Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies
These easy chocolate chip cookies only require 6 ingredients: butter, flour, sugar, egg, salt, and chocolate chips!
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Techniques Used: The Creaming Method for Cookies
These are the easiest chocolate chip cookies and can be in the oven in less than 10 minutes with very few ingredients.
While I love a fancy and over-the-top cookie, like my favorite recipe for ultimate chocolate chip cookies, sometimes I just don’t have the energy and time. This is the recipe that will appease your cookie craving with the littlest effort!
NOTE: If you are wanting an easy vegan recipe, check out my post specifically for Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Why We Love this Recipe
- Only six ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry!
- No baking soda or baking powder required! Perfect for when you run out of either!
- It creates very classic chocolate chip cookies with slightly crisp edges and a soft and chewy center.
- It’s all made in one bowl! No need to mix dry ingredients separately.
Ingredients and Substitutions
While you will find many recipes that include a lot more ingredients than this one. This simple chocolate chip cookie recipe only requires the basic ingredients that are necessary.
Butter is the most traditional fat used in making chocolate chip cookies, however, some recipes will also call for shortening.
Butter adds to the richness, tenderness, and moistness of the cookie. Additionally, the water content in the butter will evaporate out in the oven helping to lift and leaven the cookie.
This recipe is created for the use of regular butter, salted or unsalted. You can substitute margarine, shortening, or vegan butter, but the texture and results will vary.
Note: It is traditional to use softened butter for cookies and to cream it together with the sugar. However, if you do not have a mixer you can use melted butter. Make sure the butter is not hot and stir it together with the brown sugar. This will result in thinner cookies but it will also make them a little chewier!
Sugar obviously works to sweeten the cookie, but it also adds to the structure and texture. Brown sugar gives a cookie more chewiness due to its molasses content while white sugar will keep a cookie crisp.
This recipe calls for the use of only brown sugar. You can use light or dark brown sugar depending on what you have on hand or your preference for texture. Light brown sugar will produce a cookie that has slightly crispy edges while dark brown sugar will give you very soft cookies. Granulated sugar does not tend to work well in this specific recipe.
An egg works to help bind the ingredients together as well as add moisture and tenderness. Eggs also help to leaven (make things rise) which is why this recipe works without the help of baking soda or baking powder.
This recipe has been made successfully with vegan egg substitutions (such as Ener-G egg replacer, flax egg, or chia egg) however, results will vary. Baking is science! Check out my recipe for 6 ingredient vegan chocolate chip cookies if you are looking to veganize these!
Flour is the main structure of chocolate chip cookies. One of the best things about this recipe is that you can use all-purpose flour (plain flour), self-rising flour, or bread flour. All of them work!
All-purpose flour will give you a very classic chocolate chip cookie like you might associate with the Nestle Tollhouse recipe. Self-rising flour will give you a cakier cookie, while bread flour will give you a chewier cookie.
It is very important that you measure your flour correctly so that your cookies have the right texture. I recommend either measuring your flour by weight using a kitchen scale or measuring using the spoon and level method. To do this lightly spoon it into measuring cups (do not pack down!) and level the cup off with a knife. This will give you enough flour without getting too much!
You can’t make a chocolate chip cookie without chocolate! Of course, chips are the most classic choice, but chocolate chunks or chopped chocolate work as well! Chips will hold their shape more and don’t get quite as melty. I find that the best chocolate chip cookies use chopped chocolate or chunks which will create those chocolate puddles that are so decadent!
The type of chocolate used is where you can really customize the flavor here! Semisweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips are what kids tend to prefer more. But if you’re making these for adults go ahead and grab that bittersweet chocolate or dark chocolate! Hey, you could even use white chocolate chips! Whatever you decide don’t forget the glass of milk!
Salt is a necessity in any baked good as the flavor will be completely flat and taste overly sweet without it! If you used salted butter or self-rising flour, then the dough will already have salt in it. However, if you used unsalted butter and all-purpose flour or bread flour then you definitely need to add a bit of salt.
You can use fine sea salt, kosher salt, or table salt in these cookies. I prefer to use non-iodized salt in all of my baking, but use what you have on hand. I also love to sprinkle a bit of course salt over the top before they are baked to really give a kick of that salty
Note: If you do need to bake without salt due to health reasons, the cookies will bake up absolutely fine without it!
Vanilla extract is very common in chocolate chip cookies and can absolutely be added if you have it on hand and want the flavor. I call it an optional ingredient because it is not needed for the structure of the cookies and the flavor is still great without it!
You can also always add nuts like pecans or walnuts if you like! I like to toast them on the stove for a few minutes in a dry pan over medium heat before adding them to my dough as it really improves the flavor of the nuts.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Cookies
- Scoop your dough with a cookie scoop to get cookies that are all the same size and perfectly round!
- Pull your cookies out of the oven when you see golden brown edges but the center still looks slightly underbaked.
- Let your cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes to solidify before moving them to a wire rack. They will continue cooking slightly.
- For the perfect chocolate chip cookie look, add a few chips or chunks on top of the balls of dough before baking.
Here are some common issues people tend to encounter when making chocolate chip cookies and how you can remedy them!
Why are my cookies spreading too much?
Cookies spreading too much is typically a result of your oven not being hot enough or the pan being overcrowded. It can also happen if there is too much butter in the dough, but that is not as common of a problem.
If you end up with flat cookies, make sure your oven is really up to temperature by using an oven thermometer. Also, make sure you keep the oven door shut until right towards the end of the baking process and only put about 9 cookies per cookie sheet.
Why aren’t my cookies spreading out enough?
If your cookies are staying in mounds and not spreading out during the baking process this can be an issue with your oven temperature being too hot or too much flour in your dough. Make sure you measure your flour either by weight or use the spoon and level method, making sure you do not pack it down into your measuring cup. You can also turn down the heat in your oven slightly to help them spread more.
How do I keep my cookies soft after baking?
To keep your cookies soft and moist after baking make sure you do not overbake them. You should remove them from the oven when the edges are set and the middle still looks slightly underbaked. I also find that storing them in an airtight container will help soften them more.
Some recipes will call for an extra egg yolk to help keep cookies soft, but I find this typically isn’t necessary. Proper storage is really the biggest contributing factor to keeping cookies soft.
- 113 grams (½ cup, 1 stick) softened butter, salted or unsalted (room temperature)
- 150 grams (¾ cup) light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 150 grams (1 ¼ cup) all-purpose flour
- 150 grams (1 cup) chocolate chips or chunks, any kind your prefer or have on hand
- Measure out all of your ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC.
- Prepare a sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
To Make the Cookies
- In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter (113 grams/ ½ cup) and brown sugar (150 grams, ¾ cup) until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Alternatively: if you do not have a mixer you can melt your butter until it is liquid but not hot and mix it together with the sugar. This will give you a thinner and chewier cookie.
- Add the egg (1 large) and vanilla (1 teaspoon), if using, to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Stir in the flour (150 grams, 1 ¼ cup), salt (¼ teaspoon), and the chocolate chips or chunks (150 grams, 1 cup) just until combined. Do not mix for a long time after adding the flour, it will create cookies that are too tough or cakey.
- Scoop the dough into mounds about 2 tablespoons each onto the prepared cookie sheet. Do not put more than 9 cookies per sheet.
- Bake one sheet at a time at 350ºF/175ºC until set on the edges and the middle still looks a little bit undercooked. About 8-12 minutes. (these cookies do not brown as much as other cookies because of the lack of baking soda or baking powder.)
- Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Cookies will continue to cook on the sheets for a few minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- This dough works very well to make ahead and keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container to bake off when you would like fresh cookies. I like to pre-portion it into balls of dough and then bake straight from the refrigerator adding 1 more minute to the bake time.
- You can also portion out the dough and put the dough balls store in the freezer in a ziplock bag for up to 3 months. To bake from frozen, reduce the baking temperature to 325ºF/160ºC and increase the baking time to 15-18 minutes.
- Flour: If you do not have all-purpose flour on hand you can substitute in self-rising flour or bread flour. If you use self-rising flour leave out the salt.
- Butter: You can use melted butter if you prefer a chewier cookie and do not have a mixer. Make sure it is not hot before stirring together with the brown sugar.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0