How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies (Soft and Chewy)
Loved by all, these baked goods bring together that all-time favorite mixture of mouth-watering combination of chocolate, sugar, butter and eggs (with some flour, of course) to make gooey, soft chocolate chip cookies. No matter the occasion, chocolate chip cookies are sure to put smiles on faces and bring people together.
Of course, not all chocolate chip cookie recipe options out there are created equal, with many coming out a little too doughy, while others simply turn into tougher biscuits. The best chocolate chip cookies are crispy out on the outside with a light, gooey center. If you’re looking to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch, these homemade chocolate chip cookies are exactly what you need to bring out the perfect texture and taste.
What Makes a Cookie Chewy or Crunchy?
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to how chewy, crunchy or gooey a cookie should be. It’s one of the reasons why making chocolate chip cookies from scratch can be so difficult to master – especially when you consider how easily it is to slip from one end of the spectrum to the other.
The key, of course, lies in the chocolate chip cookie dough and the interaction between the different ingredients. Not to mention the amount of practice required to get to your exacting specifications. For example, a crunchy cookie requires a good level of fat, while sugar and butter are more likely to create a softer cookie. This might seem a little complicated to get your head round at first, but once you start putting the theory into practice, you can see tasty, tangible results.
The answer, therefore, lies within the type of ingredients you use and how much. So, if you wanted a crunchy cookie, you would opt for granulated sugar over brown sugar, which lacks moisture in comparison and therefore is less likely to soften your cookie into a doughier texture. Of course, this means that the opposite holds true – in that brown sugar will give you a little extra chew and goo.
However, it also depends on the cookware you use. The right cookie sheet, a superior mixer or even the oven you use all have an effect on how your cookies come out. Using an edgeless cookie sheet will allow for heat to distribute more evenly around your oven, leading to a quicker than average bake that can leave you with cookies that are crispy on the outside and gooey in the center.
You can even adjust the crunch and crisp consistencies of your cookies by altering how thick you make them. A thicker cookie will usually be more crunchy than a thinner cookie, which is likely to be more crisp around the edges and add a nice touch of crackly goodness to your baked goods. Of course, if you prefer a soft, thick cookie, you can swap out your ingredients to meet your needs.
Finally, the heat you use and time you take to bake your tasty treats also matters. A slow bake, requiring a lower temperature but with more time in the oven, is likely to make your cookies crunchier, while a quick blast in a hot oven will leave you with a good level of squidge in the middle.
What is the Perfect Cookie Consistency?
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to getting the perfect cookie consistency, as we all have our own preferences. You can, however, quickly and easily adjust a recipe to meet the demands of the cookie-consumers in your life. All of the above can be chopped and changed at any point in order to get the best chocolate chip recipe for you and your loved ones.
As an example, to get a doughy, thick, soft chocolate chip cookies with crisp edges, you can start by substituting granulated for brown sugar, and vegetable shortening with butter. Then give your cookie dough a quick blast in a hot oven for a shorter period of time, after placing it on a rimless cookie tray. The inside of your cookies should remain nice and gooey, while the outside with have a crispy layer all over. Vice versa can be applied for thinner, crunchier cookies.
This is one of the reasons why there are so many different types of recipes out there, all of which have their own fans. We definitely recommend experimenting with different varieties to see what you and your oven can produce.
However, there are three things that seem to make the biggest difference across all the different ingredient combination. The first is the chill time you use before baking. All cookie dough should be chilled for at least half an hour before placing in your oven to get the best spread and consistency during their baking time. It’s even been found that chilling your cookie dough for a full 24 hours deepens the flavors and makes your cookie all the more delicious.
The second is to always make sure that you have pre-heated your oven first. While it can be frustrating to wait for your oven to heat up before baking your cookies, the result of baking cookies in an oven that isn’t preheated is much worse. Sticky, tough and even burnt cookies will be the sad result of all your hard work if this is ignored.
The third and final essential is the use of parchment or baking paper. As well as making the job of removing your cookies much easier, after they’ve been cooked, it’s also a great way to maintain a little extra control over your baking. When using baking paper, your cookies won’t spread as widely (and therefore won’t end up styling the annoying conjoined cookie look) and it can also help to prevent getting a burnt base.
Recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies
Now that we’ve talked about the science, you should be able to change up this classic chocolate chip cookie dough to meet your needs. The method we use here comes out with a lovely golden brown texture, that has a crisp layer on the outside but maintains it’s gooey center. If that doesn’t sound like your preferred cookie, then use the advice above to play around a little and find the best method for your preferences.
Ingredients for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Method for Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (if you’re looking to refrigerate your cookie dough first, then this can wait until you’re ready to bake).
- In a bowl, mix together your butter and sugar until it make a light, fluffy consistency.
- Add in your eggs and continue stirring.
- Mix in your vanilla extract
- Continue stirring until you’re confident that the entire mixture is adequately and evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, add your flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder together and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Next, you should slowly combine the two bowls, bit by bit, until you have a good level of consistency and the two bowls are mixed well, together.
- You should now add in your chocolate chips. It’s easy to end up with all of your chunks in one area of your cookie dough, here, so be careful to make sure the chips are spread throughout the dough.
- If you are chilling your cookie dough, you can now place this in the fridge for whatever length of time you prefer (30 minutes will give you a decent flavor, but 24 hours is ideal).
- Next, roll the cookie dough into small balls between your hands and place each ball on your baking tray, roughly 3 inches apart from each other. If you prefer a wider spread and a less doughy result, you can flatten these slightly to get a more consistent texture.
- Bake in your pre-heated oven for roughly 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- Place your chocolate chip cookies on a wire rack to cool.
It can take a few minutes for your cookies to harden slightly, after they have been baked, so don’t be disheartened if they seem a little too flexible at first. You can always pop them back into the oven for a little longer if you prefer.
You’ll notice that, if you have made any changes to your recipe, there will be slight differences in the final look and taste of your cookie. As an example, chilled dough will have a chewier consistency, while using only the brown sugar (to the same total weight of sugar) will give you more of a butterscotch flavor and deeper brown color.
Don’t forget that your substitutes can affect the baking time, so feel free to change the time in the oven or the temperature, according the advice given above, if you feel you’d like a slightly different taste or texture to your cookies.