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This really is the BEST soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies recipe ever. Not only are the edges crisp and the centers chewy and loaded with semisweet chocolate, you don’t need to chill the dough or melt the butter and all the ingredients are already in your pantry!
Everybody needs a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. A go-to version that you know you can rely on and make any time you find yourself craving a warm cookie with lots of melted chocolate and cold milk.
I love playing with chocolate chip cookie variations like adding pecans and browned butter to make pecan chocolate chip cookies or mixing in raspberries and dark chocolate chunks to make raspberry chocolate chunk cookies. But there is nothing quite like good, chewy chocolate chip cookies to satisfy my everyday cookie cravings. And yes, they really are every. single. day.
These cookies are probably one of the first things I ever learned how to bake, and I have my mom and my Aunt Judy to thank for that. I have had this recipe memorized since I was probably ten years old. And no other chocolate chip cookie recipe I have tried can match the amazingly perfect texture of these beauties.
I will say that I have added a few more chocolate chips (ahem, doubled), increased the flour a smidge, and switched to all butter over the years since I was a kid learning to make these my mom and Aunt Judy as my guides.
In college, my roommates and I would make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, and basically eating almost the whole thing before we ever got around to baking any of it. I can’t condone that kind of behavior now that people get all up in arms over eating raw cookie dough.
But that said, we all do it right? It’s basically my favorite thing ever and my husband always requests that I wait to make cookies until he gets home from work so he can be sure to have some of the dough.
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cream butter and sugars together in a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer for 3-4 minutes until light.
- Add eggs and vanilla, then mix again until combined.
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing on medium-low speed just until combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop by rounded spoonfuls (I use a cookie scoop to make it easier) onto a baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes in a 375 degree F oven until just barely browned around the edges.
Tips for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
- I use the scoop and shake method of measuring flour. It’s always served me well and it’s less tedious that using a knife to level things off. If you feel like your cookie dough is looking too soft, or have had trouble in the past with cookies spreading while they bake, I recommend adding a little extra flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until it gets to the consistency you like.
- I have used shortening in place of butter in these cookies. Shortening doesn’t give the same buttery flavor to the dough, but these chocolate chip cookies still turn out great even without butter.
- Speaking of butter, I always use salted butter for baking. I know lots of expert bakers might be aghast, but I just prefer it and have never had issues controlling the amount of salt in my recipes. If you are really concerned, the only difference between salted and unsalted butter is the 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup) has 1/4 teaspoon of salt in it that unsalted butter does not.
- Don’t overbake! I feel like I’ve said this a bunch of times, but really, the cookies won’t look all the way done when you pull them out of the oven. They should just be browned around the edges. The cookies will continue to set up on the pan as they cool.
- You can roll the chocolate chip cookie dough into balls if you want super uniform looking cookies. Or just scoop and drop them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Feel free to change up your mix-ins! This is a fantastic base recipe if you want to experience by using milk chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, or Andes mint chips, adding nuts or pretzels, or basically any other mix-ins you can think of. It’s a super versatile dough!
- I’ll let you in on a secret: For extra beautiful chocolate chip cookies, stick a few chocolate chips on the top of each ball of cookie dough before baking to make sure there is melty chocolate right on top!
- The quality of chocolate you use will make a difference. My favorite chocolate chip brands are Ghiradelli or Guittard, but I won’t knock Nestle Toll House brand either. I tend to stay away from store brands though because the chocolate doesn’t seem to melt as well.
How to Store Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies stay soft and chewy for up to 4 days in an airtight container on the counter. They also freeze well for up to 3 months.
A Bit About Chilling Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
In a nutshell, I don’t bother to chill my chocolate chip cookie dough. These chocolate chip cookies are crispy and chewy, with hints of toffee flavor thanks to the interaction of butter and brown sugar. There are plenty of chocolate chips so you get chocolate in every bite. They really are the best chocolate chip cookies ever and they are made from scratch in about 20 minutes, with no chilling involved.
Because for the life of me, I cannot bring myself to chill the cookie dough when I want cookies RIGHT NOW. If it does, in fact, make a difference, it isn’t big enough to justify the delay of waiting for dough to chill. I know everybody says “the flavors develop more!” or “the cookies don’t spread as much!”. But I’m the naysayer who still hasn’t jumped on board the dough chilling bandwagon.
I haven’t rebelled much in life, but this is one time when I’m putting my foot down. Chill if you want. Just call me when the cookies are ready.
That said, I don’t soften my butter, and my butter is even on the cold side when I cream it with the sugars. If you have softer butter that is truly, legitimately room temperature, okay, then fine, maybe you will want to chill your dough for an hour in the fridge.
How to freeze chocolate chip cookie dough
I’ll admit that I have a strong preference for hot, fresh chocolate chip cookies right after they come out of the oven. So I don’t always bake an entire batch of cookies, and instead put some of the dough in the freezer for later.
The best way to freeze chocolate chip cookie dough is to roll the dough into balls, just like if you were going to bake the cookies right away. Then freeze them on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours before throwing the frozen balls of cookie dough into a freezer safe ziploc bag.
When you are ready to bake the frozen cookie dough, remove as many balls of dough as you want and set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap or a clean cloth and leave them out on the counter at room temperature for 1-2 hours to thaw, then bake as normal for 9-11 minutes in a 375 degree F oven.
Can you bake chocolate chip cookie dough directly from being frozen?
You can skip the thawing approach as long as you make sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper. I recommend decreasing the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cooking for around 14-16 minutes, in this situation. They aren’t quite as good as when they have the chance to thaw, but still pretty darn amazing without the wait.
More of Our Best Cookie Recipes
- Big, Soft-Baked Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
- Double Lemon Glazed Cookies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies
- The Best Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe
- Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies
- Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Best Fudgy Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. If your butter is coming straight from the fridge, microwave it for about 10-12 seconds to barely soften it. I would say use room temperature butter, but when I want cookies, I want them immediately and don't have time to wait for butter to soften on its own.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugars, and eggs and beat using a stand or electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add flour, baking soda, salt and vanilla and mix just until combined and no streaks of flour remain.
- Stir in chocolate chips, being careful not to overmix. Try not to eat all the cookie dough at this point.
- Scoop and drop onto a cookie sheet, leaving space to spread between each cookie. I usually make my cookies on the large side and do 12 cookies per cookie sheet.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and just barely start to turn golden brown. Whatever you do, definitely do not overbake these!
- The cookies will stay soft, chewy, and delicious for days. You can refrigerate the dough and make part of a batch one day and the rest of the batch the next day. Or make them all at once and heat up any cookies that make it through to Day 2 (unlikely) for 10-12 seconds in the microwave. They will taste almost like they just came out of the oven.
It's probably the greatest commandment of chocolate chip cookie making, to not overbake the cookies, because it is taking them out when they are slightly underbaked that gives them the perfect, super soft texture. If you were to eat one immediately after removing from the oven, it would look undercooked inside, but once they have had time to set, the center will firm up perfectly.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 225 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 36mg Sodium: 210mg Carbohydrates: 30g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 18g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g