If you like soft, chewy cookies, these thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies are for you. Brown sugar and higher oven temperature is the secret to thick, soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies every time.
This is my personal favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. With all the baking I do, I know that there are a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there. This one, in particular, makes super soft, chewy, thick cookies that are exactly what I look for in a cookie.
Update: This became a very popular cookie recipe when I first posted it several years ago. I’ve updated the post to reflect helpful questions and comments from you, and to add a new how-to video that shows you exactly how to make chewy chocolate chip cookies.
I originally posted this recipe after The Salt Lake Tribune printed an article about baking chocolate chip cookies. Cuisine Quest: Cookie question: Soft and chewy? Or hard and crispy?. The Tribune article was inspired by a similar question posed in Sunset Magazine. Their staff baked more than 25 unique chocolate chip cookie recipes to find the formula for the perfect cookie.
I definitely belong to the soft and chewy crowd and if you do too, you’re going to love this recipe.
The Secret To Thick and Chewy Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
According to research by Sunset, more moisture results in softer and chewier cookies. You can help your cookies retain moisture by adjusting the baking time and temperature.
While I usually use a 350°F oven for cookies, research suggests that a hotter oven for a shorter cooking time will keep cookies softer. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about baking cookies at such a high temp, but in the name of chewier chocolate chip cookies, I had to give it a try.
Even though the cookies looked far from finished after the prescribed 8 minute bake time, I followed directions and removed the cookies from the oven. While those cooled, I performed a bit of an experiment on my own and baked off another batch at 350°F.
The second, lower temperature batch came out just like my usual chocolate chip cookies. Once both batches had a chance to cool, it was time to taste test.
And guess what? All that research paid off. The first batch of cookies was thick, chewy and just what I’ve been looking for.
I’ve been making all of my chocolate chip cookies with this thick and chewy recipe ever since.
Ingredients for Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Most of the ingredients for this chocolate chip cookie recipe are the standard pantry staples you’d expect. The one key difference is that this recipe uses only brown sugar, no white.
Brown sugar has a higher moisture content than granulated sugar. This helps keep your homemade cookies thick and chewy, rather than thin and crispy.
Plus, the brown sugar helps these cookies brown up faster. That means that even with our shorter cooking time, the cookies gain their signature toasted brown color on top.
How to Make Perfect Thick and Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you’ve made chocolate chip cookies before, the steps in this recipe will look familiar. Before you get started, take out the butter and let it come up to room temperature.
Tip: To bring your butter to room temperature faster, slice it into tablespoons and put it in your bowl to warm up while you’re measuring your other ingredients.
As in most recipes, you’ll start by combining the dry ingredients. Then, I like to use my stand mixer with a paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar together. This should take about 2 minutes. You’ll know the creaming is done when the butter is light and fluffy.
If you don’t have a paddle attachment or a stand mixer, you can get the job done with a hand mixer or by hand, it will just take a little longer and a little more elbow grease.
Combine everything together and fold in the chocolate chips. You can also add nuts here if you like. I like pecans, but walnuts would also be great.
At this point, you can chill the dough for 20 to 30 minutes. This helps keep the cookies from spreading out as much when you bake them, but it’s not required for perfectly chewy cookies.
When you’re ready to bake, scoop the dough onto a baking sheet. I love using this #40 disher to scoop perfectly sized cookies. Each cookie is about 1.5 tablespoons of dough.
Many food bloggers like to push a few extra chocolate chips on the top of the cookie dough to they look prettier for pictures. In the pictures above, the first tray of cookies on the right is right after taking the cookies out of the oven. The third picture on the bottom right shows what the cookies look like after resting on the tray for 5 minutes.
Storing Chocolate Chip Cookies
Store your chocolate chip cookies in a Ziploc bag at room temperature.
Like most cookies, thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies stay fresh longer if frozen. If you’re not planning to inhale all the cookies within a day or two, let the cookies cool fully before storing them in a sealed container in the freezer. They’ll keep for several months. I like to let them defrost on the counter for a few hours, or overnight, before serving.
This is a great make-ahead recipe if you’re entertaining. It’s always nice to have some cookies tucked away in the freezer for guests.
Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped pecans optional
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar, on medium speed, until well blended. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture; mix just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if using. (Optional: cover dough and chill 20 – 30 minutes.)
- Drop dough in 2-tablespoon portions, 2 inches apart, onto baking pans. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet in the center, 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking. (Take the cookies out of the oven 1 or 2 minutes before the cookies are cooked, as they will continue to cook on the baking pans.)
- Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to racks to cool completely before serving.
My Other Favorite Chewy Cookie Recipes to Try
Chocolate chip aren’t the only recipe for thick and chewy cookies! Try these other popular cookie recipes:
- Fudgy Chocolate Sixlet Cookies are always a winner on Valentine’s Day, but I love them all year long.
- Keto Coconut Macaroons from Two Sleevers are a different take on the chewy cookie, made with crispy coconut and egg whites for a lighter dessert.
- Chocolate Marshmallow Surprise Cookies are fudgy and brownie-like with a gooey and soft marshmallow on top. And don’t forget the chocolate icing!
- Extra Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies from Bless this Mess Please check all the boxes: soft, spiced and glazed with cinnamon sugar
Lauren from Lauren's Latest
These are right up my alley! YUM.
Kathy - Cooking On the Side
I definitely prefer the thick and chewy kind – I can’t wait to try baking at 400, thanks for the great tip!
Maris (In Good Taste)
Exactly the way I love chocolate chip cookies.
Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies
I can’t wait to try these cookies. They’re on my to-do list now.
Those look fantastic, Barbara! I missed that article in the Trib, so glad you printed the recipe here.
Julia @ Mélanger
Like you, always happy to try a new CCC recipe. Looks like a winner! 🙂
Soft and chewy for me! These look great!
Claire K Creations
This will sound strange but I like thick and chewy in winter with a nice warm drink and thin and crispy when the weather is warmer with cold milk. Yum!
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc
omg these look amazing! I have bookmarked them
I would like a couple with my tea right now.
Great work ♥
kim sisto robinson
How did you know that Chocolate CHip Cookies are one of my all-time-favorite things in the ENTIRE world??
I shall try these to make my butt bigger 🙂 Thanks, Barbara.
I like chocolate chip cookies either way. Usually the homemade ones I love soft and chewy but I also love Pepperidge Farms hard ones that are pretty good! You cannot beat a good cookie whether it’s hard or soft and chewy!
Soft and chewy with dark chocolate or semi-sweet chips. Love these! They are perfect. I can almost taste one now.
Chewy cookies are my favorite. Those must be irresistible.
I love to read the science behind things especially when it comes to baking. Chocolate chip cookies are a household favorite, and I can’t wait to try the recipe!
I really enjoyed reading this post, Barbara! I’ve given a lot of thought into what makes cookies soft and chewy (lots of brown sugar, etc.) but never the temp to which they are cooked. Very interesting. They look delicious.
I’m a sucker for soft and chewy cookies. I just did a test run in a gas oven and it made a marked difference from an electric sitting right next to it. It’s not just the ingredients but what you cook it in!
Brian @ A Thought For Food
I know that I’d just devour a plate of these… and a big glass of milk. They look perfect!
The cookie looks so cute and plump in the first picture. Though I like my cookies crisp, would love to try the fat ones with chewy texture 🙂
tiffany ~food finery
soft and chewy EVERY time! i am the girls who let’s her cereal sit for 15 minutes before eating it though 🙂 i like soft food! mmmmmmm these look yum!