The Science of The Chocolate Chip Cookie

Baker Bettie Baking Science, Cookies, Holidays, Sweets 180 Comments

Dark Chocolate and Toasted Pecan Cookies with Browned Butter
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Learn chocolate chip cookie science so you can create your perfect cookie! Learn how to make recipe substitutions to make cookies the way you like them! Chewy or crispy or cakey or soft or thick or thin! Whatever your heart desires! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Science- Baker Bettie


There is no doubt in my mind that Chocolate Chip Cookies are the ultimate classic baked good and comfort food.  There is just nothing that compares to a warm gooey cookie right out of the oven. And a few years ago I set out on a mission to develop the most perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.

But this led to the question: What is my idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie?  Well, I am all about contrasts.  So in my mind it needs lots of contrasts of textures and flavors.

And I created that for myself.  A thick, chewy on the inside crunchy on the outside cookie that has hints of caramel and salt with dark chocolate chips and toasted pecans.

I had the brilliant idea for customizable cookies according other people’s idea of a perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Thin and crispy with milk chocolate?  Cakey and puffy with peanut butter, cinnamon and dark chocolate? Whatever your little heart desired.  I became obsessed with the science of the cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Science- Baker Bettie

The other day somehow this topic came up with a co-worker of mine.  She told me she had been trying to make really thin, chewy cookies for some time now with little success.

Open the flood gates! My mind started racing trying to remember all of the things I researched about the science of baking and I immediately started using my formula to create this recipe.

For any other geeks out there that are as interested in the science of baking as I am, I introduce to you “Baker Bettie’s Rules for Customizable Chocolate Chip Cookies!”

We will start with the standard Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Recipe: 

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips
You know the drill: Combine dry ingredients.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add the other wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and the chips.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 9-11 minutes.
This recipe creates a fairly standard cookie.  Slightly chewy, slightly crunchy. Not too flat, not too caky.  Fairly neutral.  So to create the kind of cookie you are looking for, you can manipulate each component of this recipe.

Flour: If you want a chewier cookie change out the all-purpose flour for bread flour.  Bread flour has more protein and therefore will create more gluten.

If you want a taller cookie with a lot of texture cut back the flour to 2 cups and add 1 cup of oatmeal flour.  You can find this in the grocery store or create your own by grinding old fashioned oats in a blender to a fine crumb.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Science- Baker Bettie

Baking Soda/Powder: There is no baking powder in the original recipe but if you want taller and cakey cookies add 1 tsp.  Keep the 1 tsp baking soda. to learn more details about baking soda and baking powder and how to sub or eliminate them, check out this post. 

Salt: Salt is one of the ingredients that only affects the flavor.  You can reduce or increase this amount according to your own preference for the salty/sweet combo.  But don’t eliminate it completely! I usually increase it to 1 1/4 tsp and use kosher salt for a more coarse flake.

Butter: There are several things you do with the butter.  If you are wanting a nice chew to the cookie and have decided to opt for the bread flour, melt the butter.  The water from the melted butter will mix with the flour to create more gluten.  (I learned this from Alton Brown)

 If you like a more complex caramel flavor to your cookie, brown the butter.  If you want a taller, cakey cookie, use shortening instead of butter.  You can use butter flavored shortening if you want to keep the butter taste, but some people prefer the flavor of regular shortening.  Shortening will also make a very soft cookie.

Sugar: The ratios of the white sugar to brown sugar are important to produce the kind of cookie you want.

Higher white sugar to brown sugar ratios will produce a more crisp and crunchy cookie while higher brown sugar to white sugar ratios will produce a more soft and chewy cookie.

Dark brown sugar will up the chewiness even more.  Play around with it to produce the texture you want!

Vanilla: Vanilla only affects the flavor.  Increase the amount up to 1 tbsp if you really like the flavor, or eliminate all together if you want a more buttery flavor.  You can also use mexican vanilla for a more unique flavor.  It almost has hints of cinnamon.

Eggs: Eggs puff baked goods so eliminate an egg if you want a flat cookie and keep both eggs if you want a taller cookie.

Egg whites dry out baked goods so if you like a really crunchy cookie add another egg white.

Alternatively, if you prefer a moist chewy cookie eliminate one egg white or one egg altogether.  You can even add a little bit of milk to add more moisture in place of the egg.

Add Ins: This is where you get to let your creativity go.  When I offered my customized chocolate chip cookies for my business you had these options: milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, bittersweet chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter, cinnamon, oatmeal, cocoa powder (to make the whole cookie chocolate), cayenne, toasted pecans, toasted walnuts, raisins, orange zest, dried cranberries, and toasted coconut.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Science- Baker Bettie

Other Tips: Higher cooking temps (375) will keep a cookie taller while a lower temp (325 or 350) will allow the cookies spread out more.  Chilled dough will also produce a taller cookie.  If you like really soft cookies, spray them with a bit of water before baking.

Things I Never Change: Always bake your cookies in small batches to produce even browning.  (I cook 6 at a time)

Always bake on foil or parchment paper so you can immediately slide the cookies off the baking sheet when they come out of the oven.  This way the hot pan won’t continue to cook the cookies.

Remove from the oven just when the edges are brown and not when the entire cookie looks cooked through.  They will be over cooked.

If at all possible, always rest the dough for at least an hour or overnight before baking.  This will give you a more evenly cooked cookie.  And ALWAYS use a scoop!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Science- Baker Bettie

So using the rules stated above, I came up with a recipe for a thin and chewy cookie.  They were perfect.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Science- Baker Bettie

What is your perfect chocolate chip cookie like?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Science- Baker Bettie

Two years later: Dark Chocolate Custard with Meringue

One year later: White Chocolate and Strawberry Chocolate Fudge Cake

Yields 2

Thin and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 hr, 10 Prep Time

14 minCook Time

1 hr, 24 Total Time

Save Recipe


2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips


  1. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the bread flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the melted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar until combined.
  4. Add the egg, milk and the vanilla and beat on medium slow speed until incorporated.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated.Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add in the chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.
  6. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
  8. Using a large scoop, drop 6 dough balls onto each cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 11-14 minutes at 350F, just until the edges are lightly browned.
  10. Slide the cookies on the foil or parchment off the cookies sheet as soon as they come out of the oven.
  11. Note: The cookies will be just slightly crunchy on the edges when cooled. If you want a completely chewy cookie and can resist eating them right away, store in an airtight container overnight and the cookies will be very chewy and soft in the morning.
Recipe Type: Cookies

Tools I use and recommend for cookie baking!

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet (Kitchen)

List Price: $10.24 USD
New From: $9.50 USD In Stock
Used from: $8.19 USD In Stock

Oneida Ss Large Trigger Scoop (Tools & Home Improvement)

List Price: $16.29 USD
New From: $10.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Frazoni Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat, 28 x 42 cm, Red and White

List Price: $12.95 USD
New From: $7.95 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

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Comments 180

  1. ringfingertanline

    LOVE this post. I am totally fascinated by the science of baking but always so afraid to change things. I keep thinking Alton Brown is going to pop out of my cabinet and tell me I’m doing it wrong.

    I love my cookies moist enough that the chocolate oozes when you pull them apart. Mmmmm this is making me hungry… must be good and go make kale now…

  2. Kitchen Slattern

    Pure genius. I have learned more here (and without eating a bite!) than I could possibly have figured out in years of experimenting. Since you asked, my favorite is a hybrid: Oatmeal with chocolate and butterscotch chips. (In case you were wondering what to send for my birthday.) Thin and crispy, please.

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      2 1/4 cups flour
      1 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp salt
      1 cup butter, softened
      1 cup sugar
      1/4 cup brown sugar
      1 egg
      1 egg white
      1 tsp vanilla
      2 cups old fashioned oats
      1 cup chocolate chips
      1 cup butterscotch chips

      350 oven.

        1. Post
          Baker Bettie

          You’ll have to tell me how it turns out. Although, I do wonder if the oatmeal will give it a bit of a chew. The outside should be crispy though.

      1. nicky

        tried these tonight and they were a hit!!! used a mixture of white choc chips, semi sweet and dark ( i was short on any one kind) , didn’t use the butterscotch though. YUM!!!

  3. frugalfeeding

    Perhaps in america they are, here, in Britain, there are so many things I think people would rather make – though everyone does love a good chocolate chip cookie! These do sound great. I have a wonderful recipe on my blog:

    • 200g unsalted butter, I used stork

    • 85g light muscovado sugar

    • 85g golden caster sugar

    • 1 egg

    • 225g self-raising flour

    • 100g plain chocolate, chunked using a knife

    • A few drops of vanilla extract/essence

    Nice, soft and chewy 😀

  4. notellynotrouble

    This is one of the coolest posts I’ve seen, ever. You have inspired me to do some of my own testing! I’ve always been afraid to change things when baking because I didn’t understand what everything did. My problem with my ideal chocolate chip cookie is that my husband likes chewy cookies and I like crisp cookies. I’m hoping that maybe I can come up with something we both like! I’m bookmarking this, thanks!

  5. Kitchen Slattern

    Reblogged this on Kitchen Slattern and commented:
    This is Cookie 101, 201 and 303 the seminar all in one post. Everything you ever needed to know about the chocolate chip cookie but were too afraid, or as in my case too dumb, to ask. Have ’em any way you want and don’t forget to scroll all the way down for Bettie’s recipe for the Slattern’s Kitchen Sink. Bettie RULES.

  6. Pingback: The Science of The Chocolate Chip Cookie « Kitchen Slattern

  7. The Byronic Man

    I think you captured my perfect cookie very well. I’m negotiable on the pecans, but texture-wise, dead on.

    I had a dispute with someone the other day over whether gingersnaps were cookies. My main argument was that gingersnaps are hard and turn soft when they go stale, while a cookie is soft and goes hard when it stales. They countered that cookies can be hard, but I responded that that was anomalous, and if they liked their cookies that hard we were never going to see eye-to-eye.

    1. Post
  8. Eloise

    Thank you so so much for such an informative post- it’s so good to have all the info on one post and i can’t wait to tweak my own recipes to get the desired results! The pictures look wonderful too.
    Really lovely blog, so glad i came across it, am off to scour your recipes for inspiration, thank you.

  9. fussylady

    I have to say, I have always likes cookies, is there anyone out there who doesn’t??? i’d be curious to find out! LOL I happened to stumble upon your post. For the first time I intend to try and cook some cookies myself! I LOVE your photos, great shots. Thanks for posting and keep doing it! Feel free to check out my site if you have time, although I review restaurants as apposed to cooking myself 🙂 Have a great day! And thanks for the cookie inspiration…i’m excited!

  10. ringfingertanline

    I’m doing it tonight. I am making my perfect choco chip cookie using your adjustments. I will give it to my leasing office to thank them for my new hardwood floors. And also keep some to eat for myself.


    1. Post
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  12. Butterscotch Lady

    I am so HAPPY I came across your blog! My family LOVES my chocolate chip cookies so I have been a bit “trapped” by not being able to play around with the recipe. Thank you so much for the cookie lesson! I love to look at cupcakes (they really are pretty), but I love to EAT cookies! I hope you do not mind if I re-blog this on my blog? Thanks again, you have made a “Follower” out of me!

  13. millerdancer15

    We always make cookies with shortening. Otherwise we basically just use the toll house cookie recipe. I think I add a bit more brown sugar because it gives it a bit more of the caramelized taste, but other than that, that’s all we needed to start a business off of. Everybody absolutely loves them. Depending on the day they are sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner. They come out different every time, which I actually quite like!

  14. 3poems

    Thank you for sharing the art of the cookie! I love a thin, chewy, milk chocolate chip & coconut cookie. The next time I whip up a batch, I’m going to try the browned butter trick and will use bread flour. & the reason we opt for cookies over cupcakes: the girls simply lick their cupcakes clean of frosting and waste the cake. However, no crumb of cookie goes to waste!

  15. Anonymous

    THANK YOU so much for this! I’ve been trying to create my perfect chocolate chip cookie for quite a while now without real success! I’m so glad I found this recipe, because I love thin, chewy chocolate chip cookies! I will definitely try them really soon – would you mind if I blog about them then? I’d be sure to credit!

  16. shell1221

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou Ive been looking for these explanations for ever.Now I found you through being freshly pressed you have a new follower!!!! Congrats on being fp’d

  17. The Smart Cookie Cook

    The Nestle Tollhouse recipe used to be my go-to, but now I have a thick & chewy recipe STUFFED with chocolate that I absolutely love. All of your cookies look good. You’ve got great tips and your photos are gorgeous!

  18. Suz

    Cara – I am on round three! 🙂 I think I need to bake them slightly less time than I’ve been doing them because of the high altitude (a little over 6,000 feet).

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Bake them just until the edges look slightly browned. The centers will look under cooked but they will be perfect. If you want them to be really chewy store them in an airtight container overnight. It will make a huge difference!


      1. Suz

        Oops~ Kristin!! They are perfect. 12 minutes baked. Recipe followed precisely. Perfect thin and chewy chocolate chip cookies!! Thank you.

        1. Post
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  20. Anonymous

    Wow! One word.. I’ve been making cookies for a long time, and haven’t been able to get the thin and chewy cookie, a bit crunchy on the edges.. I followed this recipe to a tee, and Vwolla! The perfect cookie… I love the way you break down the science of it, as well . Thnx alot!

  21. crisp cakey cookie

    Hi baker bettie…..i have searched high n low for a crisp cakey cookie but failed….can you please help me create the perfect recipe…..PLEASEEEE thanks love your blog

  22. Audrey

    What if I want my cookie to be slightly tall, a bit crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, but, (here’s the challenge) gluten free? Any advice?

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      In the refrigerator. If you are going to bake them right away then they can rest at room temperature for 30 minutes but longer than that in the refrigerator. To answer your other question, yes! In fact I recommend letting it rest in the refrigerator over night and up to 3 days. You cookies will bake more evenly and have a more developed flavor.

  23. Karyn

    Can this dough be refrigerated?? Like, when I don’t to bake them all, can i leave the dough in the fridge? Overnight maybe?

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      The only time I wouldn’t recommend leaving them in the refrigerator is if you add oatmeal or oatmeal flour into your batter. It can tend to dry the dough out in the fridge. But otherwise I would recommend it!

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    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
      1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
      2 eggs (helps cookie rise)
      1 tbsp vanilla
      1 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp baking powder (rises the cookie)
      1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
      2 cups bread flour (makes cookie chewier)
      2 cups oatmeal flour (helps cookie stand taller)
      2 cups chocolate chips

      Beat the butter and sugar until very fluffy, about 5 minutes (This helps the cookie stand taller) Beat in vanilla, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt until combined. Mix in bread flour and oatmeal flour. Mix in chocolate chips (will most likely need to use clean hands, the dough will be very thick. Bake large cookies, like 1/4 of a cup each and roll them into balls before baking, do not press down. This will keep them thicker. Chill the dough (after it is rolled into balls) in the fridge for at least 30 mins or in the freezer for 5 mins before baking (keeps them from spreading out). Bake at 375 just until the edges are set. They will look under baked in the center but after they cool they will be done, tall and chewy.

      (I have never made this exact recipe, but I have played around with enough ratios that this should work great. Hope this helps!)

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  28. efvukvMN

    В настоящее время в гимназии Elsa-Braendstroem в Вестфалии введена 44-часовая учебная неделя.

    Школьники зачастую возвращаются после уроков поздно вечером. Из-за этого, по словам педагогов, у них совсем не остается времени на отдых.

    Руководство гимназии решило освободить учеников от домашнего задания. Теперь у ребят будет больше свободного времени.

    Такое решение связано с удлинением учебного дня. К этому привела реформа образования, благодаря которой все школьное образование скоратилось на один год. Сотрудники гимназии считают, что даже 44-часовая учебная неделя, которая была до реформы образования, – это слишком. Зачастую дети остаются на уроках до 6 часов вечера.

    Однако нововведение не повлияет на качество обучения. Запрет на домашние работы будет компенсироваться более интенсивной работой в классе. При этом, отстающим ученикам все-таки будут назначать дополнительные задания.

  29. Umm Autumn

    Hi Baker Bettie
    First time visiting your sight. You had just what I was looking for. I thin chewy cookie! My husband complains about my fluffy ones 🙂
    I made them with few changes. Only change was I only had all purpose flour in the house and wanted them now! Only other thing was I did not read the directions well and did not realize I needed to let the dough rest an hour. My three kids were promised one before bed so I baked three only, right after finishing dough. They turned out great any way! Success! Thanks.

  30. Cherry

    Hi! I tried the recipe and it was a hit! Your tips were really helpful too 🙂
    I was just wondering if we can substitute part of the melted butter with greek yogurt or oil for healthier choice? Does that affect the texture or taste of the cookies?

  31. mommasangelbaby

    I have always needed to know the “why” for making things, especially when it comes to baking. Understanding why ingredients or techniques are used just inspires me. I do much better knowing, it’s one of the reasons Alton Brown is my favorite TV Chef. Thank you so much for this info. December will be cookie month for me, so I will probably experiment with several chocolate chip options, and I will use your information/advice to make other types of cookies as well. I do have one question though, (well, two if you want to be specific). I live in New Mexico where we are at a high elevation and dry climate. Do either of these effect the cookies to any important degree? Thanks so much in advance, and thanks for the info!

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      I have to admit this is one area of baking that I have not done a lot of research about. I found this article that gives some good tips I think it probably has a lot to do with trial and error. Baking is so finicky. I have moved 4 times in the past few years and each time I have to readjust to my oven. It can definitely be very frustrating!

  32. Farah Addam

    Hello, thanks you very much for this post, I was just wanted to know, the recipe given for the thin and chew ccc, how many cookies does it make, thankx 🙂

  33. Michelle Ho

    This recipe, pictures, and cookies all look amazing! My boyfriend is very fond of thin and chewy cookies and I will have to try this recipe out one day just for him! We love warm chocolate cookies that are soft and chewy from the oven! I am excited to try this recipe out with him! I will post my results up on my website at! Again, thank you for sharing!

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  35. Iris

    Thank you so much for sharing!!!! I’ve always been curious how different ratios of each ingredient would affect the cookies. So happy to have found your post! 🙂

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Browned butter is made from heating butter over medium high heat in a sauce pan. Stir it constantly until the liquid becomes an amber color.

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  37. IK

    I tried altering the tollhouse recipe as you suggested. I used 1c. dark brown sugar and 1/2 c. light brown sugar and 2 egg yolks minus the whites. Also I had to switch the butter for margarine. I melted the margarine with the sugar together. Then I poured the liquid into the mixer and let it run for a minute to cool it down before I put in the eggs. After I let the dough sit for an hour (I kind of had to since the dough was somewhat liquidy at this point). After sitting for an hour the dough seemed more like clay-dough. I scooped them into ~ 1 tbs balls and flattened them. A good thing too, because they barely spread.

    The cookies came out with a really heavy flavor slightly crispy around the edges but so airy. I’m not sure if it’s because the liquid margarine aerated when I was trying to cool it off in the mixer or because if I’m using melted margarine then I should be using high-gluten flour. Maybe if using margarine it shouldn’t be melted? Even though the dough was liquidy before I let it sit, after the hour it started it seemed like it was drying up and there were some slight dry patches. Everything was perfect but I was expecting more substance to them. Can you point me to where I went wrong?

    Side note: The cookies do look gorgeous though. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good looking c.c. cookie.

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Ok a couple of questions so I can help trouble shoot. What kind of cookie are you going for? What is the desired end result?

      Did you change out the butter to margarine because that is all you had? or because of some dietary reason? Margarine will definitely change the texture of the cookie. It acts more like shortening in that it doesn’t allow the cookie to spread as much due to the lack of milk fats in it. I would use real butter if possible.

      I’m not quite sure what you mean by the cookies having a very “heavy flavor.” Do you mean the texture is very dense? It is possible that you had too much flour in the cookie. When you measure flour make sure you fluff it up and lightly spoon it into the measuring cups. I’m guessing that beating the margarine didn’t have much to do with it. Also if you are going to melt the butter, don’t melt it with the sugar. This will create a syrup and you don’t want the sugar to melt too. You only want the butter to melt. Does that make sense?

      I hope this helps. If you can tell me what kind of cookie you are aiming for I can give you a recipe that should work for the texture.

      1. IK

        Well I’m aiming for a moist chewy cookie. That’s why I took away the egg whites and white sugar. I feel like the flavor was perfect but that maybe because it was too dry, it came across airy. Maybe because I let the dough sit on the counter for the hour instead of in the refrigerator? The dough was almost liquidy when I first made it but like I said before, it was starting to get dry patches and had an almost clay-dough feel to it at the end.

        I did change out the butter for dietary reasons. (We keep Kosher and I wanted to be able to eat them whenever. If there’s milk in them I wouldn’t be able to eat them within 6 hours of eating meat or poultry.)

        If the margarine kept the cookies from spreading, then that’s great. The thickness (height) of the cookie was perfect. I had to flatten them before putting them in the oven and they didn’t really spread more than that. What I meant by having a “heavy flavor” was that the flavor was very, very rich (maybe from all the brown sugar) instead of light even though the cookie itself had a light and airy consistency.

        I melted the sugar because I thought it would make it be more like molasses and maybe make it more moist. It did come out syrupy and even though I don’t understand why that’s a problem, it clearly was for me.

        I didn’t fluff the flour or spoon it in, I scooped it and slid my finger across the top. So maybe there was too much flour in it, drying it out. Also, I baked them for 10 minutes on 350. Basically, this was the best cookie I’ve ever made flavor-wise, I’d just like tho change the light, airy consistency to a more moist and dense one.

        Also, I have a Bosch and it doesn’t come with a paddle. Maybe I’m doomed to always have airy cookies?

        1. Post
          Baker Bettie

          Ok, I think I am understanding better now. The reason you don’t want to melt the sugar too is because if you melt it when it cools and re-crystalizes it becomes more brittle and and will alter the texture of the baked good. If you want to melt the margarine, do it by itself and let it cool slightly before adding it to the sugar. But honestly I don’t even think you need to melt it to get the desired results. Here is what I would do…

          2 1/4 cups bread flour (all-purpose is fine too but bread will make it chewier. Fluff up the flour with a spoon and lightly spoon it into the measuring cups)
          1 cup oatmeal flour (you can find this in the store or grind up oats in your blender or food processor. This will definitely up the chew and density issue. Also adds great flavor!)
          1 tsp baking soda
          1 tsp salt
          1 cup margarine, softened
          1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (dark will give it a richer flavor. You can use either dark or light)
          1 tsp vanilla
          1 egg (use at least 1 whole egg because the protein helps with binding the ingredients)
          2 cups Chocolate Chips

          Hope this helps!

          1. IK

            I melted the margarine because you mention that the liquid from the melted butter makes more gluten when you mix it with the flour and that would make it more chewy.

            Thanks a lot for the modified recipe!

          2. Post
            Baker Bettie

            Yes, I understand that is why you did it, and it does. But the biggest things that will up the chew are the bread flour, brown sugar, and the oatmeal flour. The water from the melted butter will help a little, so either way. Sometimes I’m just too lazy to wait for it to cool because you really do need it to before you mix it with the sugar.

            Hope you enjoy!

  38. Janet

    Do you have a recommendation for a brand of scoop to use? I bought one that appears to be rather cheaply made. Every time I squeeze the handle to release the contents, the bar that runs along the inside of the scoop to separate the contents from the scoop “slips” and gets out of position so it no longer does its job. It’s very frustrating and I end up abandoning it in favor of a couple of spoons.

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Hi Janet,

      I use Oneida trigger scoops. I have them in several different sizes and they are heavy duty and I have never had one break on me!

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  42. Lucky cook

    Hello Bakerbettie,

    I followed a very similar recipe – initially cookies were heavenly. Edges were a tad crisp and centres were a bit chewy. Perfection!!
    However they turned harder as they sat on the cookie rack for 2 hrs and the next day they were very very crisp. I am requesting your help because I need to bake a large batch for an event soon.

    I appreciate how you provided problem solving.
    Awaiting your reply.


    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Ok, to help me troubleshoot it would help to see what recipe you used. Can you tell me the recipe so I can see if it is a problem with the actual recipe itself and not the technique?

      Did you store the cookies in an airtight container after they cooled? One of the things I suggest is to store them in an airtight container because this will trap the moisture in and will keep the cookies soft. It will even soften the edges that may have been initially crisp.

      It is also possible that you cooked them too long. That is a common problem with cookies. You want the edges to be lightly browned. The middle won’t look quite done but that’s ok!

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Here are my suggestions: Make sure your brown sugar is very fresh and moist. Use dark brown sugar if you can, it will give it more moisture and chew. I’m not sure where you live, but if you live in a very dry climate 2 3/4 cup flour is probably too much. Try 2 1/2 cups. MAke sure you cream the butter and sugar very well, until light and fluffy. But don’t beat the rest of the ingredients too much. Only mix until incorporated past the butter and sugar part. And definitely cook for a shorter period of time. 12-14 is pretty long for cookies. And even if they are more crisp than you like when cooled, put them in an airtight container over night. Something that snaps completely shut. It will soften them.

    2. Post
      Baker Bettie

      I also suggest trying my recipe instead. If the one you tried didn’t give you your desired results, give it a shot. They are pretty darn delicious. And definitely chewy!

      1. Lucky cook

        Dear Bakerbettie,

        I tried it again like you said and it was pretty awesome!!
        Actually I baked it for 10 minutes only, and my cookies were larger than what was said in recipe, and I didnt change anything about the recipe itself(heaven knows I have a lot of light brown sugar to go through). I tried chilling part of the dough and preferred the unchilled version

        Your suggestions are such that i can apply to any cookie recipe, and yes, mine are boxed tight w/ a small bread piece

        You are the best, the kindest, thanks for being my inspiration and guide!!

    1. BakerBettie

      How do you measure your flour? Do you fluff it up then lightly spoon it into your measuring cups? My guess is that there is too much flour in your dough. It is really easy to accidentally pack the flour into the measuring cups and too much flour woudl definitely give you fluffier cookies.

  43. Becky McClure

    By far the best cookies I've ever made….or eaten for that matter. And I didn't even have chocolate chips!!! Can only imagine how good they would be with chocolate!

  44. Pingback: Different Flours | The difference in baking with various flours

  45. Mary Connick

    I have been wanting my tollhouse cookies to be thinner & more crispy, but I was doing the wrong things. I just took my 1st batch of these from the oven & they are PERFECT – thank you 🙂

    1. Post
  46. Sarah White

    I just made the above recipe and they did not turn out this way at all.. I wanted a very thin chewy cookie and they were blown up and so far look nothing like I imagined. You have to use your hand and flatten them on the pan before putting them in if you want them to be thin..

    1. BakerBettie

      Have you ever checked your oven temperature with an oven thermometer? My guess is that your oven is cooking at a higher temperature than it is set at making the cookie set before the butter melts and spreads out.

    2. BakerBettie

      My other thought is that there is too much flour in your dough. How do you measure your flour and where do you live? The climate could affect it and also you want to fluff up your flour then lightly spoon it into your cups and level them off. Too much flour would definitely make them "blown up." You really don't need to flatten these with your hands so I'm guessing something is going wrong. Let me know if this helps! Thanks for trying my recipe!

  47. elizabeth Shum

    My favorite cookie is the really tall and ooey gooey butter cookies or any cookie that is oooey gooey and really tall like 1 1/2 to 2 inches or taller 🙂 Would love to know how to get the like that. So moist and yummy!

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      The best way to get really tall cookies is to bake them at a higher temperature, such as 375 degrees F and to shape them into large golf ball size before baking. Bake them just until the edges are set. The cookie will set before the butter has enough time to melt and spread, resulting in a tall cookie.

  48. Hasti Best

    Hi.Thank you very much for the recipe.
    There is an ice cream shop in LA ( ). They use some kind of cookies for ice cream.
    Would you help me to make them?
    Best Regards.

  49. Pingback: Lauren’s Chocolate Chip Cookies | Berry Sweet Lauren

  50. Jenna

    I’ve been trying to make flat and chewy cookies like yours, but with olive oil as the fat. So far, no luck. Mine always tend to turn out slightly taller than I want them to.
    I use 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of white, and 1/2 tsp of baking soda.
    I just made them this way, and I needed to add 5 more TBS of flour just to be able to handle them. (I use my hands) / I baked them at 350 for about 8 min. They turned out fine but I want them chewier and flat like your pictures.
    Any suggestions? I’m afraid that if I add more oil, they would end up greasy. Do I need to adjust the sugar? Or maybe I added too much flour and should get a scoop..?

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      What is the reason you are using olive oil in these? I haven’t done any experimenting with olive oil and these cookies but my guess is that it is going to be extremely difficult to get your desired result. Part of the structure and chew comes from the fat as it is creamed with the butter and sugar. 1/2 cup of olive oil is about 1/2 the amount of fat normally needed for that amount of flour, but because it is liquid it will be way too runny if you use an entire cup. You could try to use more olive oil and chill the dough before baking them because that should make the dough easier to handle. Check to see if you oven is cooking hotter than it says it is and reduce the heat to let the cookies spread out before they set. I think you will get a much more desired result using a solid fat or a melted fat that becomes a solid when cooled.

  51. Kindabaking

    Made the cookies, so far so good. My cookies weren’t flat- but I think I like it better that way. Thank you for the cookie recipe!


    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      So glad you tried the recipe and liked it. My guess is that your oven may be cooking a bit hotter if they are not completely flattening out. But sounds like they worked the way you wanted them!

  52. Pingback: New City, New Look, New Cookies! | Tooth Fairy Princess

  53. Jessica Fairclough

    I have a quick question, I live in england so for the butter we don't work in cups or sticks, can anyone tell me how much it is in grams, I'm ok with cups for everything else, its just the butter I'm stuck on, thanks.

  54. Jess

    I have a quick question, I live in england so for the butter we don’t work in cups or sticks, can anyone tell me how much it is in grams, I’m ok with cups for everything else, its just the butter I’m stuck on, thanks.

    1. Post
      1. Jess

        Thankyou so much, i somehow converted it to 220g which would have been way to off, im trying the recipe tonight, really excited to try it against my own recipe to taste the difference.
        just one more question, when i first made a batch of cookies a while ago they were quite runny, kind of like a thick browney mix but this was because the battery compartment in my weighing scales wasn’t flush so the whole thing wobbled slightly which threw of all my measuring they were however the most amazing cookies i have ever tasted but since fixing the weighing scales i have never been able to recreate them, what can i do to make the batter runnyer, the cookies were also a little chewy and diddnt go hard and crunchy, the basic recipie i used was:
        115g butter
        50g caster sugar
        110g brown sugar
        1 egg
        170g plain all purpose flour
        pinch of salt
        225g chopped milk chocolate

        thankyou again for all your help

  55. Sharon Schraer

    Great post, explaining all the different variations I have tried. I usually include some bread flour, some whole wheat to make me think they are healthier, sometimes oats and prefer chewy cookies. Somehow love making chocolate chip cookies better than all other types and there are usually some in the freezer ready to eat.

  56. Katie R.

    Two summers ago I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies before a 4th of July BBQ. I’m not sure what combination of butter/shortening baking soda/baking powder I used, but they were a HIT!!! They were chewy and moist and my husband has been raving about them ever since! For 2 years now I have been trying to re-create these phantom cookies…I found your post yesterday and made them last night. THESE ARE THE COOKIES! My husband was so excited that these turned out just like he remembered. I think he is going to make me lock this recipe in a safe so that we always have it! Thanks so much for your informative, fun, life-saving post!!! You rock Baker Bettie!

  57. Dawn R.

    Is it possible for chocolate chip cookies to be sexy? That’s all I can think of when I look at the ones I made from your recipe. THESE are the cookies I have searched for my entire life. They are so chewy, and crispy, and shiny, and oozy. I’m fully convinced that the recipe books lie about their ingredients so you can’t actually make cookies as good as them. Thanks for all the great tips in a simple and straightforward blog. I love you.

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Is that even a serious question. Of COURSE it is possible for chocolate chip cookies to be sexy. When are they NOT sexy? I’m so glad that this formula worked out for you! I love it when people are able to create their own recipe to their own taste. Amazing.

  58. Kimberly Dougan

    Thank you! After reading this I was able to adjust my recipe and just made the best batch of chocolate chip cookies of my life!

  59. Pingback: The Science of The Chocolate Chip Cookie by Baker Bettie

  60. sonja

    i followed your recipe but they didn’t turn out flat!! i’ve tried everything, so many recipes but they ALWAYS rise! what am i doing wrong?? (i’m from switzerland, maybe it’s got to do with the quality of the ingredients??) thanks for your help!

  61. Pingback: Thin and Addictive Reese’s Pieces Cookies | The Amused Baker

  62. Donna Small Dinkins Allen

    I had been looking for a good thin chocolate chip recipe and this is definitely it !!! I made these about a week ago and am going to make them again in the next day or 2. These are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever eaten (besides my mom's from a long time ago.) They are chewy and crunchy at the same time. Positively the best !!!!!!!!! By the way, I followed the recipe exactly as written. Didn't change a thing.

    1. Post
  63. Pingback: Cookies 101: Substitutions, Storing, Shipping, & More | Inspired healthy organized

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  65. Jenn

    Hi Bettie,

    If I want my cookies to be a bit fluffier should I just add an egg or will I then need to counter that with dry ingredients? Thanks!!!

  66. Angela

    Hi Betty,

    I started to assemble ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and discovered, I bought the wrong baking soda (for the freezer) so I put everything away and scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom (spring cleaning early)….advance to the next day and here I am.
    I love reading about the science of the chocolate chip cookie, my favorite cookie, when i want a cookie. I usually don’t eat sweets, HFCS, hydrogenated fats, sulfites, nothing processed, see where I’m going…mostly Organic. To make a long story short…I know, too late, I want to make a healthy organic cookie.
    Can I use stone ground wheat flour instead of all purpose, coconut palm instead of white and brown? …Ok, here is the recipe:
    3 cups all purpose flour……I want to use organic stone ground wheat flour
    1 1/2 tsp. baking soda……….would like to skip
    1 tsp. baking powder……….. if need to use, would I increase to 2 1/2 tsp. to make up for the b. soda.
    1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    2 sticks unsalted oganic butter
    1 cup packed lt. brown suger and
    1 cup sugar…………………..would like to replace both sugars with 1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar. ( a dark, very sweet sugar)
    2 lg. pasture-raised organic eggs
    1 tsp. organic bourbon vanilla
    8 oz. organic dark chocolate…. 80%
    I like crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside or, at this point, any cookie recipe that makes me think it’s good for me, and I can have all the time.
    Love your posts!!

  67. Stephanie

    Thank you for the recipe! I’m excited to try different variations of this.

    I tried your recipe above and while the cookies are excellent (!!) they look really dark, almost as if they’re burnt. Is that because of the dark brown sugar? They also aren’t as flat as pictured. Any insights? Or maybe it’s the unbleached bread flour I used.

    Again, thank you for the wonderful blog post! Very informative.

  68. Diina Zaki

    I followed the exact recipe but it turned out a very crispy cookie and too sugary and i dont know what went wrong? any idea? i ddint put baking soda but used baking powder.

  69. Bela Sziklassy


    These are the cookies of my dreams I had been waiting for. A light crunch, chewy but not too much so. These are heaven. But I guess heaven comes at a price. This recipe made about 18 cookies. 2 sticks of butter divided by 18 cookies is… a mess of a lot of butter per cookie. I had to give a dozen away, else I would have eaten them all. But seriously. This recipe can win awards.

  70. E

    These cookies are AMAZING! I made them yesterday and found that they were the best chocolate chip cookies I ever made! I am saving this recipe!

  71. Pingback: chewy, melty chocolate chip cookie goodness | ... life of kamm ...

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  73. Watson

    I make the best chocolate chip cookies that anyone I’ve fed them to has tasted, but mostly what I mess with is the flavorings, not the flour, sugar, etc. I use the standard joy of cooking chocolate chip cookie recipe with the following alterations:

    add ~1 tsp of cinnamon
    replace 1 1/2 tsp vanilla with 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract
    use AT LEAST 2 cups of chocolate chips

    It’s really simple but the results are amazing.

  74. Demara Dawn Wig

    …I followed your Thin and Chewy Chocolate Chips recipe to the letter (..with the exception of using margarine instead of butter, and 2 1/2 tsp baking powder instead of baking soda (..according to your ""..) and they did not flatten at all and sort of burned on the bottom..!! I am perplexed. 🙁 I thought I had finally found the perfect 'flat and chewy' cookie. I will have to try again, and follow exactly… But would margarine instead of butter, or powder instead of soda change it that much..?? ..Or, make it not change.. They looked exactly like how I put them in! Still tastes SO GOOD, but I want them flat..!! ..Ideas..??

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Yes! These changes would change it a lot actually! Margarine has a higher melting point than butter. When the butter melts it helps the cookie spread. With margarine the cookie will likely set before it has a chance to spread. Margarine also typically has less fat content than butter and this could lead to the burning. It is also possible that your oven is cooking too hot, which is a common problem. You could try turning it down 25ºF and see if that helps. Are you using a baking sheet that has a dark coating? That could also lead to problems.

      The substitution for the baking powder and baking soda information I posted in that post is really meant for a pinch situation. If you are wanting specific results you really can’t substitute the two. They are very different things. Substituting or leaving out will always change the results.

      My idea really is just to try the recipe as written. And possibly turning down your oven temp.

  75. Paulette

    Love this blog. Makes baking so interesting and fun. This chocolate chip recipe is the best ever, perfect every time. One thing I do is to use coconut palm sugar to replace the white and brown sugars. I use the same total amount and the cookies are still perfect every time. Thanks for this wonderful, fun blog.

  76. porkchop man

    Love love love them! ! I have been tring a lot of recipes about 10.. befor I found this one just what I wanted thanks a lot 8)

  77. Nathan Jean

    Seems like no matter what I try. My cookies end up puffing up in the oven instead of melting flat. I want flat cookies! Not these little mounds. I followed this to the T too.

  78. Maria Jeryes ELshayeb

    okay I have 2 Q.
    1. you said to let it rest for an 1 hour. do I let if rest in the fridge or outside? and if i let it rest in the fridge do I let it warm when i take it out?
    2. how may cookies dose it make?

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      The dough should rest in the refrigerator and no, you do not need to let it come to room temp. The chilled dough will bake more evenly. It really depends on how big you make your cookies, but this should yield 2 dozen large cookies or 4 dozen small cookies.

  79. BakerBettie

    This could be an elevation issue. Do you live at a high elevation? This could also be too much flour in your batter. How do you measure your flour? You want to fluff it up with a spoon or fork and very lightly spoon it into the measuring cups without packing it down. Then level it off with a knife. If you have a kitchen scale, that would even more more accurate. 1 cup of flour should weigh 4.5 oz. So for this recipe you need 10.1oz. Also, are you making sure to cream your butter and sugar well? I will edit the recipe to reflect this, but you want to cream it together for about a minute. The little bit of air incorporated into the batter here will help it spread. Hopefully this helps!

  80. Pingback: Does egg make the cookies rise(puffy)? | Question and Answer

  81. Maria Eveliina Tuomela

    These cookies turned out absolutely perfect! I've been trying out more recipes than I can count, and this one gave by far the best results. The dough did turn out quite liquidy but it hardened to a nice consistency after I refrigerated it for a while.

  82. Charlie B.

    I made these today and they were ok. They didn’t really flatten out (even though I followed the recipe) so I flattened them out myself. Taste wise they were kinda bland, almost like something was missing but the texture was nice. I think that next time when I make these I’ll add more vanilla and maybe some spices like cinnamon but overall these were ok.

  83. heather

    These cookies are fabulous right out of the oven! However, mine hardened a little more than I like by the next morning. Any idea as to why?

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      How did you store the cookies Heather? They are best stored in an airtight container. It will trap the moisture in and keep them soft. It also sounds like the cookies may have been a bit over baked.

  84. Johanna

    I found that flattening the batter before baking yielded flatter cookies than just leaving the batter in mounds. I like my cookies flat not cakey, crispy edges, chewy centre, caramel flavour with a hint of salt. 🙂

  85. janine

    I was wondering after I placed them on the sheet if I could just leave them in the fridge overnight so I can bake them in the morning?

  86. janine

    I was wondering after I placed them on the sheet if I could just leave them in the fridge overnight so I can bake them in the morning?

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  91. Natalie MP


    I am excited to try this recipe! I’ve tried many recipes to no avail; I’m hoping the bread flour is the trick that does it.
    What if I wanted to keep the thin and chewy aspects, but make it a thin, chewy, chocolate chip oatmeal cookie? Would I need a totally new recipe or would I just adjust the flour and add some oatmeal?

  92. Pingback: I did it. I made the best chocolate chip cookie. | emma talks about food

  93. Marie

    I don’t know what I did wrong, but the chocolate chip cookies didn’t turn out, at all. I refrigerated the dough for two hours and when I put them in the oven, they spread out into the entire pan, with the chocolate chips piled up in the center of each spot I dropped the dough onto. When cooled, I lifted the mess off the parchment, and it’s so buttery/greasy that you can’t eat them.
    I tried a pan with the oven temperature at 375 instead of 350, and reduced bake time, and same problem. Where did I go wrong?

  94. Pingback: Very Classic Tollhouse Cookie Recipe |

  95. Tea

    Hi! What bugs me often is how can I “safely” chill or let rest any dough that has baking soda in it, be it for cookies or cake. Because unlike baking powder, which reacts to temperature, baking soda reacts to acidic ingredients and we should rush to put in the oven whatever we’ve just concocted with baking soda, so we don’t “lose” its power . Isn’t that the idea? And yet often, we’re asked to refrigerate the dough… This idea often stands in my way of making cake, because I only have one cake tin, and don’t want to mix the dough twice, but I’d want to just let half of it wait till the first layer finishes baking. But then I end up not making cake for that reason.. Or am I being unnecessarily careful? What are your thoughts on this very important matter? 🙂
    I think it’s cool that you’re interested in the science of baking! It’s fascinating to me too. I wanna know more about it especially for the purpose of being able to do adaptations and substitutions to recipes to make them healthier, but without messing it up, as it sometimes happens :)…

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Hi there Tea,

      You are correct, baking soda does immediately start reacting creating C02 once it is hydrated, however, baking soda in most cookie recipes really isn’t for the purposes of leavening much. It actually serves more of the purpose of browning for the cookie. The egg as well as steam releasing from moisture evaporating does most of the leavening actually, and if baking powder is present, then it also contributes. Let me ponder/research this more and come up with a more in depth answer for you. I want to start doing some baking science question posts this year so this can be a good one to start with!

      1. Tea

        Wow, I had no idea the b. soda isn’t there in cookies (primarily) to leaven! So I’m guessing that’s still a no-no on chilling half the cake batter while the first layer is in the oven?
        It would be so interesting to pick your brain sometimes! You’re like an encyclopedia! I’ve only recently become interested in baking myself, and quickly became fascinated by the fact that I can manipulate certain ingredients to change the outcome. It can be such a challenge to know what you did wrong when you’re trying to ‘healthify’ goodies(because all the ‘unwanted’ ingredients play such important roles)… But the successes (inbetween some disasters) make it feel worthwhile.

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  97. Carmen

    I love ❤ this recipe and have used it 20 times. Only change, no bread flour, only because I usually don’t have any on hand. Thank you for the post!
    Perfect cookies every time.

    1. Post
  98. haya

    this is what ive been looking for !
    thanx alot bettie

    my question is ,what if i want to use whole wheat flour ?? how to substitute it , i want it to be totally whole wheat flour but i know how stony hard and dense it will turn out !
    what is the other ingredient to modify when using this flour for cookies ?? as i want to make oat whole wheat chocolate chips cookies , i really love and enjoy these nutty and oaty flovors <3

    thanx in advance !

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  100. Tashbobosh

    Mine turned out thicker. I followed the recipe to. “T” . I made this recipe many times before and had great success. Not sure why this time they turned out fluffy. I still give it 5 stars as I have made it many times before this mess up and they turned out great.

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