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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607 Responses to “Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

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  1. Pingback: Good Chocolate Chip Cookies. Like, really good. « On Anna's Plate

  2. Victoria on October 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    These were by far the best chocolate chip cookies i have ever made!! i just pulled my first batch out of the oven as we speak and they are perfect! :) FINALLY!! a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that are actually what they say they are! thanks

    Reply

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  4. Jenny on October 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I use Guittard chocolate chips. They are by far the best I have tried. Way better than Nestle or Ghirradelli. I’m going to try these cookies tonight.

    Reply

  5. Marissa on October 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Wow these look very yummy. Mmm my mouth is already going. They look perfect- not way to chewy, not to soft, not to thick, not to thin. I can’t wait to bake this – they will be perfect for my Halloween Party coming up. (I’ll be using your cupcakes for that too!)

    Reply

  6. GinaB5 on October 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    A friend made these today and OMG these are the best cookies I have ever tasted! Yummy, yummy, yummy! I will definitely make these. They are the perfect combination of chewy and crunch and sweetness.

    Reply

  7. Marissa on October 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Whipping up a batch right now – can’t wait to see how they turn out! They look so thick and yummy! My nieces took a look at these cookies and quickly begged, and begged me to make these. They look amazing, chewy, soft, and thick! So excited an can’t wait. Any tips on how to make these would be great, thank you!

    Reply

  8. Victoria on October 30, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Just made these tonight & they are amazing!! Great recipe, thanks so much for sharing!! First time in forever that I made a chocolate chip cookie I didn’t feel needed any tweaking!!

    Reply

  9. Kat on October 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I switched butter out for Crisco, they stayed softer longer. :)

    Reply

  10. Vinita on November 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been looking for this forever!! It is so disappointing to take the trouble to make chocolate chip cookies, only to have them turn out well, just not right! And then eat bad cookies anyway because you are craving them so much! If you are gonna eat all those calories it had better be worth it and these cookies are SO WORTH IT!!!! Love them!! These are the definition of what a chocolate chip cookie should be.

    Reply

  11. KonstantKraver on November 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I recently stumbled on your blog and I am loving it ! Everything looks so amazing especially these chocolate chip cookies! Yum yum .

    Reply

  12. Amy on November 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I can’t thank you enough! Finally, a chocolate chip cookie recipe that has worked!! I’m enjoying some thick and yummy cookies as I type. I’m soooo glad I found your blog.

    Reply

  13. Erin on November 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I found this recipe and it looks awesome – I’m concerned about the amount of butter – in my previous experience with butter, because it is so “thin” (in comparison to Crisco) it causes the cookies to flatten and get overly crispy on the edges – so I’ve mitigated this by going half and half with butter and Crisco. What about this recipe prevents the butter from doing this to the cookies?? Is it the extra egg yolk?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 10th, 2011 at 1:23 am

      Hi Erin, The extra yolk definitely adds some “heft” to the cookies. These cookies definitely aren’t flat, just make sure you let the melted butter cool before proceeding, and you’ll be good.

      Reply

  14. Rebecca on November 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I’ve been looking for a good cookie recipe that will hold up in the mail. Do you think these would be a good choice to bake and ship???

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 15th, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Hi Rebecca, Yes, definitely! I have actually shipped these multiple times, all with good results. Just wrap each cookie individually in plastic wrap, and then place in a ziploc bag (keeps them fresh), and make sure you have packing bubbles or some type of padding.

      Reply

  15. Ken on November 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Most cookies can be shipped, but if you want them to arrive in good condition, wrap them well in cling wrap first in pairs (this will minumize them rubbing together) then you will have to use a strong corrigated box with some packing chips, Bon Voyage!

    Reply

  16. Sha'lise on November 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    These cookies were WAAAAYYYY too sweet! I did like the chewy-ness, but honestly 2C flour to 1 1/2C sugar (total brown/white) is ridiculous. I’m surprised not to see someone else say the same thing. I love sweets, but this was too much for my taste.

    Reply

  17. Pingback: How to: Eat half a trey of cookies and avoid slipping into a downward spiral of self loathing « My Cup of Tea

  18. Eldon on November 28, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Not good at all. Sorry just my opinion.

    Reply

  19. Diana on November 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    I love your site! And after reading all this, I really want to give this ccc recipe a go. However I am from Holland and since everything is about the measurements… is an American tablespoon that you mention the same as ours? Or do you have a specific measurement tool for teaspoons, tablespoons and cups? Please let me know, cuz I’ m dying to make these delious cookies of yours!!! :))

    Greetz,
    Diana

    Reply

  20. Kristy on December 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Thank you for the recipe – hands down the best! I’ve made it several times recently!

    Reply

  21. Laura on December 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    My husband (NOT a baker) made them the other night and they were unbelievable. I thought *my* chocolate chip cookie recipe was the best. Guess I was wrong. I promptly replaced it with this one. Thank you so much!

    Reply

  22. Cristina Guzman on December 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Literally the best chocolate chip cookie that I’ve tried, I’m definitely sticking to this one ;)

    Reply

  23. Julie on December 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Wow that’s ALOT of comments on one recipe! I am sure no one will ever scroll all the way down to view this one …but thought I’d add my 2 cents anyway. Due to diet accommodations I used spelt flour, earth balance/canola oil, enjoy life non dairy choc chips, only used 1 c. br sugar (no white at all), They turned out fine. I even forgot to refrigerate the dough so my cookies ended up very large and thinner but totally acceptable. These are going to be even better when I chill the dough next time. I think I’m in love!

    Reply

  24. Adrienne on December 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    It’s official…I have found my go to chocolate cookie recipe. I was a skeptic at first, but these are amazing!! Great recipe!

    Reply

  25. Leah on December 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Will using bleached flour make a big difference?

    These look so good!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 18th, 2011 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Leah, No, not at all. I just prefer unbleached flour for baking because, really, why ingest more chemicals than we need to? :)

      Reply

  26. RM on December 22, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it for my office last night and was a little worried the cookies wouldn’t remain chewy the next day, but they did, and have been a huge hit. I made sure the cool the butter as instructed, used sea salt in place of regular salt, and semi-sweet chocolate chunks instead of chips. I also made smaller, more bite-sized cookies instead of large ones, so I only needed to bake for about 13-14 minutes. Perfect!

    Reply

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  28. Andrea on January 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I love this recipe. I have already made 8 batches of this cookie recipe. My kids love them. They like them with mini M&Ms in them.
    This recipe is a keeper!!!!

    Reply

  29. Tammy on January 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    MUST BE STORED AIRTIGHT!!!
    These are sooooo good! I made the mistake of leaving them on the cooling rack overnight and they were rock hard the next morning. I salvaged them by putting them into an airtight container with a few wet paper towels. After a few hours they were soft again.
    I also didn’t weigh anything (don’t have a scale) and used jumbo chocolate chips (bought accidently – a glorious mistake). They are sooooo yummy! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  30. jen on January 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I got this recipe from my friend. I’ve made them twice and I’m realizing im doing something very wrong. My cookies always cool hard as rocks and they are really white. ANd the chips are hard too. What am i doing wrong!??

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 9th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Jen, How long are you letting the cookies cool before storing them? It sounds like they may be left out too long or that they are being over-baked. I can’t really speak to them being white, that’s odd – perhaps you’re using a flour that is really bleached?

      Reply

  31. Barbara Hall on January 13, 2012 at 2:01 am

    My son gave me the ATK 10 years of shows cookbook for Mothers Day last year. These cookies were the first recipe I tried. Wow! I immediately chucked my 25 year old tried and true recipe. These are THE best cc cookies ever!

    Reply

  32. Yvette on January 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Ok first off let me say that you are a genius and these are by far the best chocolate chip cookies I have EVER made. I too was on the hunt for the perfect recipe and this is definitely it! As much as I love cooking and eating I am constantly dieting and pretty much end up giving everything I make away or have my husband eat them. These cookies however are simply irresistible! Is there any way you could tell me the nutrition info on these cookies like calorie count , etc. If you could I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you! I look forward to making some more of your fabulous recipes.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 15th, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Hi Yvette, I’m glad you enjoyed the cookies! I am actually working right now to implement nutrition facts so you should begin seeing them on here within the next month or so!

      Reply

  33. Pingback: Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate M&M Cookies

  34. Deb on January 19, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I am not at all surprised that there are 289 comments on this post !!!! i guess i get to be 290 ?? :)

    I too was on a search for a “go-to” chocolate chip cookie … i have a chocolate-chocolate brownie type cookie, but its not the classic and i really wanted one. So of course, as a HUGE HUGE fan of your blog i decided to give these cookies a try.

    and so, i baked these tonight for my brother’s birthday party… i followed the recipe exact – pulling the balls apart to make the jagged edges. oh my lord — they were PERFECT !!!!! they looked exactly like those bakery of coffee shop jumbo cookies, and they were so perfectly chewy and yummy …. i am ECSTATIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yay !!!

    thank you for this ….

    and of course, tomorrow i’m making a second batch for my sister in law – since the 18 cookies got eaten VERY quickly :) :)

    you have the BEST BEST food blog ….
    yum :)

    Reply

  35. Jacqui D on January 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Hello… I just baked these fat cookies. I followed all your instructions, weighed the dry ingredients, cooled the melted butter, weighed each cookie – mine at 2.2oz. They turned out great, crispy on the edge and chewy in the inside. I baked the first batch for 16 minutes, once they were cooled, my husband took the first bite and the middle still under baked. So I baked the second and third batches for 18 minutes. Thank you for the recipe. I wish I could share the pics here.

    Reply

  36. Amanda on January 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I have made this before and they were such a big hit that now my husband wants these for his birthday! Do you think you could make them the same way but put them in a cookie cake pan and it will be just as good?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 28th, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Hi Amanda, I’m glad you guys enjoyed the cookies! I’ve never made these in a pan as a “cookie bar” so I couldn’t say for sure how they would compare, but if you try it I’d love to know how they turn out!

      Reply

  37. M on January 28, 2012 at 10:18 am

    This is the first homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever made and they are AMAZING!!!! Now I feel like I should try other recipes just to compare, but I don’t know if I ever will because these are so perfect! I am the kind of person who eats the whole roll of Pillsbury dough and never bakes a single cookie, but with this recipe, the dough and cookies are equally as amazing! I added mini-m&m’s and cinnamon, along with the semi-sweet chocolate chips… mmmmm. I also let the dough sit in the fridge for a day for the second batch and the cookies were even better (saw that tip on another site). YUM!!!!

    Reply

  38. JK on January 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Very good texture and flavour in these cookies. Thanks for sharing it.

    For shaping them to get the pull apart look try chilling for 30mins so it’s a bit more firm then form the dough into a ~1.5″ diameter log and pinch off pieces from the end and dropping on baking sheet. No smooshing back together. Takes a little practice to get consistent sizes but this is how I did it when working in a bakery.

    Reply

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  41. Pingback: Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies « Cooking College Chick

  42. Kathy on February 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I (too) have been on a quest for the quintessential chocolate chip cookie. This one is a keeper! Followed the recipe to the letter and….perfection! Chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Don’t let the “wetness” of the dough scare you. I did, however, cook at the same time for just about as long using my convection oven those of you wondering how convection would differ.

    Reply

  43. Rhyann on February 4, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I made these for a good chocolate chip cookie recipe for my blog and absolutely loved them! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

    Reply

  44. Pingback: 75 Valentine’s Day Recipes | Valentine’s Day Desserts | Brown Eyed Baker

  45. roxy on February 7, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I have been browsing and saving recipes for days and I was pretty sure I had the perfect recipe for chewy cookies, but right before starting baking, I ran into this recipe and I’m glad I decided to go with yours.

    My first chocolate chip cookies and my husband said they were perfect.

    I had bleached flour and I had pure cane sugar…. I didnt realize it wasnt brown sugar and it was too late to run to the store so I took the chance. There was no problem. They were very soft… melted in my mouth. I baked one shaped like a golf ball and the other ones using the instructions. I think I prefer the round one. The other ones have a slightly crunchy crust on top, while the round one is all the way soft. I baked them for around 20 minutes and they werent all brown, but they were cooked.

    I highly recommend the recipe!!

    Reply

  46. Emily on February 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I love this recipe! I followed every step exactly except I used half melted butter and half softened butter — I’ve had bad luck with all-melted butter chocolate chip recipes before so I got a little hesitant. The recipe turned out exactly like the picture…beautiful, soft and chewy with slightly crispy edges! Next time, I will try all melted butter! Thank you!

    Reply

  47. Jessa on February 11, 2012 at 1:06 am

    These were as amazing as they looked. I will never go back to the tollhouse recipe again. Soft and chewy and gone within a couple of days. :)

    Reply

  48. Rebecca M on February 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I ended up making one giant cookie and used heart cut outs for valentines day they puffed up perfectly!

    Reply

  49. Michele on February 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Is anyone having problems with the dough being too crumbly? When I mix in the chocolate chips, they don’t adhere to the dough and all wind up at the bottom of the mixing bowl. I feel like I’m wasting chips. I’ve made this recipe about 10 times and same results. The cookies turn out fantastic, but the chip problem persists.

    Reply

  50. Pingback: Soft & Chewy Cookies « Me & My LG

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