Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think that just about everyone I know is constantly on a search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Most (myself included) have been let down by the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bag, and there are many recipes floating around the Internet that seem to gain popularity and become fads before dying off when people move on to the latest and greatest. I was really please with the cookie I created last fall, as it resulted in the chewy texture I was looking for. But these Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, they really take the cake. Big, beautiful, bakery-quality chocolate chip cookies. It’s official – my love affair with America’s Test Kitchens and the Baking Illustrated cookbook continues!

More on the cookies, another PSA for weighing dry ingredients, and the recipe after the break…

The secret to the thick and chewy cookies is the combination of using melted butter, an extra egg yolk, and a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar. Also, definitely follow the instructions for making jagged edges on the top of the cookie – this gives them the crinkled and craggly bakery cookie look. In order to ensure mine were all about the same size, I busted out my scale (more on my weighing infatuation in a minute). Each ball of dough should weigh around 2.15 oz.

Also heed the instructions to remove the cookies from the oven as soon as the outsides are set but the centers are still puffy and soft. Doing so plays a large part in the resulting texture. Cooling the cookies on the baking sheets means they will continue to bake after being taken out of the oven, but without the circulating air of a cooling rack, they will retain their soft texture. I know for me it is often hard to take cookies out of the oven unless they look completely done, but have faith! You don’t want to overbake these in the oven!

Why should you weigh your ingredients? Since I began baking bread more often I started reading about how important it is to weigh the ingredients, as there is quite a delicate balance between the flour, yeast, and liquid used in most bread recipes. I haven’t really encountered weight measurement outside of breads, but this cookie recipe in Baking Illustrated provided weight measurements for the dry ingredients. To see how close I was I did a regular measurement and then weighed it. In all of the cases, my measurements came out 1-2 ounces more than the weight measurement provided in the recipe. It becomes easy to see how a heavy-handed scoop could turn thick and chewy cookies into dry and dense cookies! So, I would encourage all of you to invest in a kitchen scale and use it, use it, use it!!

{EDIT 9/1/2011} I receive a lot of questions about the shaping method used for these cookies (the pulling apart, turning, and smooshing back together), and sometimes it can be hard to explain. I LOVE the method and the results and I wanted to make sure you all had the same experience, so I’ve scanned the illustration of how to shape them so you can get a visual of the process:

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: About 18 large cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 to 18 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

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

3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough's uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

Note: These oversized cookies are chewy and thick, like many of the chocolate chip cookies sold in gourmet shops and cookie stores. They rely on melted butter and an extra egg yolk to keep their texture soft. These cookies are best served warm from the oven but will retain their texture even when cooled. To ensure the proper texture, cool the cookies on the baking sheet. Oversized baking sheets allow you to get all the dough into the oven at one time. If you're using smaller baking sheets, put fewer cookies on each sheet and bake them in batches.

(Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated)


629 Responses to “Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

Comment Pages 1 2 3 10
  1. Carrie on June 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I am on the search for that perfect chocolate chip cookie like you said… I will have to try these.


    • Helen on May 24th, 2011 at 8:18 am

      these are the bomb! ive made them a million time, in fact, baking them right now!!! by now, youve probably made them yourself and know exactly what i mean!! i use a cookie scoop, today a small one…more to go around!! 😀


    • Mirella Gutierrez on July 10th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      Did not enjy the cookies I baked. I followed the receipe and they were not thick nor weere they good.


      • anony on April 20th, 2012 at 9:03 am

        same for me! There were very thin and butter was oozing


        • Ashley on June 15th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

          You are probably overmixing. I like to mix mine the old-fashion way, with a spoon, so I can make sure its not overmixed.


      • mackenzie on May 27th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

        well that`s rude.


        • Joey on April 9th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

          Maybe you made the same mistake I did the first time I made them…I mistook 1 1/2 sticks of butter for 1 1/2 c. of butter and the cookies flattened and oozed butter. When I corrected myself the second time using 3/4 c. of butter they turned out perfectly. I’ve doubled the recipe as well and they were great…as most things on this site are !


          • Desiree on October 8th, 2013 at 9:57 pm

            The eggs need to be at room temperature as well. The recipw forgets to tell you that.


    • Katie on January 6th, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      Can I use bleached flour for this? Is there any difference between bleached and unbleached flour? Thanks. :-)


      • Michelle on January 9th, 2012 at 8:50 pm

        Hi Katie, You can use bleached flour, but there actually is a difference; Cook’s Illustrated actually did a write-up on this, here is what they reported:

        Carotenoid pigments in wheat lend a faint yellowish tint to freshly milled flour. But in a matter of about 12 weeks, these pigments oxidize, undergoing the same chemical process that turns a sliced apple brown. In this case, yellowish flour changes to a whiter hue (though not stark white). Early in this century, as the natural bleaching process came to be understood, scientists identified methods to chemically expedite and intensify it. Typically, all-purpose flours are bleached with either benzoyl peroxide or chlorine gas. The latter not only bleaches the flour but also alters the flour proteins, making them less inclined to form strong gluten… The bleached flours in our tests in fact did not perform as well as the unbleached flours and were regularly criticized for tasting flat or carrying “off” flavors, often described as metallic.


        • Tina on August 2nd, 2014 at 9:29 pm

          Well, I never buy bleached flour because of the chemicals. Avoid chemicals in any food whenever possible.


    • Julie on September 2nd, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I was eager to try this recipe when I ran across it, because my current favorite is a bit labor intensive. Unfortunately, these did not turn out well for me. They were very thin and flat, with a bland flavor. I was surprised, because my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is the America’s Test Kitchen’s “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies” one. I live at 6500 feet, and that recipe works great at this altitude. There is a little less sugar and a little less flour, more butter and salt. You also have to brown the butter, and then go through a lengthy whisk-rest-whisk process, but I can really tell a difference in taste and appearance. I guess the extra effort pays off.


      • Grace on June 27th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

        Julie, you have to adjust the recipe for high altitude, here is a high altitude version that is more exact than “a little less sugar…” etc.:
        cook time: 10-14 minutes
        heat oven to: 340 degrees, not 325!
        2 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour (289 Grams)
        1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
        1 cup minus 1 Tablespoon packed (7 ounces minus 1 tablespoon) light or dark brown sugar
        1/2 cup minus 1 1/2 Teaspoons (3 1/2 ounces minus 1.5 teaspoons) granulated sugar
        1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
        3 Tablespoons of water
        2 teaspoons vanilla extract
        1 to 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
        this is for a pretty high altitude, of about 7,500 feet… hope it helps! if you need to do conversions for a different high altitude use the website!


        • Grace on June 27th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

          cook time should be 13-15 minutes, sorry, my bad!


  2. Susan on June 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    I have been disappointed lately with my cookie recipes – but this one looks perfect! I will give it a shot the first chance i get..thanks for posting it!


  3. Moni on June 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    omg Chelley, those cookies look SO delicious and chewy! My mouth is watering! =)


    • Ida P on October 10th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

      OMG the best chocolate chip cookie in the scared when I mixed the dough seemed soft but refridgerated t hem for the 1/2 hr and again a little scared when I thought they should bake longer need to get over that part but they are so good g oing to make another batch to take to MN to my sons..thanks so much.


      • Bekah on April 27th, 2011 at 11:59 am

        Yes, I freezed the dough for bout 30 min. too. I love, Love, LOVE this recipe! For all of you out there that are scared to death to try this recipe, give yourself a swift kick in the butt and get cooking, ’cause you don’t know what you’re missing! :)


        • Bekah on May 11th, 2011 at 10:44 am

          Someone wanted me to help them on making these thick and chewy, since they did not work out so well with them. I am sorry, but I deleted your email, but hopefully you can find me here. 😉 As I said above, I freezed the cookie dough for about 30 min, to make it more workable. This helps shape the cookies better. Then I rolled the dough into balls about the size I wanted them and DID NOT pull them apart, but still got the same look on top. If you do, Im not kicking you, everybody cooks differnet. You know what they say, “Give 10 cooks the same recipe and you’ll end up with 10 different dishes!” If you’re still in doubt whether to do the pull apart thingy, toss a coin, do eeny-meeny-miny-moe, or something…or try it both ways and go with what you like best.

          Sometimes if you roll your balls too small they will spread out and flatten out, whereas slightly bigger cookie-dough balls won’t flatten out all the way, making them thicker. Now, Im not telling ya”ll to make ’em as big as baseballs or anything, but then if you want a BIG, THICK cookie…! heh, heh, heh!

          As for making them chewy, take them out EXACTLY when the recipe says to!!! You do NOT want to over bake these babies! Storing them in an airtight
          container helps too.

          And too, my cookies turned out perfect when i used soda, salt,and all-purpose flour. I don’t know if it would make a difference, but you could try that instead of self-rising flour, and who knows?!? It might turn out better!Melt yo’ butter and don’t forget to add the extra egg yolk! After all, you add eggs to a recipe to make it eggactly right! :)

          Don’t forget to preheat your oven before you bake your cookies. And one more IMPORTANT step I do is COOL my COOKIE SHEEY COMPLETELY BETWEEN BATCHES to prevent cookies from spreading too much while baking.

          Remember, if you just can’t get this right, DONT QUIT! Keep at it and you’ll get it! It is worth it! When you get it right, all of a sudden everybody’ll love you! Marraige proposals and everything else will start coming your way and your friends will ENVY you!!! So, give yourself a pat on the back for trying, head back in the kitchen, wrap your apron abound you, arm youself with a spoon and a mixing bowl, and go conquer that Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe! You can do it!


          • Ken on October 2nd, 2011 at 3:33 pm

            Good recipe, I roll mine in a mixture of 4 parts sugar and 1 part cocoa before I bake them, nice and crispy.


          • Sue on November 23rd, 2011 at 5:06 am

            I these and I started selling them for charity for Africa, made 300 dollars the first week! I had to apologise to some people couldn’t take any more orders people went crazy on them! Thanks so much for sharing..


        • irene on May 16th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

          do you have to freeze the dough? after the chips are in? also, how big are the cookies?? did you actually use 1/4 cup per cookie?! did you also rotate the cookie sheet halfway through? i plan on trying this one.


          • Isabella on June 13th, 2012 at 8:42 am

            Read the directions!!!!


      • Helen on May 24th, 2011 at 8:21 am

        no refridgeration necessary :) i love them too! and so does everybody else i share them with!! 😀


  4. kim on June 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    i heart my kitchen scale! :) those cookies look so perfect, i’m definitely going to have to give this recipe a try!


  5. Leslie on June 21, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I am glad to see these back again! Haven’t heard anyone talk about them for a while..


  6. Jaime on June 21, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    that is so interesting! you’re making me want to go whip up a batch right now!

    katie has this recipe in her blog and it is very similar to the one in mine – but i may have to try it w/the weighed measurements instead. thanks!


  7. Jules on June 21, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    These look and sound delicious. Though, in between my Dorie baking, my hips need no more treats. I may have to try it anyway.


  8. ash on June 22, 2008 at 12:31 am

    i’m going to have to try these. i still haven’t found *the* chocolate chip cookie recipe and these look amazing! :-)


  9. Melissa on June 22, 2008 at 7:01 am

    You are making me crave cookies now! Those look delicious!


  10. RecipeGirl on June 22, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Definitely count me in as one who continues to try recipe after recipe, even though I’ve tasted perfectly wonderful choc. chip cookies. I think it’s just so fun to experiment!


  11. Amanda on June 22, 2008 at 10:12 am

    How is that Baking Illustrated book? I have never seen/read about America’s Test Kitchen besides what I read from other blogs but people rave and rave about it.


  12. Chelle on June 22, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Hi Amanda,

    I really love the Baking Illustrated book. America’s Test Kitchen basically takes tons of recipes and tests, tests, and retests in terms of ingredients, equipment, and methods until it nails the best way to make a certain recipe. I have honestly never been disappointed in a recipe of theirs that I have tried – everything has been spot on and amazing. They have a show on PBS that I think runs on Saturdays if you want to look up your listings – you could check out a couple of episodes and see what they’re all about.


  13. Stacey on June 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    This is my favorite cookie recipe – hands down! They’re also delicious when adding a big scoop of peanut butter to the batter. My husband and I have been known to polish off a batch in 24 hours! :)


    • helen on September 8th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

      excellent idea! im gonna try these!!


  14. Kate on June 22, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    This is a great post. One of the reasons I love Alton Brown is his science behind the recipes – just like what you’re doing here!


  15. Chelle on June 22, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Kate – Thanks so much!! That’s a real compliment! :)


  16. bunny on June 22, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    i think we’ve found a new way to make chocolate chip cookies and melting the butter is a key step, along with lowering the oven temp. this is great. i found a peanutbutter cookie recipe that uses alton browns tips to make them soft and chewy too that’s posted on my log. that has been my quest, soft pb cookies!


  17. April on June 23, 2008 at 7:55 am

    YUM! these definitly make you want to go and make a batch of them right now! They look delicious!


  18. Amber on June 23, 2008 at 9:46 am

    These look incredibly delicious!


  19. Daniel on June 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    WOWZA! These are some dang fine cookies! The batter seemed a little loose and I was a tad concerned, but it was all for naught. Delicious, tender, chewy — perfect!

    I used a 1/2 cup scoop and twisted them in half — they were a little more than 2.5 ounces each and made for a hefty cookie. Thanks for sharing!


  20. kayte on June 24, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    these look so delicious! i have to say, your soft and chewy recipe is a staple in my house. we love love love it. but i may be trying this recipe soon. i love trying new cookie recipes.


  21. Annie on June 25, 2008 at 5:43 am

    I just made these… and trust me, after taste-testing, it is taking all my will power not to eat the entire batch tonight! Thanks Chelle, this is definitely the best choc chip cookie recipe I have ever found!


  22. Renea(MrsSchoon) on July 4, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Thanks for posting this recipe! I made these for work today and everyone is raving about them!


  23. the kloset foodie on September 23, 2008 at 12:09 am

    hubby and I tried your recipe, but added 2 oz of pecan pieces with it and it turned out divine….thanks so much for the great night of baking! =)


  24. Sarah on October 20, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Hi! I’m just wondering a bit… the nestle toll house recipe results in super flat and oily cookies, based on my experience. I never liked that recipe. I’m wondering how this turns out to be thick when it calls for only 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of flour. do you melt the butter? it doesn’t say anything about melting the butter in the directions. Please let me know, I’m still dying to achieve the best home-baked cookies. Thanks!!! :-)



    • TheBaker on August 30th, 2010 at 9:10 am

      It states right in the list of ingredients that the butter should be melted.


  25. Jennie on November 13, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Make these and search no more for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. These really are out of this world. (And this coming from someone whose favorite cookie is not chocolate chip cookies.)

    My hint: Use Toll House Mini Morsels – they make it even better!


  26. Cindy on March 19, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Do you know how to get the cookies to be “cakelike” and not crispy? They came out beautifully thick.. but still crisp. I wanted them like a cake? Does anyone know the secret?


    • Tisha Williams on April 2nd, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      It needs less fat, more moisture. I achieve cake-like when I use a portion of applesauce in the place of the oil, as well as a higher ratio of flour, baking powder, etc.


    • Lucas Jonasch on August 21st, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      Don’t cook it for as long they look a bit too soft when they first come out, but as the butter solidifies, they become perfect.


  27. Ashley on June 18, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Oh my god, this recipe is great! I added about 1/2- 3/4 cup peanut butter to the dough and they turned out so good! Mine were, I am happy to report, much thicker than the ones in the pic, and so chewy! Yum, yum, yum! Perfect recipe!


  28. Michelle on June 18, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Hi Ashley, Thanks so much for coming back and reporting on the cookies! The addition of peanut butter sounds so good, I am going to try that the next time I make these! So glad you liked them :)


  29. Brooks on July 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    The secret to cake-like cookies is to make them bigger! You can use some cake flour too, if you like. The Times did a great article on chocolate chip cookies this time last year.

    The attached recipe is fantastic! It calls for special chocolate pieces and stuff, but regular semi-sweet works fine. The proportions are about the same as Michelle’s recipe here, but they use some cake flour, and call for 36 hours of chilling.


  30. Stephanie Manes on August 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I agree — this is now by go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. They had a chewy dense quality that was exactly what I was looking for! I’m not sure I got that twisting thing though…


  31. Michelle on September 2, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Stephanie – I’m thrilled you’ve found your new go-to chocolate chip cookie dough! Thanks so much for stopping back to share your thoughts on the recipe.


  32. Astrid on September 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to say that I tried out your recipe, but I added cinnamon and used mini M&M’s instead. They came out awesome. They will be a go to cookie recipe for me from now on! Thanks for the inspiration. Your site is pretty awesome. I am a huge lover of cookies (when I was younger whenever anyone asked me what my favorite food group was, I promptly answered: cookies!). Thanks again!


  33. Misty on November 16, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Cindy – in the list of ingredients it notes that the butter must be melted and cooled until warm.


  34. Misty on November 16, 2009 at 9:57 am

    That comment was meant for Sarah. Oops!


  35. Adell on December 24, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Wow, these turned out amazing! I just baked them as part of Christmas gifts (I’m doing chocolate chunk cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies in cute little boxes) and they turned out perfect!


  36. Hana on December 31, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I made these yesterday! Beautiful and delicious! This is a perfect chocolate chip cookie :)


  37. Sam on February 4, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    i made these cookies today and everyone loved them.
    they are so good!
    thanks for the recipe, it’s the first chocolate chip recipe that i’ll DEFINITELY be making again :)


  38. lucy on February 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    one word-INCREDIBLE! loved these! yummy and the salt really makes them,thanks has gone in my recipe book! x


  39. Leslie on February 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I just made these and they are delicious. The texture is perfect! I’m printing the recipe out and putting it in my favorite recipe binder :) Thanks for the great post.


  40. Angela on March 26, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Hey Michelle,
    I was just wondering if maybe I could add in some cocoa to make these cookies double chocolate cookies? And if yes, about how much would you recommend me to add in?


  41. Kaitlin on March 27, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I’m eating one of these now – they’re delicious. :] I formed the first nine dough balls according to the instructions (“pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface”) but for the next nine I used a bit of a shortcut; I just rolled 1/2 cup dough balls and pulled them into halves, which resulted in the same crinkly texture on top.


    • irene on May 21st, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      wow, so you do really use 1/4 cup of cookie dough per cookie??? just wanted to make sure before i try them out…..


      • Michelle on May 23rd, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        Hi Irene, Yep, 1/4 cup! They are awesome!


  42. Michelle on April 3, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Angela,

    I actually just made a Triple-Chocolate Chip version (from the same cookbook), and am planning on posting it this coming week, so be sure to check it out! I hope you’ll enjoy!


  43. ashley on April 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Me and my Boyfriend made these last night cause he has been craving chocolate chip cookies, We added some peanut butter chips to them as well, the dough was really gooey and messy ( but tasted fantastic!!) and the cookies turned out great…but my tops didnt turn out good like yours which means i better practice and make some more 😉


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  46. christine on June 21, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Hi! I want to thank you for this recipe:-) I tried this cookie recipe last weekend! :-) I was really amazed by the results! In the philippines, i used muscovado sugar and it has a very distinct flavor. :-) I made a half a dozen pieces for my great love.. weee!! i’m sure he will love it :-) Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try the others. :-) Salamat! It means Thank you in Filipino :-) I am now your avid fan :-)


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  50. Allison on July 1, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Oh my goodness, I just made these cookies and they are my new favorite by far! Thank you SO much for the recipe! I was wondering what makes them so fat? I feel like in other cc cookies I’ve made I have to chill the dough and be very careful not to let the butter get too soft so I don’t end up with flat cookies. The dough for these was so soft I was worried they would flatten in the oven. But, miracle of miracles, they didn’t at all! Any insight you may have would be greatly appreciated =)


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