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.

MY OTHER RECIPES

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!

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.

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 

Only Eats

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

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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

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

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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!

452 comments on “The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Hi Averie! My mother and I are trying to bake your chocolate chip cookies. Unless we missed something the batter came out very dry. We added all the ingredients and its very dry.

    Was the pudding mix meant to be mixed with water before being added? We just put the dry pudding mix into the batter and we even added another egg to try to make it moist.

    Where did we go wrong?? Thank you!!

    • Did you compact the flour down too much? Flour should be measured with a light hand and very loosely piled in a measuring cup. Good call to add an extra egg but not, the batter is not dry for me and you don’t add pudding mix. I am thinking you over measured your flour and/or didn’t cream the sugar, eggs, etc properly. Sorry that you’re having trouble. I know the recipe works because I’ve remade it umpteen times and hundreds of others have had luck with great reviews. I am thinking your situation is the flour…LMK!

  2. I just baked these cookies with white chocolate chips! The cookies came out looking amazing. I baked for 11 min and let them cool for 10 BUT when I started eating them the outside was good but the middle seemed extremely undercooked! Tasted more like dough than cookie… Suggestions?!?!?

  3. I just made these cookies, and they are awesome! Especially when the chocolate chips are gooey and the cookies are fresh out of the oven! I hate thin, crispy cookies, so I absolutely love these :)

  4. I have been searching for a friends secret choc chip recipe for years and I think your coconut oil choc chip recipe is very close. I had a problem with the end product feeling like there were still sugar crystals present, almost gritty. Any suggestions?

  5. I made these exactly as written and even though they turned out great they tasted like they were missing something. Next time I’m going to use dark brown sugar and add pecans or walnuts.

    • Some people really need more salt to feel ‘complete’. I am super sensitive to it, but that’s one thing to ponder. I also despise nuts in cookies, so for me, that’s a deal breaker BUT it just shows how different tastebuds are! Glad you think they were great though! LMK what you try, and what you think improves a great cookie to superstardom!

  6. These were probably the best cookies ever! Thanks!

  7. I made these tonight. They were FABULOUS!!! Such a simple recipe too! They will be my new go-to cookies!!!

  8. Wow!! For years I have been depressed over subpar chocolate chip cookies. These are what I’ve been searching for. Just made them last night and they are positively delicious. Extremely rich, but the perfect chocolate chip cookie, hands down. Thank you for sharing!!!

  9. Can you just PLEASE adopt me!! It would make things so much easier! LOL
    I can’t get past the photography! Seems like I should be able to reach out and take a nibble!!! Incredible mouthwatering photography. I’ll have to try the recipe next weekend and report back on the flavor. If it’s as amazing at the photos, I’m in trouble!!! Thanks for a wonderful post and blog Averie!

    • Thanks for the glowing and complimentary comment, especially about my photography – I try! And I’d be happy to adopt you! I give so.much.food away every week. I’m like a one-woman food bank :) There’s no way we can eat it all so it gets rehomed. If you try these, LMK what you think!

  10. Great tasting cookie dough, and great tasting cookie! Lol found that 11 minutes was way too long though. Baked mine for 8-9 minutes at most. The 11 minute ones turned ou more crispy than chewy. But still taste great!

    • Thanks for trying them and yes, all ovens can vary. The size of the cookies I normally make is on the larger side so I do need all 10-11 minutes (and I love barely cooked centers…ha!) but if you made them smaller and/or your oven runs hotter, I can imagine 8-9 minutes was perfect. Nothing wrong with under-baking, that’s for sure!

  11. I made these cookies and they turned out great. I was wondering what the nutrition facts are for these cookies and if I could use your pictures.

  12. Just pulled these out of the oven and sunk my teeth into one- so delicious!! Really some of the best I’ve had. Making for a friend after a breakup, and think these will cheer her up :) I did an eighth of a cup size cookie (versus a quarter cup), and only used one cup of chocolate chips (vs. 2). I would do what you think best- you do want some in every bite though. 2 cups just seemed like a lot once they were in the batter! Chilled for about 7 hours and baked for exactly 11 mins. I even did some chocolate chip repositioning! In love with these cookies and will be repinning and making again soon :) Thanks for sharing!

    • Glad you loved them and that’s sweet of you to bake for a friend who’s going through a rough patch. These are certain to cheer anyone up! I love pretty chip-loaded cookies but if you got by with 1 cup and are pleased, that’s all that matters!

  13. This recipe sounds wonderful! I want to make two pizza pan size cookies for my Daughter’s 30th Birthday. How long should I bake them?

  14. Hi Averie
    I don’t have access to pudding mix so is there some alternate ingredient i could use? Like maybe swap it for cornstarch? If I did would i use the same amount as the pudding mix quantity?
    These cookies look DELICIOUS :)

    • If you don’t have pudding mix, I would make the cookies that I linked in the post that I referenced not cheating on for a few years. They’re excellent and you would use the amount of cornstarch called for in that recipe. Enjoy! Love those cookies!

  15. These are SO GOOD. The chilling step is key. I actually froze my dough balls overnight (unintentionally – I had meant to quick-chill them in the freezer so I could bake them earlier) so I moved them to the fridge the next morning to rest while the oven preheated. They baked up beautifully! I used about a cup of mini chocolate chips, along with about 2/3-3/4 cup total of chopped walnuts plus caramel bits, for a “turtle” variation. Delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  16. I refrigerated the dough like I was supposed to, but I forgot to put plastic wrap over them..is that a big deal? Or will the cookies be okay?

  17. Hello! I’m coming from Greece, I would like to make these cookies but in the ingredients exist the vanilla pudding mix and i cannot find it in my country. Have you got any suggestion with what I can replace it? Thank you in advance for your time.

  18. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog and I love it so far! However I’m from Manila, Philippines and I don’t think I would be able to get my hands on a pudding mix, any suggestions for other/alternative ingredients? i’ve been dying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Hope you know how to help. :)

  19. These were incredibly delicious when I baked them! However, before baking the cookies, I placed them on a cookie tray covered in non-stick tin foil. I didn’t use the silpat (don’t have one) and the bottom of the cookies came out burnt. I scraped as much as I could and they taste delicious afterwards but I was just curious why the bottom of the cookies came out so burnt… is the silpat essential?

    • Aluminum foil is highly conductive and most definitely is the reason the cookies are burnt on the underside. You should invest 20 bucks in a Silpat for best results or simply bake on a cookie sheet, but not with foil! I truly believe in Silpats as taking baking results to the next level and for me, is welllllll worth the small investment.

  20. THESE ARE AMAZING. I baked these for my grandfather and his wife who I’m going up north to see tomorrow, but now I’m sad because I want to keep all of these cookies to myself. I only have one question for you. Will you PLEASE adopt me? I just want to spend the rest of my life eating these cookies and all of the other delicious things you make :D

    • So glad you loved these enough to want to keep them for yourself! Your grandpa and his wife will be so happy that you baked for them I bet! And I would love to adopt you! I donate *so much food* every week, it’s nuts. Between what makes it onto the blog, the near misses, the cookbooks, etc. the sheer volume of treats in and out of this house is astounding. I wish I had more hungry mouths to feed!

  21. Best cookies ever. If you are like me and check the reviews of recipes before making them, my advice is to make these cookies. I also got quite a bit more than 14 out of the batter and I used a 1/4 cup to form the cookies!

    • Hi Taylor, thanks for making them, for chiming in (I do the same thing you do when I read online recipes) and yes, if you make just-at the 1/4 cup size, you’ll get more. I go to the heaping 1/4 cup range and that’s about 14ish. But if yours are smaller, you’ll yield more. I just get to the point where I can’t form any more balls and start making heaping ones :)

  22. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Delicious, eye appealing, did I say delishhhhhhhhouuuuuussss? Thank you for sharing your gift!

  23. I’m really bad at re-using recipes. I keep them, but I am always wanting to try others…just in case. (I should probably quit doing that) This, however, is now THE official chocolate chip recipe of this house. I make goodies pretty much every day and last night when I asked the hubs what he wanted his response was “those chocolate chip cookies you made a few days ago” SHOCKING, because I literally ask him EVERY SINGLE DAY what he wants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, and he NEVER has a response aside from a shoulder shrug or caveman grunt, which I have yet to interpret into any discernible dish. Truly cookies of perfection!

    • he NEVER has a response aside from a shoulder shrug or caveman grunt <--- I'd be rich if I had a nickel for every time this situation played out! Gah, I can relate all too well! The fact that this is now your go-to recipe AND they were requested as a re-make from your hubs, so happy to hear that! And me too with trying new recipe after new recipe especially with cookies; finally I have learned to just stop (well, mostly).

  24. Why can’t we use sugar free pudding mix?

    • You can try it if you want but if you google pudding cookies + sugarfree pudding, the results are very varied and inconsistent from everything I’ve read; whereas I know for a fact that my recipe works, 100%.

  25. These were absolutely fantastic. I am a chocolate chip cookie fiend and have never been able to find a recipe that I absolutely love (I usually just buy store bought or Otis Spunkmeyer frozen). This recipe has sealed the deal and I am pretty sure I will never go back! They were quite possibly the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, as it will be one that I keep for years. I’m not much of a baker, but you’ve inspired me to maybe try a few of your other recipes on this site as these were so good!

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