The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

That is, of course, in my opinion. And opinions are subjective. But I think these are the best homemade chocolate chip cookies. They’re full of rich chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla and they’re big and have just the right amount of crispiness around the edge and soft, gooey chocolate in the middle. There’s just something about a chocolate chip cookie. It’s the ultimate, feel-good, smile-inducing, pick-me-up, comforting, tummy-rubbing food.

It starts with the smell. You walk into the kitchen and smell chocolate mixed with the smell of buttery cookie and you know, you just know that your mouth is about to taste whatever’s causing that smell…and then The Taste…chocolate, sweet and yet not too sweet…butter…and the magical mix of brown sugar, eggs and flour with the secret flavor that brings it all together…then you wipe that little drop of melted chocolate from the corner of your mouth and you giggle, because really, doesn’t eating a chocolate chip cookie and having melted chocolate on the corner of your mouth make you just want to…giggle?

Here’s the thing. These cookies can be the best chocolate chip cookies. Period. But to make them perfectly, you need to plan ahead. You must show restraint. You will savor the anticipation and mercilessly taunt your children for at least 24 hours, and most importantly—you must hide the dough that is going to sit in your fridge for at least 24 hours! Cover it with a bunch of fresh spinach or perhaps an unremarkable plate of leftovers. But don’t let anyone know it’s there or it will disappear. That kind of takes the fun out of the taunting, doesn’t it? But you’re taunting them by saying, “I think I’ll bake chocolate chip cookies. Day after tomorrow.” Then, “I might bake chocolate chip cookies. Tomorrow.” And finally, when they come running in from school, telling you stories of the day, you can say, “Guess what? Chocolate chip cookies!” And you will be the best mom ever. Period.

I didn’t always let the dough rest in the refrigerator. I used to bake these cookies as soon as I made the dough and they were delicious. Fabulous, even. They were, quite possibly, almost the best homemade chocolate chip cookies. Period. But then I read David Leite’s New York Times article about the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. All of the famous chocolate chip cookie bakers that he interviewed said they allow the dough to rest at least overnight and a few for as long as 36 hours. And, as it turns out, the original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie also chilled overnight, a fact that was never printed on the back of the bag.

I experimented with allowing the dough to sit in the fridge for 24-36 hours, and discovered that this one simple change catapulted my cookies from being almost the best homemade chocolate chip cookies to The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies. Period.

Let’s make cookies!

Start with 3 cups of flour and whisk in 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set flour aside.

Now you need 2 sticks of unsalted butter. I always double this recipe because I make the cookies so large, so the photos you’ll see here may not match up to what you see if you make a single batch.Cream the butter and then add 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar and beat until well-blended. Add 2 eggs and 3 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat until creamy and well-blended. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, either beating on low with the mixer or just stirring in gently by hand.

Now, here’s where the fun part begins—mixing all those chocolate chips into the thick batter. The trick is to layer. Pour half the chips into the bottom of a large mixing bowl and then dump half the batter on top.The secret ingredient? Milk chocolate chips. Several years ago, I went on the Chocolate Chip Cookie Diet. Not kidding. I bought cookies from the bakery at Kroger one day at lunch and ate a couple of them. Then I ate a couple more at dinner. And that’s all I ate. The next day, I wanted more of those cookies. So I ate a couple for breakfast. This phenomenon continued for about 6 days and I actually lost about 8 pounds because all I was eating every day was 7 or 8 large chocolate chip cookies. It wasn’t planned, I just couldn’t stop eating them but once I ate them I’d be full and not want real food.

I know, it’s crazy. But hey, I was in my 20s so I was a little crazy. And Kroger no longer sells those milk chocolate chip cookies, probably because there was some clandestine, secret, addictive ingredient that was making people slaves to those cookies.

The point of that story is that those cookies were made with milk chocolate chips and I fell in love with the taste. I started mixing milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips in my cookie dough, and I love the juxtaposition of flavors.

Stir the dough and chips together a bit and then add more and continue stirring until all the chips are mixed into the dough.You should probably taste the dough just to make sure it hasn’t turned into poison. It may take a couple of spoonfuls to determine whether it’s safe. Then cover this bowl and place it in the fridge anywhere from 24 to 36 hours. You can bake cookies immediately if you prefer, but they won’t be as good.

Once your dough has rested, scoop out large, heaping tablespoons of dough and roll slightly in your hands to make a ball, usually just a smidgen smaller than a golf ball. Place 8 balls on a cookie sheet.Bake at 325° for 14-15 minutes. Fourteen minutes leaves the center just a little gooey, which is how we like them. Actually, mine probably bake for about 14 and 1/2 minutes because I set the timer for 14 and then it takes me at least 20 or 30 seconds to actually get over and take them out of the oven. Fifteen minutes is fine also, you just won’t have the gooey middle. Now, scrape one right off the hot pan and eat it, bouncing it from hand to hand and blowing just a little. You know you want to. There’s nothing better than a chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven. And here’s a little secret: the next day when you want a cookie, pop it in the microwave for about 12 seconds. You’ll recapture that just baked soft, melted chocolate experience. It’s divine.

Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 7 or 8 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks. Store in an airtight container after all the cookies have cooled.

These cookies are meant to be shared. Make a large batch and give some to neighbors, friends or strangers walking down the street. They will love you. Maybe not so much with the strangers, but your friends and neighbors will love you. And your kids will think you’re the best mom ever, and who doesn’t need that every now and then?Enjoy!

Lucy

5.0 from 5 reviews
The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies. Period.
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Large, chocolatey, gooey, chocolate chip cookies with just the right touch of crispiness and soft center.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)
  • 1 12-ounce package milk chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl to blend.
  2. Using electric or stand mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Add white sugar and brown sugar and beat until well blended.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until mixture is creamy and well blended.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring just until blended.
  6. Pour half of chocolate chips into the bottom of a large bowl and then add half the dough on top of the chips.
  7. Stir dough and chips together, then add more chips and more dough until all is mixed together.
  8. For best results, cover and place dough in refrigerator for 24-36 hours. You can bake these cookies immediately if you wish.
  9. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 and line cookie sheet with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat.
  10. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet, giving each cookie plenty of room.
  11. Bake for 14-15 minutes until brown around the edges and pale brown in the middle.
  12. Cool slightly on cookie sheet.
  13. Transfer cookies to racks; cool completely.

 

Comments

  1. Kelli says

    You put the whole bowl of mixture (not divided out into balls) into the refrigerator?
    Then you pull out, let sit, and scoop into balls? How long should you let sit out to thaw ? I feel like this defeats the purpose.
    I tried once scooping out to balls then refrigerating, and taking them out and right into the over, but they burn….

    • says

      Hi Kelli,

      Yes, I put the whole bowl into the refrigerator first. The purpose is not just to get it cold, but to allow the dough to rest for a couple of days. The dough absorbs the liquid from the eggs more than it does if you make the cookies immediately. I usually take it out just long enough to be able to scoop it because if the dough is cold that also helps the cookies not spread quite as much. Hope this helps!

  2. Patty. says

    These are now my favorite cookie BUT,after chilling dough that long I have to let it set out for a few hours before I can scoop the dough out of the bowl!

  3. Chris O says

    These are in the oven right now…can’t wait! Giving them to my friend and my father for birthdays…Of course, I made a monster sized one for him. I’ll be back with some results:

    UPDATE (10 MINS) – Weird shape, but thats my fault. Taste: AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGG! Definitely my go to recipe :)

    • says

      Hi Patty,

      I apologize for any confusion–I assumed everyone would know that you only preheat the oven if you are going to bake the cookies immediately. However, I have amended the recipe so that everyone will know not to leave the oven on for 24-36 hours. Thank you for kindly pointing out the error.

    • says

      Hi Michelle,

      Use parchment paper or a nonstick mat like a Silpat if you have one. I used to grease the pan but I find that it makes the cookies spread more so I don’t do that anymore.

  4. Sally says

    This is the most wonderful chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. My ten-year-old son came home about six weeks ago and said he signed up to enter a baking contest through 4-H and had to make chocolate chip cookies. This was the first recipe that we tried, and we had no need to try anything else. Not only did he win his class competition, but he also won the county-wide competition, beating out 46 other entries. I have made this recipe a couple of other times for parties and for my co-workers… just made a double batch to send to my children’s classes tomorrow and to take to the kids in my classes at school. I’ll never need another recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and I will NEVER buy the break and bake refrigerated from the store EVER again. Simply AMAZING cookies, and a recipe so easy that even my son can do most of the work himself. Thanks SO much for sharing!

    • says

      Sally! You just made my day! Thank you so much–I love this story of your son because I was in 4-H growing up and it was a huge part of my life. Just FYI, you can freeze the dough if you want to always have some on hand. Just let it thaw and cook as normal. Congratulations to your son also. I’m so excited to know that young kids are baking and cooking and enjoying it as those are such important life skills.

      Have a wonderful day and thank you so much for letting me know about the competition. :)

  5. Luna says

    So amazing! I’ve memorized te recipe and can make a batch in 30min minus the preheat. I bring about 40 to school sometimes and they never make it pass my first class of the day. Everyone loves them! Next Im going to try and make a double chocolate, you know like a chocolate dough and chocolate chips.

  6. Alex says

    I some how skipped the baking soda but remembered the baking powder my mix is already mixed and has been in the fridge for 24 hours what should I do ??

    • Lucy says

      Alex, I don’t think you can do anything at this point since your dough is well-mixed and has already been resting. But I suspect your cookies will be just fine even without the soda! They will taste great although maybe the texture will be off slightly…but they will probably be fine. Hope you enjoy!

  7. says

    Luuuucy your cookies are aaawesoommmmeyum! Tried this recipe today. The only thing I did differently was to add 2 Tbsp of Jamaican rum and I used three different kinds of dark organis chocolate. I tried to bake a cookie right away as a tester and it came out like cake. So I covered up the rest and let it rest for 24hrs. I followed your instructions to the letter (well excepting what I mentioned) Texture, flavor, consistency perfect. My Hats Off To You!

  8. Ande B. says

    I’m not sure why, since I’ve made so many chocolate chip cookie recipes, but I’m SO excited to taste how these turn out. Maybe b/c I think these might be my “go to” chocolate chip cookies. :-) Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Michelle says

    Oh my gosh! These cookies are amazing! They bake perfectly, although mine were a little cakey but thats because I mixed the butter with the flour mixture THEN read to mix the flour mix last. Still amazing cookies, they are really good with peanut butter chips too!

    • Lucy says

      Wow, Michelle, you were fast! I’m so glad you liked the cookies. I’ll have to try th peanut butter chips sometime. Thanks!

  10. Michelle says

    I can’t wait to make these, I’m going to be using 6 ounces of chocolate chips and 12 ounces of Reese chips since I don’t have enough normal milk or semi sweet. I’m hoping these will energize the cast for tomorrow since we are performing our on act and our energy has been a little low. I may also do a coffee run but these cookies will be much cheaper!

  11. Georgia says

    I really want to make these, cause have never heard of chilling the batter. I am making for my grand daughter and mailing them to Hawaii and I don’t want them to turn out like the cake cookies. Help !!!

    • Lucy says

      Georgia,

      My cookies have never turned out like cake, so I don’t think you will have a problem even if you don’t let the dough sit. If you use quality ingredients (I use Land O Lakes unsalted butter, NEVER margarine and I like White Lily all-purpose flour and Dominos sugar) then your cookies should be fine. How sweet to mail them to your granddaughter.

      • Georgia says

        Thank you for your quick response. I will get the ingredients that you have listed. I am excited to make them. Mailing out for Valentines’ Day.

        Again Thank you

  12. Janelle says

    So…didn’t catch the part about refrigerating for 24-36 hours. I was looking for immediate…had a serious craving for some cookies :-) Cookies turned out like little balls of cake :-( Still have my craving, so I will try this again!

      • says

        I’m so glad yours turned out well, Kelly. I’ve always baked mine immediately until I read that NYT article that I referenced. And they always turned out great. Just better after waiting a couple of days…but definitely ok to go ahead and bake right away!

    • Lucy says

      Heather,
      Not sure how I missed this comment so long ago, but wanted to throw in my answer. As I stated in the post, I used to make these cookies without letting the dough sit and they were just fine, so you can certainly do that. However, after I read that NYT article and tried it, I found that the texture of the cookies was greatly improved by letting the dough sit. Either way, the flavor is delicious!

  13. Ashley says

    My daughter and i made our batter from this recipe last night and we didn’t have unsalted butter but i just used less of the teaspoon of salt and we didn’t have vanilla… we just started our first couple of batches and they are so delicious… BY FAR THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER…

    • Lucy says

      Ashley,

      Thanks so much for your comment and I’m delighted you enjoyed the cookies. Hope you try them again with the vanilla because I think it adds a nice touch of flavor.

  14. Jessica says

    I tried to make these TWICE, and each time they came out like cake cookies, which were horrible. Losing this recipe, sorry.

    • Lucy says

      Hi Jessica,

      So sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. Several people that I know have used this recipe with excellent results. There are any number of variables that can throw off a recipe, including quality of ingredients, oven calibration, etc.

    • Tracy says

      I found that using light brown sugar led to more cake-y cookies and even though it was an accident, i prefer using dark brown sugar. =)

      • Lucy says

        Tracy,

        That’s interesting. I’ve never tried with dark brown sugar, but I think I will. That would give a slightly different flavor but not sure how it would affect the texture.

  15. Tracy says

    I finally made these to recipe today and oh my gosh, what a wonderful recipe!! By far my favorite cookie & a big hit @ church. Sooooo yummy, fluffy & soft, melts in ur mouth kind of scrumptious. Thank you Lucy!!

    • Lucy says

      Tracy,

      I’m so glad to hear you tried the recipe and loved it! They are definitely my family’s favorite cookies. Thanks so much!

  16. says

    So I didn’t have time to make another batch but I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a week so I made 6 cookies out of the batter I made last night. I made a few mistakes, I didn’t have unwanted butter sticks but I had a tub of smart butter so I scooped what looked to be a cup but was just over 1/2 when melted, I used semi sweet chocolate and 3eggs.

    The strangest thing is they came out like little chocolate chip cakes, fluffy and all. And they’re yummy too! I put icing on them. Now I’m even more excited to make these cookies according to recipe cause if after all those mistakes they still came out yummy, oh my the real thing will be just perfect!

  17. Lucy says

    Tracy,
    I would just double the recipe. Not sure what effect an extra egg would have. Please let me know how it turns out.

  18. Tracy says

    I accidentally put 3eggs instead of 2 and the mixture tastes super eggy, can I fix it or should I just add another egg and double the recipe?

  19. Lucy says

    Meleah – you don’t need to sift. Usually recipe will specify and if they don’t then I would only sift when making a cake.

  20. Meleah Diemer says

    Do you need to sift the flour for the chocolate chip cookies. I’m always unsure when to sift and when not to.

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