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 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 

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420 comments

  1. Made these over the weekend, and they were a huge hit! Such dense chocolate-chip filled cookies — turned out just like the photos. I ended up with 18 cookies in all. These cookies are so rich and satisfying, you can eat just one. :-)

  2. WOW!!! Amazing cookie recipe. Thanks for sharing. I have now made these cookies 3 times. They are soooo delicious, moist, very easy to make and do not take a lot of time to put together. I’ve not EVER been able to make cookies this good before!! This is my new ‘5 out of 5 STAR’ staple recipe. Thanks again.

  3. Not sure what I did wrong but the dough was dry and crumbly. I still managed to make the mounds but they did not cook properly… Any ideas? I was so looking forward to these cookies. 

    • Many people tend to over-measure their flour and use too heavy of a hand when adding it. If the dough was excessively dry and crumbly, my guess would be that you over-added something, more than likely flour. Use less next time and you should be fine.

  4. I tried these out yesterday for my family and they absolutely went over like gangbusters! Amazing recipe, the fam loved them.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Always take these on family vacation. Store them in the tall round spaghetti storage container with parchment between cookies. Cookies are ready to bake and family loves to eat them warm out of oven. Thanks, your cookies are part of some great family moments.

  6. hello just wondering can I freeze them in already formed and bake them right of the freezer or do they need to be thawed first?

  7. I can’t wait to go shopping and get all the ingredients for this!! I love chocolate chip cookies!! Do you use a pinch of salt in yours?

  8. Holy delicious cookies, Batman. i made these tonight to give to my buddy tomorrow as a surprise (he’s unfortunately working this weekend :( ), and I had to try one – you know, for quality assurance. I ran out of regular AP flour, so I used 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free AP flour + 1/2 tsp xantham gum in its place, and I also live in Denver and they STILL came out great!
    Ok, seriously, I need it to be tomorrow so I can get these out of the house, away from me. I need room so k can try your coconut flour chocolate chip cookies next (I’m a glutton for punishment). :)

  9. UPDATE: ok so yesterday I made the coconut flour chocolate chip cookies that I was gonna try (I was wrong, it wasn’t your recipe), and these are like, NO comparison. The other recipe was *promptly* deleted off of my Pinterest “Cookie” board, and I’m putting this one in my CCC repertoire (because I don’t just go with one, I rotate through a few. I get in CCC “moods” – like any woman. Haha). Anyway, this recipe is the bomb, as is most of your recipes I’ve tried, I’ve saved quite a few. Keep on keepin’ on :-)

    • Yes when you had originally mentioned that you were going to make a coconut flour recipe, I thought hmmm, I don’t have a coconut flour recipe for CCC’s. Coconut oil, yes, but not flour (it’s finnicky to work with and most people don’t want to hassle with it) but glad you love this version of my cookies and it’s going in your CCC repertoire!

  10. I made these today. By far the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made! They were a huge hit with my husband and I made some for his friends at work too! Thanks!!

  11. i love ur cookies i just turn 10 in augest

  12. This cookie recipe is really great. This was my first time baking cookies, I baked them to share with my friends, and almost ate the all before sharing! If you’re looking for an easy yet delicious cookie recipe, this is definitely the one.

  13. I set out on a mission to find the best cookie recipe and it didn’t take me long to complete my mission when I found this page. These are the BEST chocolate chip cookies!!! They are my go-to recipe when baking for crowds and they are ALWAYS a huge hit. They never last long! Since I’ve made them so frequently, I’m ready to try some variations to this recipe. Any suggestions without changing the perfect texture?

  14. Based on your recipe I was able to make about 32 cookies with 1/2 cup scoops. I ended up baking them for about 10-15 minutes (3-5 minutes longer than you had suggested) because they looked undercooked. They tasted and looked great. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and this recipe is the winner! I’ve used your recipe several times, and they are the perfect texture and flavor. I use my large cookie scoop so they are very soft when I take them out the oven, but once they cool they are perfection! Thanks so much! Love all your recipes!

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