Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think that just about everyone I know is constantly on a search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Most (myself included) have been let down by the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bag, and there are many recipes floating around the Internet that seem to gain popularity and become fads before dying off when people move on to the latest and greatest. I was really please with the cookie I created last fall, as it resulted in the chewy texture I was looking for. But these Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, they really take the cake. Big, beautiful, bakery-quality chocolate chip cookies. It’s official – my love affair with America’s Test Kitchens and the Baking Illustrated cookbook continues!

More on the cookies, another PSA for weighing dry ingredients, and the recipe after the break…

The secret to the thick and chewy cookies is the combination of using melted butter, an extra egg yolk, and a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar. Also, definitely follow the instructions for making jagged edges on the top of the cookie – this gives them the crinkled and craggly bakery cookie look. In order to ensure mine were all about the same size, I busted out my scale (more on my weighing infatuation in a minute). Each ball of dough should weigh around 2.15 oz.

Also heed the instructions to remove the cookies from the oven as soon as the outsides are set but the centers are still puffy and soft. Doing so plays a large part in the resulting texture. Cooling the cookies on the baking sheets means they will continue to bake after being taken out of the oven, but without the circulating air of a cooling rack, they will retain their soft texture. I know for me it is often hard to take cookies out of the oven unless they look completely done, but have faith! You don’t want to overbake these in the oven!

Why should you weigh your ingredients? Since I began baking bread more often I started reading about how important it is to weigh the ingredients, as there is quite a delicate balance between the flour, yeast, and liquid used in most bread recipes. I haven’t really encountered weight measurement outside of breads, but this cookie recipe in Baking Illustrated provided weight measurements for the dry ingredients. To see how close I was I did a regular measurement and then weighed it. In all of the cases, my measurements came out 1-2 ounces more than the weight measurement provided in the recipe. It becomes easy to see how a heavy-handed scoop could turn thick and chewy cookies into dry and dense cookies! So, I would encourage all of you to invest in a kitchen scale and use it, use it, use it!!

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Source: Baking Illustrated, page 434)

Makes about 18 large cookies.

These oversized cookies are chewy and thick, like many of the chocolate chip cookies sold in gourmet shops and cookie stores. They rely on melted butter and an extra egg yolk to keep their texture soft. These cookies are best served warm from the oven but will retain their texture even when cooled. To ensure the proper texture, cool the cookies on the baking sheet. Oversized baking sheets allow you to get all the dough into the oven at one time. If you’re using smaller baking sheets, put fewer cookies on each sheet and bake them in batches.

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

50 Responses

  1. I am on the search for that perfect chocolate chip cookie like you said… I will have to try these.

  2. I have been disappointed lately with my cookie recipes – but this one looks perfect! I will give it a shot the first chance i get..thanks for posting it!

  3. omg Chelley, those cookies look SO delicious and chewy! My mouth is watering! =)

  4. i heart my kitchen scale! πŸ™‚ those cookies look so perfect, i’m definitely going to have to give this recipe a try!

  5. I am glad to see these back again! Haven’t heard anyone talk about them for a while..

  6. that is so interesting! you’re making me want to go whip up a batch right now!

    katie has this recipe in her blog and it is very similar to the one in mine – but i may have to try it w/the weighed measurements instead. thanks!

  7. These look and sound delicious. Though, in between my Dorie baking, my hips need no more treats. I may have to try it anyway.

  8. i’m going to have to try these. i still haven’t found *the* chocolate chip cookie recipe and these look amazing! πŸ™‚

  9. You are making me crave cookies now! Those look delicious!

  10. Definitely count me in as one who continues to try recipe after recipe, even though I’ve tasted perfectly wonderful choc. chip cookies. I think it’s just so fun to experiment!

  11. How is that Baking Illustrated book? I have never seen/read about America’s Test Kitchen besides what I read from other blogs but people rave and rave about it.

  12. Hi Amanda,

    I really love the Baking Illustrated book. America’s Test Kitchen basically takes tons of recipes and tests, tests, and retests in terms of ingredients, equipment, and methods until it nails the best way to make a certain recipe. I have honestly never been disappointed in a recipe of theirs that I have tried – everything has been spot on and amazing. They have a show on PBS that I think runs on Saturdays if you want to look up your listings – you could check out a couple of episodes and see what they’re all about.

  13. This is my favorite cookie recipe – hands down! They’re also delicious when adding a big scoop of peanut butter to the batter. My husband and I have been known to polish off a batch in 24 hours! πŸ™‚

  14. This is a great post. One of the reasons I love Alton Brown is his science behind the recipes – just like what you’re doing here!

  15. Kate – Thanks so much!! That’s a real compliment! πŸ™‚

  16. i think we’ve found a new way to make chocolate chip cookies and melting the butter is a key step, along with lowering the oven temp. this is great. i found a peanutbutter cookie recipe that uses alton browns tips to make them soft and chewy too that’s posted on my log. that has been my quest, soft pb cookies!

  17. YUM! these definitly make you want to go and make a batch of them right now! They look delicious!

  18. These look incredibly delicious!

  19. WOWZA! These are some dang fine cookies! The batter seemed a little loose and I was a tad concerned, but it was all for naught. Delicious, tender, chewy — perfect!

    I used a 1/2 cup scoop and twisted them in half — they were a little more than 2.5 ounces each and made for a hefty cookie. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. these look so delicious! i have to say, your soft and chewy recipe is a staple in my house. we love love love it. but i may be trying this recipe soon. i love trying new cookie recipes.

  22. I just made these… and trust me, after taste-testing, it is taking all my will power not to eat the entire batch tonight! Thanks Chelle, this is definitely the best choc chip cookie recipe I have ever found!

  23. Thanks for posting this recipe! I made these for work today and everyone is raving about them!

  24. […] take a pic. And now they are all gone so there will be no pic in this post. : P But take a look at Michelle’s post. They looked just like […]

  25. Oh yumyumyum I’m totally going to try making these tonight!!

  26. […] search for a great pizza dough recipe is very similar to the one I just discussed regarding the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. There always seem to be new recipes making the Internet circuit before fading out when another one […]

  27. i loooove this recipe! i tried it and they were SO delicious! my friends love them! thanx! πŸ˜€

  28. […] Chip Cookies,” and they’ve been on my must-make list for several months now. When Chelley posted about them not too long ago, she reminded me that I need to bet my butt in gear and make […]

  29. i can’t thank u enough! i loooooove this recipe!! they turned out soo good! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  30. […] Chip Cookies,” and they’ve been on my must-make list for several months now. When Chelley posted about them not too long ago, she reminded me that I need to bet my butt in gear and make […]

  31. These are truly the BEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever made, or tasted. I just have one question – today I doubled the recipe and they didn’t turn out anything like when I make just one recipe. What could have been the problem?

  32. I just pulled out the first batch and squealed with glee – it looks fantastic!
    Thanks for the great recipe x

  33. These are THE BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve had! They are so thick and delicious. Thank-you, Thank-you for posting this wonderful recipe!

  34. amazing recipe

    cookies turned out so great

  35. I have made these cookies two times. My husband says they are the BEST chocolate chip cookies he has ever eaten. Great Recipe.

  36. I just made these this afternoon and they are ABSOLUTELY delicious!! A bit labor intensive but well worth the reward in the end! This recipe is definitely a keeper and will replace the Toll-house recipe in my box!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  37. I made these yesterday. Used milk chocolate chips. Reduced the white sugar to 1/4 cup because of the added sweetness of the milk chocolate chips. Added 1/2 a vitamin c tablet because I’d read that makes ordinary flour behave like bread flour. It was all very quick and easy. The batter looked a little wet when I’d finished so I froze it over night. Baked the cookies as instructed (though I didn’t understand the twisting/joining instructions – I just rolled about half a cup into a ball and twisted in half and put the jagged side facing up) – but for 20 mins as the dough was frozen. They are very nice. Not super super chewy but chewy. Perhaps I overbaked. Anyway – thank you for the recipe!!

  38. Ive made these a couple of times and get rave reviews everytime.
    I make triple choc by using milk, white and dark choc chips.
    Thanks so much or sharing as I, too, was on the constant look out for that “perfect cookie” and i think I may have found it! πŸ™‚

  39. Hi,

    I’m sorry to have to ask a question that is probably clear to everyone but me! You join the dough halves together by the SMOOTH sides so you have a jagged top and bottom before baking???

  40. […] on the cookie sheet promotes the soft, chewy texture.” A note about weighing ingredients:Β  One blogger says:Β  To see how close I was I did a regular measurement and then weighed it. In all of the cases, my […]

  41. I am glad to be one of several visitants on this great internet site (:, appreciate it for putting up.

  42. This can be a really good examine for me, Must admit that you are one particular of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative report.

  43. I made these cookies and they were by far the best cookies I have ever made/eaten! WOW!!!!!
    Thank you for sharing

  44. […] I’ve already made and they’re great. On March 20, 2011   /   Recipe, Uncategorized   /   Leave a […]

  45. What are a few low-carb recipes for the whole family?

  46. Highly energetic blog, I loved that a lot. Will there be a
    part 2?

  47. I’ve tried this recipe many times and my dough is always so runny. Any idea why?

  48. I really like forgathering useful info, this post has got me even more info! .

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