How to Make Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Love cakey cookies? Or crispy ones? How about chewy? We show you how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies according to your taste.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make perfect chocolate chip cookies. I’ve made the recipe off the bag of chocolate chips, I’ve tried banging the cookie sheet to get a chewier texture and even collected a few cookie tips along the way.

This being said, everyone’s perfect chocolate chip cookie is different. Some folks are crispy cookie fans and others like them soft and chewy (chewy cookie fans, check these recipes out).

Getting your favorite kind of cookie is easy with just a few alterations to a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Making the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

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The Taste of Home Test Kitchen loves these ultimate chocolate chip cookies. On its own, this recipe is delicious. It’s also a great canvas for customization.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Go to Recipe

Tools You’ll Need

  • Stand mixer: Chocolate chip cookie dough is pretty stiff. Don’t do it by hand; use a stand mixer instead!
  • Cookie scoop: Get identically sized cookies when you use a cookie scoop. This handy tool is a must in any kitchen (and it makes a great gift for bakers).
  • Vanilla extract: While chocolate chips are the star of the show, do not underestimate the power of a good vanilla extract. This ingredient adds flavor while bringing out the best in chocolate, brown sugar and butter.

Directions

Step 1: Cream butter and sugar

Like most drop cookies, these start by creaming together butter and sugar with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer (a hand mixer works, too). Don’t rush this step! You’ll want to mix these two ingredients together for about five minutes.

Then add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.

Step 2: Add dry ingredients

In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat this into the creamed mixture in batches. If you do it all at once, you’ll get a big floury blowup (not saying that’s ever happened to me!).

Once the dough is combined, stop mixing! Overworked dough can lead to tough cookies.

Finally, add in the chocolate chips.

Step 3: Bake

Next, use that cookie scoop to drop portions of dough onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies start to get slightly golden on the edges.

Once baked, remove from the pans and cool on wire racks. For perfectly round cookies, follow my simple trick (all you need is a biscuit cutter or glass).

How to Customize This Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Perfect chocolate chip cookies, baked eight different ways.Taste of Home

For Chewy Cookies

  • Chill the dough
  • How to modify the recipe: Place portioned dough into an airtight container, separating layers with waxed paper; refrigerate 24 hours.

Are you a chewy cookie lover? Chilling your cookie dough is the easiest way to ensure you get that texture you desire. Popping cookie dough in the fridge for even just a short while can help firm up the dough and prevent it from spreading too much in the oven.

The Test Kitchen recommends chilling for at least 30 minutes, but you can even keep your dough in the fridge overnight. This can help develop some extra flavor, too.

For Thin, Crispy Cookies

  • Use melted butter
  • How to modify the recipe: Instead of creaming the butter and sugar, melt the butter and mix it with the sugar.

While chilling the dough helps control the spread of your cookies, melting the butter has the opposite effect.

Using melted butter in your cookie dough helps create a cookie that spreads. A cookie that spreads during baking tends to be crispier and thinner which is great for crunchy cookie fans. This alteration is great for fans of thin cookies, like Tate’s Bake Shop (a favorite among our editors).

For Denser, Doughy Cookies

  • Add more flour
  • How to modify the recipe: Increase flour up to 3-1/2 cups.

Adding more flour to chocolate chip cookie dough will create a stiffer dough that spreads less in the oven. These cookies tend to be a bit denser but end up chewy in the middle—almost to the point of being underdone. This is a great hack if you’re a cookie dough fan.

For Cakey Cookies

  • Use only baking powder
  • How to modify the recipe: Substitute baking powder for baking soda.

Removing the baking soda from the recipe (and adding an extra half-teaspoon of baking powder) creates a soft, cakelike cookie.

For Thin, Crunchy Cookies

  • Use only granulated sugar
  • How to modify the recipe: Omit brown sugar and increase granulated sugar to 1-1/2 cups.

Using just white sugar produces a very thin, crunchy cookie. This technique tends to produce cookies that are a bit less flavorful (brown sugar adds a lot to chocolate chip cookies). This might be a good alteration if you’re looking for a cookie that’s super crisp, though.

For Chewy, Butterscotch-Like Cookies

  • Use only brown sugar
  • How to modify the recipe: Omit granulated sugar and increase the brown sugar to 1-1/2 cups.

Soley using brown sugar has the opposite effect of using just plain sugar. Brown sugar-only cookies are chewier and softer, plus they have a more molasses-y, butterscotch-like flavor.

Other Easy Ways to Experiment with This Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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If you don’t want to alter the basics of the recipe, that’s OK. You can still make some easy adjustments that can totally change up your go-to cookie.

  • Chocolate: Semisweet morsels are standard in most cookie recipes, but you don’t have to stick to this classic. Try ultra-dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or even flavored options like these reader-favorite Bailey’s chips or Andes mint chips. Out of morsels? You can use chopped chocolate pieces too. Chopped chocolate gives you some variety in texture with the small and large bits.
  • Mix-ins: Chocolate chips are just the beginning! Try stirring in chopped nuts, dried fruit or even sprinkles. A dash of espresso powder can also amp up the chocolate flavor.
  • Extracts: Vanilla extract is also a standard in most chocolate chipper recipes. Experiment with different kinds of vanilla (Madagascar vanilla has a different flavor than Indonesian or Mexican, for example). You can also try almond extract, too.
  • Size: Tablespoon-sized dollops of cookie dough are standard, but you can up the size. Our signature big and buttery chocolate chip cookies are a quarter-cup in size.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Pairings

Homemade Honey Grahams; Smores Charcuterie Board; Additional ApTMB Studios

For me, there’s nothing better than a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven with a glass of cold milk. But there are lots of ways to enjoy these bakes.

  • Make these cookies part of a spread: Dessert boards are gaining in popularity. Include fresh-baked cookies in your next hot cocoa board or s’mores spread. Once you try a s’more with cookies, you may never return to graham crackers!
  • Pair with coffee: Simple shortbread is often served with your morning cuppa, but swap out that basic bake for chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate and coffee are a natural pair!
  • Use cookies in other recipes: If you have cookies left over (I’m not sure how, but in case!), use them in these cookie-inspired recipes.

Need more treats to fill your cookie jar? Try our other easy cookie recipes or stir up classic cookies.

Try These 5-Star Cookies
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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.