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!
I love this trick with the spoons! I usually use half butter, half shortening, add extra flour, and add baking powder. This yields a much better cookie, both in taste and aesthetics! Love the thick, chewy finished product!😃 Thank you!!
I totally hear you Margaret! I’ve tried all of those things too and agree, the spoon trick wins ;) So glad you are enjoying the recipe!
Omg….. These cookies were soo good. And they only bake in under 30 mins woww.
They are the perfect last minute treat! Thanks Harmony!
I don’t usually comment on recipes. However, this deserves it! This is the best chocolate chip recipe I have ever used. I have been looking for YEARS for the perfect one! Thank you so much!!! The key is more brown sugar (my personal opinion). My family and I are so happy to have found this! Great recipe!! 🎖🎖🎖🎖🎖
I’m so so happy to hear this Autumn! It’s the best feeling when you find “the one” right? Thanks so much for reviewing!
O MY MOLASSES!!! this is the best and most perfect recipe I have come across! Thank you, thank you , THAANNKK YOUUU! I did everything as stated and they turned out Amazing! I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe and reading it , i knew right away this was the one. You had more flour and more baking soda than most other recipes and I was like that’s it! And then scrunching the cookies with the spoons. Genius!! I’m so thankful, and they were devoured in one night. Also I was nervous about not stirring the flour as much , but I think that’s also where I mess up with a lot of other recipes, I stir for too long. Thank you and these will definitely be part of the Christmas goody bags this year! I appreciate your style and thorough writing. I have subscribed to emails and will be visiting your page OFTEN this holiday season!! Yay! You’re awesome, please never stop writing! It’s a gift!
Jasmine, thank you so much for your kind words! You are so sweet! I’m so happy that you’ve found “the one” when it comes to chocolate chip cookies. It’s so satisfying to have a go-to recipe! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, you don’t know how much it means to me! Merry Christmas! :)
Karen, I found your blog while looking for a chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe. I am married to a cc cookie connoisseur so I believe I found the best recipe yet. He loved them!!! Five star recipe hands down!!! They were nice and chewy. I allowed myself to have only one, whew! that took some will power. I used a cookie scoop so my cookies automatically came out the oven round and higher in the middle. Would you suggest using the spoon to “scrunch” the cookies still? or are the spoons just for those odd shaped cookies? just curious. Since these cookies came out so divine, I searched your blog to find a chewy oatmeal cookie recipe. I found the Biscoff Oatmeal Cookie. I want to leave a review when I try them but there wasnt a button to even print or to review. Will you be adding this to your older creations?
Keep cooking Karen, your photos make the food jump right off the page!!!
Hi Lorna! I’m so glad you and your cc cookie connoisseur enjoyed the recipe!! :) I always use a cookie scoop so mine are always rounded going into the oven, but they still bake up flatter than I want them too, hence the spoon trick. About the Biscoff Oatmeal Cookies, those are so old! I posted those in the early days of my blog before I even had a recipe card. Maybe someday I will update them! Those cookies are good, for an oatmeal cookie I would also recommend these Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies and these Texas Cowboy Cookies! Oh and of course these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!
I was using a recipe from a Martha Stewart website and getting flat chocolate chip cookies. Not at all what I wanted. Then I remembered my niece is food blogger, why not check her blog to see if she knows how to get them thick and chewy. Voila! Even the ones I didn’t quite get to use the spoons on looked pretty good. They all tasted fantastic. The ratio of flour to the rest of the ingredients is the difference between the two recipes. Also, a touch more baking soda. Next time I will try to take a picture and post them on Instagram. Thanks, Karen. Your the best!!
Hooray! Chocolate chip cookie success! Isn’t it the best feeling. Thank Emily next time you see her!!
I had horrible luck, I did everything as right as I could. I spent 2 hours doing my best, they seemed to have way too much flour though I measured every thing out. No matter how long they were in the oven they stayed as balls but somehow got burnt. Was devestated.
Shannon, I’m so sorry to hear you had troubles! It sounds like there might be been too much flour in the dough? Did you spoon and level the flour? That’s usually the reason cookies don’t flatten out! I’m so sorry it didn’t work out. Next time if your cookies are not flattening out, do not bake them longer (they will burn, as you experienced) instead take them out and tap each cookie down with a spoon, then finish baking.
I was surprised to see that you used cold butter?!? I’m so use to working with room temperature butter. How do you beat the butter if it’s too hard?
Hi Mildred! You can totally use softened butter. But a kitchenaid can handle cold butter no problem if you give it a few minutes!
If I wanted to add nuts how much should I put in? I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Hi Denise! I would start with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup and see how it looks to you. Enjoy!!
My mom always made tollhouse recipe from the back of the bag with one diff: A ripe banana. They were always crisp on the outside and chewy. One banana to 2 doz, easy to get them too soft or too bananaee so best experiment, not an exact science.
That sounds so fun Carolyn! What a great idea. I will have to try it out!
Hi, the recipe didn’t work for me. They stayed round ball shapes in the oven and didn’t flatten out. They were very dense as if too much flour was used. Also they needed more baking time than 9 min. More so like 14 min. Is the flour ratio correct?
These chocolate chip cookies are amazing!! I followed the recipe to a T…..I even spooned my flour. When speaking about chocolate chip cookies, I’m quite the cookie snob. I’m always looking for different recipe because the last recipe was good, just not that good. However, these were so good that I’m done looking. The recipe was so quick and easy and the cookies were delicious. Soft, gooey and crunchy edges. 😋
If you’re skeptical about this recipe, don’t be! You’ll love them!! 11/10 recommend!
From one cookie snob to another, hooray! I’m so glad you’ve found the one Sierrah. Thanks so much for commenting, I appreciate your review!
I dont quite have enough ingredients and its just for me so i was wondering if it would work if i just cut the amount in half would it work? Do i need to bake them for a shorter amount of time or put it on a lower temperature?
Hi Kelsey! Yes, halving the recipe will work out just fine, but keep the bake time and temperature the same!
I’ll have to try the spoon thing. It should work with any recipe. But I found the best way to avoid flat cookies is to never overmix the batter once the eggs are added. I actually hand mix in the flour and chips.
Yes it totally works for any cookie recipe Gloria! Let me know how it goes!
Hi! If I want to double the recipe do i just double all the ingredients like the baking soda and salt or is there another recipe for it?
Hi Zia! Yes just double all the ingredients, and follow all the other instructions exactly as stated (mix/bake the same amount of time, etc.) Enjoy!
Ohhhh you shape them with spoons when they’re still warm out of the oven, you devil!
Forget the caramel cake – I’m making these tonight.
Hell, I’ll make BOTH.
Better give Jenny Craig a call tomorrow!
Jenny Craig, hahaha!! She’s not going to let you have any of this stuff!! ;)
if you add half the amount of cream of tartar as baking soda–you don’t have to do the silly spoon thing.
I’ll have to try that Amy! But hey don’t knock it til you try it. I’m telling you, it works great and it couldn’t be easier! :)