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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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)

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608 Responses to “Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

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  1. Cory on January 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    This is the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies. The only one I use. People think I bought them at a store they look so beautiful! :) Enjoy!!!

    Reply

  2. Erica on January 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I just wanted to say that I just tried this recipe and its fantastic! A keeper, and I’m a chocolate chip cookie lover. Its the fourth thing I’ve made from your site, and each of them have been great . . . I’ve been emailing friends the link :)

    Reply

  3. Katy on January 10, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I’m happy to report that I finally got around to re-trying this recipe after I messed it up several months back. This time, I let the butter cool completely (in fact, I put it in the fridge to cool and let it go just a little too long – it was still stirrable but starting to solidify – I just set the bowl on top of the oven vent while the oven preheated, and voila! Problem solved!). The only other thing I did was add 1/2 tsp of baking powder and used mini chocolate chips since it’s what I had. And… they turned out picture-perfect, just like yours!! Guess it pays to be patient with the melted butter :-) Thanks for an awesome recipe – it’s my new go-to CCC!!

    Reply

  4. Nikki Moore on January 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    We had a snow day down South today and I was inspired to bake these cookies. They turned out fantastic! Mine always taste good but look terrible and these taste great and look even better. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  5. Melissa on January 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I tried this recipe last week, not thinking that it would be any different than the claims of other “Thick and Chewy” cookies. After making these, I don’t think I will ever find a better recipe. Everyone that has tried the cookie, said it is a winner. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

  6. Patricia on January 14, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I ABSOLUTELY adore America’s Test Kitchen-They by far have the best recipes for everything from pot roasts to baked goods. At 19, I love to bake, and everyone asks how do my baked goods turn out to well? My secret-America’s Test Kitchen recipes.

    I’ve been making the Thick and Chewy recipe for a few years now, and I always get rave reviews. They bake perfectly, and have such a “unique” taste that I feel Toll House lacks. They also freeze very nicely, and cook up great when you just want “one” cookie.

    My other favorite’s include: Ultimate Banana Bread,Pumpkin Bread, Blondies and Tiramisu!!

    Reply

  7. Teresa on January 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    YUM. i just made these and they are divine. your site is one of my go-to places for never-fail recipes like this! thanks!!

    Reply

  8. Sharon on January 15, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Best cookies ever! I just made a batch for my boyfriend, and…wow. That’s all there is, just wow. Of course, he’s allergic to chocolate (I know, I don’t know how he survives either, poor thing) so I substituted butterscotch chips for chocolate chips. It didn’t seem to affect the results, except for the fact that I failed to take into account how much sweeter butterscotch chips are than the regular semi-sweet chips. So now I have a batch of incredibly lovely, and ridiculously sweet blondies. Oh, well. They still taste great though, and I’ll just have to remember to reduce the sugars a bit if I make them with butterscotch again. Definitely plan on making a batch of regular chocolate chip for myself sometime soon. This recipe’s too good not to! :) Thanks for such a great (and versatile) recipe!

    Reply

  9. Melissa on January 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    “This is the best chocolate chip cookie EVER. And I’m not just saying that because you’re my wife” – says my husband who is a die hard CCC fan. Thank you for an amazing recipe that made me the super wife! =) I substituted regular salt for sea salt and it was amazing! Every now and then you would get a bite of chucky salt and it balanced out the chocolate really well! I also used a mix dark chocolate chips and regular semi-sweet ones. MMMMMMMMMMM!

    Reply

  10. Danielle on January 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I am ADDICTED!!! I want to make these everyday!! My only change/addition is I used sea salt in the batter and sprinkled the tops with sea salt when they came out of the oven…yummo!!

    Reply

    • Tyler S on May 6th, 2012 at 11:20 am

      What does the sea salt do to the cookie?

      Reply

  11. Caitlin on January 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    These were so great!! I added a few spoonfuls of peanut better per someones recommendation–YUM!!! I can’t wait to try them without the peanut butter as well. Oh, and, we sprinkled the last batch with some sea salt–so delicious! :) Can’t wait to try even more of your recipes!

    Reply

  12. ami on January 22, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    i make these cookies all the time and they are absolutely delicious. They are so buttery and chewy. I baked them at 330F for 13-15 minutes.

    Reply

  13. Katie on January 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I thought I posted here already but don’t see that I did- these are THE CCC for me. Perfect and easy. I refrigerated the dough overnight because I ran out of time to bake that day and they were awesome so I will continue to refrigerate first if I can! Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chips are hands down the best (in my opinion :) and really add the extra goodness to this cookie. Might try adding nuts next time. Thanks for posting this family fav!

    Reply

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  15. Lynn on January 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Perfect.

    Reply

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  17. Pingback: Online Bake Sale: Win cookies from me and support a cause close to my heart | Brown Eyed Baker

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  19. Terri on February 1, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Followed the recipe exactly, did not refrigerate. Came out perfect. Best cookies ever!

    Reply

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  21. Andrew on February 3, 2011 at 12:36 am

    This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe around! I used my baking scale for the first time with this recipe and it came out perfect. I added some toffee bits for a little extra treat.

    Reply

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  23. Maggie on February 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    I made these today (to bring to a Super Bowl party tomorrow) and I have to say I love the consistency and texture. Mine kind of have a flour-y taste to them, which I can’t figure out. But, oh well, they’re still delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  24. Denise on February 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I have made these cookies previously but am just now getting around to leaving a comment. They are so delicious and chewy. I love these cookies and will be making them again today. They are really tasty. Followed the directions exactly and came out with a perfect cookie. Thanks this is a keeper.

    Reply

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  26. Holly on February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Made these last night, so good! My husband had one before I went to bed, and when I talked to him the next day the first thing he said was “omfg those cookies are good!” LOL. Thank you for sharing, this will replace my old recipe!

    Reply

  27. Curioucity on February 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Wow, they look delicious! I’m gonna try those for myself.. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

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  29. Darla @ Bakingdom on February 11, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Just came over here from your pancake recipe and I have to agree with you on this one. I’ve been making this recipe for several years…probably close to 7…and I still love them the most.

    Reply

  30. emily on February 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Finally! I have been searching, as you have, for the perfect CCC recipe, and this one is wonderful… massive, crunchy outside, chewy inside. My husband and I like more cookie than chocolate chip, so I stayed toward the 1 cup, and it is perfect. Thanks for the post!

    Reply

    • emily on February 13th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      Also, I tried sprinkling sea salt over the cookies, and we agreed that it would be better inside the cookies. I’ll be adding probably 3/4 or 1 Tsp. next time, instead of the proposed 1/2 Tsp. To form the cookies, I used 2 cookie-scoopers of dough mashed together. They can’t help themselves but crinkle and split on top, it’s the nature of the cookie. My husband said that if he has me and these cookies, he’s in good shape ;)

      Reply

  31. Erin @ Making Memories on February 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    These sound fantastic! I’ll definitely try them!

    Reply

  32. Pingback: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie « Do You Wonder

  33. Mirjana McIlroy on February 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    **CAN BE REFRIGERATED!** I was sent over here by my friend who says this is the best cookie recipe she has ever made so I decided to go ahead and try it out. Well, these really ARE the BEST cookies! When I melted the butter I actually let it cool for about 15-20 mins and our house was about 70 degrees all day. After I made the dough, I put it in the fridge, crossed my fingers and hoped that it will still be puffy. And they were! I also just used a TBLSP cookie scoop and just made them look kinda uneven so they get that crinkly look to them. I baked them for 10 mins like that and they were perfect! Thanks so much for sharing this. Toll House needs to scratch the recipe off their bags and replace it with this one!

    Reply

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  36. Carrie on February 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I’m always looking for the best chocolate chip recipe. I tried Alton Brown’s off Food Network and I’ve been pretty pleased with those. When I saw your recipe while browsing your site (a wonderful way to waste some time by the way!) I just had to try these cookies. I just pulled them out of the oven and I know already they are going to be a huge success. I can’t thank you enough for posting this recipe, seriously. You’re a life saver. Now, if I can bake some more cookies before eating the rest of the dough then other people can enjoy them too! I’ll be posting my pictures on my blog later this week :) Hooray!!

    Reply

  37. eliza on February 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    WOW! I’ve been planning on trying these for a long time and they exceeded my expectations! Absolutely the best ccc I’ve ever had. I brought a bunch to an event at work and several people said the exact same thing. No need to try any others, this is the one. Thanks, Michelle!

    Reply

  38. Livvy on March 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I just made these, and they are amazing! Simple and quick to make, and finally I’ve managed to make a light, chewy, crisp-on-the-edge choc chip cookie! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  39. Melissa on March 11, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Hands down the BEST recipe for CCCs.

    Reply

  40. Rashmi on March 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Michelle, I made these last night and they were soooo melt-in-your mouth delicious! Plus very easy and quick to make. This is the new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe in my house now! By any chance, do you have a “healthy” (or “healthier”) version of these? Love the cookie but am a little scared of ALL that butter & sugar…! :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 11th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Rashmi, So glad you loved these! I don’t have any “healthier” versions of this cookie, I just enjoy them in moderation :)

      Reply

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  42. Nici on March 18, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Wow, these are AMAZING!! This was my first time to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. I found the recipe to be very clear and these were so simple to make. And they are absolutely perfect. Mine were crispy on the edges, gooey in the center, little salty with the sweet (I may have used too much salt, but it actually worked!), and I love that there are just a TON of chips in there. Perfect!

    Reply

  43. Rick on March 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Ok, I am stupid and don’t understand the “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”…..when you rotate the halves 90 deg, you basically join at the sides? If so, then how do you get a “ball” again? You have 2 round halves butted together isn’t going to form another ball….this step is confusing the way it is written….I think I will just do it as “Kaitlin March 27, 2010″ did and “rolled 1/2 cup dough balls and pulled them into halves, which resulted in the same crinkly texture on top”.

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 21st, 2011 at 12:10 am

      Hi Rick, Yes, you join at the sides, exactly. You just push them together. You don’t really want another “ball” – the resulting shape will be flatter than a ball, but still round when pushed together and jagged on top.

      Reply

  44. Jenna on March 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    oh my these are so yummy i dont even know where to begin…maybe just a huge thank you…my tummy is very satisfied….my hips not so much. I used a 1 1/2″ cookie scooper and baked for 9 min and they came out beautiful

    Reply

  45. Liz on March 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I just made these and ohmygoodness are they the best cookies ever! Thick, soft, and chewy, which everything I’ve been looking for in a good cc cookie recipe!

    I was a little nervous how these would turn out when I noticed that the batter wasn’t sticking to the chocolate chips, but after rolling the dough into balls the problem was solved. In addition to adding dark chocolate chips, I also added some shredded coconut and toffee bits to the dough for a little variation — Yum!

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My search for the perfect cc recipe is finally over!

    Reply

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  47. Amy on March 29, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Hello!

    I just found your blog recently and made these when my husband was craving some homemade cookies. THESE ARE AMAZING!!! The best I have ever made…and I have made some recipes! I also have your sweet and sour chicken in the oven for tonight and I am making your stuffed peppers and squash soup tomorrow! I am really excited to try all these recipes because it all looks so yummy!! Thanks for making this blog!

    Amy

    Reply

  48. shammi204 on April 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

    hey dis is a wonderful recipe..but cud u pls demonstrate dat pulling in2 half,rollin it 90` n den joinin,facing jagged surface sumthn lol cud u mayb post a video of dat :)
    i’d very much appreciate it thanku :)

    Reply

  49. Kelly on April 10, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I made these tonight and added Macadamia nuts to them. I weighed all of the ingredients and wow does it ever make a difference. I don’t know if my measuring cups are wrong or if my scale is off, but I was shocked by the difference, especially with the brown sugar. I’m glad I went with weight because the cookies turned out perfectly. My mother in law even complimented my cookies :) thank you for posting. Now to try some of your cupcake recipes

    Reply

  50. Emilee on April 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER!!!!!!! They are addicting!
    -Your blueeyedbaker;)

    Reply

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