The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

bakergal29's picture

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is it possible to make a chewy chocolate chip cookie or do companies do that with preservatives and weird stuff?

Don't laugh at me! I'm no pro-

Send me recipes-thanks!

alliezk's picture

I read this tip somewhere, and it sounds crazy but actually works! about halfway throught the baking time, when they are nice and puffy but still very soft, you take the cookie sheets out of the oven and smack them down (literally just hit the pan on the top of the oven) so that the cookies deflate, and then put them back in.

It is also good because it reminds me to flip the trays around and they cookies cook more evenly.

Also, if you slightly undercook them, and then store them just before they are completely cool they will stay softer.

I have also found that the warmer the cookie dough is when you place it on the trays the more the cookies will spread and the crunchier they will be. (I think it might have something to do with the butter being more melted).

Happy Baking!


bakergal29's picture

I just want try that cause it sounds fun! I'll let you know-

SylviaH's picture

Keep your cookie dough nice and it heaps up..and don't overbake! 

Glass-Weaver's picture

Alton Brown did a show on cookies, ("Three Chips for Sister Marsha", or something) and did three versions of Chocolate Chip.  Chewy, Crispy, Cakey.  Google "Alton Brown Chocolate Chip" and it comes up as the first choice.  In each of the three recipes he plays around with the moisture, the egg whites and the protein level of the flour.  Good food science.

bakergal29's picture

I heart Alton...

LindyD's picture

I love chocolate chip cookies; in fact, that's about the only cookie I bake.  

Alton Brown's recipes are okay, but the true knock-your-socks-off recipe for that chewy chocolate delight can be found in the May-June 2009 issue of Cook's Illustrated.

The ingredients are simple: flour, baking soda, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and one large egg plus one large egg yolk.  

It's the technique that turns this cookie into a star: 10 TBS of butter are melted and browned in a skillet until the butter attains a dark golden brown color and lovely nutty/toffee fragrance.  Four more TBS of butter are blended into the hot butter, followed by the sugars, salt, vanila, and egg/yolk.  That's followed by what I call a sugar-autolyse....well, you can read the recipe and directions at CI if you don't mind signing up for their free trial.

You'll get 16 beautiful, tender, chewy cookies.  Embed one of those cookies into a scoop of coffee ice cream for a very lovely dessert (then take a three-mile walk, 'cause this is no low-cal cookie).

CI also rated chocolate chips in that issue. Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips came in first, followed by Hershey's special dark mildly sweet  (I like the Hershey's special dark).

bakergal29's picture

I'm going shopping...

good grief I want a cookie!

jenniferw's picture

LindyD is there any chance of you posting that recipe for us?? :) I have CI's Best Recipe cookbook which has a choco-chip recipe but nothing that sounds like that!

LindyD's picture

Jennifer, if you go to the link in my original post, it will take you directly to the CI recipe.  True, you'll have to sign up for a free 14 day trial, but you can create a throwaway email address at gmail and use that.  I don't believe there's any monetary obligation.

The ingredient list is pretty simple, but there's five paragraphs dealing with the technique of putting the mix together.

crunchy's picture

I've made that recipe at least 5 times since that issue came out and the cookies are just incredible: chewey, caramelly and decadent. The best I've ever tasted.

montanagrandma's picture

is using your regular cookie dough recipe but adding a small package of instant pudding mix -van or choco- and using margarine for the fat. Mix it all together and under cook a bit. Cookies are moist and chewy.

Ambimom's picture

I made these last Christmas and couldn't believe how good they were.  They are chewy inside and have the most intense chocolate flavor.  Best of all, they're so easy to make.  FYI, I didn't bake them right away.  I mixed the dough, formed logs wrapped in waxed paper and kept them in the refrigerator until I had time to bake them.

Yerffej's picture

Here is the chocolate chip cookie that I bake.  The recipe is from Jacques Torres.

The reaction to this cookie has ranged from "phenomenal" to "holy S#@*".  I highly recommend it.

summerbaker's picture

I have made tons of kinds of chocolate chip cookies and keep returning to the Nestle Toll House recipe even when I don't use Nestle Chocolate chips.  The only time that they have ever come out crispy is when I left them in the oven too long.  Just take them out earlier.  Experiement with a 30 second shorter baking time, then increase it until you get what you like.


leahweinberg's picture

Theres a recipe I found a while ago on Baking Bites blog which calls for the addition of rolled oats in the batter. Its not enough that you can tell that there are oats in the recipe, but there are just enough to make them delicioucly chewy!

check it out, they are always a big hit around here! 



Marni's picture

I remember reading once that each of these fats effects a cookie's crunchiness.  I thought that shortening makes them crunchy (crisp) whereas margerine doesn't.  I don't remember where the butter fell out in the list.  Has anyone else heard this?


LindyD's picture

According to the CI experts, vegetable shortening and oil can't compete with the flavor of butter.  They found that melting the butter before combining it with the other ingredients resulted in a chewier texture because the water separates from the fat, allowing more gluten to be created.

Sugar also is a factor; the CI recipe increases the dark brown sugar and reduces the white sugar.  The sugars are dissolved in the butter/egg/vanilla mix and whisked three times after a three-minute rest each time.  There's no gritty sugar texture present in these cookies.  The edges have a nice crunch while the rest of the cookie is chewy. 

Finally, the cookie dough is divided into 16 portions of 3TBS each, or a #24 cookie scoop, then baked for 10-14 minutes - the edges should be set but the center still soft.

They also caution against backing in batches because it results in uneven cooking.

@Stephanie...try melting the butter, but not browning it.  That will eliminate the toffee/nutty flavor. 


nbicomputers's picture

shortening will make a softer more tender cookie where butter amd margerine will make a flater crisper cookie but with better tast.

there are natural butter flavors not available to the home cook to pick up the flavor when shortening is used. also there are at least 4 types of shortening all made for diferent uses. i will go into this in detail if anyone wants to know.

SylviaH's picture

My best choc. chip chewie soft cookies were always made with shortening 'crisco'. The all butter ones just are flat and crisp. So now I use some butter with crisco and some brown sugar.

Yerffej's picture

The choice of shortening very definitely affects the final character of the cookie.  However, from the standpoint of health and flavor there is nothing to use but butter.


nbicomputers's picture

yes the shortening has trans fats which are bad for you... but the butter is anamal fat loaded with cholestoral (sp) so if you want a softer cookie use a butter flavor and go with shortening if you want a crisp cookie that has a different taste use butter.

its kind of like saying would you prefer to die of heart trouble from trans fat or would you like to die from heart trouble from cholestoral..

eat anything you want in moderation and youl be fine after all:

1 we are only here for a short time anyway so what the hell i say go for it

2 my grand mother lived to be 98 my grand father 100 my uncle 97 and my aunt 95 they came here from the old country and they ate all the stuff that the people in the know say will kill you faster than arsnic so somebody must be wrong.

 i think of my grand mother and say the hell with the professors and pass the chopped liver with tons of chicken fat and cows tounge and stufed derma (intestens) and i will see you on the park bench when i'm 90

SylviaH's picture

I read a report that they have found out that bacon fat has some of the same good benefits that's in the Omega Oil's. I haven't quoted that exactly..but bacon has some good fats in it!

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I did find something that makes my cookies taste better, though: I use Ghirardelli chocolate chips, either semi-sweet or their 60% bittersweet, instead of cheaper brands. If I know I'm going to be baking a lot of cookies I buy the large bag from Sam's Club - 3 pounds of those chips goes a long way.

I plan on working with the Toll House recipe as a base when I finally get around to doing testing. I do like the idea of the CI recipe, but I didn't like the flavor of the browned butter as much. May try melting half the butter and adding the other half at room temperature. We'll see.

I think that my main issue is that I'm just trying to get a base that works. I'm wanting something that can actually be tweaked slightly to accomodate a large variety of mix-ins.

jbaudo's picture

I have made the Alton brown chewy cookies and loved them.  Some people wrote reviews on the site saying that they were too flat and not chewy.  The way to make sure that they will be chewy is to refridgerate the dough  for  a while until the butter has time to solidify again (because you melt it for this version).  I think a lot of people must have skipped this step because they thought the cookies were awful! 

As far as the fat debate that has been started, I'll take butter any day over crisco.