The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies — One of my absolute favorite recipes for chocolate chip cookies thanks to a special ingredient! Just one bite and I think you’ll agree!!

four Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies stacked on top of each other

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These really are my new favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies. Now, that’s a big statement because I haven’t cheated on this recipe in two and a half years!

I’ve used it for Twix Bar CookiesSnickers CookiesM&M’s CookiesS’mores 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, 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. Enter: these pudding cookies. That’s right, chewy chocolate chip cookies made with pudding mix!

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

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, these chewy chocolate chip cookies are the top dog.

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

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie cut in half and stacked on itself

What’s in These Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies?

For these chocolate chip cookies with pudding mix in them, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips

soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to Make Chewy Cookies

To make truly chewy chocolate chip cookies, you first need to cream together the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Beat the mixture for a good 4 minutes — don’t skip this step!

Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, then fold in the chocolate chips (note that you add the pudding mix like a dry ingredient. You do NOT actually make the pudding). Scoop the cookie dough into balls using a large cookie scoop, then place on a large tray and cover with plastic wrap.

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 chocolate chip cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter. Why bother? Plan ahead and chill your dough.

I baked my chewy chocolate chip 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 chewy chocolate chip cookies is keeping them a touch underbaked. I think that’s the secret to most good cookies.

eight gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies laid on countertop

Can I Omit the Pudding Mix?

The pudding cookie craze certainly isn’t new. I’ve used instant pudding mix in my Soft M&M’s 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 chocolate chip cookie recipe is nearly a carbon copy of my old standby. The significant change is that I omitted 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and replaced them 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 this soft chocolate chip cookie recipe because there are really no substitutions you can use in this chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe.

stack of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Can I Freeze Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Yes, although I actually recommend making the cookie dough and freezing it in balls rather than freezing baked cookies. You can bake the cookie dough straight from frozen, just note that you’ll likely need to add a few extra minutes to the bake time.

But if you’ve already made these gooey chocolate chip cookies and want to freeze some for later, just pop them in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to eat them, leave them on your counter to thaw or reheat them in the oven.

Can I Make These Gluten-Free?

Without having tried it myself, I can’t say for sure. If you find a way to make these gluten-free that works for you, please let me know in a comment below!

soft chocolate chip cookies on parchment paper

Tips for the Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookies are slightly larger than you may be used to baking. There are 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 eight comfortably fit on a baking tray.

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

Smaller cookies tend to dry out faster and relatively speaking, there’s more chewy edge than soft center. Conversely, bigger cookies have softer, tender, juicy bites loaded with chocolate due to a greater interior surface area. Christina Tosi speaks very eloquently about this in her book.

You also need to 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.

close up of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

You’ll want to use 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.

As I’ve already mentioned, you MUST chill the dough so the cookies bake up thick and don’t spread as much.

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

And 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.

Finally, you want to strategically re-positioning the chocolate chips while smoothing the mounds.

Obsessive? Yes, but I am asked all the time what my tricks and secrets are, and now you know.

The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies - One of my absolute favorite recipes for chocolate chip cookies thanks to a special ingredient!! Just one bite and I think you'll agree!!

More Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes:

Want to see how I make chewy chocolate chip cookies from scratch? Watch the video!

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my absolute favorite recipes for chocolate chip cookies thanks to a special ingredient!! Just one bite and I think you’ll agree!

Yield: 14 large cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 26 minutes

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)

Instructions

  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.*
  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.

Notes

*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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

14

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 243mg Carbohydrates: 51g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 35g Protein: 3g

Even More Pudding Cookies:

Soft and Chewy M&M’s Cookies — These big, bakery-style cookies are very soft, slightly chewy, buttery, and loaded with M&M’S and chocolate chips.

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

Mounds Bar Chocolate Chunk Cookies — These big, thick, bakery-style cookies are pillowy soft in the interior, slightly chewy at the edges, and are loaded with chocolate chunks and hunks of Mounds Bars.

Oreos and Sprinkles Chocolate Chip Cookies — The cookies are loaded with Oreos, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and are adapted from my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

This is a repost of this 2014 recipe, and while I’ve made many other chocolate chip cookies since then, these particular cookies are some of my absolute favorites.

529 comments on “The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. I want to make monster cookies with this recipe, how much oatmeal can I add to this and peanut butter ?

  2. These cookies are amazing! I was super excited to make them because I love all of your recipes. I ended up not having the instant vanilla pudding and instead used 2 tablespoons if cornstarch. They are so incredibly thick and taste! I’m really really impressed that they tasted as good as they did without the pudding mix and I’m excited to try them with the pudding mix next time

  3. What changes would you make for high altitude?

  4. I found your recipe easy to follow and I made the cookies exactly as directed. The dough was very tasty. As I added the chocolate chips, I thought, “My! That’s an awful lot of chocolate chips!” I am a chocolate lover, especially semi-sweet chocolate, so I gave it a try. However, this was too much even for me! The cookies were quite good, except I could only eat one half of a cookie. Way too rich with all that chocolate. Next time, I will try using about 6 oz. of chips. I got sixteen cookies from the recipe. 12 oz. of chips = too much for 16 cookies in my opinion. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    • Generally speaking most average chocolate chip cookie recipes have about 2 cups, or 12 ounces of chips but if you feel that’s too much, of course reduce to taste. My recipe yields 16 cookies, or so, because they’re on the bigger size. Many people could get 24-30 out of this recipe based on the size they shape their cookies, which is smaller than I tend to do. In that case you’d probably have no problem finishing a smaller-sized cookie. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  5. This is by far the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. The cookies stay so soft and taste delicious. The vanilla really comes through! Everyone asks me for this recipe!

  6. I can’t tell you how many times I have made this recipe. Best ever!

  7. i can’t find the pudding mix at my area :( . the pudding is use to make the chewy of the cookies right ?

    • Yes it adds a lovely texture, both soft and chewy. I have other cookie recipes in the Related Recipes section in the post that you may want to try that don’t use pudding mix. In this recipe, if you omit it, not sure what will happen.

  8. Hello, am I using 1 egg or 4 eggs? I see it listed both ways. Thanks.

  9. I love your recipe. Me and my son make these cookies every year for Santa. I bad a batch tonight and just realized I forgot the brown sugar. I already molded them and they are sitting in the fridge so I really don’t want to add it. How do you think it will come out without it?

  10. Thank you for sharing this recipe! My husband devoured all but 2 cookies! I baked 8! This recipe is a definite keeper. ?? This recipe is so easy! I followed the recipe exactly as written and they are delicious. I even have some in the frig to bake up when hubby comes in tonight. . He ask me to wait till he got home to bake them. . LOL! Again, thanks for posting.

  11. My butter was a little on the cooler side and it dried out a double batch of cookies I was making for my son’s classroom. Such a waste! Make sure your butter is TRULEY softened before making these cookies. ?

  12. I am ready to make your best soft and chewy choc chip cookies but i noticed that there is a recipe for easy soft and chewy choc chip cookies? Which one do you like better? I want to make the best ever!!!

  13. I was so excited to try these, I had pudding cookies when I was a kid and they were so good.
    I did exactly as you directed, made sure my butter was softened ( I left it out over night) my dough was still dry. It was also a little longer in bake time. Just wondering what could of happened?

    • It’s easy to accidentally over-flour dough which I am guessing what you did. Next time start using 1/4 cup less than the recipe calls for and evaluate if you think you need the full amount based on how you measure it, your exact brand of flour and how it interacts with the other ingredients, etc.

  14. can i bake the cookies right away take it out from fridge? or need to wait until its in a room temperature?

  15. I only have butterscotch pudding.
    What do you think???

  16. The BEST!! Made just as the recipe calls for and they came out perfect. Wound up with 16 cookies on the dot with the 1/4 cup measure. They are fluffy, thick and delicious! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  17. I make these a lot and nevervfeel like chilling them so I dont but they never spread at all?? Like they are literally just chocolate chip cookie balls. I have no idea what happened. I love how they taste though so I just keep making them.

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love the taste. Cut back on the flour by 1/4 cup or even 2 tbsp. I have a feeling you are accidentally over-flouring the dough and that will cause them to not spread.

  18. This Recipe is a WINNER….My cookies were delicate and chewy at the same time. What a Great Way to send my Baby Boy back to college!

  19. This is the classic recipe my mom always made growing up! Everyone would always RAVE about them…the secret ingredient is the vanilla pudding mix! :)

  20. That looks delicious!

    Rating: 5
  21. I have been making these delicious cookies with the pudding mix for years, and you are absolutely right about the pudding mix making a big difference in both the quality and the taste of these chocolate chip cookies. Every time I bake these cookies, I receive rave reviews. Also, I learned the hard way many years ago that it is best to chill the dough at least a few hours before baking nearly any kind of cookie that I am baking, but especially during the summer months of the year. Otherwise, my cookies will go flat and spread to the point of looking very unattractive. In fact, I even think that it affects the taste of the cookie, as well. Great recipe and great tips, Averie — please keep them coming!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you’ve been baking these cookies for years now! I totally agree about chilling the dough and I completely agree that not only does it make the cookies actually bake up thicker but when you don’t chill the dough, I completely agree that it also affects the taste of that cookie. There’s just something off about them.

  22. I wholeheartedly agree that these are some of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve made! I started underbaking cookies after seeing your cookie recipes a few years ago and my family has been clamouring for more of these cookies ever since!

    Rating: 5
  23. This is my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies!

    Rating: 5
  24. Re: The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Is chilling a two-step process: chill dough once ingredients are mixed and again chill cookies on baking sheet, prior to baking? I will be using a 1 1/2 Tbsp. scoop. Will that size scoop work?

    Also, will salted butter work if I omit the pinch of salt listed in the ingredients?

  25. This is my go to cookie recipe for chocolate chip cookies and every time i make them people fall in love with them. I never give away the recipe as this is my own little secret recipe that keeps friends and family coming back for more. I have not tried another recipe since having tasted these cookies and actually have to make three batches tonight for friends and family. I have made small changes in terms of using mini chocolate chips over the larger ones as I feel you get more of them in one cookie over the bigger ones almost making these cookies have a Molten core of chocolate. I adore this recipe and thank you for sharing it to the masses!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and glad these are your absolute favorites and that everyone wants the recipe! I agree, mini choc chips can give you better distribution of chocolate in many recipes from cookies to muffins.

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