
    1 oz milk = 2 tbl
    Before realizing this, I had baked two six cookie batches (using half the dough), both of which came out incredibly thin, crispy and greasy. Hoping to salvage the remaining half of the dough, I let the dough come back to room temperature and mixed in 3 tbl bread flour, 1 1/2 tbl brown sugar and 1/2 tbl milk (half of the amount by which each conversion underestimated) by hand (gotta love food prep gloves!). This is probably a cookie baking sin, but chocolate chips and butter are just too expensive to waste! I then chilled the dough again and baked the cookies as instructed. The difference was significant and the next two batches came out as intended–soft, chewy and about twice the height of the cookies from my first two batches.
    I sincerely love your blog and I had high hopes for this recipe after reading the results of your chocolate chip cookie throwdown. I hope you have time to revise this post, modifying the conversions to reflect the correct amounts. Thanks for all your hard work!

    Reply

    • Alex on October 19th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Sorry, I meant “Three Chips for Sister Marsha”, not Martha, when referring to the Good Eats episode in which Alton Brown covers the variations in chocolate chip cookie recipes to achieve “The Thin,” “The Puffy” and “The Chewy”. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s incredibly informative and will teach you how to get precisely the cookie you want! You can watch the entire episode on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MYuXRaW0B0.

      Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Alex, Thank you for this!!

      Reply

  26. Adrienne on October 27, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Hi Michelle, I love your site seeing as how I am an “brown-eyed baker” too! I have been on the quest to find THE chocolate chip cookie recipe (for me) and so far have come up short. I have decided due to this recipe to invest in a kitchen scale in the future Lol! Followed this recipe to the T and turned out flat greasy overbaked cookies!! Ahhhh! Due to not having a kitchen scale I didn’t have enough flour in the cookies! After doing more research on the actual recipe and more experimenting, I found that an additional 1/4 cup flour soaked up the butter and allowed them to bake normally! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and stories. I love them and can’t wait to try more.

    Reply

  27. Kim on December 6, 2013 at 2:03 am

    I changed the baking time to 9 minutes. The recipe says 15 so I left my first 9 cookies in for 12, and they came out bordeline burned and very crunchy. I left the next ones in for 9 minutes, and they came out perfect!

    Reply

  28. Marielle Hofmeister on January 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    What an amazing batch of cookies! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bread flour on hand, however used all-purpose instead…and even then! Marvelous! As a child, I tended to the Nestle recipe and was always disappointed at how thin and crispy the end result became. To finally be able to make a thick, chewy cookie is a life goal, accomplished!

    Reply

  29. Nucgirl on January 11, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I need to make chocolate chip cookies for a wedding and need to make them about a week in advance, I wanted to know if you know how to keep cookies soft and chewy. I am thinking of using this recipe.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 11th, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Nucgirl, I would not recommend baking cookies a week in advance and keeping them at room temperature; they will inevitably begin to taste stale within a week. I would recommend baking them in advance, cooling them, wrapping them individually in plastic wrap, then placing in zip-top freezer bags and freezing them. Remove them from the freezer 24 to 48 hours before you want to serve them and let them thaw at room temperature.

      Reply

  30. Nucgirl on January 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you for this great idea. I had not thought of this way of keeping them fresh.

    Reply

  31. Amanda P. Westmont on February 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    This recipe was indeed quite chewy, but I had to reduce the cooking time from 15 minutes to 10. My first batch was way too well done (and my oven is usually dead on.)

    Reply

  32. Michelle on May 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve been using thisc recipe for quite a while now and never have my cookies come out too thin. Even when I don’t refrigerate the dough or bother to cool the melted butter. I wish the cookies would flatten out! Other than that, my family and I love this recipe.

    Reply

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