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- Baker Bettie

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!

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies- Baker Bettie

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- Baker Bettie

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- Baker Bettie

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did you make this recipe?


  • 1 1/4 cup (8.75 oz, 248 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1.8 oz, 53 gr) brown sugar
  • 2 sticks (8 oz, 227 gr) unsalted butter
  • 1 (1.8 oz, 51 gr) large egg
  • 1 TBSP (0.5 oz, 14 gr) vanilla
  • 1 tsp (0.2 oz, 5 gr) kosher salt
  • 1 tsp (7 gr) baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cup (10.1 oz, 286 gr) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips of your choice (I use dark chocolate)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Cream until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce the speed and add the egg and the vanilla. Increase the speed 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) onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat. It is best to only scoop about 6 cookies per sheet to allow enough room for spreading.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating halfway through.
  7. Remove cookies from baking sheet onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
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52 comments on “Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Wow, these remind me of my favorite store bought cookies, Tates. I know how hard it is to achieve a truly thin crispy chocolate chip cookie, I've tried! Thanks for the info and a great recipe!
  2. I've never had Tates, but I hear people talk about them all the time. I'll have to try them. Let me know if you try the recipe and if it works out for you!
  3. I love all chocolate chip cookies, thick 'n chewy and thin 'n crispy. I'd never turn any of them down! Thanks for all the science behind the way the cookie bakes. Pinned so that I can try these! They're beautiful, as are your photos!
    • You are too kind Nancy! I agree with you though. Pretty much all chocolate chip cookies are good cookies. I like them in all forms! Especially right out of the oven!
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  5. These thin & crispy chocolate chip cookies are the best cookies I have ever made and ever eaten !!!! They are perfect in every way and everyone that eats them agrees. Just the right amount of crispy deliciousness and chew. I am so glad I found you !!!
    • Wow! You already made them? That's amazing Donna! Thank you for the feedback! I'm so glad they went over well!
  6. Eeeeee this is too much fun! Generally this is not my kind of cookie (you know I'm a thick/chewy girl like you!), but there are def exceptions-sometimes ya want a little crunch in your cookie!
    • Agree! Sometimes I'm in the mood for it. And I mean, if you put it in front of me I'm going to put it in my face... (that's what she said)
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  8. Do adjustments need to be made for high altitude? I've been in the Denver area for about a year.
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  11. These are absolutely delicious and will be in my permanent rotation. Thanks for sharing!
  12. If I dun wanna make too many cookies so can I divide the recipe to half?
  13. I am trying to replicate a cookie that we bought from a local bakery when I was a kid. Nearly white and very fragile. Made with mini morsels. Not really "crispy" and definitely not chewy, but drier and would easily break into pieces if not handled with care. Would replacing the brown sugar with white sugar get work? Any other modifications? I've tried so many recipes I've lost count. So far yours is the closest!
  14. If you add nuts, will the chemistry be altered enough to make a difference? Will the nuts be better if toasted lightly before adding to the dough? I'll make them first as your recipe reads but always love a nut in cookies.
    • Hi Jean! Nuts will not change the chemistry. The cookies may not be quite as flat, but they will still be flat and crispy. I always toast nuts before adding them into backed goods because it brings out the flavor.
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  16. This is THE WORST cookie recipe ever!!!! I can't believe I wasted an hour of my time and the ingredients making these. I followed the recipe EXACTLY!! If someone wants a crumbly, large pile of "cookie" this is the recipe for them. FAR from thin, this recipe is nothing it claims to be. I am hugely disappointed and will never try your recipes again. I also am curious what cooking school you went to, certainly not the CIA. And although you tout science in your blog, you must have flunked science 101 because these cookies are neither thin nor crisp. :( Sorry to be so negative, but I am just disappointed beyond belief. I do not have a lot of free time and I basically just wasted it on this experiment.
    • Hi BakerBettie, These cookies sound great. To Dana (commentary above), that was the most ridiculous overreaction I have ever heard someone have to a recipe not turning out to their liking. Given that every other reviewer gave BakerBettie's recipe a positive review, I would consider taking some ownership as to why your cookies did not turn out (poor technique, low quality ingredients, faulty oven, etc.). Also, just a reminder, they are just cookies and 'wasting' an hour of your time is not the end of the world. Part of what is enjoyable about homemade chocolate chip cookies (or homemade anything) is the baking process.
  17. I have the 2nd batch of cookies in the oven now. These are delicious and the best cc cookies I have ever made. My husband is going to love these. I didn't make them as big as Bettie; I used a large cookie scoop, so I was able to get 9 cookies on the sheet and baked them for 18 minutes. Thanks Bettie!!!!
  18. do you use light OR dark brown sugar? does it matter which?
  19. p.s. if you want to do 1/2 batch - you split the egg in half?? by weight??
  20. My new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe!!! Excellent!! They are crispy!!! The dough is light and airy so I knew these were going to be different. I made large cookies careful to turn pan halfway thru baking time and allowing extra time to brown up nicely. Love, Love, LOVE!!! The crispy cookie I was looking for and recipe is easy to follow, I made no changes except for allowing 2 or 3 extra minutes baking time. Thank You!!!
  21. Just now tried this recipe! These are absolutely the most perfect chocolate chip cookies I've ever made! Such a classic <3 thank you for the amazing recipe!
  22. I just made a batch of your cookies, they were neither thin nor crispy and i would certainly not describe them as delicious! I have on hand a bag of tates cookies and the batches of your cookies aren"t in the same universe. As another before me has commented a waste of my time,oven space to say nothing of ingredients.
    • Hi Rose! So sorry these didn't work out for you! These cookies have been made and tested many times with the desired results so I'm not sure what went wrong here. Just to help trouble shoot, did you by chance change anything in the recipe? A good number of things could have happened. Measuring flour properly is always a big culprit. Make sure you always lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off. Too much flour could have made the cookies not spread enough. Also, if your oven is cooking at a higher temp than what you set it at (a common problem with ovens) they may not spread as much either. Thanks for the honest feedback. I am going to add this one to my list of recipe videos to make to prevent more user errors.
  23. I consider myself in the top one percent of how many types of chocolate chip cookies an individual has eaten. This recipe is one of the best I have ever made, and consumed. Thank you for sharing.
  24. Is it okay if I completely use brown sugar instead of a mix of granulated and brown?
    • Hi Dee, You can use all brown sugar but the cookies will not be crispy. They will be chewier. If that is okay with you, then go for it! Just know that the white sugar is necessary to get the crispiness in the cookie.
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  26. Best crunchy chocolate chip cookies i've ever made. The recipe is perfect!! I initially did 17 minutes for the first batch. Then i lowered baking time to 16 minutes (15 could be fine too if you they're becoming too brown on the bottom). For the ones that didn't succeed - tough luck. It's really hard to screw this up. Thanks bettie
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  28. I've been looking for recipes to create crunchy chocolate cookies and I've to say that your recipe is the best so far! :3 I really enjoyed the cookies, but I was wondering if I could add less sugar to make it less sweet? However I do know that if I reduce the sugar, the cookies won't be as crunchy :( but anyway, love your recipe!
  29. Awesome crisp chocolate chip cookies! Just made them today. They came out perfect - the only change I made was to use 2 tsp of vanilla rather than 1 TBSP (was afraid the vanilla would overwhelm the flavor, but it prob would have been fine). Have tried many recipes that just didn't quite get it - this one did! So glad I didn't have to try one of the recipes I found that called for light corn syrup - just didn't want to do that. Thank you!!
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  31. It was hot and humid outside so I stayed in and performed a thin & crispy cookie bake off! You have no idea how many recipes I've tried looking for a truly thin AND crisp cookie! Strangely enough, I happened to try this one and the corn syrup recipe. Hands down this was the winner! I really had my doubts about this because the dough was pretty stiff and thick while the corn syrup one was thin and runny. They both baked up about the same thinness, but your recipe was crisp while the corn syrup version was weirdly chewy and sticky. I am going to end my search now, and add this recipe to my cookie collection. Thanks so much!
  32. Baker Bettie, I just tried making these and may I say they are AMAZING!!! I can't wait to make them again this is my new favorite cookie recipe to make! Thank you for sharing you're brilliant!
  33. Hi! I've been looking for a cookie to satisfy my crispy cookie craving for years- nothing has worked until now! I made these this rainy day and I'm in love. Thank you!
  34. Used 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown. Used a box of Milk Duds cut in half and 1 cup Toll House Morsels. Added 1 cup chopped toasted pecans. These are amazing~~~~~
  35. Well.... I never post comments, but I had to in this case. I am in England in the UK and was scouring the internet for a 'crunchy cookie' recipe. Came across this site and there are a number of things I love, I LOVE, that you put your measurements in in grams as well as cups, we usually use scaled here, not cups. I also LOVE that you put in the science about how the cookie spreads, and why its best to use granulated sugar.  My cookies came out just like I wanted to, large, crunchy, amazing quality cookies. And they were so easy. Anyone who has criticised this recipe must be mad or have a very fault oven/pair of eyes. Thanks so much for taking the time to do your blog I am looking forward to using some of your other recipes!!
    • Hi Kate! That is so nice to hear! I am currently working to get all of my recipes updated to include both weight and volume measurements. It is a work in progress. I'm so happy you liked this recipe! Thanks so much for your comment!
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  37. Hello Bettie,  The cookie recipe is great, except I'm thinking there is a typo in the amount of cookies dough to  scoop out for each cookie?  The recipe says 3 Tablespoons....but that makes a very big, heavy and not thin cookie...still yummy, especially dipping it into my coffee or tea.  However, to make these cookies thin and crispy (and very much more like a Tate's cookie) you need to use about 3 Teaspoons of cookie dough per cookie, press into a round disc between your fingers and then bake.  It takes a few less minutes in the oven, of course, but the end result is perfectly thin and crispy cookies!  Yay!
    • Hi Katherine! 3 TBSP is not a typo. I use my 1.5 oz scoop which is equivalent to 3 TBSP for pretty much all of my cookie recipes and that is what I used for the cookies pictured here. They are large, but that's how I like them! They should still spread out well, and if yours aren't, it is possible your oven is cooking hotter than it says it is. That could cause the outside of the cookie to set before it spreads. But you can definitely make them smaller like you did if you prefer!
  38. Hi! So I made these today. They smell like heaven and taste delicious. They are a perfect, right in the middle chocolate chip cookie. VERY crispy!!! However mine did not spread too much. I read through the comments. I believe our oven is cooking at the correct temperature. But I think I either used too much flour...(I use the scoop and level method, but I think I accidentally packed it down with my spoon at one point) Or, maybe my baking soda isn't super active? My last several batches of cookies (different recipes) have not been spreading. I think I need new baking soda! Regardless the cookies were GREAT and it was a good lesson in baking. I can't wait to try these again. Just posting so others can hopefully troubleshoot if they encounter any problems that weren't talked about in the comments yet. <3
    • Hi Em! I'm so glad you liked these! Can I ask what brand of flour you are using? That could also possibly effect the cookies as some flour tends to be more absorbent. Possible you want to reduce the amount of flour by a tablespoon and see if that effects it at all. You can test to see if your baking soda is still active by putting some in a cup of hot water and seeing if it bubbles up. If it doesn't, time to get a new container!
      • Thanks for the feedback! I get generic unbleached all purpose flour. Sometimes from the regular grocery store, other times from a little mom n pop store around here that sells it in bulk so there's no "label" on the flour if you know what I mean. I think I used too much. Plus I tried the baking soda test. You are right! Time to toss it!
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