Our Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes and Tips for the Perfect Cookie
Check out some of our Test Kitchen's best chocolate chip cookie recipes and get tips on how to make them perfectly at home.
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How to Make the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are one of our go-to bakes. Our Test Kitchen regularly whips up these big and buttery cookies (and they are an office favorite!). But there are lots of ways for you to create your version of a great cookie at home. If you want to play around with the recipe, then learn how to make a giant chocolate chip pizookie.
Also before moving ahead, take a quick look at this cookie salad recipe perfect as a sweet side.
Customize the Recipe to Suit You
Some folks prefer crispy cookies and others like chewy ones. No matter what type you prefer, the good news is that you can customize any chocolate chip cookie recipe to suit your tastes. By altering the proportions of sugar, flour, baking soda and butter, you can totally change the texture and taste of this basic cookie.
Don’t be afraid to mix up batch after batch experimenting with the ingredients and ratios. We’ve all made plenty of batches in search of the perfect cookie and even the imperfect batches are delicious.
Use Quality Chocolate
Chocolate chips are the star of the show, so be sure that you’re choosing chocolate you really enjoy—not just one that’s on sale. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the best chocolate chips according to the Taste of Home Test Kitchen.
Don’t Skimp on the Vanilla
While chocolate is the headliner of any chocolate chip cookie recipe, don’t underestimate what an important role vanilla extract plays. Vanilla gives these cookies more flavor and accentuates the taste of the chocolate. Make sure you’re reaching for the best vanilla extract so your cookies are the very best. You can also use vanilla bean paste; use the same amount as you would extract.
Toast the Nuts
If you enjoy stirring chopped walnuts or pecans into your cookie dough, don’t add them straight from the package. Instead, toast them first. This step takes only a few minutes and pays dividends in flavor and texture.
Toasting nuts for just a few minutes—you can do this in a pan on the stove or in the oven—releases a bit of oil from the nut which develops the flavor, gives the ingredient a delicious aroma and provides added crunch.
Try More Than Chips
Yes, chocolate chips are essential to this cookie, but you can go beyond just chips. To add texture, consider adding in chopped chocolate as well. The chopped chocolate bits melt into the cookie dough making little puddles of delicious cocoa flavor while the chips stay whole for bigger chunks of chocolate taste.
And if you really want to level-up, use one type of chip and a different type of chocolate bar for some great contrasting flavors.
Cream the Ingredients for 5 Minutes (or More!)
Creaming butter and sugar together—the first step of any chocolate chip cookie recipe—incorporates air into the dough and helps to dissolve the sugar crystals. This helps to create a lighter, more tender cookie. For best results, cream the butter and sugar with a stand mixer or hand mixer for five to seven minutes.
But Don’t Overmix
While you can beat your sugar, eggs and butter as long as you like, be sure not to overmix your cookie dough once you add the flour. Overworking the dough at this stage can make your cookies tough. Instead, mix until just combined, then mix in the chips by hand.
Experiment with Mix-Ins
Who said chocolate chip cookies could only have chocolate? This drop cookie is a wonderful canvas for all sorts of additions including flavored baking chips, nuts, dried fruit, sprinkles and so much more (monster cookies, anyone?).
Infuse the Nuts
We bet this is a new technique for most home bakers! Taste of Home Books Editor Hazel Wheaton swears by this trick. To infuse nuts, pop them in an airtight container with the spices of your choosing. Hazel suggests cinnamon, cardamom or other holiday spices. This will infuse your treats with a slightly aromatic flavor that will have friends asking what your secret is.
Add Some Espresso
Your favorite chocolate cake recipe might call for coffee or espresso. That’s because coffee makes chocolate desserts taste even more chocolaty. So why not add a bit of espresso powder to your chocolate chip cookie recipe? A teaspoon of this ingredient will do a lot to amplify the chocolate without making your cookies taste like a coffee shop. Next, try our favorite espresso cookies.
Chill the Dough
If your go-to cookie recipe tends to spread more than you like, producing flat cookies, try this: chill the cookie dough!
Chilling cookie dough allows the fat inside the dough to firm up a bit which can help prevent the dreaded spread. It also let’s some of the moisture evaporate from the dough, producing more concentrated flavors. You can use this technique with all kinds of cookies—though chocolate chippers and shortbread really benefit from this step.
Use a Cookie Scoop
When it comes to baking drop cookies of any kind, a good cookie scoop is going to be your best friend. This gadget helps you create perfectly portioned cookies and keeps your hands clean.
If you make cookies often, our Test Kitchen suggests grabbing a small scoop and a large cookie scoop. You’ll want both handy. The larger scoop is perfect for these Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies, and small ones work for dainty cookies like tea cakes.
Make the Perfect Shape
Even with a cookie scoop, chocolate chip cookies can sometimes come out of the oven looking a little misshapen. Of course, that’s not a big deal because they will still taste delicious.
But if you’re looking to give your cookies that perfect round shape, you need one tool: a biscuit cutter. By swirling the cookie around inside, you help smooth out any irregular edges. This is great if you’re planning to make homemade ice cream sandwiches, looking to package them up neatly or just trying to impress the new neighbors. This quick trick gives the cookies a bit of professional polish.
Keep Cookies Soft
If you’re a fan of soft, chewy cookies, you know the disappointment that comes with opening up the cookie jar only to find that your latest batch is now crunchy. As disheartening as this can be, know that there is such an easy solution: a slice of bread.
Pop a slice of bread into an airtight container along with your too-crisp cookies, and it will soften the cookies right up. The cookies will take in the moisture from the bread, making them chewy again. Just be sure to use plain white or wheat bread (you don’t want your sweet treats absorbing strong flavors from a slice of rye or pumpernickel).
This recipe from Shauna Sever’s Midwest Made has the components of a chocolate chip cookie—butter, sugar, vanilla, chocolate—but without the hassle of scooping cookies and swapping trays in and out of the oven. Best yet: This cookie pieces taste just as good as the real deal. —Lisa Kaminski, Taste of Home Editor
This cookie, created by Sarah Kieffer of the Vanilla Bean Blog, takes chocolate chip cookies to a new level by literally banging the cookie sheet in the oven to create ripply, crispy chocolate chippers. When I saw this fresh take, I knew that I had to try it for myself. —Lisa Kaminski, Taste of Home Editor