Who doesn’t love a warm chocolate chip cookie? The classic treat perfectly blends simple ingredients with rich, gooey chocolate and (if you’re lucky!) perfectly toasted nuts.
Here at Taste of Home, we set out on a mission to find the most delicious version of milk’s best friend. We tried many, asking are these the best cookies ever? Recipe after recipe, taste after taste, we narrowed it down, and folks, I’m happy to say we found a winner. This big and buttery cookie is simple, perfectly chewy and chock full of delicious mix-ins. Enjoy!
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (Here’s the best brand to buy.)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Step 1: Mix Wet Ingredients
Start by mixing all of the wet ingredients together. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until well-combined.
Editor’s Tip: Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. Not only is it much easier to beat the butter, but the eggs will aerate the dough better if they’re not straight from the fridge. Psst! If your butter is hard, soften it quickly with these easy methods.
Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients
Next, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
Step 3: Add the Dry to the Wet
To form a dough, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Then, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Editor’s Tip: You’ll want to toast your nuts before adding them to the dough. Simply bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned—about 5-10 minutes. This step brings out a deep, roasted flavor in the finished cookie, and it can be done in advance. Just the toast the nuts and pop ‘em in the freezer until a craving hits. Want to take this recipe above and beyond? Check out this secret technique.
Step 4: Shape and Chill
This next step is a bit unusual, but it’s well worth the wait. Start by shaping ¼-cupfuls of the dough into balls. Flatten each ball into a 2-1/2 inch disk, smoothing edges as necessary. Place the shaped dough in an airtight container—with parchment paper or waxed paper separating each layer—and refrigerate overnight. This step allows the butter to solidify, so when you go to bake the cookies they won’t spread out as much. It also helps the sugars in the dough absorb moisture from the eggs and extracts, creating a condensed flavor. This is the same secret we use to get tender, tasty shortbread.
Editor’s Tip: If you don’t have time for the dough to rest overnight, you can bake the cookies after two hours in the fridge. The flavors won’t be quite as pronounced, but you’ll still yield a tasty treat.
Step 5: Get Ready
Once the cookie dough is well-chilled, preheat your oven to 400°. Place dough disks two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Editor’s Tip: We recommend using parchment paper because it will help your dough spread less, resulting in a thicker cookie. The color of the paper (either white or brown) does not matter.
Step 6: Bake and Enjoy
These cookies are deliciously on their own, but you can add a little extra oomph with these fun flavor variations.
- Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies: Reduce vanilla to 1 teaspoon and add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Substitute toasted almonds for the walnuts.
- White Chip Cookies: Substitute white baking chips for the chocolate chips and toasted hazelnuts for the walnuts.
- Cranberry Nut Cookies: Substitute dried cranberries for the chocolate chips.
- Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies: Substitute 1 cup chopped dried cherries for 1 cup of the walnuts.
How to Freeze Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
To treat a last-minute cookie craving, skip step #5 and #6 to keep a stockpile of dough in your freezer. Then, whenever the mood strikes, bake up fresh cookies. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough:
- Once you’ve shaped and chilled the dough, place disks on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer. When the disks are completely frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag.
- Make sure you label the freezer bag with baking instructions and a use-by date. Frozen cookie dough will last for up to 6 months.
- When you’d like to use the dough, remove cookie disks and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 3-4 minutes longer than the recipe suggests. You can also thaw the dough in the refrigerator before baking.
How to Store Chocolate Chip Cookies
Once the cookies are baked, you’ll want to store them properly so they stay nice and fresh. Follow these tips to keep your treats tasty for several days:
- Cool cookies completely before putting them away. Warm cookies stored in a sealed container will create steam, softening your baked goods—and not in a good way.
- If you prefer crisp cookies, store them in a container with a loose-fitting cover. If you prefer soft, cake-like cookies, store them in a container with a tight-fitting cover.
- To prevent cookies from sticking to one another, store with a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper between layers.
- Give your cookies that freshly baked taste by popping them in a 300° oven for 3-5 minutes.
Planning to mail your cookies? Follow these tips.
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