The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my new favorite chocolate chip cookies.

That’s a big statement because I haven’t cheated on this recipe in two and a half years.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

I use it for Twix Bar CookiesSnickers CookiesM&Ms CookiesSmores Cookies, and many others when I want a hearty, but buttery dough base. Any cookie I’m going to stuff with add-ins or candy, and that’s not a peanut butter cookie, I use that base.

But all good things eventually get knocked off their pedestal and something better, shinier, and newer comes along: cookies made with pudding mix.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

The pudding cookie craze certainly isn’t new. I’ve used it in Soft M&M Chocolate Chip CookiesDark Chocolate Chunk and Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies, and Quadruple Chocolate Soft Fudgy Pudding Cookies and I wanted to create a classic soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe with it.

This recipe is nearly a carbon copy of my old standby. The signifiant changes include omitting 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and replacing with one packet instant vanilla pudding mix. If you don’t like pudding mix or can’t find it in your area I recommend you use my old standby recipe because there’s really no substitutions here.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

The cookies are slightly larger than you may be used to baking. There’s about 4 tablespoons of dough (1/4 cup) per cookie, and the batch makes just 14 large-ish cookies.The cookies are still so much smaller than cookies I see for sale at bakeries and coffee shops, and 8 comfortably fit on a baking tray.

I’d rather bake fewer bigger cookies because frankly it’s less work. But also because size and the related surface area does matter in terms of the final taste and texture.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

Smaller cookies tend to dry out faster and relatively speaking, and there’s more chewy edge than soft center.

Conversely, bigger cookies have a great interior surface area which means more soft, tender, juicy bites loaded with chocolate. Christina Tosi speaks very eloquently about this in her book.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

As with all my cookies, you must chill the dough before baking. It’s absolutely crucial for thick, puffy, full cookies. If you bake with warm, limp dough, your cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter. Why bother. Plan ahead and chill your dough.

I baked my cookies for 11 minutes, but if you choose to make smaller cookies, you’ll need to bake for less time. How much less? I don’t know. The secret to these cookies is keeping them a touch underbaked. I think that’s the secret to most good cookies.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

My Tricks and Secrets for Perfect Cookies

Make sure the butter is truly soft. If it’s not, cheat and zap it in the micro for 5 to 10 seconds. It’s best to plan ahead and set your butter out 2 to 4 hours ahead of time, but it’s better to cheat with the micro than try to cream cold butter. Your dough will seem overly dry and crumbly after adding the dry ingredients if your butter wasn’t sufficiently softened. I used Trader Joe’s unsalted butter.

Using a high quality flour like King Arthur. It has just a bit more protein (gluten) than other brands so your baked goods have more structure and will rise higher.

Chilling the dough so the cookies bake up thick and don’t spread as much.

Underbaking so the cookies are (almost) as good on the third day as they are right out of the oven.

Bake on a Silpat because it provides traction so the cookies don’t slip-and-slide around a slippery greased baking sheet.

Use a cookie scoop. I first portion out the dough with the scoop so all the mounds are the same size, and then I smooth them out with my hands so they’re perfectly smooth.

While smoothing the mounds, strategically re-positioning the chocolate chips. Obsessive? Yes, but I am asked all the time what my tricks and secrets are, and now you know.

The cookies are thick enough to sink your teeth into with slight chewiness at the base and edges. It’s just enough to balance the very pillowy soft centers and give me the mouthfeel I want in a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie.

The dough is buttery and moist with hints of vanilla, and it’s the perfect canvas for the melted chocolate chips.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

So it’s ‘the best’ according to me and my family, and of course, this can change. Food bloggers, we change our minds if you haven’t noticed. But for now, they’re the top dog.

I can’t wait for you to try them and let me know if you agree.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!

Print Print Recipe

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my new favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, moist, buttery, and thick enough to sink your teeth into. There's a hint of chewiness at the base and edges, and it's just enough to balance the soft pillowy centers and give me what I want for my idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. The secret to these cookies is instant vanilla pudding mix and there's no substitutions. The cookies are larger than some and the batch makes 14 cookies. About 11 minutes works perfectly for this size cookie, and if you alter the size of the cookie, you'll need to alter the baking time. The dough must be chilled before baking so the cookies don't spread and bake thin and flat.

Yield: 14 med/large cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: about 11 minutes

Total Time: 3+ hours, for dough chilling

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
one 3.5-ounce packet instant vanilla pudding mix (not sugar-free and not 'cook & serve')
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
one-12 ounce bag (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe's)

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the chocolate chips, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 14 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Tip - Strategically place a few chocolate chips right on top of each mound of dough by taking chips from the underside and adding them on top.
  5. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don't overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don't use a rack.
  7. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Adapted from Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies and Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Related Recipes

Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies – My gold standard Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe for over two years

Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies – These cookies are what helped inspire today’s recipe and a Pinterest hit

Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies - The softest, thickest, best M&M cookies ever! People go nuts for these big cookies loaded with M&Ms and chocolate chips!

Quadruple Chocolate Soft Fudgy Pudding Cookies – For true chocolate lovers, these super soft cookies are loaded with chocolate

Quadruple Chocolate Soft Fudgy Pudding Cookies - For true chocolate lovers, these super soft cookies are loaded with chocolate!

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies – Move over butter, cream cheese keeps these cookies soft and extra thick

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sticks – No butter used in these fast and easy cookie sticks that can’t spread because they’re baked in a pan

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sticks - There's NO BUTTER in these soft & chewy sticks! A fun & easy twist on chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – A trifecta of favorite ingredients, all rolled into an easy, soft, and chewy cookie. No mixer needed

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies – No butter in these soft, moist, chewy cookies that have tons of texture from shredded coconut and oats, and are loaded to the max with chocolate

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies - No butter & no mixer used in these easy cookies dripping with chocolate. Recipe at averiecooks.com

Dark Chocolate Chunk and Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies – Soft and chewy cookies packed with peanut butter and oozing with dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate Chunk and Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies - Soft and chewy cookies packed with peanut butter and oozing with dark chocolate!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups – Prone to cookies that spread? It’s impossible with these.Thick, soft & chewy cookies baked in a muffin pan that are so rich from the browned butter

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups - Prone to cookies that spread? It's impossible with these! Thick, soft & chewy cookies baked in a muffin pan that are so rich from the browned butter!

   

301 Responses to “The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Zeze — March 6, 2015 at 1:18 pm (#
    151
    )

    Hey, Avery. I’m just wondering why you mix the butter, sugars, and eggs all at once. Because all of the recipes I’ve seen and tried mix the butter and sugars first, then add eggs and vanilla extract. What happens if I mix the butter and sugars?

    • Averie Sunshine — March 6, 2015 at 1:54 pm (#
      )

      For cookies, I’ve mixed things every which way and in every order and if I thought it impacted results to do things more one-at-a-time, I would. But I don’t. And my method saves me time. Do what you think is best.

  2. Zeze — March 6, 2015 at 4:48 pm (#
    152
    )

    I don’t know what’s best, since I’ve made cookies so few times and you have much experience. So doing it one at a time makes no difference? Also, how do you know when the mixing is done? When just combined, or when very combined? Any change in volume (fluffiness) or color? About 1 minute? I always had trouble with knowing when to stop.

    • Averie Sunshine — March 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm (#
      )

      You have a million questions :) and the best way to answer them is to go into your kitchen and experiment for yourself!! Have fun!

  3. Dam — March 13, 2015 at 1:14 am (#
    153
    )

    Can i make it without the pudding mix cause it not available in my country 

  4. Shari — March 14, 2015 at 4:01 pm (#
    154
    )

    A person can’t even look at your site because of the advertising that keeps popping up.

    • Averie Sunshine — March 14, 2015 at 7:08 pm (#
      )

      Sorry for the inconvience. Not my intention and I passed your comment along to my tech support. Thanks for your patience.

  5. Shari — March 14, 2015 at 7:39 pm (#
    155
    )

    I should explain that I’m using a tablet, and I couldn’t touch the screen without being redirected to an advertisement.  And it didn’t matter where I touched the page.   I was able to come back to the site and write this comment without it happening, so I’m assuming it’s been fixed.  I’m not a complainer by nature, however I imagined that you would want to know what was happening.

    • Averie Sunshine — March 14, 2015 at 7:42 pm (#
      )

      There was a MASSIVE snag with Google Adsense for any blogs/websites running their ads combined with users accessing said sites via tablets or smartphones. It’s a google snag (you can google it if you want to read all the nitty gritty) and unfortunately until google fixes this at a systemic-wide level, it *could* be prone to happening again. Sorry for the trouble and if I could fix it 100% of the time, I would!

  6. Sierra — March 20, 2015 at 11:28 am (#
    156
    )

    I literally just finished baking these, I’m usually not much of a cookies kind of girl but I had a craving. It turned out very well for me however I think next time I’ll cut back on the chocolate chips (too much chocolate for me and my family’s liking). After looking through your blog I found lots of recipes I like to try out. Keep up the good work :).

    • Averie Sunshine — March 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm (#
      )

      Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad you enjoyed them and yes, add chocolate as you prefer. We are chocolaholics here :)

  7. Lisa — March 24, 2015 at 5:54 pm (#
    157
    )

    Hi, I can’t wait to try these, they look so good. Do you know if they will be as chewy if I cut down on the choc chips, but add walnuts and cranberries?

    • Averie Sunshine — March 24, 2015 at 10:02 pm (#
      )

      I don’t think the type of add-in’s matters all that much in terms of if the dough will be chewy; I do have a couple really good cookie recipes with cranberries though if you’re specifically wanting one of those.

      If you google ‘averiecooks cranberry cookies’ a bunch of ideas will pop up :)

  8. Lindsay Kaelin — March 26, 2015 at 8:55 am (#
    158
    )

    This was the worst cookie recipe I have ever made.  First of all the directions are terrible.  You always cream the sugar and butter. There is too much flour.  You should recommend people add the pudding mix first then the dry ingredients.  I ran a chemistry lab, if you were a person in charge of writing test procedures, you would blow the place up!  If I could I would ask to be refunded for the cost of the ingredients I wasted.

    • Averie Sunshine — March 26, 2015 at 11:02 am (#
      )

      You’re one of very few people out of hundreds over the years who have written to tell me they’ve made these cookies and that they didn’t like them. The directions aren’t terrible if so many other have made them with great success. And in baking, you don’t ‘always do…’ Sometimes you do, some recipes you don’t. Baking is both art and science and you don’t ‘always’ do the same thing for every recipe.

      Running a chemistry lab is very different than running a blog. You may be an expert at that but you’re coming across as very hostile at a perfect stranger over something as trivial in life as a cookie recipe. Hope things get better for you!

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