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Crisp, golden brown edges, thick, soft and chewy centers, and plenty of melty, gooey chocolate chips make these the best chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever taste! Grandma’s classic recipe comes out perfectly every time, so file this one away to share with your loved ones for years to come. The soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies have been enjoyed with a cold glass of milk for generations!
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Homemade chocolate chip cookies have been a staple in just about every kitchen and bakery for almost 100 years because they’re quick, easy, and a perfect combination of buttery dough with rich, gooey chocolate. While every home cook has her favorite version, we think that this is the best recipe because the soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies are:
- Crisp on the edges, but soft in the center;
- Ultra-thick and puffy (thanks to the shortening in the dough);
- Chewy (thanks to the brown sugar and butter);
- Loaded with chocolate;
- Buttery, salty and sweet!
Serve a few cookies with a cold glass of milk and watch your kids, grandchildren, friends and loved ones smile!
Ingredients for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Shortening and butter: the combination of both shortening and butter helps the cookies puff up, stay moist, and have a soft, chewy texture.
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar: to sweeten the dough. Using a little bit more brown sugar than granulated sugar gives the cookies a softer, chewier texture.
- Eggs: give the cookies structure.
- Vanilla extract: for flavor.
- All-purpose flour: the base of the dough.
- Baking soda: the leavening agent that helps the cookies rise.
- Salt: to enhance the sweet flavors in the cookies.
- Chocolate chips: I used milk chocolate chips here, since those are my kids’ favorite. Semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips will all work well, too.
How to Make Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
This classic, old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie recipe comes together in just minutes. Keep the basic ingredients on hand and you can whip up a batch whenever the craving strikes. They always disappear fast, and are one of my kids’ favorite desserts!
Step 1: Mix Dough
Cream together the shortening, butter and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla, then mix in the sifted dry ingredients.
Fold in plenty of your favorite chocolate chips!
Step 2: Chill
Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Step 3: Scoop
Scoop the dough into round balls and arrange on parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets.
Step 4: Bake
Bake in a 375° F oven for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown but the centers still appear soft.
What makes Chocolate Chip Cookies Chewy?
More moisture yields a chewy cookie, so one way to achieve this desired texture is to use more brown sugar than granulated sugar. The molasses in the brown sugar draws in more moisture, making the cookies thicker, softer, and chewier.
Why Use Shortening in Chocolate Chip Cookies?
Shortening is 100% fat, so it contains no water. That means that no steam is created during baking, which reduces gluten production, and creates a softer, more tender cookie. Also, shortening has a higher melting point than butter, resulting in taller, puffier cookies. I find that the combination of equal parts shortening and butter in this recipe gives you the best of both worlds: a tall, soft and puffy cookie (from the shortening) with a chewy, flavorful bite (from the butter).
How to Keep Chocolate Chip Cookies Soft
The key to maintaining those decadent, soft, gooey centers in your chocolate chip cookies is not overbaking. Remove the cookies from the oven just as the edges are starting to brown. The centers will still look soft and under-baked, but the cookies will continue to firm up as they cool.
Why do some chocolate chip cookies come out flat?
The warmer your cookie dough is when it enters the oven, the thinner and flatter your cookies will be. Here are my best tips to prevent your cookies from spreading in the oven so that they come out thick, soft, chewy and puffy every single time:
- Chill the dough. Some chocolate chip cookie recipes do not call for chilling the dough; however, I find that at least 1-2 hours in the refrigerator before scooping yields the best thick, chewy texture. As I mentioned above, the warmer your dough, the more it will spread when baked.
- Don’t Overmix. Whipping the wet ingredients too much or overmixing can add excessive air to the dough, causing the cookies to collapse and spread in the oven.
- Cool Baking Sheets. Never place cookie dough on warm baking sheets.
- Shape into Round Balls or Use a Cookie Dough Scoop. Placing a rounded ball of dough onto the baking sheet yields a taller, thicker cookie.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last on the counter for about 3 days. To extend the life of your cookies, wrap them tightly and freeze them for up to 3 months.
You can prepare the dough up to 24 hours in advance and keep it covered in your refrigerator until ready to bake.
How to Freeze Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
You can also freeze the cookie dough before baking. This dough freezes best if you portion it into dough balls first. Arrange the dough balls on baking sheets, freeze, and then wrap tightly in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. The dough will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, just pull a couple of frozen dough balls from the oven and bake in a 375 degree F oven. You’ll need to add about 1-2 more minutes to the baking time since you’re starting with frozen dough.
- For an ultra-chewy texture, add an extra egg yolk to the dough. You can also swap out half of the all-purpose flour for bread flour, which has a higher protein content and therefore creates a chewier bite.
- If you prefer a crispy chocolate chip cookie, use more granulated sugar than brown sugar and bake the cookies for a few extra minutes.
- I love the soft, puffy texture that you get with shortening; however, you can replace the shortening in this recipe with an additional ½ cup of butter if necessary. If using additional salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe to ½ teaspoon.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips are the classic addition to chocolate chip cookies; however, you can substitute with any chocolate chips that you like. My kids prefer milk chocolate chips, while dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or coarsely-chopped chocolate bars are all great options as well.
More Homemade Cookies You’ll Love
- Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Classic Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft Gingerbread Man Cookies
- Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- Italian Ricotta Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- ½ cup shortening, at room temperature
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together shortening, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until well combined. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture; mix to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoons two-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes, or just until light brown around the edges. The centers will still be soft.
- Cool on the baking sheets for about 3-5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Why preheat the oven at the beginning if you have to chill the dough for 2 hours.
Ah, you’re right! I should fix that. Thanks, Sarah! 🙂