My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies Overview
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Skills Used: Brown butter for baking, How to Toast Pecans
Today I am sharing with you my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I developed this recipe in 2010 when I couldn’t find a cookie recipe that fit my definition of the best chocolate chip cookie.
This is the recipe that also led me to starting an online cookie company that went viral. I couldn’t make these cookies fast enough to keep up! I guarded the recipe for many years, but decided to share it a few years ago because I have no desire to actually run a cookie company again.
I know a lot of you are probably skeptical at my claim that these are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. There are so many recipes out there making the same claim! But I will say, if you love a more grown up chocolate chip cookie that is rich in flavor, has lots of texture, and a good hit of saltiness, then this recipe is for you!
What Makes these my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies?
- Brown butter for incredible depth of flavor and toasty notes
- Ground oats for lots of chew and texture
- Dark brown sugar for more chew and caramel notes
- Lots of good vanilla
- Dark or bittersweet chocolate that stays soft and melty
- The cookies stay nice and thick
- A good hit of salt to balance the sweetness
They have everything you could want in a cookie. Just the right amount of crunchy bits on the outside and an incredibly chewy inside.
They also have an extreme depth of flavor. The perfect mix of sweet, salty and richness.
These cookies also feel a little bit fancy but not so much so that they lose that rustic homeyness that all chocolate chip cookies should have. In my opinion, they are just perfect. So let’s dive into my detailed tutorial for making these seriously incredible chocolate chip cookies!
How to make my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
I do need to preface this recipe and tutorial by saying that these are not the cookies you make when you have a spur of the moment craving for cookies. These are special occasion cookies. These are “I need to impress someone” cookies.
The reason these are not everyday chocolate chip cookies is that they are a little pricey to make and they also take some time commitment. But if you are dedicated to those two things, these are so worth it.
Step 1: Brown the Butter
The recipe starts with unsalted butter. It is a bit more butter than most recipes call for, but it helps with the richness of these cookies. The butter is browned at least several hours before making the cookies so that it has time to cool before being added to the dough. You can also brown the butter the night before.
There are a lot of food trends, and browned butter in baked goods is arguably one of the biggest. I discovered it in 2009 and have never looked back. Brown butter can elevate your basic chocolate chip cookies so much!
How to Brown the Butter
If you are not familiar with how to brown butter, heat butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan and continue cooking until the milk fats fall to the bottom of the pan and begin browning.
You will start to smell the butter when it is getting close to browning. It will smell nutty and then will start turning an amber color. You want it to be a fairly deep amber color, but watch it closely because it can burn quickly. This whole process takes about 15 minutes.
After the butter is brown, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. You don’t want to use hot or even warm butter in this recipe because you won’t be able to cream it with the sugar and it will result in really greasy cookies.
Step 2: Toast the Pecans (optional, but highly recommended)
Immediately after browning the butter, it is time to toast the pecans so that they can also cool before making the dough. The pecans are technically optional in this recipe, but I find them crucial.
Pecans add another contrast in texture, they contribute to the savory aspect, and by toasting them they create an additional depth of flavor. But if you are allergic or absolutely hate nuts in cookies, you can leave them out. The cookies will still be amazing!
I used to be totally against nuts in cookies, but when creating this recipe I couldn’t go back after I tried them with the pecans. I have also converted quite a few no-nut cookie purists with this recipe.
How to Toast the Pecans
To toast pecans, put them in a dry pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, paying close attention so they don’t burn. The pecans will become very fragrant once they are toasted. Remove from heat and allow to cool before making the dough.
Step 3: Cream the Butter and Sugar Together
Once the butter has come to room temperature and is starting to become solid again, you can start making the cookie dough. The batter starts by creaming the butter and sugar. One of the things that makes these cookies so special is using all dark brown sugar in the dough.
Dark brown sugar has more molasses in it than light brown sugar. This creates so much depth of flavor, richness, and most importantly, chew in the cookies!
Beat together the sugar and butter for about 5 minutes until it is pale in color and fluffy. Creaming the butter and sugar together well is important for the texture and it also increases the volume of the dough. This means, more cookies!
Step 4: Add Egg and Good Vanilla!
Once the butter and sugar are creamed together well, its time to mix in the egg! Not much else to say about that!
Beat in the room temperature egg until completely incorporated.
Next up is the vanilla! The vanilla is an important element in what makes these cookies the best. I always use a really good quality vanilla like Nielsen-Massey vanilla or you can even make homemade vanilla extract for a fraction of the price!
Really, any vanilla will do. But we’re using a good amount of it in this recipe so if you can, get the good stuff!
Add the best quality vanilla you can afford into the batter and mix until combined.
Step 5: Mix in the Dry Ingredients
I always add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the batter before the flour. I find if you mix them in before adding the flour it will evenly distribute them without needing to dirty an extra bowl to mix dry ingredients together.
The combination of both baking soda and baking powder in this cookie gives it a little more tenderness and helps keep the cookie a bit taller.
Also, a note about salt: You want to use kosher salt or a medium coarse sea salt. These salts will hold their shape when mixed and baked and will not totally dissolve in the batter like table salt will. You don’t want the whole batter to be salty, you just want little flecks of salt mixed throughout to balance the flavors.
Mix in the baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt until combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix again.
The main structure for these cookies is a combination of both all-purpose flour and ground oats. You can technically use store bought oat flour for this recipe, but I prefer to pulse oats in my food processor because I like to keep a little more texture to the oats.
Ground oats or oat flour is going to add a really nice oaty flavor to the cookies and will also add some texture and chew without these becoming oatmeal cookies.
Add the flour and ground oats into the mixing bowl and mix until almost completely absorbed. This should only take about 15-20 seconds of mixing.
Step 6: Add the Mix-ins
The quality of chocolate is extremely important in my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. My all time favorite chocolate chips are Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. These chocolate chips don’t have the same stabilizers in them that other chocolate chips do. This means they stay soft and melty in the cookies for a really long time and never get really hard.
I think dark or bittersweet chocolate works best in these cookies. But if you like a sweeter chocolate, I suggest getting a good quality chocolate bar and chopping it up for the cookies. Most chocolate chips don’t really melt, but chocolate bars will and it makes a huge difference!
Add the chocolate chips or chunks and the chopped toasted pecans. Fold the mix-ins in to evenly distribute and to finish mixing in the flour.
Step 6: Scoop the Cookie Dough
I think the size of the cookie is also an important part of what makes the ultimate chocolate chip cookies. Scooping large mounds of dough allows the cookies to stay thick and have crispy edges and a chewy center.
I use a large cookie scoop that is 3 TBSP in size. It makes big, bakery style cookies. I also keep the mounds rounded so the cookies stay nice and thick.
If you do not have a scoop you can use a measuring cup and slightly flatten out the bottom of the cookie, keeping the top rounded, and place them on the cookie sheets.
Only place 8 cookies per sheet pan. Too many cookies will not allow them to bake evenly and will cause the cookies to spread out more when they are baking.
Step 7: Garnish the Cookies and Bake
Before the cookies go into the oven, I like to garnish them. We’re going for ultimate here right?
I sprinkle the cookies with a bit more kosher salt or flaky sea salt. I also like to add a few more chocolate chips on top so that the chocolate is really visible when they come out of the oven.
I readily admit that I have had a lot of really awesome cookies and I have tried all the big recipes out there that claim to be the best. And I may be a bit biased, but I have yet to find a recipe that tops this one according to my taste preferences.
Be prepared to be asked to make these all the time if you ever share them with family or friends. I have a few family members that I do not live near anymore that are probably jumping for joy right now knowing that they can now make these themselves.
I think they have the best of all cookie worlds. Slightly crunchy on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, with all kinds of complexity in flavor. If you do try them please let me know what you think and if they are your ultimate cookie!
My Ultimate Chocolate chip cookies
This is arguably the best ultimate chocolate chip cookies ever! The cookies are thick, and slightly crisp on the outside and incredibly chewy on the inside and made with brown butter and a good hit of flaky salt!
- 1 stick + 1 TBSP (9 TBSP, 126 gr) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
- 3/4 cup (70 gr) chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
- 3/4 cup (147 gr) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp (7ml) good vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1 cup (140 gr) good quality chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I like the ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips or a chopped dark chocolate bar)
- 1 cup (120 gr) ground oats or oat flour (*see note)
- 1 cup (120 gr) all-purpose flour
Note: There are a lot of in depth details in the written post about how I make these cookies. I highly suggest reading through it if you have the time.
- Brown the Butter: At least several hours before baking the cookies, cut the butter up into small pieces and put it in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and start boiling. Stir frequently until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty. Pour the brown butter into a bowl and set aside to cool until solid.
- Toast the Pecans: Put the pecans in a dry pan and place over medium heat. Stir frequently for a few minutes until the nuts smell toasty. Remove from the heat to cool before making the dough.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (180 C). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the cooled & solidified butter and dark brown sugar on medium/high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add Egg and Vanilla: Add the egg and the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Mix in the baking soda, baking powder, and salt until evenly distributed. Add the flour and ground oats or oat flour to the mixing bowl. Mix until just absorbed, only about 15-20 seconds. You don't want to over-mix the dough.
- Add Mix-Ins: Add the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and the chopped pecans. Fold in until evenly distributed. The dough will be very thick.
- Scoop rounded mounds of dough (about 3 TBSP each) and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Garnish: Top each cookie with a few more chocolate chips or chocolate pieces and sprinkle with some coarse salt.
- Bake one sheet pan at a time for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are set and the centers look slightly under baked. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet pans before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Prep Ahead: You can make the dough and scoop into cookies and freeze them. Store in a freezer ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Bake the frozen dough balls at 325 F (160 F) for 16-18 minutes.
*You can make homemade oat flour by putting rolled or quick oats in a food processor and pulsing until a coarse meal.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 486
140 Comments on “My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies”
I baked these to give out as xmas gifts along with 2 other ‘healthier’ cookies and these were by far the show stoppers! Mums were asking me how i got them to look like they did as they were never able to bake ones like them. I wasn’t able to get oat flour so i blended oat bran till it was fine (not flour fine, but good enough). As a result they turned out crumbly with a chew from the oat bran. Flavour was really good. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I’m a chef and i hate baking, but these turned out amazing. These are my new go to cookie!
Aren’t they just the best? So glad you and your loved ones enjoyed them, Margaret!
I logged on to your site originally because you chatted about the importance of the Bakers Precentage and it’s advantages. Allowing comparisons …… then came your recipes, volume only.
I developed many of the recipes published on this site before I went to culinary school and became trained in baker’s percentages. Any new recipes that I publish do include weight measurements and I am in the process of converting all recipes as well, which is a huge project. If there are any specific recipes you are interested in weights on, you can let me know and I will do those soon. Thanks!
You mentioned in your brown butter directions that water is lost during browning process during evaporation and that additional liquid should be added to compensate that. In this recipe, what is the liquid that is replacing that loss in water? I am thinking of tweaking it to add brewed espresso for a coffee flavor but I’m not sure which ingredient I’m supposed to be tweaking.
Hi Stefan! My notes about replacing liquid in a recipe when you brown the butter is specifically for when you are using brown butter in a baking recipe that was written to be used with regular butter. This recipe was written specifically to be made with brown butter so the extra liquid is not needed because I created the ratios of the flour to work without it. The main moisture in this recipe is from the eggs. If you do want to add some espresso flavor I would suggest using instant espresso hydrated into your eggs for the flavor. If you are set on adding brewed espresso then I would suggest adding a few more tablespoons of flour to offset the extra moisture. I hope that helps!
If you don’t have oat flour can you just use the AP flour in place of the oat flour?
Hi LaTasha, The oat flour is crucial for the texture of these cookies and all-purpose flour is not a direct substitute. You can make your own oat flour by putting rolled or quick oats in a food processor or blender and blend until it is a coarse flour consistency.
Pingback: What to Do This Weekend: What's on Tap - Lulus.com Fashion Blog
It looks like you used light brown sugar from the images?
Hi Mary! I used dark brown muscavado sugar in the images. Possibly the lighting is making it look lighter to you, but you can use dark or light brown sugar. I always use dark brown because it gives them the most depth of flavor and the most chew!
Should I measure the butter and then brown it or should I brown the butter than measure 1 cup + 2 TBSP?
Hi Deanna, Because this recipe reads “1 cup + 2 TBSP butter, browned and cooled” you will measure it before you brown it. If it read “1 cup + 2 TBSP browned butter, cooled” then you would measure after it is browned. Hope that helps!
Can’t wait to try these! Can the dough be frozen for later use and have the same texture after baking?
Hi Maria! Yes they can be. I bake them from frozen for about 15-16 minutes! Always have some in my freezer!
It’s just like you said, my family is requesting an encore performance! These really are the BEST THE BOMB! Never heard of using brown butter in cookies. However, since tasting the “gold” butter, I’ve been using that butter for everything from toast to veggies. What a difference . Also, the tip for making oar flour! Thanks so much for sharing.
I’m so happy to hear you and your family love them so much Nancy!
Can you chill the butter in the refrigerator to speed up it’s cooling?
Absolutely! I do that often, but I wait for it to cool slightly first because I have had a bowl break from the heat change going into the fridge really hot.
In your discussion about the kind of chocolate chips to use there is this sentence “ Mix in 2 cups chocolate chips or chunks and 1 1/2 cups pecans before mixing in the flour“. But in the recipe it states 2 cups of pecans. Which amount should be used? Thanks you all your hard work on this recipe and sharing it.
Hi Curtis! Thanks so much for that catch! I will update the recipe. Truthfully, I rarely measure them anymore. But it is typically a little less volume than the chips so I would go with the 1 1/2 cups.
Pingback: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies *BEST EVER* — Salt & Baker
Hi Bettie! I made your cookies today. I put them in the fridge for no longer than 2 hours. When I baked a batch test, it didn’t flatten at all. It stays in the same shape. The taste is so delicious and I can’t wait to eat them. Please help. Thank you.
Hi Jedi, unfortunately this dough really doesn’t do well with chilling. If you really want to chill it I suggest scooping the cookies first and then chilling in an airtight container. Let it come back to room temp for about an hour before baking. It is already a very thick dough, so chilling will make them not spread at all.
These are unbelievable rounds of sheer pleasure.
I do think anyone attempting these delights should be required to read “your story”
That would also cut down on unnecessary questions. Not to mention, it is a good read !
Many thanks from me, my family, neighbor, and Grits-my Golden Retriever that gobbled the dropped cookie ,before I could say ‘cookie’ !! Yes, I know all about chocolate and dogs, but I truly will not fret about 1 cookie being eaten by a 105 pound “Lap Dog”
This will surely be a BakerBettie ChocolateChipCookieChristmas !
Hello! Would you consider these not a sweet cookie? Not sure what happened to mine but they tasted off to me.. which makes me wonder if they’re just not as sweet as some cookies? lol I don’t know maybe my taste buds are off! Mine also did not spread quite as much as yours but I’m sure that’s my fault. I did really enjoy the texture though! Love your site and I’ll definitely have to give these another shot!
Hi Catherine! I wouldn’t call these not sweet, but they are definitely not as sweet as a traditional cookie like the nestle tollhouse recipe. I find that the kind of chocolaty can really be the thing that changes that here. What percentage did you use? I usually use the 60% ghiradelli chocolate and if you are used to a more sweet chocolate this might be too bitter for you. Might try using a semi-sweet or milk chocolate next time!
I have to make these!!! It’s happening this fall.
Pingback: How to Toast Pecans on the Stove Top and in the Oven | Baker Bettie
Can I use walnuts instead of pecans? That’s what I have. Thanks.
Hi Nellie! Of course!
Hello, Thank you so much for all your great recipes! And I have learnt so much about baking from you.
Since my husband is pro keto, May I use almond flour instead of oat flour in this choc chip recipe?
Hi Martina! I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes! I haven’t tested this recipe with almond flour and it typically isn’t a 1:1 substitute for oat flour so I’m just not sure. Also, the all-purpose flour in the recipe is the main structure and I think it would need a lot of tweaks to change it over to all almond flour.
I read the posts, recipe says 1 stick and 1 tbs butter, 1 cup of chocolate chips, 3/4 cup of pecans. Some of the posts said 1 cup plus 2 tbs butter, 2 cups chips, 1 and 1/2 cups of pecans. What recipe are these posts referring to?? I’m confused??
Hi Angela, they may be referring to an outdated version of this recipe. Please use the quantities of ingredients listed in the recipe section of this post. Thanks!
Pingback: The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Live virals
hi, i am so excited to make these! we have a nut allergy in the house so i want to omit the pecans and wonder if any adjustments need to be made for that? thanks so much!!
Today i made these cookies and i loved them. And i dont even like chocolate chip cookies. The next time i am going to add a little less chocolate chips. I have a question: when we make brown butter, do we put all the small brown pieces in the batter? Usually i dont.
I’m so glad you liked them! Yes, you should add the small brown pieces of browned butter to the mix. That’s where the most flavor lives! Some recipes ask you to sift those pieces out and not use it but that’s usually only for the sake of appearance.
Re: Jedi’s query about chilling the dough. You advised that she let it come back to room temp before baking but your recipe says you can bake the frozen dough balls. Doesn’t make sense to me
These cookies can be baked directly from frozen just add a couple minutes to your bake time.
I am confused about the salt. If I were to use table salt, would that ruin the batter. I have not seen medium kosher salt in my grocery. Please clarify what is the best option….is regular koshe salt okay? Thanks.
Regular table is ok! It won’t ruin the batter.
Hi! I would like to make these cookies, however; it says 1 stick of butter and 1 TBS. Then the picture shows about a cup of browned butter, and the reviews are mentioning a cup. As far as I know, one stick of butter = 1/2 cup? Could you please clarify how much butter to use for this recipe…. seems like one cup would be correct based on other cookie recipes, but because it is also using oat flour I would like to confirm. Thank you!
Hi Sara! It is 1/2 cup (1 stick) for this recipe. A few years after I originally published it, I updated the recipe with 1/2 the amount I originally published it with because most people don’t need a cookie recipe that makes 2 dozen plus cookies. And if you do want that many, you can always double it! Hope that helps!
I have now made this recipe 3 times and every time they have remained in the scooped out shape, they are not flattening out at all. The taste is great but why are they not flattening out? I follow exact instructions every time. Please help.
The dough is pretty dense for these cookies. If you’d like them a little flatter you can press them out with your hands before baking.
I made these today and they were horrible! It was a total waste of time and ingredients.
I followed the recipe exactly and I am a very experienced baker, and have baked professionally, so I know I didn’t make any mistakes.
They didn’t spread at all (and, no, I didn’t chill the dough), they had to bake much longer than stated, and even then, they were kind of raw inside. The texture of the cookie was nasty, too, kind of grainy.
I have no idea what happened and why there are any positive reviews for these. Very disappointing.
Hi Jeff, I’m sorry you didn’t like them! The grainy texture comes from the oat flour which I really enjoy, however you can replace it with all-purpose if you don’t like the texture. It’s true these cookies don’t spread very much, you can always press down on them with your fingers before baking to flatten a bit.
If so many people had positive results, and you are one of the few throwing a tantrum like a two year old, maybe you are the problem, Bekasinski. You ever think of that?
P.S. I doubt anybody believes you are “a very experienced baker, and have baked professionally.” Quit lying to pretend you didn’t fail at following instructions, twit. Have the day you deserve, Jeff.
I made these cookies without pecans (did not have any, but will include them next time). They were exactly what I have been striving to achieve. The browned butter added a delicate but delightful flavor, and the cookies were not thin and crunchy, but thick and chewy. A wonderful recipes that I will return to time and time again.
So glad you liked them!
Had to make it with light brown sug and no peacans from my supplies. Fucking decadent, best cookies ive ever made. I would pay for these. Going to try it with dark brown and peacans once the opportunity arrives. Can only imagine the elevation of texture and taste as they are already beyond anything else.
Glad you liked it!
Oh my goodness!!! Best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever baked. Absolutely perfect in all respects. Thanks so much for sharing the knowledge behind the deliciousness. The brown butter is amazing! What a difference it makes in the flavor of the cookie.
You’re welcome! So glad you like it!
The dough was almost crumbly and did not incorporate the nuts and chocolate chips well.
I pressed it into a parchment lined pan to bake ‘bars’ since it was unscoopable. The recipe was altered using 1/2c oat flour & 1/2c spelt flour
b/c I didn’t have enough oat flour. Did this sub make the dough dry?
Thanks for sharing your work for perfection. Your a jewel for adding the weights, thanks. I will remember your recipe and hope to try these when time permits. Have a great day.
Best chocolate chip cookies I have tried. I have baked several batches, and my family and friends agree with me, they are the best. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
So happy you like them!
Do we use the solids in the brown butter, or only the clarified portion?
I have baked these cookies no less than a dozen times and NEVER been disappointed. I wondered about adding water to compensate for its loss during browning, thanks for the clarification. The lack of spreading was noted but does not pose a problem.
The sprinkled salt, chocolate chips and browned butter create an unrivaled culinary taste sensation. BTW I add a smidgen of spelt flour which compliments the symphony of taste tones. Thanks for publishing this recipe; it is my go-to chocolate chip cookie.
I’m so glad you like them! Spelt flour is an interesting idea! Thanks for sharing!
Recipe looks good. I’m going to try baking the cookies
they’re the best!
Are you sure the calories are close to 500? I added up the ingredients and that seems way high.