Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies

I’ve been on the quest to find the perfect end-all be-all chocolate chip cookie recipe.

And this recipe is as close as I’ve come.

The process of making the dough follows standard cookie-dough making protocol. Beat softened butter and cream it with both brown and granulated sugars. There is a higher ration of brown sugar to granulated, which helps cookies in general stay softer and gives them a richer flavor profile since brown sugar has more depth of flavor than granulated sugar does. Ironically, cookies made with more brown than granulated sugar become softer over time as they absorb atmospheric moisture, rather than drying out.

Beat in an egg, vanilla, and flour. I used two types of flour, both bread and all-purpose flour. The original recipe just calls for all-purpose but because bread flour adds extra chewiness and since my dream cookie is one with a high degree of chewiness, I utilized a combination of bread flour and all-purpose. If you don’t have bread flour, soley using all-purpose is fine. Your cookies may not be quite as chewy nor as thick, since bread flour also lends increased structure to baked goods, but they’ll still be plenty good.

Edited to Add May 2013: I have stopped using bread flour in these cookies and use only all-purpose flour. I find the cookies to be softer, more tender, and moister when only using all-purpose flour.

Where this recipe veers way off the path compared to any other cookie recipe I’ve ever tried is that it uses corn starch, and just two mere teaspoons, but enough to work its softening magic. Cornstarch is not only a softening agent, but it’s also a thickening agent. Just as it thickens gravy or soup, it helps to create thick and puffy cookies. There’s a wide variety of knockoff recipes for the Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies floating around that call for cornstarch, but I’ve never tried them and after making these, I don’t feel compelled to try.

There are also plenty of recipes for ‘pudding cookies’ that incorporate a box of pudding mix into cookie dough, promising super soft cookies as a result. One of the main ingredients in pudding mix is ‘modified food starch’, more than likely cornstarch. I like using pudding mix in banana bread because it creates the softest and most tender, moist, and luscious banana bread ever. Cake flour, a relative of corn starch in that it’s a high starch flour, creates incredibly incredibly soft and tender cakes and pastries. It seems like cornstarch is a magic bullet.

These cookies are so soft, similar to Keebler Soft-Batch Cookies, minus the store-bought taste. And they bake up with the perfect height; not too thick or overly domed and not too thin like flat pancakes.

I was going to make the cookies exclusively using semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I enjoy having a variety of textures and flavors in my cookies, especially when those textures and flavors are of the chocolate variety. I opted to use both semi-sweet chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chunks, courtesy of a Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus bar.

I realized when I made the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies that incorporating over an ounce of chocolate per cookie not only works in theory and that the dough can hold it all, but that the results taste fabulous. So I went ahead and stuffed these cookies to the max with both chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. As the cookies bake, the chips retain their shape more than the chunks, which turn into oozing luxurious puddles.

I used about 2.25 ounces dough per cookie. I weighed each mound of dough, but if you don’t have a scale or don’t want to be bothered, that translates to two heaping tablespoons of dough, and with the chocolate pieces dangling off, possibly 3 tablespoons, still smaller than the New York Times cookies. I learned when I made those cookies that a larger mass of dough allows the cookie center to remain soft and tender since it never gets the chance to dry out or overbake while the edges crisp up.

I chilled the dough before baking it and always advocate doing so because as dough chills, the flavors marry and cold dough spreads less during baking, resulting in puffier and thicker cookies.

I recommend baking 8 to 9 minutes, and not more than ten minutes, period. I found given the size of my dough mounds, my oven, and my taste preferences, nine minutes is the magic number for me. Even though the centers will seem underdone at eight or nine minutes, as the cookies cool out of the oven, they firm up. If you wait to pull the cookies until they look done, as they cool they will set up far too firm and crumbly and won’t stay soft and chewy. Don’t overbake.

If you’re looking for an easy, straightforward, chocolate chip cookie recipe that yields fantastic results, I encourage you to give this one a try. The cookies are as close to my definition of The Perfect Cookie as I’ve come and here are the highlights why I love the recipe:

No specialty ingredients are used – if you don’t keep bread flour on hand, just use all-purpose

No need for hard to find or high-end expensive chocolate – if you don’t keep chocolate chunks on hand, just use chocolate chips, and feel free to add nuts, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, diced candy bar pieces or whatever you enjoy

No two-day waiting period between making the dough and baking the cookies – and dough chilling is optional

Unbaked cookie dough may be refrigerated for up to 5 days prior to baking it or frozen for up to 3 months

No egg plus yolk situation to contend with so nothing is wasted

The overall batch size is manageable, about two dozen

Each cookie is decent-sized, but not ginormous

The cookies get softer, not harder or drier, the next day and continue to stay soft for up to a week

The holy grail of cookie qualities are present – thick, puffy, soft, and chewy

And let’s not forget, there are two kinds of chocolate in every bite.

The more the merrier.

Print Print Recipe

Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies

These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, tender, moist, with pillowy centers and chewy edges. There's a secret ingredient, which keeps them super soft and tender: cornstarch. I use two types of chocolate in them; chocolate chips and chocolate chunks, for extra depth and flavor. Feel free to make this dough in advance, refrigerate it, and bake it off up to 5 days later for fresh hot cookies exactly when you want them.

Yield: about 2 dozen medium cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 3+ hours, for dough chilling

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I use light)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour* (all-purpose flour may be substituted and used exclusively in place of bread flour)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces bittersweet or dark baking chocolate, chopped into bite-sized chunks (I use Trader Joe's 72% Pound Plus bar)

*edited to add May 2013 - I prefer these cookies using exclusively all-purpose flour and have stopped baking them with a combination of all-purpose and bread flour. I am leaving the recipe up as I wrote it back in 2012, but note that I prefer all-purpose because the cookies are softer, more tender, and more moist.

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flours, corn starch, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and chunks, and either fold in by hand or beat for a few seconds on low speed.
  6. Using a 2-ounce cookie scoop, form heaping mounds weighing 2 1/4-ounces each (weighed on a scale, which is approximately a scant 1/4-cup measure. Dough mounds will look large for their weight because there's lots of chocolate pieces adding bulk). Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plasticwrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart; I bake 8 cookies per sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges, even if slightly undercooked in the center, noting the tops will not be browned and will be pale. Do not cook longer than ten minutes as cookies will darken and firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked for 8 minutes, rotated once midway through baking, and have chewy edges with soft pillowy centers).
  8. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Recipe adapted from Anna Olson of the Food Network Canada

Related Recipes:

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Jacques Torres) – I learned many valuable lessons when making these cookies, from loving bread flour in cookies to detesting cake flour in them; to baking cookies bigger to stuffing in extra chocolate. The cookies are very good, and I loved them on the first day, and I wrote extensively about my thoughts overall on them

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – Based on principles from the Cooks Illustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip, but I also added peanut butter and oatmeal, creating a soft and moist cookie, with plenty of chewy texture. Because the cookies call for melted butter, no mixer is required and the higher ratio of brown to granulated sugar keeps them just as soft on day 4 as on day 1

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies– These are likely my favorite cookies I have on my blog and are essentially the white chocolate chip version of the cookies above, and I love either version depending on my mood whether I want white or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Of all the cookie recipes on my site, people write to me the most frequently about these telling me they made them and really enjoyed them

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Skillet Cookie – This cookie combines three of my favorite cookies into one – chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal. The edges bake up crispy and chewy, and sweetened condensed milk is baked into the cookie, keeping the interior a literal hot, sweet, and gooey mess

Molasses Triple Chocolate Cookies – I used chocolate three ways in these soft, chewy, moist and tender molasses cookies. All that chocolate pairs perfectly with robustly-flavored molasses and the intensity of spices used, making these a new holiday favorite

Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies – These cookies are much more than the sum of their simple parts and ingredients. I adore them and want try using the dough as a base for chocolate chip cookies. I’ve played around with it and used it as the base for another recipe coming up with great success, but not with chocolate chips. The beauty of these soft, extra chewy, and easy cookies is that the batch size is only 11, because I don’t need huge batch sizes laying around

Edited to Add – May 2013 Three Recipes that all use this cookie dough base (with all-purpose flour, no bread flour)

Soft and Chewy Snickers Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

Twix Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever tried the using cornstarch in cookies or are you tempted to try it?

What’s your favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies? Or any cookie that is an absolute favorite?

If you have a favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I’d love to hear why you love it so much and links are welcome. Or tell me about your cookie trials, tribulations, what’s worked and what hasn’t.

I still like the Cooks Illustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and these cookies are the closest version I’ve blogged about.

However, the cornstarch cookies are softer, thicker, puffier, chewier, and overall they’re a very easy recipe to make. Some recipes you really have to think about and get very precise about, but with these, there’s nothing tricky about them and the results are fabulous.

Thanks for the Tiny Food Party Cookbook Giveaway entries for three winners

   

395 Responses to “Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies”

  1. Erika — December 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm (#
    151
    )

    Hi Averie! I’ve made your cookies twice in the last two months, they are just the most perfect chocolate chip cookie! I have a perhaps, rookie, question. I’m going to my sisters house for the holidays and we want to bake these together, except she does not have a stand up mixer– is it okay to use just a plain old electric hand mixer? Would rather not travel with my enormous Kitchen Aid mixer, but if need be I will!

    Also, is it possible to make these smaller in order to yield more cookies? And if so, should I change the baking temp?

    Thank you, thank you for this amazing recipe and all your other delicious recipes.

    Happy holidays!
    -Erika

    • Averie Sunshine — December 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm (#
      )

      is it okay to use just a plain old electric hand mixer? = I always use my KitchenAid stand mixer and it’s probably fine to use a handheld electric but your results may not be exactly the same.

      Also, is it possible to make these smaller in order to yield more cookies? And if so, should I change the baking temp? = Yes, no. Just reduce the time, not the temp.

      Glad you love these cookies and hope you and your sister have fun baking together!

  2. Jacqueline Uy — January 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm (#
    152
    )

    Hi, Averie! I’ve been lurking on your site for quite some time and after baking these cookies for ummm.. the 5th or 6th time… I really felt the need to thank you for this recipe. a BIG BIG THANK YOU because every time I make them, they come out perfect, soft and chewy but not overly so. I have actually stopped buying chocolate chip cookies from the stores because of your recipe :) Now off to try your other recipes! :)

    • Averie Sunshine — January 21, 2015 at 2:34 am (#
      )

      Thanks for trying the recipe so many times and glad you love them to the point you don’t need to buy storebought cookies anymore…that’s great! Hope you enjoy my other cookie recipes, too. LMK what you try!

  3. Kimberly M — January 24, 2015 at 11:52 am (#
    153
    )

    I have made these cookies several times and my family loves them. They are perfect. Thanks so much for sharing, I am so glad I stumbled on to your site!

    • Averie Sunshine — January 24, 2015 at 12:26 pm (#
      )

      Thanks for trying the cookies many times and glad you and your family love them!

  4. Nuha — January 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm (#
    154
    )

    Do I need to sifted first before adding into batter?

  5. Emily — January 30, 2015 at 11:50 am (#
    155
    )

    I was wondering if I can leave out the corn starch?

    • Averie Sunshine — January 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm (#
      )

      I think I addressed this in the post about what kind of cookie you’d end up with if you left it out. But yes you can leave it out, you just won’t get THESE cookies that will look and taste like the ones shown here.

  6. Anne — February 7, 2015 at 6:38 pm (#
    156
    )

    Hi Averi is it possible to get this recipe in grams ? the butter, sugars , flour and also the chocolate …. TIA

    • Averie Sunshine — February 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm (#
      )

      There are online conversion tools you can use to plug the data in yourself in minutes. Enjoy the cookies!

  7. sujei mccaslin — February 8, 2015 at 6:10 am (#
    157
    )

    Cookies look amazing! I want to make them for my sister she just got a new job. I have a question though. I know you changed the recipe to not use bread flour anymore and I wanted to know if instead you are using 2 cups of all purpose flour?
    Thank you.

  8. Jennifer — February 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm (#
    158
    )

    I was wondering if I HAVE to refrigerate the cookies before I bake them?

  9. Elspeth — March 7, 2015 at 3:27 am (#
    159
    )

    Hi Averie,

    Is this still your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe? (I’m trying to decide which one to try next, and I’m thinking it will be this one!)

    Thanks!

    By the way, I’m obsessed with the Six Layer Cookie S’mores Bars from your book. I’ve made them about four times and everyone loves them!

  10. Renee — March 31, 2015 at 9:56 am (#
    160
    )

    These cookies are awesome and are now my go to cookie recipe. I’ve tried the chocolate chip and the M&Ms, both were a big hit with my family. I’m looking forward to trying the other variations. Thank you!

    • Averie Sunshine — March 31, 2015 at 11:30 am (#
      )

      Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out so great for you that they’re your new go-to cookie recipe! And thanks for trying the M&Ms cookies, too!

  11. cynthia — April 26, 2015 at 7:38 am (#
    161
    )

    my oven can only bake up to 270, so what do you think I should do?

    • Averie Sunshine — April 26, 2015 at 1:42 pm (#
      )

      270F or 270C? This is a recipe for 350F and you’d want to stick with that in order for the cookies to turn out properly.

  12. Charlotte Moore — April 29, 2015 at 2:35 pm (#
    162
    )

    Thank goodness a cookie that does not spread out and become thin. They are beautiful and chewy cookies. Tasted warm so not sure how they are cold. I am not a chocolate chip person but my husband is. I did try a couple bites though. I am so pleased with them. I can’t tell you how many I have tried and wasn’t happy with at all. THANK YOU!!

    • Averie Sunshine — April 29, 2015 at 8:05 pm (#
      )

      Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out wonderfully and that you’re so pleased and that my recipe did the trick for you!

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