Chewy center; crispy, caramelized edges, not too fat, not too thin, the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie! Below I will give you my secrets and tips for achieving the perfect chocolate chip cookie at altitude or sea level!! They are, after-all — the quintessential iconic American cookie!
The BEST Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies | Altitude OR Sea Level
NOTE | This post was updated on 06/19/18
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I must begin with our very favorite cookie that I make almost weekly…truly!
Baking can be a bit of a challenge especially living at altitude! Since moving to Colorado more than 25 years ago, I’ve made it one of my goals to achieve the BEST, chewiest, most chocolatey, chocolate chip cookies.
HOW TO BAKE THE BEST CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
SEA LEVEL? No problem, I’ve given you the recipe adjustments for sea level, but please follow instructions below for the best, chewiest chocolate chip cookies!
Cream room temp butter for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy, light and silky.
How to Soften Butter
Forgot to take out your butter? In microwave, place butter on dish, starting at 8-9 seconds, increasing to about 12 (total) if needed.
Or simply take your butter out of the fridge and cut into chunks while you assemble all of your ingredients and I bet it will be perfectly soft by the time you are ready to cream it!
Add light brown sugar and all natural cane sugar. Cream the 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.
Baking TIPS When Using All Natural Cane Sugar
If using all natural cane sugar (versus refined white sugar) you will need to cream the sugar butter mixture longer, closer to the 4 minute range so that it breaks the larger crystals down further giving you a light, fluffy base.
Add eggs one at a time with mixer on medium-high, mixing each egg for a full minute. Scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
While your eggs are creaming; measure flour, soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to gently incorporate all of the ingredients.
Now add your vanilla. I eyeball mine, but feel free to use a teaspoon.
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. Try not to overmix. Scrape down sides, making sure all of your flour is incorporated.
NOTE | Do not add water for baking at sea level.
Alternate water and flour.
With the mixer on the lowest setting, add your chocolate chips, I typically turn on the stir (setting) on on the mixer, but feel free to mix them in by hand.
Now add your chocolate chunks, I can’t help but think of the the song, “Big and Chunky” from Madagascar 2…rather fitting I’d say. Chunky, chunky!! Turn mixer on lowest setting just one or two times around, or stir in by hand. If you can’t find chocolate chunks, you may simply chop up a bar of your favorite chocolate and stir in, I like this one.
And finally add the mini chocolate chips.
Now you have a beautiful, doughy, chocolate-y chip goodness thang going on. One final mix to make sure those chips are evenly incorporated. Or just give it a good hand stir.
The dough at this point should be soft, fluffy and pretty sticky.
PERFECTLY SHAPED COOKIES EVERY TIME
Using a medium scoop (2 Tablespoons, about the size of a large 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.
After scooping, place the entire pan in the fridge for 10 minutes. This is a CRITICAL step to the thick and chewy factor! 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.
Now would be a great time to preheat your oven to 375°.
At this point you can freeze what you won’t be using, that way you will have cookie dough to pop in the oven anytime you need them, for perfectly fresh and warm cookies.
Scoop the rest of the dough into balls while your first batch is chillin’. Place close together onto a wax paper or parchment lined quarter sheet pan, I love mine and as you can see it gets a lot of use in our home; freeze until firm.
After your cookie dough balls have spent at least 10 minutes in fridge, bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes, repeating the process (scooping, chilling, baking, cooling, salting).
WHY CHILL COOKIE DOUGH?
Chilling firms up the fat (butter, in this case) and gives the flour time to absorb liquid evenly. It reduces the dough’s stickiness, making it firm and much easier to work with, allowing for the flavors to permeate the dough completely.
TIPS FOR PERFECT COOKIES EVERY TIME
- Cream butter until light, then cream butter and sugars for 2-4 minutes
- Chill dough balls
- Check oven temps, for accuracy purchase an oven thermometer
- Cool for a couple minutes on pan, then transfer with spatula to cooling rack
- Sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt, if you have never tried a sprinkle of sea salt or fleur de sel on your cookies, you will be amazed!!
- They will firm as they cool – store in airtight container on counter for 2-3 days, or freeze and bring to room temperature before serving.
Once dough balls are frozen, transfer them to a gallon freezer baggie, remove as much air as possible, seal and put in freezer. These are also great to give as part of a meal for a friend, package up a dozen in a baggie, provide thawing and baking instructions and they will love you forever!
BAKING FROZEN COOKIE DOUGH BALLS
When ready to use your frozen dough, pull desired number out of freezer, place dough balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet letting them come to room-ish temp (about 10 minutes) while the oven preheats.
Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes and cool as described above. I also like to keep my freshly baked cookies wrapped in cellophane to keep fresh. I double them up, wrap them tightly and freeze, then they can be easily plopped into a lunch box, thawed by lunchtime.
Making up the entire batch of cookies for a team feed, picnic, school party or potluck? This is a fabulous way to transport these cookies so they don’t get smashed or broken, plus you can fit a LOT into the container.
TIPS for CHEWIEST Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- Always use real butter, NO butter blends or substitutes.
- Always, always refrigerate your dough for 10 minutes prior to baking, up to 36 hours (covered).
- Remove from oven when edges are golden, but centers still appear slightly underbaked
- Cool on pan 2-3 minutes before transferring to wire rack.
Give these other Chewy Cookie Recipes a try!
Triple Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies with Fleur de Sel
Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Maple Brown Sugar Frosting
Brownie Sandwich Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting
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- 1 cup (2 sticks), softened butter (the real deal, no substitutes)
- ⅔ cup all natural cane sugar ¾ cup if not high altitude
- ⅔ cup brown sugar, packed [¾ cup if not high altitude]
- 2 large eggs (take out 20-30 minutes to warm slightly)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour 2 cups if not high altitude
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp water [omit, if not high altitude]
- 1 cup chocolate chips (use a good quality chocolate chip)
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup chocolate chunks
- Flaky Sea Salt for sprinkling on top of baked cookies (optional) I love Maldon Flaky Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 375°. Cream softened butter in mixer, 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy, scrape down edges of bowl.
- Add granulated and brown sugar and cream well, beating on medium-high for 2-4 minutes, scraping down sides about half way between. (About 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.
- While creaming butter and sugar mixture; in a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt gently with a whisk. With mixer on low/stir, slowly pour in ½ cup of flour mixture at a time and gently mix, add water in between flour additions, don’t over mix.
- Once mixed well, scrape sides of bowl and pour in chocolate chips, minis and chunks, stir (with low on mixer or by hand) on low, until just combined.
- 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
- If not enjoying all the cookies at once, freeze dough balls until firm, then place in freezer ziplock bag until ready to use.
- 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 degrees.. Bake as directed above. 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 your oven can vary.
TIPS for the Chewiest Cookies
- Always use real butter, not butter blends or substitutes.
- Always, 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 under-baked.
- 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.
© 2017 | This recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies was featured first on The Fresh Cooky.
- KitchenAid KSM155GBSA 5-Qt. Artisan Design Series with Glass Bowl - Sea Glass
- Nordic Ware, Pan Bakers Half Sheet Non Stick 18x13
- 100pcs Unbleached Parchment Paper Baking Liners Sheets, Precut 12×16 inches Non-stick Wax Paper for Cook, Grill, Steam, Pans, Air Fryers, Hamburger Patty Paper
- Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar, Unfined & Non-gmo All Natural Sugar, 4 Lb (Pack of 2)
- OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop
- Silicone Spatula Set - 6 Piece Non-Stick Rubber Spatula Set with Stainless Steel Core - Heat-Resistant Spatula Kitchen Utensils Set for Cooking, Baking and Mixing - Gray
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 168 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 200mg Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 14g Protein: 2g
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