This recipe gets you from zero to chewy chocolate chip cookies in 30 minutes with normal ingredients. They are soft in the middle, perfectly crisp on the edge, and have an ultra chewy center. There is a secret that is going to change your life; you are never going to look at warm cookies the same way again! Originally published September 27, 2018.
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It turns out that when people come to my blog and use the search box, the most commonly typed word is “cookies.” You guys know what you want. I’m here to deliver! Even though I’m a food blogger, and am supposed to be adventurous and trying new things, at the end of the day all I really want are chewy chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of milk, make that whole milk thank you very much.
Every other month I host a super casual dinner with my extended family who live nearby. My cousins and aunts and uncles come over for hot dogs and chatting. Last month my cousin Emily brought a giant plate of super chewy chocolate chip cookies, much to the delight of tiny nieces and nephews everywhere. (What do you call the children of your cousins?? Never mind, I don’t even care. We’re all cousins and aunts and uncles in my book.)
Anyway, Emily’s cookies were legit. Like, legiiiit. Tons of buttery flavor, soft, mounded, CHEWY center, and delightfully crisp on the edges to provide sturdiness and flavor, without being hard or dry.
Her cookies were too gorgeous and tall and puffy in the middle to not have a trick. I asked her, did you use half shortening? “No, they are all butter.” Oh you must have chilled them then. “No, I baked them right away, I don’t have time for chilling!”
I looked at the cookies again. They were not flat. At all. They were nice and tall and mounded in the middle. Flat cookies are the worst, and I always take at LEAST 20 minutes to freeze or refrigerate my dough to avoid it. Or use half Crisco/half butter. This is the only life I have ever known, you guys, and I bake a LOT of cookies. Then Emily explained her magical secret for perfect chewy chocolate chip cookies.
What makes this the Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe?
It’s not a special ingredient, but rather a technique. When the cookies have just barely come out of the oven, are looking a little pale and sad, and have that domed shape that threatens to cool into a hard, too-crispy-edged hockey puck of a cookie, there’s something that must be done. Observe:
This is a cookie immediately after coming out of the oven. I bet you’ve baked cookies that looked just like this. As they cool, the center falls and becomes flat. The centers are not as tall (meaning they won’t be as chewy and fudgy) and the edges get crispier than I want them to be.
The secret to this Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Spoons are where the magic is at. Smooooooosh.
This is the same cookie. I swear! Look at how much more appetizing the edges look when you give them a little lift with the spoon.
Add a few chocolate chip cookies on top to make them extra pretty and extra chocolate-y. I used my fingers to squish the cookie together a bit more. Once those golden edges have cooled and firmed, you will not be able to mold the cookie anymore; it will just break. You really have to do it right out of the oven.
When Emily mentioned the spoon trick, we moved from casually chatting in the kitchen to me sitting her down and taking notes while I made her meticulously go through every step of her cookie making process. (I’m afraid poor Emily probably felt like she was being interrogated. I’m used to people giving me recipes and forgetting to tell me half of the techniques they use to make it. I’m looking at you, Kris.)
All butter, 2 eggs beaten in one at a time, light brown sugar, no chilling, bake at 350 for 11 minutes. Mysteriously mundane and unspecial. Sounds like every cookie recipe ever.
But once out of the oven, she told me to gently shove together each cookie with two spoons until they have that delightfully mounded look, the telltale sign of a rich and chewy cookie center. I kept taking bites into the center of her cookies and showing her the center. “You don’t get this fudgy gooey center without chilling or Crisco! This is amazing!! Life changing!”
(Here’s a bit of my photo set up. I make such a huge mess when I shoot cookies! There are always like 10 cookies with one bite taken out; me trying to get a good shot. I’m the worst.)
I should have known that Emily would have an amazing chewy chocolate chip cookies recipe. She’s an amazing baker. She is the source of these Caramel Nougat Pecan Rolls, after all, which is to this day my FAVORITE candy to make at Christmas. Seriously, try it, it is so good.
You could of course apply this spoon method to any cookie recipe ever. Like I said, Emily’s recipe is very basic: no cornstarch, no special chocolate, no fancy sea salt, just butter and sugar and flour. I guarantee you that I will be using the spoon trick on basically every cookie I make from now on!
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients
Here’s a quick shopping list to help you gather your ingredients. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions!
- Salted butter
- Brown sugar (dark or light)
- White sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Baking soda
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
How to make Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here’s a quick overview of how to make these cookies. Scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete ingredients and instructions!
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, then add the brown sugar and white sugar and beat well until fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and one egg. Beat well. Add the next egg. Beat, scraping the sides.
- Add the flour but don’t mix it in yet. Use a small spoon to stir the baking soda and salt into the flour. Beat until there are still a couple streaks of white flour.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix until just barely combined.
- Use your hands, an ice cream scoop, or a medium cookie scoop to shape cookie dough.
- Bake at 350 for about 9-11 minutes.
- Immediately after you take them out of the oven use two spoons to gently push each cookie together so that it comes up a bit in the middle. Press more chocolate chips into the top of each cookie, if you want.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for several minutes. Remove to a cooling rack after the cookies have set.
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies serving ideas
Step one: get a tall cold glass of milk. Step two: dunk, eat, repeat.
Seriously…it’s not that complicated! These cookies are the perfect dessert, bake sale treat, after school snack, and solution to your late night cookie cravings.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies FAQs
Getting the perfect cookie texture eluded me for a long time. The secret lies in the spoons! When you have still-hot, slightly underbaked cookies that have flattened out a little, all you have to do is use two spoons to gently push their edges toward the center. As the cookie cools with its new, pressed-together form, it naturally develops the perfect chewy texture.
I love using salted butter in my cookies. It doesn’t make them salty! The salt naturally enhances the flavor of the other ingredients, amplifying them for amazing flavor.
Yes. You can freeze balls of this cookie dough on a baking sheet, then toss them in ziplock bags for later baking. You can also freeze baked cookies for 2-3 months. Pull them out whenever a cookie craving strikes!
Never enough chocolate chip cookie recipes!!
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies << because browned butter makes everything better.
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies I’ve Ever Made << this recipe has a few unusual ingredients and it’s so good!!
The Best Bakery-Style Double Chocolate Chip Cookies << You are seriously going to LOVE these.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies << one of the TOP recipes on my blog!
Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies from The Baker Mama
Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies from Give Recipe
Orange-Chocolate Chip Cookies from Taste and Tell
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Chewy and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter, 2 sticks
- 1 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, I love to use Mexican vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, remembering to scrape the sides. If you have a stand mixer, start with cold butter and just beat and scrape the sides until it's creamy. If you are using an electric mixer, let your butter soften on the counter for at least a few minutes. (Or live dangerously and put it in the microwave for one minute on power level ONE. I do this all the time. Who remembers to soften butter?? Not this girl.)
- Once your butter is creamy, add the brown sugar and white sugar. Beat well until fluffy, at least 1 minute. Scrape the sides halfway through.
- Add the vanilla and one egg. Beat well. Add the next egg. Beat, scraping the sides.
- Add the flour but don’t mix it in yet. (Make sure you spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off!)
- Use a small spoon to stir the baking soda and salt into the flour.
- Turn the mixer on low and beat until there are still a couple streaks of white flour. You want to stop mixing as soon as the flour is mostly incorporated.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix until just barely combined. Don’t over mix or you will get tough cookies!
- Use your hands, an ice cream scoop, or a medium cookie scoop to shape cookie dough. See photo. I made mine about the size of a golf ball. I put 12 on one baking sheet, make there there is about 2 inches of space between each one. (Don't pay attention to the photo of the raw cookie dough so close together up there; I was prepping them to go in the freezer. That is the size you want to shape the cookies though.)
- Bake at 350 for about 9 minutes. Depending on your oven and how big you shaped your cookies, you might need to bake for as long as 11 minutes, but you want to take the cookies out of the oven when they are VERY pale on top and have just barely started browning on the edges. See photos.
- Immediately after you take them out of the oven (seriously, don’t wait) use two spoons to gently push each cookie together. I just used two regular spoons, the kind you eat cereal with. Push the cookie together so that it comes up a bit in the middle, that’s how you’re going to get a soft, thick center. If you wait even just a minute after taking them out of the oven, the brown edges will start to crisp up, and you won’t be able to shape the cookies. Work your spoons all the way around the edges so that your cookie is a nice circle shape. Work quickly to shape all the cookies before they crisp on the edges.
- Press more chocolate chips into the top of each cookie, if you want. (Who doesn’t want that??)
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for several minutes. They will continue cooking on the hot pan, even after you take them out of the oven.
- Remove to a cooling rack after the cookies have set. Dip in milk and let all your cookie dreams come true!
If I would like to make it less sweet, how much white sugar and brown sugar should I put ? I still want to keep the chewy and gooey in the center and crisp on the side texture.
Hu Jayne! I’m not really sure, have you tried them as is yet? Maybe try cutting back the recipe amount by 1/4 cup or so? If you take out a lot of the sugar it will start messing with the texture of the cookie, so be aware of that.
Three cups of flour? That seems like a whole lot.
Try it, I promise it’s perfect!
This is such a beautifully simple recipe, so what did I do wrong?? Mine wound up small and fluffy and almost a little grainy 🤦🏻♀️
That is strange Maegan! Try beating the butter and sugar for a full 3-4 mins, scraping sides as you go. Spoon and level flour. It sounds like you had too much?
All look great
Cant wait to try all….
Cookies were amazing. Hubby loved them
Thanks Christine! I’m so glad you both liked them! Love this recipe. :)
I just made these and they were GREAT! Best chocolate cookies I’ve ever made! Thank you soooooooo much for this recipe.
You’re welcome Elspeth! It’s dangerous having such an easy cookie recipe lying around, right?? :)
This recipe has quickly become a favorite in our house! I’ve made it 3 times already and will make it again for work come Valentine’s day!
That’s awesome Kirstie! Sometimes you just can’t beat a classic, right??
Hello, Can I half all the ingredients? I don’t wanna make too much cookies 😅
Hi Jaimie! Yes absolutely!
Just made these as a part of my perpetual search for a better chocolate chip cookie. My go-to has been the Imperial Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on the back of Dixie Brown Sugar bags, which taste great but are a bit oilier than I like. Other recipes have been to cake-y, which I hate. THESE have an amazing texture, I love the beautiful cracked surface that I’ve never been able to recreate with homemade cookies before.
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly- I browned 3/4 of the butter and let it cool before using. These are definitely my new favorite and I plan on playing with different add-ins in the future. Thanks!
Ooh I LOVE browned butter chocolate chip cookies, I even have a whole separate recipe for them, here it is: https://thefoodcharlatan.com/brown-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/ I’m glad you liked them! It’s pretty no-fuss recipe.
Hi.. I made these cookies tonight because after making the tollhouse recipe to a tee on the back of the morsel bag i ended up with big flat cookies I saw your recipe and the spoon trick and thought I’d try it .. these were terrific , however they were small because i wanted them that small but i did not need to do the spoon trick as they came out nice and puffy and thick out of the oven ! I believe the extra flour in this recipe is key . Also I used one stick of salted butter and one stick of unsalted . They were perfect !
That’s awesome Mia!! I think we’ve all been there once or twice with the flat cookies, it’s so sad! I’m so glad you had the recipe turn out. Thanks for reviewing!
What kind of flour? Plain, all purpose or self rising?
Hi Stephanie, regular all-purpose flour!
What about using unsalted butter? Would you just add more salt?? Thank you!
Hey Melissa! Yeah, if you use unsalted butter you could add another 1/4 teaspoon of salt or so. Try adding some and tasting the dough, then adding more from there.
Very easy recipe, I made some last night and it came out great, the 2nd batch was perfect. My daughter and I just ate the rest from last night, it was stored in a Tupperware and I’m actually surprised that it was still soft n chewy. I also stored the remaining dough in a cookie container from a previous cookie dough that was store bought, I had rolled them into a ball, covered with cling wrap and then put into the container. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
How am I just seeing this post now?! Your cookies look divine and I feel like I need to make a batch right now! Adding a couple of chocolate chips on top is brilliant!! Mmmmmmm.
Yes you absolutely need to make them right now!! :) Thanks so much for the recipe Emily, you are awesome!!
OMG this recipe is a keeper! I just made a double batch, and they are FANTASTIC. The best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. That spoon trick is the bomb. I’m going to use it on all my cookie recipes! My cookies took 12 minutes, probably because i have a weird electric oven and live at a high altitude. But seriously, this is my new go-to chocolate chip recipe! My kids will be thrilled, lol.
YAY! That’s awesome Lorinda! I’m so glad you you’ve found a keeper!! The spoon trick really does make a huge difference. Thank you so much for commenting!!
Such an interesting technique to bake cookies! I will be trying this soon; it beats waiting on the cookie dough to chill.
I agree Joanne! Let me know how it goes when you try it out! Anything is better than waiting! ;)