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The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chewy center; crispy, caramelized edges, not too fat, not too thin, the BEST Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies! Below I share my secrets, tips and hacks for achieving the perfect chocolate chip cookie at altitude or sea level!! They are, after-all, THE quintessential, iconic American cookie!

These thick chocolate chip cookies are deliciously chunky and chewy, practically perfect in every way!

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was the first recipe on my blog! These thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies are one of my most POPULAR recipes on the blog! Enjoy great cookies like we do? Then try these amazing Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies or these Oatmeal Sandwich cookies are spectacular too!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies | #thefreshcooky #chocolatechipcookies #chewy #altitude

NOTE | This post was updated on 12/16/19

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies | #thefreshcooky #chocolatechipcookies #chewy #altitude

Baking Cookies at High Altitude

I share more about “why” I started The Fresh Cooky on my About page.

Baking can be a bit of a challenge especially living at high altitude! Since moving to Colorado more than 25 years ago, I’ve made it my goal to achieve the BEST, chewiest, most chocolatey, chocolate chip cookies. TA-DA!

Baked chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack with sea salt sprinkled on top.
See that cookie on the left smiling at you!

My hope for this blog is to encourage others to try something new, remove fears about adapting a recipe to your taste, try a new recipe and most importantly to return to the family table and invite others to join you!

*Entertaining seeks to impress. Hospitality seeks to bless.”

Jen Wilkin

These are the BEST Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, look no further, you have found the perfect recipe, especially if you are baking at altitude! #thefreshcooky #chocolatechip #cookies #chewy #altitude #recipe

Chewy Cookies at Sea Level

SEA LEVEL INSTRUCTIONS| No problem, I’ve provided recipe adjustments for sea level or other non high altitude locations, but please follow instructions below for the best, chewiest chocolate chip cookies!

Cream softened butter for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy, light and silky.

HOW TO SOFTEN BUTTER

{ALWAYS use real butter for cookies; no blends, margarines, nothing with oil.
Rule of thumb, if it’s soft coming out of the fridge it’s not pure butter}

Forget to take out the butter? Place butter on microwave safe dish, starting at 8-9 seconds, increasing to about 12 (total) seconds if needed.

Or simply take your butter out of the fridge and cut into chunks while you assemble all of your ingredients and it’ll be soft by the time you are ready to cream it!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies | #thefreshcooky #chocolatechipcookies #chewy #altitude

Toss in light brown sugar and all natural cane sugar. Cream sugars and butter together on medium-high, 2-4 minutes; you want it really fluffy and light, scrape down the sides about half way through.

TIPS WHEN BAKING WITH ALL NATURAL CANE SUGAR

  • All natural cane sugar is typically more coarse than refined white sugar, so creaming the mixture longer is key, typically 1-2 minutes longer than the recipe calls for.
  • Creaming the sugar and butter mixture longer; breaks the larger crystals down further giving you a light, fluffy base.

Plop eggs into batter, one at a time with mixer on medium-high. Mix each egg for a full minute. Scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Adding eggs into chocolate chip cookie batter | www.thefreshcooky.com

While eggs are creaming; measure all-purpose flour, soda and sea salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine all ingreds.

Dribble vanilla into batter; have you ever tried making your own Homemade Vanilla, it’s the best! Just two ingredients, a little time and love and a whole lot cheaper. 

Turn mixer to lowest setting, add all-purpose flour a little at a time.

Pour in a couple teaspoons of water* with each flour addition. Let it mix for a second, then add more until all flour is incorporated.

Scrape down sides, making sure all of your flour is incorporated, careful not to overmix. *Do not add water for sea level.

adding flour to chocolate chip cookie dough | www.thefreshcooky.com

Trickle the chocolate chips into dough, mix with mixer on low or by hand or on the lowest mixer setting.

With the mixer on low, pour in chocolate chunks. If you can’t find chocolate chunks, simply rough chop a bar of your favorite chocolate and stir in, I like this one or use additional regular chocolate chips.

Finally, add the mini chocolate chips and mix on low – you might need to grab a wooden spoon at this point. 

Pouring in chips and chunks for chocolate chip cookies | www.thefreshcooky.com

You should have a beautiful, doughy, chocolate-y chip thang going on. One final mix to make sure those chips are evenly incorporated. Or just give it a good hand stir. The dough should be soft, fluffy and pretty sticky.

At this point my family grabs their spoons and digs in; I’ve been eating and serving raw cookie dough for decades and nobody has ever gotten sick!

In fact, read this article especially since our eggs our pasteurized the risk is very low, but if you still aren’t convinced then please try this edible Cookie Dough.

It’s not always the eggs that cause the problem, sometimes it’s the flour, my recipe for edible cookie dough shows you how to “heat treat” the flour to reduce risk as well, I keep my flour in the fridge or freezer though reducing exposure. 

However; if you aren’t afraid of raw eggs, you might also enjoy my Mini French Silk Pies with Toffee Graham Crust. WOW!

Jar of edible cookie dough with chocolate chips and m&m's spread around, spoonful of cookie dough in foreground.

Uniform or Same Size Cookies

Not only does a cookie scoop make life so much easier; scoop, swish, plop…repeat.

But it keeps the cookies uniform in size, which means they will bake evenly, resulting in perfect cookies every time! But is it necessary?

Nope, the good old fashioned, spoon, roll into ball works great too!

Using a medium scoop (2 Tablespoons, about the size of a walnut) scoop your dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2-3 inches apart.

I typically put 9 cookies on each sheet. Feel free to make them smaller too, sometimes I use a small scoop, bake less time, fitting 12 on a pan.

  • This allows the dough to firm up, flavors to mingle, doing some science-y thing that then allows them to spread perfectly and evenly while baking.
  • Stick entire pan of dough balls in the fridge for 10 minutes, this is a CRITICAL step to the thick and chewy factor!
  • Scoop remaining dough into balls while your first batch is chilling, placing close together onto a wax paper or parchment lined quarter sheet pan, then freeze until firm.

Take out just enough chilled dough balls to bake and bake between *350375° for 8-10 minutes, repeating the process (scooping, chilling, baking, cooling, salting).

*Start at 375°, see how they do, if they brown too quickly, reduce temp to 350°, ovens are inconsistent, I use this oven thermometer to be sure. 

Chilling the dough firms up the fat (butter, in this case), also allowing the flour time to absorb the liquids evenly, which reduces the dough’s stickiness, making it easier to work with and slows the spread.

Sheet of chocolate chip cookies | www.thefreshcooky.com

So give me the recipe already!
You got it, the recipe is below, but keep reading for tips on packaging, transport, chewy, perfect cookies every time and gifting ideas!

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!

Yield: 36 cookies

The Best Chewy Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Chewy Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Cookies

An American tradition, the ultimate chewy chocolate chip chewy cookie, crisp on the edges, soft, and chewy centers. Customized for high altitude, but adjustable for all elevations.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-375°F. In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream softened butter in mixer, 2-3 minutes on medium-high until light and fluffy, scrape down edges of bowl.
  2. Add cane sugar and brown sugar, beating on medium-high for 2-4 minutes, scraping down sides about half way between. (Beat 4 minutes if using natural cane sugar). Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, cream on medium-high 1 minute for each egg addition, scrape down sides in between. Add vanilla and mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt whisking until combined. With mixer on low/stir, slowly pour in ½ cup of flour mixture at a time, mixing on low until just combined. Add water (high altitude only) in between flour additions, don’t over mix. Add chocolate chips, minis and chunks, stir (with low on mixer or by hand) on low, until just combined.
  4. Scoop into dough balls using a 2-tablespoon scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Place in fridge 10 minutes prior to baking, bake 8-10 minutes until just set and slightly golden. Cool on pan 2-3 minutes and then remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy warm or room temp.

FREEZING COOKIE DOUGH

  1. If not enjoying all the cookies at once, freeze dough balls until firm, then place in freezer ziplock bag until ready to use.
  2. Once ready to bake, take out of freezer and place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Allow cookies to soften while the oven preheats to 375°F bake as directed. Always fresh cookies!

If your oven runs hot reduce temp by 25° or if run's cool, increase bake time a couple minutes. Purchase an oven thermometer if you are not sure, you will be surprised at how ovens vary.

Notes

TIPS for the Chewiest Cookies

  • Always use real butter, not butter blends or substitutes.
  • Always refrigerate your dough for at least 10 minutes prior to baking, up to 36 hours (covered); 2-3 months if frozen.
  • Remove from oven when edges are golden and appear baked, but centers still appear slightly underbaked.
  • Cool on pan 2-3 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

SMALLER OR LARGER COOKIES | If smaller cookies desired, use a small cookie scoop and bake for 6-8 minutes. If larger cookies are desired, use a large cookie scoop and bake 10-12 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate.

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TIPS for ACHIEVING PERFECTLY, THICK, CHUNKY & CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVERY TIME

  • Cream butter until light & fluffy (1-2 minutes), then cream butter with sugars for 2-4 minutes
  • Chill dough balls
  • Check oven temps, for accuracy purchase an oven thermometer, if necessary
  • Cool for a couple minutes on pan, then transfer with spatula to cooling rack
  • Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if you have never tried sea salt or fleur de sel — please try!
  • Cookies firm up as they cool – store in airtight container on counter for 2-3 days or freeze, bringing to room temperature before serving, or pop back in 350° oven for 1-2 minutes.
cookies on cooling rack chocolate chip cookies | www.thefreshcooky.com

When dough balls are frozen then transfer them to freezer baggies, removing as much air as possible; because air is not your friend in the freezer.

frozen cookie dough chocolate chip cookies | www.thefreshcooky.com

Be different and give your friends and neighbors cookie dough so they are ready for fresh cookies anytime! Check out this post on How to Package Cookie Dough for Gifts

HOW TO BAKE COOKIES FROM FROZEN DOUGH BALLS

When ready to bake your frozen dough, pull desired number out of freezer, then place dough balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet allowing them come to room-ish temp (about 10-20 minutes).

In the meantime, preheat the oven, bake at 350-375° for 8-10 minutes and cool as described above.

Adding M & M's to the batter in chocolate chip cookie dough balls, sitting on parchment lined pan.

FRESH PRO TIP: Start by baking them at 375 for high altitude for less time, for sea level, I suggested 350 and you will have to play with the time for your oven.

Baked chocolate chip chewy cookies on cooling rack on countertop.

BEST WAY TO TRANSPORT COOKIES?

Making up the entire batch of cookies for a team feed, picnic, school party or potluck?

This is a fabulous way to transport cookies so they don’t get smashed or broken, plus you can fit a LOT into the container.

FREEZE the container with cookies overnight; thaw on the counter for an hour and they’ll be perfect!

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a large airtight container, showing how to set them on their edges, at an angle, for best way to transport.

Another sweet recipe using cookie dough is for these Mini Skillet Cookies or Half-Bakes as we call them, boy are they amazing!!

HACKS for CHEWIEST, Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • Always use real butter, NO butter blends or substitutes that how cookies can go wrong.
  • Refrigerate your dough for 10 minutes prior to baking for up to 36 hours (covered)
  • Remove cookies from oven when edges are golden, the centers still appear slightly underbaked, they will continue cooking and set while cooling.
  • Cool on pan 2-3 minutes before transferring to wire rack, so the cookies will set.

PIN to your favorite COOKIE Board!

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Cyndi

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

These are absolutely the best gluten-free cookies !! My hubby just loves them !! And we live at 4600 ft ! Thank you so much !!

Kathleen

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

Wahoo, I love it Cyndi, I have made a lot of desserts gluten free but I have not tried these! Would love to know what GF flour you replaced it with? Thank you for your kind comment!

Denver Chick

Saturday 6th of February 2021

Thank you for making this recipe! Very tasty but mine were a bit flat and brown on the edges. I live in Denver and did the high altitude approach and weighed all my ingredients to try to be exact but perhaps I messed up somewhere, how do you adjust for this? I am refrigerating the dough overnight but if there is something I can do to tweak it and help the rest please let me know!

Kathleen

Monday 8th of February 2021

Two things I suggest, make sure your baking soda is active, that is oftentimes the biggest culprit and make sure your oven temperature is accurate, you can purchase an inexpensive oven thermometer to test that, many ovens (including my own) run hot or cold and that can make a big difference! Let me know if that works!

Tara Jackson

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Hi! Can I use GF all purpose flour?

Kathleen

Monday 21st of December 2020

Hi Tara -- I have never tried these cookies with GF AP flour, while I have had success with other bake goods I've never tried with these. Please let me know if you try and how they turn out!

Regina

Saturday 19th of December 2020

If I only have refined sugar rather than the natural cane, should I adjust the amount the recipe calls for? Can’t wait to try these for Christmas!

Kathleen

Saturday 19th of December 2020

Absolutely Regina, you just shouldn't have to cream the butter and sugars as long. Also be sure to use the high altitude or sea level adjustments depending on where you live, as it's either less or more sugar! Happy baking, hope you love them!

Merry Christmas, Kathleen

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