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The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe with a secret little ingredient. They are crispy, chewy, buttery, and amazing! Learn the tips for the perfect chocolate chip cookies every time!
If you love, love, love chocolate chip cookies, then I can’t wait for you to give this quick and easy recipe a try! These cookies are an updated version of that classic chocolate chip cookie recipe that we all know and love. But these are even more chocolatey and a bit more elevated in their decadence! The sprinkle of sea salt and the two kinds of chocolate chips in this chocolate chip cookie recipe create a cookie that everyone absolutely loves!
And I don’t know about you, but I think we could all use a warm chocolate chip cookie right about now.
What Ingredients Do You Need for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies?
You can use either salted or unsalted butter in this recipe, whichever you have on hand. I generally keep salted butter and use that in my baking.
If you prefer to use unsalted butter, I do recommend that you include the optional sprinkle of salt on the top of the cookies. That sprinkle adds so much.
Make sure that your butter is softened as it will mix in the cookie dough much more easily and thoroughly. You do not want to use melted or butter that is too soft as it will cause you to have flat cookies.
Resource: How to Soften Butter
You are using a combination of both granulated white sugar and brown sugar in this cookie recipe. The brown sugar contains molasses which adds such a depth of flavor to the cookies and makes them even more delicious.
You’ll use standard large eggs in this recipe. I like to allow my eggs to reach room temperature for all of my baking, including cookies, but it generally isn’t as important for cookies as it is for baking cakes and cheesecakes. The room temperature egg will cream together more easily and produce fluffier baked goods. Cold eggs straight from the refrigerator will still work in this recipe, but will not cream together as easily.
A good vanilla extract makes a huge difference in baking. You can either make your own from whole vanilla beans and liquor or you can be sure to purchase the highest quality vanilla extract you can. There are a few brands at different price points that work well, such as Nielson-Massey, Rodelle, and McCormick Organic.
Resource: How to Make Vanilla Extract
This recipe uses all-purpose flour. Note that if you need to make these cookies gluten-free, I would recommend using Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. It will slightly change the finished texture of the cookie, but is absolutely delicious when you need to make sure that your cookies are gluten-free.
I use kosher salt in this recipe, specifically Diamond Crystal kosher salt brand which has less sodium than some other brands. If you would like to use regular table salt, fine sea salt, or even another brand of kosher salt, I recommend that you simply use half of the salt listed in the recipe.
For the topping, I also love to add a pinch of flaky sea salt to the tops of my cookies while they are still warm. 🙂
Baking soda is part of the leavening in these chewy chocolate chip cookies. Make sure that the baking soda is fresh.
Cornstarch is used in baked goods to help “soften” the flour. While I already use a soft winter wheat flour, the addition of cornstarch lightens the flour even more. It helps cookies have a softer, chewy texture. If you remember, cornstarch is added to all-purpose flour to make a quick, homemade cake flour substitute. While the ratios are different from that used in this cookie recipe, you can see the purpose of the cornstarch. It also helps the cookies to not spread as much when baking.
You may wonder what is the best type of chocolate for chocolate chip cookies? Well, the answer is… the ones that you prefer! 🙂 But, I have found that using a blend of two types of premium baking chocolate does make for the best chocolate chip cookie!
I love to use a blend of 1 cup each Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips. If you prefer a sweeter chocolate, a blend of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips is great. I have found that using all milk chocolate can be a bit overwhelming.
If you want to have chocolate chunks in your cookie, I recommend using a blend of premium chocolate bars that you rough chop into chunks.
Do You Need to Chill Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for the Best Cookies?
That is really a matter of personal preference. And time.
Here’s what I’ve found.
- Unchilled cookie dough will spread a little bit, but will still be delicious.
- Chilled cookie dough prevents the cookies from spreading as they bake. The butter becomes firm again within the cookie dough as the dough is chilled. Scooping the dough onto the baking sheet and refrigerating as little as 20 – 30 minutes helps the cookies from spreading a great deal and ensures you will not have flat cookies.
I make these cookies often enough that I generally like to keep scoops of the cookie dough at the ready in my freezer so that I can bake a small batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies for my son and his friends on a whim.
I also bake them frequently enough that I bake them immediately after mixing together my cookie dough.
We love this cookie both ways. There is no wrong way or right way to make them in my book! 🙂
Making and Baking the Cookies
Prep. To make these cookies, you will start by preheating your oven and lining the baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
Whisk dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch until well combined. Make sure that they are well blended so that when you add the dry ingredients to your butter mixture the ingredients are well distributed throughout the cookie dough. Set aside.
Mix wet ingredients. In a separate large bowl, using a stand mixer or hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the softened butter and the sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary to make sure that the butter and sugar are well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. By adding your vanilla extract at this point in the mixing process, the vanilla extract and the butter are combined more thoroughly which then imparts more flavor in your baked cookies, in my opinion. Mix until well combined, about 1 minute.
Add the wet to the dry. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture (dry ingredients) and mix until just well combined. Be careful not to overmix here as it will cause tough cookies.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Add your chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks) and carefully stir into your batter using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. (Note: I like to reserve a handful of chocolate chip to press into the top of the scooped cookie dough to make them even prettier!)
Scoop and Bake. Scoop your cookie dough onto the baking sheet and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes just until lightly golden brown. Sprinkle the cookies with a pinch of sea salt while they are still warm. Allow them to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Remove from the oven and watch them disappear.
How to Store Chocolate Chip Cookies
Baked. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.
Unbaked. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Freeze Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Place cookie dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and into the freezer until frozen, about 30 minutes. Then, remove the scoops from the baking sheet and place into a freezer-safe, airtight container.
When ready to bake one, two or ten cookies, pull that number out and bake. You may need to add a few more minutes to the baking time since they are being baked from frozen.
Favorite Mix Ins
Swap ½ cup of the chocolate chips with any of these add ins for a fun addition.
- Oats – use ¼ cup quick-cooking oats
- Pecans – chopped, roasted pecans
- Walnuts – chopped, roasted walnuts
- Toffee Morsels
- Butterscotch Chips
- White Chocolate Chips
- M&Ms – you may want to swap a full cup! 😉
Okay, who am I kidding. Leftover chocolate chip cookies? Riiiigggghhhttt… But, here’s a couple of yummy ideas just in case.
Ice Cream Sandwiches – completely cool your cookies and then fill them with an ice cream scoop of your favorite ice cream. I love to use my homemade vanilla ice cream. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. Serve frozen.
Chocolate Chip Doozies – a copycat of a favorite cookie store, scoop about 2 tablespoons of vanilla buttercream onto the flat side of one cookie. Top with a second cookie for a frosting filled treat!
Toasted Marshmallow Sandwiches – rather than filling with frosting, fill with marshmallow fluff. Then, if you have a kitchen torch, carefully toast your marshmallow fluff until lightly brown. Top with the second cookie. Oh my!
Here’s my Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. I think you’ll love them.
Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup sugar granulated
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cups chocolate chips dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate (a blend of two is recommended)
- sea salt for topping
For Chocolate Chunk Cookies (substitute chocolate chips with chocolate bars)
- 2 (1.45-ounce) milk chocolate bars broken or chopped into large pieces
- 2 (1.45-ounce) dark chocolate bars broken or chopped into large pieces
- Prep. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch until well combined. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients. In a separate large bowl, using a stand mixer or hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the softened butter and the sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary to make sure that the butter and sugar are well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Mix wet and dry. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat on a low speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add the chocolate chips. Fold in the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Bake. Scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing to allow room for the cookies to lightly spread as they bake. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until the edges are slightly cripsy, the cookie is overall lightly golden brown, and the center is set but not overcooked. Sprinkle the cookies with a pinch of sea salt while they are still warm. Allow them to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve and / or Store. Serve the cookies while they are warm and gooey or store for late enjoyment. To store, transfer them to an airtight container and store on the counter for 3 days or in the freezer (in a freezer-safe container) for up to 3 months. To thaw, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw on the counter.