The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tested & Perfected Recipes

A few tweaks to the classic Nestlé® Toll House® recipe make these the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

The simplest recipes are typically the hardest to get right, and classic chocolate chip cookies are a perfect example. The most popular recipe is found on the back of the Nestlé® Toll House® chocolate chip bag, but if you follow the recipe as is, the cookies often come out flat as pancakes. I’ve tried other recipes and finicky techniques in search of the best chocolate chip cookies – resting the dough for days to develop flavor, browning the butter, using bread flour or pastry flour, etc. – but to me, the difference in taste has never justified the extra time and effort. And honestly, who wants to go to all that trouble for cookies?

Here I’ve tweaked the classic and easy Toll House® recipe to make it more reliable (no more pancakes!) and tastier. The cookies are thick with a chewy, moist center and slightly crisp exterior – and they have the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and chocolaty. Before you start baking, be sure to read my best baking tips to ensure success.

What You’ll Need To Make The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, combine the butter and both sugars.

butter and sugars in bowl of electric mixer

Beat on medium speed (or high speed if using a hand mixer) for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.

creamed butter and sugar

Add the vanilla and eggs.

adding eggs and vanilla

Beat for 2 minutes more, then scrape down the bowl.

beaten dough with eggs

Add the salt and baking soda and beat briefly until evenly combined, then add the flour.

adding dry ingredients

Mix on low speed until the dough is uniform.

cookie dough with dry ingredients mixed in

Add the chocolate chips.

adding chocolate chips

Mix until evenly combined.

chocolate chip cookie dough

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or scrape the dough into an airtight container and let rest in the refrigerator until firm, a few hours or overnight. (Alternatively, if you don’t want to wait, form the dough into balls as instructed below, arrange on the baking sheets, and chill in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.)

Drop the dough in firmly packed 1.5-tablespoon balls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. (I use a #40/1.5-T cookie scoop with a wire trigger.) For thick cookies, it’s important to really pack the dough in the scooper or with your hands.

Pro Tip: If you’d like to see the chocolate chips on the surface of the cookies, hold back about 1/3 cup chocolate chips and dot them on the dough balls, pressing them in slightly, before baking.

chocolate chip cookie dough balls on baking sheet

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until golden around the edges but still soft and pale in the center.

chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven

Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

chocolate chip cookies cooling on rack

The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few tweaks to the classic Nestlé® Toll House® recipe make these the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

Servings: About 40 cookies
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 12 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (fine to substitute light)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off (preferably King Arthur flour brand - see note)
  • 2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips, best quality such as Ghriardelli

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed (or high speed if using a hand mixer) for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat for 2 minutes more. Scrape down the bowl. Add the salt and baking soda and beat briefly until evenly combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed until the dough is uniform. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or scrape the dough into an airtight container and let rest in the refrigerator until firm, a few hours or overnight. (Alternatively, if you don't want to wait, form the dough into balls on the baking sheets as instructed below, and chill in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the middle position. Line a 13 x 18-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Drop the dough in firmly packed 1.5-tablespoon balls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. (I use a #40/1.5-T cookie scoop with a wire trigger.) For thick cookies, it's important to really pack the dough in the scooper or with your hands. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until golden around the edges but still soft and pale in the center. Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough, refrigerating the dough between batches. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  5. Note: I highly recommend King Arthur All-Purpose Flour for this recipe – it's higher in protein and gluten than other brands and helps the cookies hold their shape.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer for about 1 hour, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) The baked cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (40 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 69
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Sugar: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 36 mg
  • Cholesterol: 11 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I have tried different recipes over the years, but no more, this is the perfect chocolate chip cookie! Thanks Jenn!!

    • — Denise on January 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made these last night and they’re definitely the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made in my 54 years of baking! I did reduce the amount of chocolate chips to 1½ cups. I find American recipes are usually too sweet for our liking so either cut back on the amount of sugar called for sugar or, as in this case, the chocolate chips.

    I’ve always chilled my cookie dough before baking. I’m sure I read somewhere that it helps the gluten to “relax’ which makes for a tender cookie. Does that sound right to you Jenn or is my memory making it up? I’m 73 so that could be the case! LoL

    Cheers,
    Susan P. British Columbia, Canada

    • — Susan P. West Kelowna, BC Canada on December 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, So glad you enjoyed the cookies! And yes, in general, resting dough does help gluten relax. For cookies, chilling dough also makes for thicker, puffier cookies.

      • — Jenn on December 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • Not Chocolate Chip Cookie fan, but my husband loved them!
    Thanks again, a

    • — ANNE on December 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • How long will the cookie dough last in the fridge covered?

    • — Melissa M on December 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Melissa, I think you could get away with refrigerating it for 3 to 4 days.

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • These were very good and turned out nicely plump. I did add some chopped walnuts because my family likes nuts in their chocolate chip cookies! To my taste the recipe could benefit from a wee bit more salt, and then I figured out why: the ingredient list was the same as the Toll House one, except they did not specify salted or unsalted butter, and growing up with that as our go-to recipe, we always used salted butter and then added the 1t of salt on top of that (UNsalted butter specified here). So, just in case you want a bit of extra richness, consider adding a bit more salt. Of course, it’s a very personal preference!

    • — Lynn on December 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • My chocolate chip cookies always spread too much, but these were great. My husband took a bite, and said “perfect”.

    • — Suzie DeAngelis on December 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love every recipe of yours I have tried Jen. I’ve done the pumpkin bread, corn muffins, blueberry bread, a.k.a. boy bait, along with a few others. These were amazing cookies. They came out perfectly. It’s officially replaced my standby cookie recipe. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with great flavor. I used AP flour, and it came out fine. May try it with the one you recommend and see how it changes. Thank you!

    • — Melissa G McAughty on December 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • Fantastic!! This is the best CCC recipe I have ever used! I added 1/4 tsp cream of tartar for more firm outside. They were perfect! Like soft batch cookies, only much better! They are sweet and a touch salty. I also used salted butter and coarse salt and they were a HIT!!! This will forever be my go to recipe for CCC. It made enough for 3 batches and the dough froze perfectly! As a matter of fact, the frozen dough baked better than the chilled dough.

    • — Alison Donahee on December 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve been using the recipe for Martha Stewart’s “Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies” and they always come out great. The only difference with yours is the refrigeration of the dough beforehand. I’m going to try this next time I make a batch and see what the effect is.

    • — Peter on December 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • I had never refrigerated my dough either, but….it was worth it! All the other recipes I have tried came out flat.

      • — Alison Donahee on December 9, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made these chocolate chip cookies today. They are delicious, plump and tender. I was hesitant about not mixing the dry ingredients together before putting it into the wet mixture, but I stayed true to your directions and so glad I did. These was my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

    • — Susan on December 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made many many of your recipes and love them all.
    I followed this recipe exactly and still feel like my cookies were somewhat flat-infact, the bigger scoop made the flattest of the cookies. Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Joanne

    • — joanne crantz on December 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Joanne, Happy to help troubleshoot. Did you chill the dough? What brand of flour did you use?

      • — Jenn on December 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • I grew up with my great grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe with oatmeal which I love! My husband grew up with this style and I have never found a recipe that worked. I agree I think the chilling time in the fridge is one of the reasons this recipes is a success. I live in Canada and used Robin Hood all purpose flour and followed the recipe exactly and they are delicious!
    Another amazing Once Upon A Chef recipe to add to the binder! Thanks!

    • — Mandy on December 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Disappointing for me…too much flour. Did not get the chewy goodness I expected.

    • — Conitchewa on December 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Delicious! Always on the lookout for the “best” chocolate chip cookies-these are my new favorite!
      Thank you for a great recipe!

      • — Barbara Chassin on December 19, 2021
      • Reply
  • Can’t wait to try these. I only keep Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat pastry flour on hand. What do you think about that? Love every one of your scrumptious recipes Jen!

    • — Kari Powell on December 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! Unfortunately, I don’t think whole wheat pastry flour will work here – sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • Finally, the quintessential chocolate chip cookie – thank you Jenn! I have tried many recipes over the years that use cumbersome techniques or special ingredients, but the “classic chocolate chip cookie” has always eluded me until now. This is perfection.

    • — Anna on December 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer:

    RE: Oatmeal and Walnut addition – measurement needed?

    I would like to try this recipe as I know it will be good. I have promised Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Walnut cookies to a friend. In order to make them with oatmeal, how much oatmeal and walnuts would you suggest I add to make a delicious cookie. I will follow your instructions to a “T”. Thanks in advance. Thank you and Blessings, Susan

    • — Susan Grondin on December 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, Based on what you’re looking for, I’d suggest this recipe instead (and you can swap the pecans for walnuts). Hope your friend enjoys!

      • — Jenn on December 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • Pancake vs. rounded with crispy edges all depends on the pan you use! Using an aluminum baking pan yields a flat pancake. Using a dark gray nonstick cookie sheet yield a perfect cookie, rounded soft and chewy with crispy edges! Same recipe, different pan.

    • — Karen on December 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • I plan to make these soon and will be sure to use King Arthur flour.
    There were differing opinions in recent years, some professional bakers saying that the higher protein in KA flour resulted in a ‘tough’ cookie. When I used a lower protein flour, especially for chocolate chip cookies, they would spread and flatten out.
    Glad to see that you recommend King Arthur!

    • — Kathy on December 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • I agree with you. I have tried this recipe many, many times and it always come out flat like pancakes. But for the past 3 years, I have been putting the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours before baking and when it’s baked, it rises perfectly and so soft in the inside!! Yumm!!

    • — Emily on December 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Have found that one of the biggest problems in baking is the brand and flour measurement. Books have been written on how to measure flour, differences in brands, etc…e.g., “one cup” of Pillsbury flour” typically is not the same as “one cup” of King Arthur, and can vary enough in volume that it can change results substantially. Wondering if you could add the brand and weight (grams/ounces) of flour for your recipe which I’d like to try. Thanks.

    • — Ron on December 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ron, I have the best luck with King Arthur flour so I always would recommend that for baking. And the great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the cookies if you make them!

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2021
      • Reply
      • A kitchen scale is a small investment that yields big dividends–never more so than when baking–and the chameleon-like qualities of different flours. I consider it an essential tool.

        Thankfully most recipes provides such measures.

        Thanks for your many contributions.

        • — Leisa on December 15, 2021
        • Reply
  • I only keep salted butter on hand. To make it with salted butter, would I just decrease the salt added in or skip it all together? I’ve always wondered why recipes call for unsalted butter then add in salt. It seems redundant. What’s the difference?

    • — Cassie on December 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Cassie, The primary reason that recipes call for unsalted butter is that the amount of salt in salted butter varies by brand. This makes it harder to calibrate the rest of the seasoning in the recipe. While it does vary by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can use the salted butter and reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • Mom always refrigerated her chocolate chip cookie dough. And, usual, Mom was right! Your version is delicious and I will make again.

    • — Jeanne on December 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • The recipe I use is almost identical to this one. It also calls for unsalted butter and placing dough in fridge. I think those two things are what makes the difference. I have never gone back to the Nestle recipe on the back of the package. The first time I made these the dough was rock hard coming out of the fridge and I thought “oops” these won’t bake up properly, but they did! The family gobbles these up. I have been asked many times “what do you put in these cookies?” It is the unsalted butter and hang time in the fridge for sure.

    • — Dorothy Dortin on December 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can oil be substituted for the butter in this recipe?

    • — Gay Lee Freedman on December 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Gay, the one oil that would work is (solidified) coconut oil. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on December 7, 2021
      • Reply

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