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. Helen on April 21, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I am making these again today!! The absolute best choc chip cookie recipe ever! Aaaaand…I am using my new cookie scoop!! yaaaay! So much fun! :D

    Reply

  2. Tiffany on April 22, 2011 at 12:04 am

    These are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. :) I made them for the first time today. While I was at work, my husband ate the whole batch. That means they were great!

    Reply

  3. Kristin on May 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Hi,

    HELP! I made these this morning and they were definitely not thick. I followed the recipe exactly and I am an experienced baker. What did I do wrong? They taste awesome so I’m not exactly dissapointed but what made me want to bake them was the “thick & chewy” part.

    Any thoughts or advice?

    Thanks,
    Kristin

    Reply

  4. Kristin on May 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Hi,

    HELP! I made these this morning and they were definitely not thick. I followed the recipe exactly and I am an experienced baker. What did I do wrong? They taste awesome so I’m not exactly dissapointed but what made me want to bake them was the “thick & chewy” part.

    Any thoughts or advice?

    Thanks,
    Kristin

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 25th, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      Hi Kristin, I think perhaps the butter wasn’t cooled completely before proceeding with the recipe. I have done this before when I wasn’t paying attention or impatient, and it definitely causes the cookies to spread out and be flat. I would give it another try and make sure the butter is cool!

      Reply

      • Kristin on May 26th, 2011 at 11:34 am

        Thank you for the tip, I will double check next time!

        Reply

  5. Kimberly on May 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I made these cookies yesterday and even though they didn’t turn out thick, I love them. Why? No need for room temp. butter and this morning, they’re still soft, slightly chewy and absolutely delicious. I couldn’t handle the hand tearing method, I need to use a scoop so they’re all the same size. That might be why they turned out flat, but I’m fine with that. They’re very pretty, perfectly smooth on top and they look like they were made in a professional kitchen.Thanks for this recipe! Btw, I used mini chips too, they were a great choice!

    Reply

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  7. Silvia on May 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I just made these and they definitely turned out thick and chewy :) however they weren’t sweet enough (well for me at least lol) This recipe is definitely a keeper. I love them!

    Reply

  8. Mandy on May 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    These turned out perfectly…they were truly wonderful and this will be my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe from now on. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

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  10. Finn on May 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

    THANK YOU!!!!
    My husband loves these so much, he makes all these faces while eating them, LOL! Definitely the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever tried. I make them with the tablespoon scoop and bake them for exactly 9 mins on 325 and they are absolutely divine. This is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I will ever need. Brown Eyed Baker, my family thanks you.

    I’m so happy I found Brown Eyed Baker, your blog is a real treasure.

    Reply

  11. Finn on May 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I can halve this recipe right? How could I do that with the egg and egg yolk thing?
    (I’m asking because I wanna make more and I only have 1 stick of butter left, LOL!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 25th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Finn, I have never halved the recipe so I can’t vouch for the results (some recipes are more/less temperamental than others when halving or doubling). When I halve eggs and/or yolks I break it into a bowl, beat lightly to break it up and weigh it, then use half of that weight.

      Reply

      • Finn on May 26th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

        You were right, a scale is important to have! Thanks, Michelle, I’ll try that today!

        Reply

  12. NAAW on May 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Hello. (:

    I just done baking my first batch of your recipe.
    and? It is one the the best CCC i’ve ever tasted! love it!

    still, i dont get the “joint-the-base-of-the-halves” thing.. so i just use ice cream scoop to do the work (: and i have to flatten my dough first before baking it, since my first baking sheet does not comes out as yours,

    but, honestly, thanks (‘: it’s a really nice CCC

    Reply

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  14. Rams on June 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Michelle, I want make a huge batch of this recipe..I want to ask you one thing..Is it better to freeze the dough or the baked cookies?

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 6th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      I have never frozen this cookie dough, but I have frozen the cookies, and they thaw out wonderfully. I do this often!

      Reply

  15. Sarah C on June 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    I just want 2 say that these are my FAVORITE cookies! and that i have tried recipes before and they turned out plain awful! and i tried THIS recipe and LOVED THEM!!!!!!! and i made them with Butterscotch chips and they are to die for! thank you so much for this recipe! :)

    Reply

  16. Ben on June 11, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Hi! I’ve been visiting your site now for a few months and I just attempted this cookie today. It came out looking exactly like yours – superbly thick with tonnes of chips and chew in every bite. I’m very pleased with how these looked so professional! i’ve tried a gazillion recipes but they always come out looking sad and flat, albeit delicious. thanks for the inspiration!!

    Reply

  17. patti on June 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Just made these & they’re amazing! I even subbed 1 cup of all purpose flour for a cup of white whole wheat flour as I’m always trying to use more whole grains in my baking… still turned out fantastic! Might be my new go-to recipe for CCCs! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  18. Dolce on June 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these cookies! I have made many chocolate chip cookies, and my family agrees with me, these are a winner! Currently trying to gain a little meat on my bones, so I had no problem helping myself to two:) SO rich and delicious.

    Reply

  19. Shannon on June 30, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Tried these last night and subbed chocolate chunks for chips (I too, am a cholate freak) – SO SO good, my coworkers can’t seem to get enough! The technique of seperating the dough balls really seals the deal. My new go-to!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  20. Michaela on June 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    These cookies are the definition of perfect! Most certainly my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe forever and ever.
    I posted about it here, along with a few tips I learned along the way :)
    http://thisistolove.blogspot.com/2011/06/thick-and-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

    Reply

  21. Kim on July 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Is there any links to videos for the cookie shaping method?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 1st, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Kim, No video, but that is a great idea! I’ll work on it!

      Reply

      • tamar on July 6th, 2011 at 6:47 am

        oh yes please! i would really appreciate that. it seems like a really good technique for plenty of cookie recipes but i can’t quite grasp it.

        Reply

  22. Sarah Easton on July 5, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I’ve tried dozens of chocolate chip cookie recipes and this one is now my new favorite.

    Reply

  23. Melissa T on July 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I followed the recipe and decided to form the balls two different ways: rolling the cookie dough into a ball and breaking it apart and forming the ball with the jagged side up. The jagged-side-up cookie looks so professional!! I wish I would have known about this trick sooner! The cookie itself was delicious and one of the best I’ve ever had. I will be using this recipe from now on. Thank you so much!

    Reply

  24. Chaos Mommy on July 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you for giving weight measurements. I’m in Culinary Arts school, and in baking we only weigh our dry ingredients. Often times the wet ingredients as well. It really does make a huge difference in the outcome of the product. I rarely measure dry ingredients in measuring cups anymore.
    I am grateful for the tips on how to make those huge bakery cookies!

    Reply

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  26. Shannon on July 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I love making these cookies, they are a hit every time. I made them for the umpteenth time last weekend and I would like to make them a bit sweeter. How can I sweeten them up with out loosing that chewiness? Add more brown sugar? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 20th, 2011 at 10:42 am

      Hmm I honestly am not sure. I think they’re super sweet as is, and once you add more sugar you need to start playing around with the other ingredients to make sure you maintain the same consistency. If I give it a try I’ll let you know what I find, but I don’t think I’d add more sugar to this particular recipe. Maybe try milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet? That would up the sweetness factor.

      Reply

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  28. jo on July 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, my boys love eating them!

    Reply

  29. Liz on August 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    These were really good! My daughter had seen a recipe about making chocolate chip cookies that look like turtles. We layed out 5 whole pecans to look like the head and legs of the turtle and put a ball of this cookie dough on top, baked it and then drizzled chocolate and carmel sauce on top! They were delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!!!!

    Reply

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  31. Angelyn on August 3, 2011 at 1:09 am

    I found this blog a few days ago and I absolutely love it! I’ve written down a list of desserts I’ve found on here that I gotta try! I’ve made these cookies twice in the past few days and my family and I absolutely love them! Thank you so much for such an awesome blog and recipe! :)

    Reply

  32. Meghan on August 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Used margarine instead of butter, not sure if that’s exactly what went wrong, but all i had to do was add more flour and they turned out perfect:)

    Reply

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  34. Colleen on August 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    This is by far the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried! I have tried so many different recipes over the years, but this one is exactly what I was looking for and it’s the only one I’ll ever use. I like to use sea salt for these to give them a salty crunch, and I like the chocolate to be chunky. Incredibly yummy!

    Reply

  35. Stacey on August 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Mine came out super dry!! I followed the directions exactly! I added another egg. They’re baking now, so we’ll see how it turns out. =(

    Reply

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  37. Bex on August 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Love these cookies made them today! Thanks!!! Best website ever!!!

    Reply

  38. tony on August 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Great recipe. Thanks for sharing. After reading through all the comments, I was afraid the cookies were going to be hard and crusty. So I did the following:
    Used chilled/soften butter instead of melted butter. The reason is I was afraid the melted butter will sink to the bottom of the cookie. Also, soften butter will add air to the batter when it bakes so it’ll cause a chewier cookie.
    Finally, this dough is great in freezing as well. I put the dough in some parchment and rolled it into a dowel-shape. Put some plastic wrap around it and put it in a ziplock. I think it’ll freeze well up to several months. Whenever you like some cookies, bring out the dowels and cut into 3/4 inch shapes and bake for around 19 minutes (alittle longer because it’s frozen…)

    Reply

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  40. Julie on August 30, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Hey!
    I have tried to make this recipe as well as an Alton Brown on foodnetwork.com, both times my cookies spread too thin and the edges got crispy while the middle was fine. but the chocolate chips stayed in the middle too. the taste is good, the cookies just don’t look, well… good. Any tips!? would using parchment paper make a difference? my pans are stone, non-stick already, so idk. I really want to get these right!
    thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 30th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Julie, Usually when cookies spread thin it’s because of too much fat. Make sure that you really allow the butter to cool before you proceed with the recipe, or spreading will definitely happen. Also, I don’t bake cookies and things like that on stone – it might hold in more heat, which would cause the fat to activate too much as well, causing the spreading. I like regular cookie sheets with parchment paper – always have success with that combo.

      Reply

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  42. Jessica @ Bake a Little on August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    This cookie looks UNREAL and perfect :)

    Reply

  43. Brooke on August 31, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Kind of confused on the shaping method… So you split the ball into two pieces and then keeping one pieces jagged look you form the other ball back into the first one? so then it is one ball again with a jagged edge? Wouldnt it be easier to take a bigger ball (amount of two cookies) and split them in half and place both jagged edges up?

    Reply

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  45. Katie on September 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I wonder if you can give me some advice, I know this probably sounds like a really stupid question but how do you mean by “rotate 90 degrees”? Is that when you’re rolling the balls in your palm? I tried the recipe a while ago and I don’t think I shaped them correctly because they ended up very small, domed and cakey instead of chewy and craggy :/ but I’m so eager for it to work because yours look amaaazing! Hopefully you can enlighten me! :)

    Reply

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  48. Amber Martin on September 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Chocolate chip cookies are my husband’s favorite. I like to think that he loves me because of my excellent cooking :), but he has always preferred store bought chocolate chip cookie dough. I made these, and they were AWESOME! I finally have a recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookies that are better than store bought dough!!

    Reply

  49. Becky on September 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I love this recipe!! I sang praises to the heavens when I found this! I had searched for years for a Choc Chip cookie recipe that didn’t end up cakey or flat. After reading how they tested it, I gave it a shot. I was in awe of the stunningly beautiful cookie that resulted! This is the only choc chip recipe that I will ever use!!

    Reply

  50. Tara on September 29, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Prior to making these a few months ago, my very favourite cookie recipe for about 10 years was the copycat Mrs. Fields recipe. It was fantastic. So I cannot BELIEVE that I have found a recipe that I like more! I cook them until they are just cooked on the edges and quite raw in the middle. Then after cooling down a bit they are sooooo chewy. And they taste even better the next day.

    On a side note, I accidentally forgot to melt the butter once when I made them and just creamed it the traditional way, and they tasted EXACTLY the same.

    Reply

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