When I think of Best Easy Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, I imagine a nice warm, slightly golden-brown caramelized crunch on the outside; and an almost underdone center when removed from the oven. This is the secret to keeping that perfect soft and chewy texture for days to come. The cookies will continue to cook while they’re cooling and become beautifully airy and fluffy.
Sweet, salty, chocolatey goodness with a secret ingredient that takes these cookies to a whole other level! A classic cookie, just perfected in my own way.
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How to Make the Best Easy Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
There are many factors that play into mastering the best, classic, never-going-out-of-style soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. I know there are thousands of recipes out there, therefore there are tons of opinions and preferences. Softened or melted butter, chilling the dough or not chilling the dough, using a stand mixer or mixing by hand; just to name a few!
Here’s what works for me:
- Softening the butter rather than melting it.
- Whisking the flour with salt, baking soda and cinnamon; prior to adding it to the wet ingredients.
- I added a good amount of salt because I really want to be able to taste that sweet & salty combination.
- Fully incorporating the eggs, one at a time.
- Using my KitchenAid stand mixer to combine the ingredients. This is especially great for perfectly creaming together your butter and sugars.
- Not going overboard on the chocolate chips. I want to be able to taste the entire cookie, not just have a mouthful of chocolate. The amount in this recipe is just right.
- Chilling the dough in the fridge for a minimum of one hour.
- Taking the cookies out of the oven when they still look slightly underdone. They will continue to bake a bit on the rack while cooling.
PRO TIPS + PROCESS
1. Soften Butter and Combine with Sugars:
The first thing you want to do is take the butter out of the fridge and let it soften to 65 to 68° Fahrenheit (approximately 18 to 20° Celcius). It’s normal to hear people say, “soften to room temperature”, but technically that’s not always accurate, as room temperatures vary substantially. You want your butter to be firm and pliable, but not super soft and squishy.
🌻 TIP: If you forget to remove the butter from the fridge and you don’t have the time to wait for it to soften, you can soften it in the microwave, but I only recommend this if you absolutely must. Place the stick of butter in the microwave (don’t remove the wax paper covering), and microwave in ten second intervals, flipping the stick of butter each time. It usually takes twenty-five to thirty seconds in my microwave, but yours could be different, so just keep an eye on it. You don’t want the butter to melt or become too warm.
Now that we have softened our butter, it’s time to cream it with the sugars. This is a key step because when mixed well, tiny air pockets form in the butter (I explain a little bit more about this below). The color will lighten, and the texture will become noticeably fluffier.
2. Combine the dry ingredients:
While the butter and sugars are working their magic, it’s the perfect time to sift together your flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon! This warm, sweet, woody spice is chocolate’s perfect match, and is my secret to making the best easy chocolate chip cookies.
For this step, you can use a sifter/sieve, a fine-mesh strainer, or a whisk. I usually just use a whisk because it’s easier to clean, but to each their own!
Can I Substitute Baking Powder for Baking Soda in Chocolate Chip Cookies?
The short answer is yes, but only if necessary. Just the other day I wanted to make these chocolate chip cookies but realized I was out of baking soda. I used three teaspoons of baking powder in place of one teaspoon of baking soda. The cookies were still good, but just not as chewy as they would be if I used baking soda. To achieve the best cookie results, use a double-acting baking powder as a substitute, as it will achieve a better rise in the cookies.
3. Beat in the Eggs and Add Vanilla Extract:
The trick to ensuring each egg is perfectly emulsified with the butter, is mixing them in into the butter/sugar mixture one at a time. I also scrape the KitchenAid stand mixer bowl with a rubber spatula 2-3 times during the (ten seconds per egg) mixing process to ensure the egg is fully incorporated. I am currently obsessed with these beautiful little spatulas. Full disclosure: I haven’t purchased them yet. They’re currently sitting in my Williams Sonoma cart and will most likely be there for at least a week, because that’s just the kind of person I am. 🤷🏽♀️
Now, splash in the vanilla extract, just one teaspoon at a time. Mix for five seconds per teaspoon, scraping the mixing bowl once in between to ensure the vanilla extract gets evenly distributed.
Best Vanilla Extract: Store-bought and Homemade
An excellent quality vanilla extract is so important to always have in your pantry. You never know when a craving for the Best Easy Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies will arise!
You want to be sure you’re using pure vanilla extract, which is made by steeping vanilla beans in water and alcohol, such as vodka, bourbon, brandy, or rum. If vanilla extract is “pure” it means that the vanilla flavoring comes from nothing more than the vanilla bean. Imitation Vanilla is made using ingredients which often contain chemicals.
The Simply Organic Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract bottle pictured above is a great grocery store find and can be purchased at several different stores such as Amazon, Publix, and Target; just to name a handful. I bought this a few weeks ago because I had run out of my bottle of homemade vanilla extract, and I found it to be of high quality and very flavorful. Simply Organic Vanilla Extract is made from the Madagascar Bourbon variety of vanilla beans and has no added sugar.
If you’re interested in making your own homemade vanilla extract, this Homemade Vanilla Extract Infusion Kit sold by Beanilla is a great place to start. It’s super easy to do and makes for a great gift! Once the vodka and Madagascar vanilla beans are fully infused, the warm, woody aroma and flavor is truly incredible. Plus, there’s just something extra special about homemade ingredients. The infusion process takes about 8 weeks, so it’s always good to have a backup bottle of vanilla extract in the pantry.
4. Incorporate the Dry Ingredients and Chocolate Chips:
Next, you’ll beat in the flour mixture a little bit at a time. If you try to add too much to the mixer, FYI, it will go everywhere. Speaking from experience. 😝
Once the dry ingredients are fully combined with the creamed butter and sugar mixture, the last step to making the dough is, you guessed it, chocolate chips! I know that it’s frowned upon, but if you’re impatient (and slightly lazy) like me, you will just turn the mixer on low and incorporate the chocolate chips that way (rather than folding them in with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.) The chocolate chips could break into smaller pieces from the flat beater, but honestly, I don’t care.
HOW LONG TO CHILL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH?
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. Chilling your cookie dough is particularly important; not only does this step prevent your cookies from spreading and becoming flat, but it also concentrates the flavor, resulting in an especially delicious cookie. You can also make the dough ahead of time and either refrigerate or freeze it.
How Long to Bake the best easy Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies?
Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit (191° Celsius). Be sure to have the oven rack in the center of the oven. I love using this small scoop from Pampered Chef to form my (approximately one tablespoon sized) chocolate chip cookies. You can either just scoop and drop on the ungreased cookie sheet pan, or scoop, roll into a smooth ball, then place on the cookie sheet pan. I like the rustic look of the non-rolled cookies, plus it saves my hands from getting sticky!
Place the chocolate chip cookies in the preheated oven for nine minutes, or until they are slightly golden brown around the bottom edge and appear to be (slightly) underdone on the top. They will continue to bake while they’re resting on the cookie sheet pan and the cooling rack. The chocolate chip cookies will form a caramelized crust and have a bit of a crunchiness to them but will also remain soft and chewy for days. If you were to bake the cookies for a couple minutes longer, they would lose that perfect chewiness rather quickly.
I hope you enjoy the Best Easy Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe! 😊
As always, I’d love to hear from you all! About your experience with this dish, any alterations you may have made and loved (or didn’t love), or just life and cooking in general. Please leave a review/comment/question below, reach out via email (email@example.com), and/or stay connected with me on social media, which I have linked below!
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Crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside; these chocolate chip cookies check all the boxes. Sweet, salty, chocolatey goodness!
Best Easy Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Dough:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup pure cane sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark – whichever you prefer)
- SOFTEN BUTTER THEN CREAM TOGETHER BUTTER AND SUGARS + ADD VANILLA AND EGGS. Remove the stick of butter from the fridge and let it come to room temperature/soften. Place the paddle attachment on your KitchenAid and add the softened butter. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds until creamy and whipped. Add white and brown sugars and cream together on speed 4 for a few minutes, until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. After adding in the first egg, mix on speed 2 for 10 seconds, scrape sides with a rubber spatula, then mix for another 5 seconds. Repeat with the second egg. Do the same with each teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- COMBINE AND INCORPORATE DRY INGREDIENTS. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Slowly sprinkle in a small amount of the flour mixture at a time. Turn the stand mixer onto its lowest setting and continue to add in a small amount of flour at a time until it’s all incorporated. I always scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula 2-3 times during this process to ensure it’s evenly mixed.
- ADD IN CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Turn the mixer to its lowest speed and add in the chocolate chips a little bit at a time. The dough will form together around the paddle attachment, so I stop the mixer a few times to push the dough out and back into the bowl, so the chocolate chips are evenly distributed.
- CHILL THE DOUGH, THEN PREHEAT OVEN THEN DROP COOKIES ONTO UNGREASED COOKIE SHEET PAN AND BAKE. Cover the bowl in which the cookie dough was mixed and place it in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Set the oven to 375°F (191°C). Measure one heaping tablespoon-sized cookie. Bake in preheated oven for 9 minutes. The cookies should be golden-brown on the bottom edges, but still look a little underdone on top. The cookies will continue to cook on the cookie sheet pan and cooling rack. Remove the chocolate chip cookies from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet pan for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- You don’t have to use a KitchenAid stand mixer. You can also mix by hand with a wooden spoon; however, the texture of the cookie may differ from mine.
- Store your baked cookies in an airtight container; they will stay fresh for about 5 days.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 9 minutes
- Category: Snacks & Desserts
- Method: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Oven
- Cuisine: American
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