These chocolate chip cookies are my favourite kind, with soft, chewy centres and slightly crisp edges. With no need to chill the dough before baking they are quick and easy to make!
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Originally published March 2019. Recipe, blog post and photos updated August 2020.
I genuinely can’t tell you how many batches of these chewy chocolate chip cookies I made to get these just right. So please know that these are tried and tested, and I’m really happy with them!
Chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe
I posted my recipe for Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies a few weeks ago. They were actually developed from this recipe, but I posted them first as I thought they were perfect for Valentine’s Day!
As I discovered the hard way, there is a very fine line between some typical cookie ingredients which can lead to thin cookies, fat cookies, crunchy cookies, under-baked cookies etc! The testing of this recipe really confirmed how important baking ratios are.
Baking truly is a science!
How to make the best chewy chocolate chip cookies from scratch
I don’t know about you, but I prefer my cookies a little thick and soft, with a slightly crisp edge. I also like them loaded with chocolate chips!
(Want an extra chocolatey cookie? Try my Chewy Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies!)
During the development of these cookies, it amazed me how much difference a slight tweak to one ingredient alters the overall texture and shape of a cookie. Here’s a picture showing the results of my cookie testing process…
Yes, there were A LOT of cookies in my kitchen that week!
Don’t get me wrong, I would happily eat any of these cookies again. They just weren’t the right shape, size or texture for my liking. Look how much the first two test batches spread and browned!
Chewy chocolate chip cookie ingredients
This quick and easy chocolate chip cookie recipe contains the following ingredients:
- Plain flour for the main structure of the cookies
- Cornflour makes them extra soft
- Bicarbonate of soda helps to leaven the dough, making the cookies slightly thicker
- Salt to balance the flavours
- Caster sugar for flavour
- Light brown sugar makes the cookies softer and chewier (compared to using just caster sugar)
- Softened Butter keeps the cookies soft and helps them spread in the oven. Plus, because we’re not using melted butter, the dough doesn’t need to be chilled before baking!
- Egg yolks makes the cookies extra chewy (compared to when I used egg white and yolk during recipe testing)
- Vanilla extract for flavour
- Chocolate chips and plenty of ’em!
I talked a little about my reasoning behind each ingredient in my Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies post. I wanted a soft cookie, but not so soft that it would spread a lot in the oven. Balancing these ingredients was definitely challenging! I’ve used just enough flour to prevent too much spreading, plus some cornflour to give a softer texture.
The use of bicarbonate of soda and the creaming of the butter and sugar help to leaven the cookie and again help with the softness. Using only egg yolks and no egg white makes the cookie chewier. Then some vanilla extract for added flavour and lots of chocolate chips because… do I really need to answer that?
An important note about the butter used in this recipe: I use the soft, spreadable type butter and not block butter (whereas block butter is a must in my Welsh Cake Shortbread and Lemon Bars recipes!). I’d suggest doing the same, as the cookies may not spread enough in the oven if they contain the firmer block butter!
How to make easy chewy chocolate chip cookies
Full instructions with step-by-step photos can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick summary:
- Preheat your oven to 180°/160° fan and get your baking tray(s) ready. I recommend using a silicone baking tray for the most evenly baked cookies, but if you don’t have one just line your baking tray with baking/parchment paper.
- Add the plain flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt to a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until combined.
- Using an electric stand mixer or hand mixer with the paddle/beater attachment fitted, beat the softened butter and both sugars for 1 whole minute on medium speed until lighter in colour and fluffy.
- Next, add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat briefly again until combined.
- Add half the dry ingredients to this bowl and beat on low speed until just combined, then add the remaining half and beat again until just combined.
- Finally, add the chocolate chips and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Measure out two tablespoons of dough per cookie and place them on the baking tray. Roll the two tablespoons of dough together into cookie dough balls with the palms of your hands. I bake 7-8 at a time, spaced evenly to account for spreading of the cookies!
- Bake for 10 minutes. They will look slightly underbaked in the middle at this point but place the tray on your countertop for a further 5 minutes – they will continue baking through on the counter. This is a good trick to get extra soft, chewy centres!
- After 5 minutes remove the cookies from the tray and place them on a wire rack to cool (though warm cookies with melted chocolate are too good, so I’ll forgive you for eating most of them before they’ve cooled 😉)
Top tips on how to make soft and chewy homemade cookies
- Measure out your flour very carefully – too much flour can make the cookies dry and cracked, plus can prevent them from spreading enough in the oven. Conversely, if you don’t add enough flour the cookies will spread too much in the oven!
- Use softened, room temperature butter and room temperature egg yolks to ensure the ingredients incorporate smoothly
- Don’t use melted butter for this recipe as it will make the cookies greasy and cause them to spread too much in the oven
- I tend to bake no more than 8 cookies on a tray at once as they spread and could end up sticking together!
- Want to get perfectly round cookies? As soon as you take them out of the oven, grab a spatula and gently push the edges of the cookies inwards where they may have gone slightly oval. As the cookies are still slightly underbaked and soft, you can push the edges inwards easily to make them look rounder before they cool!
- My top tip – press some extra chocolate chips into the cookies once they’re out of the oven and cooling on your countertop – this is purely for appearance but they look so much better with extra chips! (see my step-by-step photos in my recipe card below for a before and after example)!
Why aren’t my chocolate chip cookies chewy?
It could be that you added too much flour, not enough/any cornflour or not enough butter. This can also happen if you over-bake the cookies. Remember they will look slightly underbaked in the middle at the 10-minute point but will continue baking through on your countertop for 5 minutes after removing them from the oven!
Why are my chocolate chip cookies cakey?
This could be because you’ve added too much flour or bicarbonate of soda. It can also occur if you over-beat the butter and sugars. Bicarbonate of soda and creaming the butter and sugars together both help to leaven the cookies slightly. However, too much leavening can make the cookies more cakey in the middle.
Why aren’t my cookies spreading in the oven?
Without meaning to sound like a broken record… one main cause is too much flour! Other causes include oven temperature being too low, not adding enough butter, or substituting brown sugar for more caster sugar. Brown sugar is moister and helps cookies spread more than caster sugar, so swapping out the brown sugar will affect how much they spread in the oven.
Why do cookies go flat in the oven?
Not adding enough flour, or adding too much butter or egg can cause this. Another cause could be your oven temperature; if it’s too hot the butter in your cookie dough melts too quickly, causing them to spread too much and become thin cookie puddles!
Can I freeze unbaked cookie dough?
Definitely! I often freeze the dough after rolling them into balls. Place them in an airtight container (with baking/parchment in between layers if stacking on top of each other) and freeze. You can then bake them straight from frozen at the same oven temperature; just give them 1-2 minutes extra in the oven.
Can I freeze baked cookies?
Yup, these freeze brilliantly as baked cookies too! Simply store them in an airtight container and freeze. They won’t take long to defrost on your countertop, but if you’re in a hurry you could give them a quick blast in the microwave. Warm, melty chocolate chip cookies, anyone?
What’s the secret to soft cookies?
It’s all in the ratio of ingredients and method of baking! Using cornflour, butter and light brown sugar all help to keep the cookies soft and chewy. Plus, removing the cookies from the oven when the centres are slightly underbaked results in a softer cookie centre!
Can I use baking powder instead of bicarbonate of soda in cookies?
I wouldn’t recommend this as baking powder will make the cookies too cakey and less chewy.
Can I use melted butter instead of softened butter in this cookie recipe?
No, I wouldn’t recommend this – this recipe has been tested to have the perfect chewy consistency using softened butter which is creamed together with both sugars. Substituting it with melted butter will lead to much flatter, greasy cookies.
Can I replace brown sugar with white sugar in this cookie recipe?
Again, I wouldn’t recommend this – I use mostly brown sugar in this recipe for a very good reason. The softer, more moist consistency of brown sugar helps to create a chewy cookie and helps the cookies spread just the right amount in the oven. Substituting with caster sugar will affect their chewy texture and ability to spread in the oven!
To summarise, these chewy chocolate chip cookies are:
- Perfectly soft in the centre with slightly crisp edges
- Really quick to make as no chilling of the dough is required before baking
- Packed full of sweet chocolate chips
- So easy to make and great for freezing – as unbaked dough balls or baked cookies!
If you try this recipe I’d love to see! You can show me by tagging me @bakerjoblog or using #bakerjoblog!
Other cookie and biscuit recipes to try:
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Chewy Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies
- Welsh Cake Shortbread
Other chocolate recipes to try:
- White Chocolate Blondies
- No-Churn Oreo Ice Cream
- White Chocolate Coconut Truffles
- Nutella Brownies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- No-Bake Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
- Cocoa Dusted Chocolate Truffles
- Chewy Homemade Brownies
- Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins
- Peanut Butter Brownies
- Chocolate Coconut Cake
- Banoffee Brownies
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Electric stand or hand mixer
- Baking tray (silicone best for most even baking)
- 290 g plain flour
- 2 tsp cornflour level
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda level
- 1/4 tsp salt level
- 190 g butter softened/room temperature, and use spreadable not block butter
- 140 g light brown sugar
- 90 g caster sugar
- 2 medium egg yolks room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180 g chocolate chips milk or dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 180°/160° fan. If you don’t have a silicon baking tray line your baking tray with baking/parchment paper and set aside.
- To a medium bowl add the plain flour, cornflour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk to combine (around 30 seconds) and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl if using an electric hand whisk) beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed for 1 full minute.
- To this bowl add egg yolks and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined (around 10 seconds).
- Now add half of the dry ingredients and beat on lowest speed until just combined. Repeat with the remaining half of dry ingredients.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix on lowest speed for around 10 seconds to combine evenly.
- Measure out 2 level tablespoons of dough, press together firmly then roll them between your hands to form one cookie dough ball. I bake 8 cookie dough balls per baking tray, spacing equally to allow for some spreading.
- Place the baking tray in the oven for 10 mins. If your oven has a hot spot turn the tray halfway through baking so they don't brown too much on one side.
- Remove from the oven and place the tray on your work surface for 5 minutes, to allow the cookies to continue baking from the heat. For perfectly round cookies, at this point grab a spatula and gently push the edges of the cookie inwards where it may have gone more oval in shape.
- At this point, I also like to lightly press a few extra chocolate chips on top of the cookies while they're still warm. This is mainly for appearance. Oh, and because extra chocolate chips are never a bad thing!
- After 5 minutes remove the cookies and place them on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature, and best eaten within 3-4 days.