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!!

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.