These are the classic American cookies you’d find in any coffee shop or American bakery. They are soft and chewy in the centre and crispy around the edge. Well, and they have puddles of chocolate everywhere! No weird ingredients and easy-to-follow process. These Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies are truly authentic and come out perfect every time!
As a teenager, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of summers with host families in the US and even luckier that they knew how to cook. The first family were great cooks on both savour and sweet stuff (Denise, the mother, was an artist), the second one was especially great with desserts.
From them, I learned how to make some American classic recipes like Devil’s chocolate cake, soft waffles, brownies… and cookies! Of course, the classic chocolate chip cookies (CCC as they call them) were the ones they made every single week, to which they sometimes added nuts, or swapped the chocolate for Reese’s kisses.
From the recipes used by these 2 families, which was in cup measurements by the way, and from the recipe in the first book of the Hummingbird bakery, I have finally come up with the recipe that I am sharing today after a lot of tests. It’s always a good idea to have a Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in the repertoire :).
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients
As I promised you at the beginning, these chocolate cookies do not have any weird ingredients. What do you need?
- Butter: I use unsalted because I like to adjust the salt to taste. It has to be soft to the touch and at room temperature for the cookies to come out as you see in the photos (below I’ll explain how the texture and temperature of the butter can influence the final result).
- White and brown sugar: the brown sugar gives the cookies this caramelly-like touch and a little colour, also helping with getting a soft centre. I find that the white sugar instead helps with getting those crispy edges and also helps the cookie to spread in the oven. I prefer soft light brown sugar but you can use one or the other.
- Eggs: they act as a binder and provide fluffiness.
- Vanilla: for a touch of flavour, which also goes wonderfully with chocolate.
- Flour: plain or all-purpose. If you use pastry or strong flour, it will affect the texture, making the cookies more cakey, flat, chubby…
- Salt: it enhances flavours.
- Bicarbonate of Soda: this is the leavening agent in this recipe. It reacts with acids, and both chocolate and brown sugar are acidic pH items.
- Chocolate: necessary to call this chocolate chip cookies Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies. I usually use a chocolate bar that melts well and cut it into small pieces, but you can use chocolate chips if you prefer. If you use chips, keep in mind that some do not melt (and are specially designed to be like that).
Cookies Texture: Oven Temperature and Time
These cookies have a crispy edge and are soft in the centre while being 100% cooked. You may like them softer in general or the other way around, more crunchy. To change the texture while keeping the same ingredients, it’s very important to understand how the temperature and baking time affect the result.
The longer we leave them in the oven, the crispier they will be in general. The shorter, the softer and less crispy edge. My recommendation is to be careful not to overbake the cookies! When you remove them from the oven it may seem they aren’t done, but that’s OK, and they really are.
When they are done, they should look paler in the centre and shouldn’t look completely cooked. As they cool, they will settle.
The lower it is, the softer the cookie will be in general and the flatter it will be as well. The higher, the chewer they will be. A too high temperature can result in a very hard cookie base. A midpoint is what allows for that perfect balance between soft, chewy and crispy.
The Best Part of This Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
This chocolate chip cookie recipe makes quite a few cookies, but the cool thing is that the dough can be frozen. I always make a full batch, I bake the ones that I am going to eat (or give away) and freeze the rest. This is great for craving strikes, if we have guests or if we go as a guest to someone’s place and want to bring them something.
What does the process look like? Once you’ve shaped all the cookies, place the ones you are going to freeze on a non-stick tray (or regular tray with parchment paper) and freeze them for about 30 minutes so that they harden (if they sit longer than that don’t worry, but don’t forget about them!). After this time, transfer the cookies to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag (preferably reusable silicone or reused plastic bag).
When you are ready to bake them, while the oven is preheating, place the cookies on a baking tray and follow the regular baking process that I explain in the recipe :). This short time they spend sitting outside of the freezer will ensure they are not rock hard when they hit the oven, which will allow them to spread out nicely during baking.
One More Thing on These Chocolate Chip Cookies…
These cookies will last fairly well for about a week in an airtight container. However, as time goes by, the crunch disappears and the chocolate hardens. To at least get the chocolate melty again, you can heat them in the microwave for a few seconds or as my friend Llorenç taught me when I gifted here wife with them as a secret Santa present, if you have them with hot tea or coffee, place the cookie on top of the cup or mug for a few seconds ;).
What If I Want Flatter Cookies?
If you have a problem with your cookies looking too chubby compared to how you see them here, it could be for several reasons:
- The butter is too cold. It has to be soft to the touch and at room temperature. If it’s hard, then it won’t get integrated as homogeneously, thus the dough won’t spread as much during baking.
- The butter has not been properly creamed with the sugar. The less you cream and the colder the butter, the thicker they will be and the more similar to the famous cookies from Levain Bakery.
- The oven temperature is too high. All the ovens mark the temperature as they please, which is why I always recommend using an oven thermometer (you can find them for around €5 even), I always use it and it’s what I use to define the baking time and temperature in the recipes , since they don’t lie XD.
- The dough might be too cold. This will prevent them from spreading properly since the butter won’t have enough time to melt.
If you just want them flatter, I wouldn’t refrigerate the dough unless it’s too soft (if it’s too soft, then refrigerate it for just a few minutes), then bake it from being at room temperature. The less cold the dough is, the less solidified the butter in it is as well, thus the cookie will spread faster during baking resulting in a thinner cookie.
Oh No! Why Do My Cookies Spread Out Sooooo Much?
On the one hand, it could be because the dough is too “warm”, and therefore soft. For example in summer, the dough can soften quite quickly if leaving it at room temperature for a bit. Baking the dough when it’s soft has a high chance of spreading out over the tray.
On the other hand, the texture of the butter when we cream it with the sugar also has an impact. It has to be soft to the touch, but not melted.
Finally, make sure you don’t grease the baking tray with butter or oil. Instead use a silpat or parchment paper.
In any case, these cookies do spread, which is why the recipe calls for separating them out on the baking tray.
Can I Substitute the Dark Chocolate?
To begin with, you can use the chocolate type that you like the most, white and milk are fine, just keep in mind that the result won’t be exactly the same. You can also use nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans… to go with the chocolate or replace it completely. Other ideas are Reese’s as I mentioned above, smarties, sprinkles, M&M’s… Whatever you rather :). In any case though, dark chocolate is what makes them really Classic American Style Cookies.
More Cookies and Bars
If you make this Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 225 g unsalted butter - cubed and soft to touch
- 175 g white sugar
- 175 g brown sugar
- 2 L eggs - at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 400 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 250 g dark chocolate - roughly chopped
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until paler and fluffy. Scrape the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, bicarb of soda and salt, then fold the mixture with a spatula – you can do it with an electric mixer at the lowest speed, but be careful not to overmix, which would cause the gluten in the flour to toughen resulting in cakier cookies. Folding in by hand also ensures that we don’t knock the air out created from creaming the butter and sugar, thus we will get more cookies with better texture in the end (knocking air out can result in having less dough volume and thus less cookies).
- Stir in the chopped chocolate, except for a handful.
- Roll the dough into 1.5 Tbsp size balls (I use an ice-cream scoop), top them wit the reserved chocolate chunks and chill them for at least 30 minutes. Baking from chilled helps ensuring we obtain a not too thin cookie which is crispy on the edge and chewy in the centre. Also, the longer the dough rests, the more complex its flavor will be.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170ºC. Place 6 cookie balls on a baking tray, leaving at least 5 cm of space between them so they can spread evenly and don’t merge. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges have started to barely brown.
- Remove from the oven and tap the baking sheet on the counter 1-2 times to flatten them down (see notes). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit on the baking sheet. Eat warm (highly recommend) or let cool and store in an airtight container.
- The dough can be frozen. Once you’ve shaped all the cookies, place the ones you are going to freeze on a non-stick tray (or regular tray with parchment paper) and freeze them for about 30 minutes so that they harden (if they sit longer than that don’t worry, but don’t forget about them!). After this time, transfer the cookies to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag (preferably reusable silicone or reused plastic bag). When you are ready to bake them, while the oven is preheating, place the cookies on a baking tray and follow the regular baking process that I explain in the recipe :). This short time they spend sitting outside of the freezer will ensure they are not rock hard when they hit the oven, which will allow them to spread out nicely during baking.
- If you want the cookies to be very round, when you remove them from the oven, you can shape them easily. They have to be hot to be malleable. How to do it? Place a round pastry cutter or glass with a diameter larger than the cookie around it and spin it. You will see that the edges are becoming more rounded as you go.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @paulasapron on Instagram and hashtag it #paulasapron.