the best chocolate chip cookies
Call me biased, but these are THE BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made — and I’m so happy to share the recipe with you today! Scratch-made, soft, chewy, and full of both dark and milk chocolate flavors (with a sprinkle of sea salt on top), each bite is pure chocolate chip cookie bliss. Follow my simple steps on how to make the best chocolate chip cookies and they might just become your new favorite, too.
The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pardon my longer-than-usual absence these past couple of weeks — I’ve been busy tinkering behind the scenes to make these chocolate chip cookies the absolute best they can be so that I could share this perfection with you. I asked you all on Instagram recently if you wanted to see my best chocolate chip cookie recipe or a chocolate chip cookie recipe with a twist*, and I was surprised that the majority voted for the former! It seems that, in a world where there are no fewer than one billion chocolate chip cookie recipes out there (all claiming to be the best), you all still want to see a new one. I knew I liked you.
So here we are! This recipe honestly has been several years in the making. I’ve been baking variations of this recipe since I started blogging (10+ years ago, which officially makes me a blogging dinosaur). But the truth is, I’d never been 100% fully happy with it — until today. After a few tweaks and tests (so.many.cookies, you guys), I think we’ve got a winner of a cookie here. If you follow along with my tried-and-true tips I’ll share below, then you’ll be well on your way to chocolate chip cookie heaven. Let’s do this!
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies
To start, make sure you have all the ingredients listed in the recipe, and that they’re FRESH. That includes fresh baking soda, which can go bad if you don’t use it before the expiration date. Also be sure your butter is truly at room temperature so it can cream with the sugars completely. OK, great! Let’s keep going.
Next, follow the recipe exactly as written. That means making the dough, stirring in the chocolate chunks, pre-shaping the dough into 1/4-inch balls (highly recommend using a cookie scoop!), and refrigerating the dough at least 8 hours but no longer than 36 hours. I’ve tested mixing the dough ingredients all at once (doesn’t work); using semisweet chocolate chips (does work, but the cookies weren’t as chocolaty as I’d hoped); and baking the cookies right away (doesn’t work, as the dough will spread significantly if not chilled). Using a combination of dark and milk chocolate chopped into coarse pieces gives these cookies the ultimate gooey chocolaty-ness, and chilling the dough for 8-36 hours not only keeps the cookies from spreading, but allows the ingredients to meld together better and deepen the flavor. Trust me: It’s worth the wait!
Once the dough is sufficiently chilled, bake the cookies straight from the fridge on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet until they’re JUST set. That means golden brown edges and slightly under-baked centers (which will set up as they cool). When the cookies come out of the oven, they’ll be a little puffy. I like to rap one edge of my cookie sheet against the counter a couple of times to push out the air bubbles so the edges of the cookies get that ripply effect that also makes the edges crispy and the centers soft. Don’t forget to sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt on top while the cookies are still warm, too! The sea salt brings out the flavor of the chocolate and enhances that sweet-salty combination that I love so much.
Baking Temperature for Chocolate Chip Cookies
A quick note about the bake temperature: 375°F is not a typo. Most cookie recipes will have you bake the dough at 350°F, but for this recipe, a slightly higher temperature is best. The cookies bake a little faster, which means they have less time to spread, and a cookie with height = a cookie with a chewy center. I tried to bake these cookies at 350°F and I just wasn’t as happy with the results as I was with 375°F. Plus, on a chilly day, that means your kitchen can be that much warmer and cozier.
Finally, be sure to let the cookies cool completely before eating them (hard to do, I know, but stay strong). As they cool, the chewy-crisp texture continues to develop and the chocolate will set just enough that it will still be melty, but not drippy. Plus — and maybe this is just me and my nerdy baking weirdness — I can taste more of the dynamic flavors of the cookie when it’s at room temperature than when it’s warm.
For all its nuances, this chocolate chip cookie recipe really is simple. And once you give it a try, you’ll see why every step is important to follow (and if you bake this recipe enough times, like me, you’ll be able to recite it in your sleep). The next time you get a craving for a cookie (which, for me, will be in like 20 minutes), give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! I hope you love it as much as we do.
*For sure going to make this happen someday soon, too, don’t you worry.Print
Truly my best recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Soft and chewy and full of chocolate flavor with both dark and milk chocolate chunks (plus a sprinkle of sea salt), this easy recipe is our favorite and just might become yours, too.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (4 oz) coarsely chopped 70% dark chocolate (cut into 1/2- to 1-inch chunks)
- 3/4 cup (4 oz) coarsely chopped 30% milk chocolate (cut into 1/2- to 1-inch chunks)
- Flaky sea salt, for topping (optional)
- In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars on medium-high speed 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Stir in vanilla.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt until well combined. Slowly stir flour mixture into butter mixture until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Stir in chopped chocolate until just combined.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, shape dough into 24 1/4-cup round balls; transfer to a cookie sheet. Cover cookie sheet tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, 8 hours up to 36 hours.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place chilled cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart (I could fit about 5-6 cookies on a sheet at a time); keep remaining dough balls in refrigerator. Bake, one cookie sheet at a time, 10-12 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and golden brown but centers are still slightly under-baked.
- Remove cookies from oven. Gently lift and drop one edge of cookie sheet, with cookies still on it, against counter 1-2 times (to reduce puffiness). Sprinkle immediately and lightly with sea salt, if desired. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls.
- Store fully cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- The percentages of chocolate are recommendations — I found this combo of dark and milk chocolates to render the best flavors, but feel free to experiment! You can also use semisweet chocolate chips to replace both chocolates (use 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips).
- Chilling the dough is necessary to develop the flavor of these cookies, but more importantly, to keep them from spreading too much in the oven. Don’t skip this step!
- Baked cookies can be frozen in an airtight container up to 3 months. You can also freeze the cookie dough! Pre-shape the dough into balls, then freeze on a cookie sheet until completely frozen. Place the dough balls into an airtight container or resealable freezer-safe bag; freeze up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, pop them in the oven straight from the freezer, but add on a few extra minutes to the bake time.
Keywords: salted chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate chip cookies, milk chocolate chip cookies, how to freeze cookie dough
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