Baker Bettie

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Learn how to make perfectly thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies. The science of the chocolate chip cookie is explored to create your perfect cookie! 

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies on a marble slab

All chocolate chip cookies are not created equal. And everyone’s preference for the perfect chocolate chip cookies are definitely not the same.

I posted what I call The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies a while back. In my mind nothing could top them. Crispy on the outside, thick and chewy on the inside. Loaded with dark chocolate and toasted pecans and a decent amount of salt. I am salivating just typing these words. But everyone has their own vision of what creates a perfect cookie. That is what this week is all about!

If you were around yesterday then you already know that I declared this week Chocolate Chip Cookie week! If you weren’t around yesterday then you might want to peruse this post. It’s about math. But math that leads us to cookies. So just suck it up for a moment. Then come back here! Because here is where the cookies are!

The side view of a Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookie

You see that? That up ^ there. That is one thin and crispy cookie! That isn’t just an accident. That takes some knowledge and skill about baking science and math to purposefully do that.

Here’s the rundown:

When a cookie spreads during baking the thinner and crunchier the baked cookie will become. Fat plays an important role in promoting spread of a cookie. A high fat content, and specifically a high butter fat content, will promote spreading. Butter melts at a lower temperature than other fats such as shortening. This promotes faster spreading and prevents the cookie from setting before it becomes flat.

Sugar is equally as important in this thin and crispy game. Sugar begins to liquefy during baking and helps increase spread. However, not all sugar is created equal.

Granulated sugar is going to create a more crispy cookie than cookies with brown sugar. In culinary school we talked a lot about sugar being hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs water. Granulated sugar is the least hygroscopic of other sugars used in baking. It therefore leaves more moisture in the batter that will then evaporate when baked.

We also can’t forget the makeup technique when trying to produce these thin and crispy gems. It is important that the butter and sugar are well creamed in the first step of mixing. This aerates the batter and increases spread.

It is equally important not to mix too much once the flour is added. You don’t want to overdevelop glutens. This will decrease spread because it creates a more stable structure, which is not desirable in this circumstance.

Baking time and temp are also important to note. This isn’t the kind of cookie that we can go underbaked on. It just doesn’t work for crispy. You want a moderately high temp, but not too high. 350F should do the trick. It will allow for the cookie to spread sufficiently before setting, and a longer baking time will ensure the cookie is baked all the way through and will produce a crispy product.

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies on a marble slab

Am I making your head hurt yet? Hopefully not too much!

I want to use baker’s percentages to look at this thin and crispy recipe. If you remember from yesterday, when using baker’s percentages the amount of flour in the recipe is always 100%, not matter how much. The rest of the ingredients are then calculated based off the amount of flour to determine their relative percentage. Again, check out yesterday’s post if you are a little lost here.

The basic formula for finding baker’s percentages is:
weight of ingredient/ (divided by) weight of flour x (multiplied by) 100= baker’s percentage

So when looking at the recipe below to determine the percentage for the granulated sugar you take
248/286=0.86 X 100= 86%

1 1/4 cup (8.75 oz, 248 gr) granulated sugar- 86%
1/4 cup (1.8 oz, 53 gr) brown sugar- 18%
2 sticks (8 oz, 227 gr) unsalted butter- 79%
1 (1.8 oz, 51 gr) large egg- 17%
1 TBSP (0.5 oz, 14 gr) vanilla- 5%
1 tsp (0.2 oz, 5 gr) kosher salt- 2%
1 tsp (7 gr) baking soda- 2.5%
2 1/4 cup (10.1 oz, 286 gr) all purpose flour 100%

When you look at these numbers a few things jump out. The sugar ratio to flour is relatively high. When you add both sugars together you have 104% and a large majority of that is granulated sugar which, as we talked about, will retain less moisture creating a crispy cookie.

The butter percentage is also high. This will increase our spread and allow more surface area to create crispness.

The moisture content is also very low. Really the only moisture in the recipe is from the egg and the vanilla, and a little bit in the butter. Less moisture keeps a cookie more crisp. All of this combined with the makeup that will be in the recipe instructions below should produce a very thin and crispy cookie.

It’s science! The best kind of science. Cookie science!

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies stacked up

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies on a marble slab

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 Cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cup (245 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (56 gr) brown sugar
  • 2 sticks (227 gr) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBSP (14 gr) vanilla
  • 1 tsp (5 gr) kosher salt
  • 1 tsp (7 gr) baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cup (270 gr) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (340 gr) chocolate chips of your choice (I use dark chocolate)


Note: There are a few things that are important for making these cookies turn out very flat and crispy. Make sure you measure your flour properly by lightly spooning it into your measuring cup without packing it down at all and then level it off (or better yet, measure by weight!). It is also important that your oven is not too hot or the cookies will set before they have time to spread. If you think your oven heats hotter than its set temperature, turn the temperature down to 325 F and bake for several minutes longer. You also want to make these into very large cookie mounds so that they will spread out completely and get crispy.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (177 C). Set a rack in the middle position in your oven.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium high speed. Cream for a full 5 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl periodically throughout. This amount of creaming time will ensure your cookies will spread. Reduce the speed and add the egg and the vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl until thoroughly combined. Mix just until combined, do not overmix! Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop large mounds of dough (about 3 TBSP each, the size is important) onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat. It is best to only scoop about 9 cookies per sheet to allow enough room for spreading.
  6. Bake one cookie sheet at a time on the center rack of the oven at 350 F (177 C) for 15-18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
  7. Remove cookies from baking sheet onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247


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112 comments on “Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Can I make these into mini cookies?

  2. Wow. These turned out perfect! I’ve looked years for just the right texture of thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie… this is it! Will definitely become a family favorite! 

  3. What Dana said in her review below is spot on. She should’ve been the one to write the description for these cookies, because her review is precisely how my cookies turned out. Nothing like the description. I tried to attach a photo of these THICK chocolate chip cookies, but *surprise* the website won’t accept the picture I took on my iPhone. Note that I used all premium ingredients and followed the recipe exactly. 

    • Hi Kim! What a bummer, I’m so sorry to hear that these didn’t work out for you the way they should! Since this is a tested recipe, made many times with success by me and quite a few other people, I would love to help you troubleshoot! Do you by chance have a kitchen scale? If so, I would highly recommend measuring your flour by weight next time as the way you describe them sounds like you possibly ended up with too much flour in your cookies. If you do not have a kitchen scale, make sure you lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cups without packing it down at all and then level it off. If you did measure your flour this way, it is possible that your oven is heating hotter than what you set it at. You might try turning it down by 25 F or if you have an oven thermometer check that it make sure that it is heating to your set temperature. If the oven is too hot, the cookies will set in a mound before they have a chance to spread out. I’ll add some more notes to the recipe for other people to check these things so they don’t run into the same issues. As far as not being able to upload a picture, this is a feature I very recently added to the site and need to keep the size limit of the images low or the webpage will take too long to load. So sorry you had issues uploading it!

    • Do you roll these into balls or flatten them.

      • I did both…if you flatten them, they definitely come out thinner. Mine were nice and thin and round. About 4-1/2″ across. Not three tablespoons of dough, though. Probably half that.

  4. Hi Bettie!

    If I added walnuts, how would that affect the chemistry of crispness?


  5. Girl. Thank ya. These were JUST RIGHT in every way. Thank you for explaining everything in such detail. I kind of nerd out with things like that

  6. Pingback: Cookie Science: How to Make Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

  7. Can Xylitol be used in the place of granulated sugar?

    • Hi Sophie! I unfortunately do not have any experience baking with xylitol. You can definitely try it, but just be away that it functions very different than sugar so it is hard to know how it will work without testing it. It absorbs more liquid than sugar so you might want to try adding a little milk and baking the cookies for a shorter period of time.

  8. This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve made. My husband and I have differing opinions on the ideal chocolate chip cookie, so i’ve gone through several recipes trying to find one that pleases us both. This recipe somehow hits the mark for both of us. It’s great!

  9. I’ve been baking chocolate chip cookies since I was 14 years old.
    I always used the Tollhouse cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle’s semi-sweet bag. Sometimes they were exactly right, often they were barely edible.
    Yesterday, I used your recipe and made the best cookie I baked in 50 years! I never knew about the white to brown sugar ratio and it’s effect on crispness. Thank you!

  10. I have been baking for 20+ years and my entire family said these are the BEST COOKIES EVER.

    Baker Bettie I love everything you do, and trying all your recipes! Also enjoying the bread cooking class! Keep the content coming!

  11. These are the best cookies I’ve ever made. Came out perfect. I’ve always had issues with my cookies being cake-like, but these were amazing. Everyone who at them said they were perfect. Thank you for the recipe. This will be my go-to from now on.

  12. I’m sitting here eating these cookies right now. I’ve been baking these cookies for at least 8 years now. Absolutely love them. Thanks for doing the science to make this a perfect cookie.

  13. O.k., I’ve literally been trying FOR YEARS to find a thin & crispy chocolate chip cookie recipe and have failed countless times!~ Well, there have been many times where I THINK I’ve found “it”, but an hour or so later I check in the cookie jar only to find another wimpy cookie 🙁 Now, when I think I’ve achieved success I don’t start bragging about it until a couple hours later. Guess what?!~ I just checked the jar and the cookie are still crispy!!!!!!! As another reviewer mentioned that she’d tried the somehow highly acclaimed recipe using corn syrup (?!) only to have them turn out strangely sticky and chewy…that was the last one I tried before this one. Thank you so much for sharing and explaining how to accomplish the crisp! Now I want to try more of your recipes!

  14. HI!
    I left a review already, but wanted to make sure you saw this, so I will leave comments here too. I just baked these tonight and they came out exactly as you said! I love this cookie science! I have been baking a long time and never could make a cookie that would turn out crisp, let alone be good the next day. I can’t believe how delicious and perfect they are, nice and thin and super crisp! Now, I can’t seem to make a crisp butter cookie either, so do you have a recipe for that? I could use this recipe without chips, sure, but wonder if you have anything else to share? I am really excited and grateful to you for putting this one out there for me to find. These are the best cookies I have ever made! You are so smart! Thanks a million!

  15. I am wanting to make a butter cookie like this, thin and crisp. What if I used all white sugar and no brown, just add the amount of brown to the white amount? Would that work? Hope to hear from you because my husband wants more cookies NOW! Thanks!

  16. My daughter and I just tried this recipe today! I’ve been trying to find a crispy chocolate chip cookie to bake for the hubby as he’s not a fan of fluffy or cakey ones like I am. These are definitely crispy, but for some reason mine aren’t as thin as yours, and after baking 18 minutes, the middle is still soft :/ I have saved the recipe to try again on my own, as we may have struggled with some measurements through the learning process.

  17. They are delicious! I may add in a tad less salt next time. And I may have accidentally made them a tad bigger than called for this time (I had 16 per batch). But I would make no other changes. They were amazing and that is coming from someone who struggles with baking.

  18. I make these all the time now and we love them. Thank you so much for the recipe! One comment, though, is that even when I make them smaller, like normal sized cookies, they still spread and get very thin and crispy. I don’t really think they need to be 3 tablespoons. That is HUGE. I think I use about 1 tablespoon per cookie. I get about 30 cookies or more that way. Gone in about three days! Making again tonight. Thank you!

  19. These are what I’ve been looking for. Crispy cookie perfection. Just change your chip of choice. I made traditional choc chip and butterscotch chip. I’ve deleted all other chip cookie recipes and pins. I have found my chip cookie soulmate. 

  20. Chocolate chip cookies are tough since personal tastes are so different.  I like them thin and crispy so tried the recipe exactly as written.  I thought it was very good, 4.5 stars.  I always double the batch and freeze the dough or the cookies for later consumption because one can never have enough on hand!  The second time I made the recipe, I added an egg, so had a total of 3 eggs in a double-batch and they were perfect for my taste.  My neighbors raved about them and deemed them “the most perfect of chocolate chip cookies.”  It all depends on taste, but this is now my go-to recipe.  Thanks for sharing!

  21. I made these cookies because I wanted to try making a cookie type I am not fond of (thin and crispy). These were not what I expected they were going to be. They were better. They were not as thin as I thought but they were going to be. They were however the thinnest chocolate chip cookie I have made!. The dough was thicker than I expected. I was gentle on the measuring of the flour to be sure not too much was added. The flavor was great. The edges were crunchy and the center was chewy and firm. Really great. Apparently I am a thin chocolate chip cookie lover after all!

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