I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make perfect chocolate chip cookies. I’ve made the classic recipe off the bag of chocolate chips, I’ve tried chilling the cookie dough and I’ve even tried banging the cookie sheet to get a chewier texture. I’ve tried all these techniques and played with so many recipes all to find my favorite—and I’m getting closer all the time.
This being said, everyone’s perfect chocolate chip cookie is different. Some folks are crispy cookie fans and others like them soft and chewy (chewy cookie fans, check these recipes out). Getting your favorite kind of cookie is easy with just a few alterations to a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe.
The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
The Taste of Home Test Kitchen loves these ultimate chocolate chip cookies. Former staffer and recipe contributor Megimi Garcia says, “Everyone has a favorite type of chocolate chip cookie—a little crispy, a little chewy—but they all have to begin with a basic recipe. My perfect chocolate chip cookie golden brown, soft in the center and a little bit crisp on the edges. I tested lots of variations and found that, for me, this recipe is the best place to start.” With just a few substitutions, you can get the cookie you love with her basic recipe.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 3 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
How to Make It Perfect for You
Taste of Home
- How to modify the recipe: Place portioned dough into an airtight container, separating layers with waxed paper, Refrigerate 24 hours.
- Result: Chewy cookies
Are you a chewy cookie lover? Chilling your cookie dough is the easiest way to ensure you get that texture you desire. Popping cookie dough in the fridge for even just a short while can help firm up the dough and prevent it from spreading too much in the oven.
The Test Kitchen recommends chilling for at least 30 minutes, but you can even keep your dough in the fridge overnight. This can help develop some extra flavor, too.
- How to modify the recipe: Use melted butter instead of softened butter.
- Result: Thin, crispy cookies
While chilling the dough helps control the spread of your cookies, melting the butter has the opposite effect.
Using melted butter in your cookie dough helps create a cookie that spreads. A cookie that spreads during baking tends to be crispier and thinner which is great for crunchy cookie fans. This alteration is great for fans of thin cookies, like Tate’s Bake Shop (a favorite among our editors).
- How to modify the recipe: Increase flour up to 3-1/2 cups.
- Result: Dense, doughlike cookies
Adding more flour to chocolate chip cookie dough will create a stiffer dough that spreads less in the oven. These cookies tend to be a bit denser but end up chewy in the middle—almost to the point of being underdone. This is a great hack if you’re a cookie dough fan.
Baking Powder Only
- How to modify the recipe: Substitute baking powder for baking soda.
- Result: Soft, cakelike cookies
Removing the baking soda from the recipe (and adding an extra half-teaspoon of baking powder) creates a soft, cakelike cookie.
Baking Powder + Baking Soda
- How to modify the recipe: Keep as is.
- Result: Chewy golden brown cookies with crispy edges
Using a combination of baking powder and soda is a great middle ground. The middles of the cookies are chewy while the outsides are crisp: the best of both worlds.
Granulated Sugar Only
- How to modify the recipe: Omit brown sugar and increase granulated sugar to 1-1/2 cups.
- Result: Pale, thin and crunchy cookies
Using just white sugar produces a very thin, crunchy cookie. This technique tends to produce cookies that are a bit less flavorful (brown sugar adds a lot to chocolate chip cookies). This might be a good alteration if you’re looking for a cookie that’s super crisp, though.
Brown Sugar Only
- How to modify the recipe: Omit granulated sugar and increase the brown sugar to 1-1/2 cups.
- Result: Chewy and soft cookies with a butterscotch flavor.
Soley using brown sugar has the opposite effect of using just plain sugar. Brown sugar-only cookies are chewier and softer, plus they have a more molasses-y, butterscotch-like flavor.
Other Easy Ways to Experiment
If you don’t want to alter the basics of the recipe, that’s OK. You can still make some easy adjustments that can totally change up your go-to cookie.
- Chocolate: Semisweet morsels are standard in most cookie recipes, but you don’t have to stick to this classic. Try ultra-dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or even flavored options like these reader-favorite Bailey’s chips or Andes mint chips. Out of morsels? You can use chopped chocolate pieces too. Chopped chocolate gives you some variety in texture with the small and large bits.
- Extracts: Vanilla extract is also a standard in most chocolate chipper recipes. Experiment with different kinds of vanilla (Madagascar vanilla has a different flavor than Indonesian or Mexican, for example). You can also try almond extract, too.
- Size: Tablespoon-sized dollops of cookie dough are standard, but you can up the size. Our signature big and buttery chocolate chip cookies are a quarter-cup in size.