Thick, chewy, and soft – these chocolate chip cookies are the best you’ll ever have!
**This recipe was shared before I went gluten-free. However, I’ve made this same recipe several times using gluten-free flour. Simply follow the instructions in the notes section of the recipe to make the best gluten-free chocolate chip cookies (ever)!
Chocolate chip cookies are a staple in everyone’s repertoire. It seems that everyone has their favorite version – some like them puffy and cake-like, some like crunchy, and some like them chewy. In my opinion, the perfect chocolate chip cookie is thick with slightly crunchy edges and a nice soft, chewy interior.
I spent weeks working on this recipe – researching recipe after recipe, as well as the science behind the chocolate chip cookie. Surprisingly, I only made 2 batches before I nailed it. Seriously, these are the best cookies you’ll ever eat!
I made these over the weekend for 2 different occasions and both times they were flying off the plate. Everyone loved them and wanted the recipe!
Now, there is quite a bit to know about making the perfect chocolate chip cookie. This post may get quite lengthy, so if you aren’t interested in the science of cookie making, go ahead and skip to the recipe. I really wanted to include a lot of photos and explanation for this one so that you can make perfect cookies!
I learned a lot through my cookie research and I think you’ll find it’s quite easy to make the best chocolate chip cookies as long as you remember a few key things.
So, let’s get started and make some cookies!
Whenever I’m baking I like to get all of my ingredients together before I start. It’s just easier this way and makes the process go a little quicker. I always start by measuring out my dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and cornstarch. Cornstarch? Yes, it happens to be the secret to soft, thick cookies that stay soft for days! You might also notice that I don’t add the salt here – there is a good reason for this that I’ll get to later!
Next, measure the sugars into a big bowl that you’ll have a lot of room for mixing. I like to use a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar – the brown sugar has an unbelievable flavor in a cookie and it also helps with softness.
Now, for the butter. This step is really important – you don’t want the butter to be softened, but you don’t want it to be fully melted either. Just place the 2 sticks of butter into a microwave safe dish and cook for 30 seconds. The butter will be melted around the edges, but still soft in the middle. I found that this gives the best texture in the final product.
This is what the butter should look like:
Most recipes call for creaming the butter and sugars together, but for these cookies you don’t want to do that. Creaming whips air into the butter/sugar mixture, which means later on when you bake the cookies all of that air is going to cause the cookies to expand. This will result in flat cookies!
You’ll notice that I’m not using a mixer for this. This is because over mixing can cause tough cookies and flat cookies – so all you need is a bowl, a spoon, and some muscle!
Of course, you could use a mixer if you want – just be careful not to over mix. I tend to have a habit of walking away from my mixer when I turn it on, so over mixing can happen easily for me!
You’ll find that the butter incorporates into the sugars very easily:
Now, you’ll just want to add the rest of ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Mixing flour develops gluten, which can cause tough cookies if you over mix – the cornstarch really helps here because it doesn’t contain any gluten so it helps keep things soft.
Now let’s talk chocolate! I use two different kinds – semi-sweet and bittersweet. I like the contrast and how chocolaty these taste…I never bake with milk chocolate, but if that’s what you like go for it! You’ll notice I use chips and chopped – this is purely for texture and distribution. The chocolate tips look great and are melty when you bite into them, where as the chopped chocolate ensures you get chocolate flavor in every bite. You can certainly use all chocolate chips if you want.
Remember the salt that I didn’t add into the dry ingredients? Well, I like to add flaked sea salt in when I add the chocolate. I absolutely love sweet/salty combinations and adding it at the end lets you taste the salt in the finished cookies. Now, it’s not salty, but it’s just the perfect amount of salt and sweet – it balances things and brings out the chocolate flavor.
You can use kosher salt if you don’t want to buy the flaked sea salt – I’ve made it both ways and while I prefer the flaked salt, the kosher salt version comes out great too!
By the way – if eating cookie dough were a crime, I’d be in jail. I just can’t resist!
During my cookie research, I found that a lot of bakers chill their dough before baking. This prevents the cookies from spreading too much and is absolutely necessary. However, chilling the dough in the bowl makes shaping the cookies very difficult later on. So, I like to drop my cookies onto a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before I bake them.
I like to use a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop the cookies onto the baking sheet. If you are shaping by hand, make sure they are tall and not flat – the taller they are, the less spreading that will happen. I find the cookie scoop make them the perfect height.
*Note: you may have to drop them on a few baking sheets to chill because you can’t bake them all on one sheet. To make things easier, I placed them all on one baking sheet for the freezer and then just pulled out what I was baking and placed them on a different baking sheet.
Also, you can freeze the cookies completely at this point and then place them in zip-top bags. This is nice for portion control – you can bake just a few cookies and always have some at the ready in the freezer!
We’re in the home stretch! After a 30-minute chill it’s time to bake them. Baking the cookies at a lower temperature (325º) helps them to cook evenly without spreading too fast. You’ll want to bake them for 13-15 minutes – this part will depend on your oven, but under baking slightly helps with the chewiness and softness. You’ll know they are done when they are just starting to brown lightly around the edges.
Let them cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. I’ve never made cookies without eating one warm, so I highly suggest you eat one while they are still warm!
Make sure you have some milk on hand for these – these are stick to the roof of your mouth chewy. My mouth is watering right now… I really want a cookie!
Chocolaty, soft, chewy, and thick = perfect cookies. Now, go make the best chocolate chip cookies ever!!
- 330 Grams (2 ¾ Cups) All Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, slightly melted*
- 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 3 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt Flakes or Kosher Salt
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Place the butter in a microwave safe dish and heat for about 30 seconds, or until the butter is soft and just starts to melt around the edges. In a large bowl mix together the butter with the two sugars. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until just combined.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture and incorporate it into the batter, being careful not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips, chopped chocolate and the salt.
- Using a large ice cream scoop (about 3 tablespoons), drop cookies on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Place the baking sheet into the freezer for 30 minutes to get the dough nice and cold. Alternatively, refrigerate the dough overnight.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325º. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until they are just starting to lightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- *You want the butter to be really soft and slightly melted around the edges.
- If you don't want to make a whole batch you can freeze the unbaked cookies until solid. Then, transfer to a zip-top bag. Now when you want cookies they will be at the ready! Just increase the baking time by 2 minutes.
- 1. Swap out 2 ¾ Cups All Purpose Flour for 330 grams of your favorite gluten-free flour blend (I use King Arthur or Cup4Cup). 330 grams is the equivalent to 2 ¾ cups. I use weight for gluten-free flour since it weighs more than all purpose flour does. Because of that you can't swap it cup for cup, so using weight works out much better!
- 2. Omit the cornstarch. You don't need it since gluten-free flour contains some starch - this is what keeps the cookies soft.
- 3. Add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum. This is the "glue" that helps hold everything together, which is basically what gluten does.
- 4. Add 1 Tablespoon Nonfat Dry Milk Powder - this is an optional addition, but I really like adding it because it helps the cookies brown better. Since gluten-free flours contain more starch, they can have some trouble browning during baking. The milk powder helps with that!
- 5. Increase the bake time to 18-20 minutes. This will vary by oven, of course, I recommend starting to check the cookies at around 15 minutes to be safe!
- With those changes, you will have perfect gluten-free cookies! Keep in mind, the batter will be a bit more wet than a traditional cookie batter. This is what we want as it ensures that the cookies will be moist and chewy and not dry and crumbly.
- Make sure you follow the recipe and allow the dough to freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate the dough overnight. This not only prevents spreading, but gives the moisture time to distribute throughout the batter. You can still freeze these cookies in the same manner as the traditional!