Cookie chemistry: a simple path to chocolate chip cookies with the texture you crave

What makes a chocolate chip cookie chewy? Or crisp, or crunchy?

Cookie chemistry.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

The interaction between sugar and fat and flour, baking time and temperature – plus a large measure of experimentation done right in your own kitchen – is how to nail your favorite chocolate chip cookie texture.

Let me tell you up front: I’m devoted to simplicity in food prep, and that includes baking. I don’t use a cookie cutter, braid bread dough (aside from a basic 3-strand), or decorate cakes.

I put my heart and soul and brain into everything I bake – but I also put those three entities into a zillion other things important to me: like family, friends, counseling women with health issues, and volunteering at various non-profits.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

So I’m not fond of trying 87 different takes on a recipe to get it exactly right.

First, I see that as a waste of time; if you can get 95% of the way there in the first three tries, you’re good.

And second, having been developing recipes for King Arthur Flour for over 25 years, I know that what comes out of my home kitchen won’t be exactly what comes out of yours – even when you follow the recipe exactly as written. Your oven, pans, ingredients, and even your micro-climate and the weather affect what you bake.

So here’s the deal: my goal with this post is to show you how to take a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and give it the texture you prefer: light and crunchy; thin and crisp; or soft and chewy.

More words than you could shake a spatula at have been written about “the perfect chocolate chip cookie.” But what is that elusive being, anyway?

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

Plain and simple, the perfect chocolate chip cookie is the one you love best. So we’re going to start with my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and, with a few simple tweaks, give you options for potentially turning it into YOUR favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe – no matter which camp your textural preference falls in: crunchy, crisp, or chewy.

Here’s your beginning formula. If your favorite cookie is one that’s crisp around the edges and softer in the center, stop right here: this is the recipe for you.

2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, right from the fridge, or at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
1 teaspoon vinegar, cider or white
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Note: For complete directions, see the recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies. I’m providing you with just the ingredients and some suggested baking temperatures/times here. 

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

How to make crunchy chocolate chip cookies.

1. Substitute 2/3 cup granulated sugar for the brown sugar.

2. Substitute 1/2 cup vegetable shortening for the butter.

3. Bake the cookies for 23 minutes in a preheated 325°F oven.

Cookie chemistry: Crunchiness in a cookie depends on a good balance of fat and dryness. Butter contributes milk solids and water to a cookie, both of which soften it. Brown sugar contributes molasses – again, a softener.

Using lower-moisture sugar (granulated) and fat (vegetable shortening), plus a longer, slower bake than normal, produces light, crunchy cookies.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

That said, using a combination of butter and vegetable shortening (as in the original recipe), or even using all butter, will make an acceptably crunchy chocolate chip cookie. It won’t be AS crunchy as an all-shortening cookie; but for those who eschew vegetable shortening, it’s an option.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

How to make crisp chocolate chip cookies.

1. Substitute 2/3 cup granulated sugar for the brown sugar.

2. Substitute 1/2 cup butter for the vegetable shortening.

3. Bake the cookies for 30 minutes in a 325°F oven.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

Cookie chemistry: The difference between a crunchy and crisp cookie is thickness; we perceive thicker cookies as crunchy, thinner cookies as crisp.

The melting temperature of butter is lower than that of shortening. As they bake, butter-based cookies start to spread before their structure is set; while those made with shortening set before the shortening reaches its melting point.

The result? In this recipe, cookies made with butter (above, left) are wider, thinner, and crispier than those based on shortening (above, right).

In addition, baking these thin cookies several minutes longer than their shortening-based counterparts transforms their innate crunchiness into crispiness.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

How to make soft/chewy chocolate chip cookies.

1. Substitute 1 cup brown sugar for the 2/3 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup granulated sugar.

2. Substitute 1/2 cup butter for the 1/2 cup vegetable shortening

3. Bake the cookies for 14 minutes in a preheated 325°F oven.

Cookie chemistry: We’re taking a 180° turn from our crunchy cookies, substituting higher-moisture brown sugar and butter for their lower-moisture counterparts: granulated sugar and vegetable shortening. That, plus a shortened baking time, yields a cookie that’s soft and chewy all the way through.

You’ll notice these cookies use less sugar than the original recipe, too. Why is that?

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

Because the less sugar you use, the less cookies will spread. Above is a mistake I made along the way: one batch of cookies I made had 50% less sugar than it should have. See the difference in spread? (Actually, I liked this 50% less sugar cookie; it tasted plenty sweet, and its butter flavor was more apparent).

Considering I was using all butter (for its extra moistness) in my soft/chewy cookies, I didn’t want to use the full ration of sugar as well, fearing the cookies would spread too much.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

Some sources call for using bread flour to yield a chewier cookie. I wanted to believe in this, I really did, but the three tests I did showed no difference in chewiness between cookies made with King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, and those made with King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

Corn syrup is also recommended by some for extra-chewy cookies. And while I tried adding 2 tablespoons corn syrup to the dough along with the substitutions listed above, I didn’t like the result: somewhat glossy, unattractive cookies that had no more chew than their non-corn syrup brethren.

My co-blogger, Susan Reid, says corn syrup is the only way to make “bendy” cookies – but I’ll leave that for a future post.

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

I baked a LOT of chocolate chip cookies over the course of several days in putting together this post. Let me share some additional takeaways with you:

• The chips ratio: My favorite ratio of chocolate chips to cookie is 1 cup chips for every cup of flour in the recipe. This yields a cookie with a generous amount of chips, but not one that seems more gooey chocolate than crunchy cookie.

• Chill out: I discovered awhile ago that letting cookie dough chill for 30 minutes before baking improves cookies’ flavor and helps control their spread. I also know that a fully heated oven is critical to cookie success. So make your cookie dough; put it into the fridge; then turn on the oven. Thirty minutes later, your dough will be chilled and your oven fully preheated.

And while we’re on the subject – use an in-oven thermometer. The preheating times on ovens are notoriously inaccurate. Only an in-oven thermometer will tell you, for sure, whether your oven’s up to temperature and ready to bake.

• Bake a test batch: The perception of crunchy vs. crisp vs. chewy is due somewhat to each person’s own personal perception. In addition, all ovens bake slightly differently.

The baking times I give here work for my oven, and yield cookies that I taste as crunchy, crisp, or chewy. To nail down your own baking times, bake just 3 or 4 cookies to start. Let them cool sufficiently for you to see if they’re the texture you’re after.

Yes, this seems wasteful, letting your hot oven sit empty while cookies are cooling enough to assess their texture. But how much more wasteful is it to make an entire batch of cookies and then, 20 minutes after they’re out of the oven, you decide they’re not the texture you were looking for?

Cookie Chemistry via @kingarthurflour

• Parchment makes a difference: All of my tests were done using parchment-lined, light-colored aluminum baking sheets (including the disastrous first take on chewy cookies pictured above).

Cookies baked on parchment won’t spread as much; and their bottoms won’t brown (or potentially burn) as quickly. For the complete results of our parchment/no parchment cookie baking tests, see our post, the secret to perfectly browned cookies.

We’ve arrived at the end of our chocolate chip cookie journey. And I can hear many of you saying, “Yes, but my chocolate chip cookie recipe uses butter and brown sugar and makes the perfect crunchy chocolate chip cookie!”

I have no doubt you can make crisp cookies with butter and brown sugar, and soft cookies with vegetable shortening and white sugar. If you already have your own “perfect” chocolate chip cookie recipe – stick with it! Like so many good things in life, there’s more than one way to skin a cat – or bake a chocolate chip cookie.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Carolyn

    I like to add some chopped nuts to my chocolate chip cookies. How much would you recommend? And should the nuts be toasted first?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Since cookies are thin, I wouldn’t bother toasting the nuts first. But in items like brownies or cakes, or bread, the nuts will add more flavor to the interior if they are toasted and cooled first. For a standard cookie recipe, use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of nuts. Laurie@KAF

    2. William Dooley

      Sugar syrup or cookie dough interferes with the parching of pecans so you will not get maximum pecan flavor. To maximize pecan flavor, first roast your pecans with a tiny bit of melted butter (about one teaspoon per cup) to barely coat some of the surfaces. Roast carefully and for cookies slightly under roast but make sure fragrant. Remove pecans quickly from roasting pan to avoid over roasting. Prior to chopping for cookies dust lightly with super fine sea salt. The butter helps the pecan oils spread around the nut surfaces and the salt enhance the flavor. She in the cookies before you eat them all up!

    3. Diane Cannon

      This is my first attempt to sub in gluten free all purpose flour. The recipe reads just as the one my mother used does, so here goes. About the nuts, I use one cup chopped pecans and one cup chocolate chips. Always yummy, and dunk well if they are too crisp.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Occasionally some cookies have a shinier, smoother underside when using a Silpat, but overall there’s not much difference. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  2. Gail

    I just wanted to add to this post the observation that long freezer storage can also be a factor in cookie texture.
    About a month ago, I prepared the KAF soft choc. chip cookie recipe, reserving half the dough in my freezer for another day. The cookies I baked right away were soft and chewy. The ones I baked from the frozen dough a month later came out crispy, and turned very hard after a day or two.
    Nobody complained, by the way. That is one phenomenal tasting cookie!

    Reply
    1. Kevin Donohue

      I tried freezing cookie dough once. What I found is that frozen cookie dough balls don’t even need baking…

    2. Judy

      Yes, I agree the dough itself can be quite delicious and then you don’t have to worry about the texture being wrong. Just cut to the chase and eat the DOUGH!!! LOL
      😉

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Judy and Kevin, we just have to add that we don’t recommend consuming raw dough. Sorry. It’s our job. Barb@KAF

    4. Sabine Farr

      Do you recommend not eating raw dough because of the raw eggs? We have chickens and impeccably fresh eggs so I guess I think our eggs are safe. Any thoughts on my wishful/magical thinking?

    5. MaryJane Robbins

      There are more studies out now that consuming any raw flour can lead to issues as well, so we travel the “better safe than sorry” route and avoid raw flour, raw eggs and raw dough. ~ MJ

  3. Liz

    Thanks for another great post, PJ, and the grueling research in the never ending quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Even though I have a recipe I love, I can’t resist the quest! All for a good cause, as there aren’t many dreary days that cannot be improved by a warm chocolate chip cookie, or two. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Patty

    Do you think using clarified butter would make a difference?

    I agree that bread flour doesn’t make much difference. I’ve been using Alton Brown’s chewy cc cookie recipe which calls for bread flour but I use AP flour (or sometimes part white whole wheat)–KAF, of course! I can’t tell the difference.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Since clarified butter has had all the liquids (and some of the milk solids as well) cooked out, the moisture content of the dough would be less. Less moisture in a cookie dough means less soft cookies; you could expect a more crispy/crunchy cookie depending on how long and at what temperature you baked them. And don’t forget flavor! Clarified butter often has a toasted, nutty flavor, which would likely come through in the cookies. Give it a try and let us know what you think! Kye@KAF

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      The vinegar helps cut the sweetness in the cookies and give the leavener a boost. ~ MJ

  5. Luis

    Any advise on making large (not giant) chocolate cookies? any changes? Every time I tried the center was not cooked and they seem to fall apart. Thank you for any advise.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you’re talking BIG, consider the bake in an 8″ or 9″ cake pan and treat them like baking bars or brownies. If you’re talking bigger than a tablespoon scoop, use a size 16 scoop that we call the muffin and scone scoop to make cookies that use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup batter. You might lower the bake temp and bake slightly longer. Happy Big Cookie Baking! Irene@KAF

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Nancy,
      We find that the texture of the cookies works best with a solid fat like butter. If you can’t have dairy, you may want to try vegan buttery sticks. We’ve used Earth Balance with very good results. ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We love our gluten free flour that’s a combination of brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch. We even have a recipe so you can make your own gluten free flour blendHappy GF Baking! Irene@KAF

  6. John

    I trick I picked up a long time ago to make cookies that don’t spread out and remain chewy is to use all melted butter and one whole egg and one egg yolk. That makes cookies that are close to a 100% shortening cookie but with butter. Plus that parchment trick you mention : )

    Reply
  7. Carolyn

    I love making chocolate chip cookies, since moving to Utah from New England my cookies are not cookie worthy. I realized it’s because I’m at 5200ft but with all the comments for high altitude I still can’t get a nice chewy cookie that doesn’t turn to rock the next day. Any suggestions??

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Store those cookies with a slice of bread. The cookies will “rob” the bread of it’s moisture and stay soft. We hope this works as well at high altitude as it does in New England. Please let us know how it works! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    2. Linda Morehouse

      I have lived in Colorado (near Utah) most of my life. One of the baking facts of life here is that any flour, no matter how it is packaged, dries out very quickly in the box or bag. Our climate is just much drier than the Eastern US. So when I bake I sometimes add a little water or other liquid to the recipe to make up for the lost water. Now, this is by the seat of the pants and will take some experimentation, kind of like the research done here. For example, the pie crusts I learned to make from my grandmother in Missouri needed almost 1.5 times the water and a little more shortening to work well at this altitude and dryness. It took some experimenting to get the proportions right. Be sure to record your experiments so you know what works!

  8. Nancy

    Just a couple of weeks ago, my daughter and I were going over this very subject! She had baked cookies that had spread too thin, and weren’t the texture she liked. She had asked me what I thought might have happened. We dug some information out of some older KAF blogs, and from a few other sources. I’m going to email this to her. Thanks for giving us the benefit of your research–I hope your co-workers also reaped the benefits by taste-testing! 🙂

    Reply
  9. Bill

    I have used this recipe for years, and it is our family favorite. The vinegar (acid to activate the baking soda) is an unusual ingredient, so my granddaughter and I share it as the “secret” ingredient in grandpa’s chocolate chip cookies. Family members have been trying to guess the ingredient, but no success so far. Of course, they could look up the recipe, but that would spoil the fun of guessing!

    I always double the recipe to make about 110 one-ounce cookies. So, I include one teaspoon of baking soda, and one teaspoon of baking powder. I also use one cup of white sugar and 1 2/3 cups of dark brown sugar instead of equal quantities. The ratio makes the batter a little more moist, and the dark brown sugar improves the color of the finished cookie.

    Reply
  10. Lynn Davis

    Appreciate all of your work PJ. My family LOVES the chocolate chip cookie that are made with the King Arthur Mix. Does this recipe need to be adjusted to get that type of cookie?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can make your own outrageous cookies, Lynn! Looking at the list of ingredients for the mix, you’ll see it uses all purpose flour and 3 kinds of chocolate: semisweet chips, semisweet chunks, and bittersweet chips. Happy baking! Irene@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sneak up on it! Use the recipe as written with all purpose flour and 25% white whole wheat flour – taste and see if you like the flavor and texture. If yes, then make the recipe with 50% white whole wheat. Soft Chocolate Chiprecipe uses white whole wheat instead of all purpose flour! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  11. Gin

    Loved the ” disastrous first take on chewy cookies” comment you made. Something tells me, though, that those cookies didn’t make it into the trashcan. Even spread across the cookie sheet, they look delicious!

    Reply
  12. Christine

    Finally, a comprehensive summary that demystifies this illusive (but passionate) subject! Thank you PJ. But here’s my question: which version should I choose for a cookie that’s crisp on top (not just the edges) and somewhat chewy inside?

    Reply
  13. Doug

    Thank you PJ for writing one of the best baking articles I have read. I particularly enjoyed the crunchy/crispy distinction and the explanation of why to reduce the sugar content when substituting butter for shortening.

    Reply
  14. Florence Grasso

    Can I substitute lard for the crisco? I make pie crust using lard and butter, and it is flavorful and wonderful.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Florence, if you have a great source of fresh lard, please feel free to use lard in the cookies. Laurie@KAF

  15. Karen

    I’ve been using your favorite chocolate cookie recipe with great results over these past few months.

    However, this latest posting — for crunchier cookies — just took the recipe over the top, in my opinion. More than what I had been hoping for!

    Thanks for doing the work on this!!!

    Reply
  16. Jeanne Delp

    I loved this post. Some many new things to contemplate and try! The family will love it! I noticed that the KA recipe called for an oven temp. of 375, rather than the 325 you use. Do you always use the lower temperature for all cookie recipes or just this one?

    Thanks, Jeanne

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Jeanne, I used the lower oven temperature just for this specific recipe and when going for the specific results listed. It’s best to go with the temperature called for in whatever recipe you’re considering, since that’s how the recipe was developed and tested. Enjoy! PJHG

  17. Merle

    I love this straight forward information. You walk on water, I love it!
    Have you done the same for oatmeal or peanut butter? I don’t have your patience and I live alone and can’t afford the weight gain!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Merle, I think you could apply similar modifications to oatmeal or peanut butter cookies, but you may have to do a little tweaking. Barb@KAF

  18. Kathleen

    Excellent adventure in chemistry, PJ, very informative for chocolate chips and other cookies. Maybe you can help with the chemistry to create my husband’s favorites, which are more cakey chocolate chip cookies, but not bar cookies. I think the chewy version is partly on the way, especially limiting the liquids, but not as much rise and density as I’d like. Any advice?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Kathleen, I actually developed a cakey chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it’s not QUITE there yet. I expect to finish it soon. In the meantime, here’s the formula I’ve been working on. Want to give it a try and let us know what you (and your husband) think? – PJH

      8 tablespoons butter, room temp.
      2/3 cup brown sugar
      2 large eggs
      1/4 cup milk
      1 teaspoon baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      3/4 teaspoon salt
      2 teaspoons vanilla
      1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
      2 cups chocolate chips

      Beat the butter and sugar until smooth, then mix in the eggs and milk, then the remaining ingredients. Scoop by the tablespoonful onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in a preheated
      400°F for 8 minutes.

    2. Susan Reid

      I can also add that I’ve made a good chocolate chip cookie on the cakey side adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of sour cream to the batter. Susan

  19. Joni

    I have never had (not that I was aware of!) a chocolate chip cookie with almond extract in it. I see it says ‘optional’ but was just wondering how much of a difference does this make in the flavor of the cookie?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Almond and chocolate are a classic European combo. If you like Almond Roca, or Rocher chocolates, you’d like this combo. ~ MJ

  20. Carolynn - Glenmont, NY

    I’ve been using this recipe for about 8 months now and can’t stop! We love the soft centers so I put the tablespoon scoops of dough on the parchment covered cookie sheets and put them in the freezer at least 24-48 hours. That has made all the difference! Baked one sheet at 375 for 14 minutes then cool these golden cookies and store in a tin can which keeps the soft centers soft with no problems for at least a week. The second baking sheet is all set for the oven as soon as the 1st batch has disappeared! Occasionally I’ve lightly sprinkled them with salt before freezing – YUM! (I get about 36 cookies.) Thank you so much for these full explanations and the pictures are so helpful.

    Reply
  21. Jeanne Duffner

    I use the recipe on the Nestle chocolate chips package but use all dark brown sugar instead of granulated and light brown, add an extra tablespoon or two of butter (all butter, no shortening), and end up with somewhat thinner and perfectly crunchy cookies. If I refrigerate before cooking, the cookies are still perfectly crunchy at the edges but have a chewy center. I generally double the amount of chocolate chips and nuts (I use walnuts), with the result of more chocolate and nut flavor, but still a long way from a gooey, overly chocolate center. This makes the best chocolate cookie I’ve ever eaten and is the result of about 30 years of experimentation. The cookies are darker colored because of the dark brown sugar, but that’s fine with me.

    Reply
  22. Jane

    I used to bake my chocolate chip cookies in a convection oven 325 for 7 minutes on parchment. Also froze them and thawed to bake.
    Love the science of baking article. Is this in your recipe

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Those are some great tips, too! It looks like you had another question? Elisabeth@KAF

  23. Lisa Keysl

    Love your true baking attitude and a glimpse into the real PJ. Thank you for the science and common sense approach.

    Reply
  24. Jennifer Safron

    I have used a pizza stone for years when baking cookies and they always come out great. It is very hard to burn a cookie on the stone and the stone absorbs some of the fat. Your thoughts on using a stone vs parchment paper and cookie sheet?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That’s not one I’ve tried yet, but I know what’s on my list this weekend! Thanks for the idea- Laurie@KAF

  25. Kathy Anderson

    I’ve heard that using coconut oil makes a wonderful texture in the cookies. Not sure if it replaces the butter completely – wondered if you’ve tried it?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Kathy, we’ve tested coconut oil in gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, and the texture was very cakey and soft. Check out that blog post called Fat Substitutes in Gluten-Free Baking for more info on using coconut oil. Bryanna@KAF

  26. Jeff Dutton

    Crisco? Seriously? I’m ashamed King Arthur Flour would encourage the use of Crisco or any hydrogenated oil. The stuff isn’t food and our bodies don’t know what to do with it. POISON!!!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Thanks for your feedback, Jeff – I’m glad you took the time to express your thoughts. I don’t happen to agree with your assessment of Crisco (and I include any vegetable shortening here, not just Crisco). It’s true, vegetable shortening isn’t a healthy food; but neither is sugar, nor vodka, nor butter or fruit juice or soft cheese any number of other foods and beverages available to us. Yet we continue to eat things we know aren’t good for us. Why? Pleasure. I believe the simple pleasure of a warm chocolate chip cookie, enjoyed not every day but every now and then, outweighs any potential damage its ingredients might cause. As a cancer survivor, I know life can be short; and I’d rather enjoy (in moderation) the baked treats I love, rather than eat an extremely healthy diet and maybe get hit by a bus tomorrow. We’re each in charge of our own health. And yes, we have a responsibility to those around us and to society in general to be as healthy as possible. But for me, regular exercise, calorie control, and meditation are much more critical to my long-term health than avoiding the 3/4 teaspoon shortening in my favorite chocolate chip cookie. Bottom line, here at King Arthur we believe everyone deserves the chance — and is mature enough – to make their own diet decisions. PJH

  27. Pat Manning

    I take the scoops of dough and put them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Then, when I want some cookies I put them into a cold over set for 325 degrees and bake for 14-15 minutes. I add half a box of vanilla pudding and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk to my dough and it is a chewy cookie that does not dry out very quickly. I do use bread flour and I beat my dough for several minutes.

    Reply
  28. Pat Walter

    I have been baking chocolate cookies for years. Lately my cookies ( not just the chocolate chip ones) look just like your disastrous try at chewy cookies! I can’t figure out what I am doing wrong to have them spread out like that. Could I be beating the butter and sugars too much?

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Pat,do you have a new mixer? Yes, it is possible to overcream. If you’re using a higher or faster speed, you can be putting too much air into the mixture. The butter and sugar should be smooth, but NOT fluffy, before adding the eggs. Susan

    2. Pat Walter

      Thank you Susan. It has been happening since I got a new Kitchen Aide. I’ll try to tone down the whipping.

  29. Carmela Mason

    Hi.

    I am a single parent/working woman with two children. They generally requests that I heat at home but since of my bustling timetable I would rather arrange online since its spares time. I generally needed to attempt simple recipe at home for my children.

    I attempted to make chocolate chip cookies according to the formula however I think some amount of fixings fouled up. After I took out the cookies from stove, the chocolate chips dissolved and were everywhere throughout the cookies. In spite of the fact that I would incline toward chocolate plunged cookies I was attempting to make chocolate chip cookies and that didn’t happen. Later I attempted my own particular form of recipe with a few nuts and natural products like fruits however I suspect as much quite a bit of nuts and fruits didn’t bond well while baking process and when I held one treat it simply broke into pieces. I am not certain what happened. Did I neglect to blend one of the fixing into the hitter?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Carmela, it sounds like there might have been too many extra ingredients (nuts, fruit, etc.) in this recipe, causing it to become dry and fall apart. We’d like to help you troubleshoot, but have some more questions. So please feel free to call the Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-2253 so we can discuss further. Bryanna@KAF

  30. Sherrey

    While reading your hints for softer/ chewy cookies I thought it said to substitute 1C. brown sugar for the 2/3 C. Brown sugar AND 1C. Brown sugar for th 2/3 C. White sugar! I had mixed in all butter as suggested.
    Thank heaven I did a test batch of three cookies, they came out like dark brown 4 inch circles with a few dark bumps in the center! LOL
    (I had read that the more sugar, the more spreading, so was wondering how adding all that sugar was going to work!)
    Any way, I added about half a beaten egg and about 3/4 C. of flour
    and baked them for 11 min. Absolutely the best tasting cookie!
    Can’t wait to try the recipe the CORRECT way. Hope they turn out as good.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sherrey, Sounds like you almost had a story for our April Fools in the kitchen post! Great job applying corrective measures! Barb@KAF

  31. Melanie

    I am so happy!! I have been looking forever for a good crunchy chocolate chip cookie recipe. My search has now come to an end! These crunchy cookies are the best! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  32. Joni

    Excellent cookies! Can you please give helpful suggestions on how to store them to keep them crispy on the outer edges and chewy in the center? Do we go with air tight, or just cookie jar closure? (my daughter hates bags – says everything tastes like plastic when store in them)

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      To keep cookies soft, try storing them in an airtight container with a slice of white bread or a sliver of apple. (Rotate the apple or bread every 2 days of so–though we’d be surprised if you can keep cookies around that long!) Both of these additions will help add a bit of moisture to maintain the chewiness of the cookies. If your family is sensitive to the taste of plastic, consider investing in some glass storage containers. In contrast, if you’re looking to keep your cookies snappy and crunchy, store them in an paper bag for about 3-5 days at room temperature. Best of luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

  33. Kristin Reverman

    PJ please keep working on the Cakey Choc. Chip cookie also my fav. Will try the “not quite there” in meantime.
    And your response to Jeff was brilliant. Happy to hear you are a survivor.

    Reply
  34. Suzanne

    I use a combo of cake flour and all purpose and I also only use bittersweet chocolate chips. Plus I only bake cookies on a baking stone. The bottoms brown no more than the tops. It’s inconvenient because it’s heavy and small and it has to cool somewhat between batches but worth it. I also chill my dough overnight, sometimes longer. Flavors really develop.

    Reply
  35. Marie

    Just wondering, since I am trying to replace sugar with honey in my diet, how would I use it in this recipe? Anyone out there have experience with honey?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      With recipes that have a high ratio of sugar (like cookies), it’s best to substitute a granulated sugar substitute when making the swap. If you substitute a liquid sugar like honey, your dough will be quite sticky and wet, and the cookies will spread quite a bit. If you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, consider using a granulated sugar alternative (like Splenda for baking) when you make your next batch of cookies. You can swap honey for sugar in recipes like bread, rolls, biscuits, etc: recipes where a small amount of extra liquid won’t drastically change the texture. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Cynthia, it sounds like there might be some confusion. While tossing chocolate chips in flour can sometimes help keep them from sinking in thinner batters like cake, they’re really not necessary in cookie dough, and we’re not suggesting that here. Perhaps you’re reading the “1 cup of chips for every cup of flour” as a suggestion to combine those two ingredients? Really we’re just suggesting that as a baseline ration for determining how much chocolate to add to your dough. If we can help to clarify any further, please feel free to give us a call at 855-371-BAKE. Mollie@KAF

  36. Suzanne

    I go by weight, and I use equal eight ap flour and cake flour. I use all butter and bitersweet chocolate chips and I get a chewy and crisp cookie. Also, I only name on a baking stone. Bottoms get no more brown than the top!

    Reply
  37. Joan Rapp

    I have moved from the Midwest to Florida & haven’t been able to bake a batch of cookies that don’t spread out too much. Do you recommend adding more flour to the dough? I have tried chilling & that helped some. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Chilling you dough would definitely be our first suggestion, Joan. Before adding flour, you might also try using lower-moisture ingredients like granulated sugar instead of brown sugar and/or shortening in place of the some of the butter in your recipe. Baking on parchment paper rather than directly on the baking sheet can also help, as can lowering your oven temp and baking for longer, as we describe in another blog article on the subject. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  38. Mavis Jendrewski

    So, am I correct in assuming you use a full cup of butter for the chewy cookies. It says to use 1/2 cup butter in place of vegetable shortening. I that in addition to the other half cup of butter. I don’t make a lot of chocolate chip cookies, just want to be sure before I make them.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’ve got it, Mavis. You’ll use a total of 1 cup of butter and no shortening in the soft, chewy version. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

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