The perfect chocolate chip cookie is soft in the middle and a little crispy around the edges and the first bite makes you go mmmmm! This is that recipe!

I’ve been making these cookies for more than 20 years, and they never disappoint. You’ll love that there are no special methods or fussy ingredients—just pantry basics. We’ll share some secrets with you so you can make these famous cookies right now—or two days from now. It’s up to you.

A stack of baked chocolate chip cookies

These homemade chocolate chip cookies are full of rich chocolate, brown sugar, and vanilla. They’re big and have just the right amount of crispiness around the edge and soft, gooey chocolate in the middle, like my Easy Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie.

A few years ago, a sweet lady named Sally emailed me to let me know that her son had used this homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe for his entry into a 4-H contest—and he won!

This is the most wonderful chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. My ten-year-old son came home about six weeks ago and said he signed up to enter a baking contest through 4-H and had to make chocolate chip cookies. This was the first recipe that we tried, and we had no need to try anything else. Not only did he win his class competition, but he also won the county-wide competition, beating out 46 other entries. I have made this recipe a couple of other times for parties and for my co-workers… just made a double batch to send to my children’s classes tomorrow and to take to the kids in my classes at school. I’ll never need another recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and I will NEVER buy the break and bake refrigerated from the store EVER again. Simply AMAZING cookies and a recipe so easy that even my son can do most of the work himself. Thanks SO much for sharing!

SALLY

Secrets for making perfect chocolate chip cookies

There are three secrets that help make this an award-winning chocolate chip cookie recipe:

  1. Resting the dough at least overnight.
  2. Using more brown sugar than typical recipes.
  3. Using LOTS of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.

You’ll find lots of chocolate chip cookie recipes that will say no chilling is required for the dough. There is no chilling required for this recipe, either. You can mix the dough and bake cookies immediately, and THOSE COOKIES WILL BE DELICIOUS.

But guess what? Those other recipes would ALSO benefit from chilling the dough, even if just for 30 minutes. This is not only the case for chocolate chip cookies but also sugar cookies or any other drop cookies. (This is covered in more detail below in the How to section.)

So here’s the real secret: double the recipe and bake a few cookies right away, then stash the extra dough in the fridge and make the rest a day or two later. Perfect solution!

A plate with a chocolate chip cookie in half

Ingredients for perfect chocolate chip cookies

  • Brown sugar – this is the primary sugar
  • Granulated white sugar – just a little!
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – use good quality chocolate chips
  • Milk chocolate chips – don’t skip these
  • Vanilla extract – best flavor
  • Butter – unsalted
  • Flour – all-purpose
  • Eggs – large eggs
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

Ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies

How to make perfect chocolate chip cookies

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. See the tips below the printable recipe for information about the flour. 
  2. Cream the butter, add sugars, and beat until well-blended.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until creamy and well-blended.
  4. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, either beating on low with the mixer or just stirring in gently by hand.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Then cover the bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough and place it in the fridge anywhere from 24 to 36 hours.

Cook’s Tip: You can bake the cookies immediately if you prefer, and they will be absolutely fine and delicious, but they are better if you have time to allow them to rest.

Baking instructions

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Once the dough has rested, scoop out large, heaping tablespoons of dough and roll slightly in your hands to make a ball, usually just a smidgen smaller than a golf ball.

Hand holding a cookie

Depending on how you like your chocolate chip cookies, there are a couple of temperature options.

Option 1: Bake at 350° for 10-11 minutes, depending on how large your cookies are. If they are less than golf ball size, then it will take around 10.5 minutes to get that perfect golden brown.

Option 2: Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes for slightly thinner, chewy cookies. This will result in a paler top but a more gooey middle.

**Cook’s Tip: Ovens are calibrated differently so you should start checking early on the first batch so you’ll know what your cooking time should be.

Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 7 or 8 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks.

Six cookies on a baking sheet

And grab one right off the hot pan and eat it, bouncing it from hand to hand and blowing just a little. You know you want to.

There’s nothing better than a perfect chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven!

And here’s a little secret: the next day, when you want a cookie, pop it in the microwave for about 12 seconds. You’ll recapture that just-baked, soft, melted chocolate experience.

It’s divine.

Why rest the dough?

I didn’t always let the dough rest in the refrigerator when making these cookies. I used to bake them as soon as I made the dough, and they were delicious. Fabulous, even.

But then I read David Leite’s New York Times article about the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. All of the famous bakers that he interviewed said they allow the chocolate chip cookie dough to rest at least overnight and a few for as long as 36 hours.

Here’s why you chill cookie dough:

  • Chilling the dough solidifies the fat, which means less spread when the cookies are baked.
  • The sugar in the dough gradually absorbs the liquid (eggs), which also helps reduce spread.
  • As the dough chills, it dries, which gives it a more concentrated flavor.

And, as it turns out, the original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe also chilled overnight, a fact that was never printed on the back of the bag.

I experimented with allowing the dough to sit in the fridge for 24-36 hours and discovered that this one simple change made the texture and flavor of these cookies even better.

Cookies on parchment paper

Best chocolate chip cookies recipe tips

  1. Flour. The type of flour that you use may affect this recipe. I use White Lily, which has a low protein content. If you’re using King Arthur or Pillsbury, each has a high protein content. You may try substituting 2 cups of cake flour and 1 cup of whatever all-purpose you have. I have not tried this, but it makes sense to me that it would work because White Lily has a protein content almost as low as cake flour.
  2. Butter. You cannot substitute margarine or any type of butter substitute. And you shouldn’t use generic butter. Quality counts. I only use Land O’ Lakes Unsalted Butter.
  3. If your baking powder and/or baking soda is old, your cookies may flatten. Baking powder and baking soda should be replaced before it’s a year or so old. If older than a year and not kept in an airtight container, then the rising properties may have diluted.
  4. Method. The butter needs to be creamed until it is light in color and texture, along with the sugar. The eggs should be well-mixed into the batter. This will all take several minutes.

Dunking a chocolate chip cookie in milk

Um, in your tummy, of course! But prior to that, you can just store your cookies in an airtight container for several days. Pop one in the microwave for a few seconds, and it’ll be like it just came out of the oven!

Chocolate chip cookie broken in half


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4.90 from 103 votes

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The best chocolate chip cookies are soft in the middle and a little crispy around the edges—extra chocolate and lots of brown sugar! These chocolate chip cookies are easy and your family will love them!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 1 day 12 hours
Total: 1 day 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Save This Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (Do not use margarine or any butter substitute. I only use Land O Lakes unsalted butter.)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 12- ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 12- ounce package milk chocolate chips

Instructions 

  • Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl to blend.
  • Using electric or stand mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add white sugar and brown sugar and beat until well blended. (You should be creaming the butter 5-7 minutes until the texture and color are both light.)
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat until mixture is creamy and well blended. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring just until blended.
  • Pour half of chocolate chips into the bottom of a large bowl and then add half the dough on top of the chips. Stir dough and chips together, then add more chips and more dough until all is mixed together.
  • For best results, cover and place dough in refrigerator for 24-36 hours. **You can bake these cookies immediately if you wish.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheet with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat.
  • Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet, giving each cookie plenty of room. Mine are usually big enough to get about 8 balls on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until light brown on top and slightly brown around the edges.
  • Note: alternatively, you can bake at 325 for 13-15 minutes for a paler, more gooey cookie.
  • Cool slightly on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to racks; cool completely.

Video

Notes

Tips for the best chocolate chip cookies:
  1. Flour. The type of flour that you use may affect this recipe. I use White Lily, which has a low protein content. If you’re using King Arthur or Pillsbury, each has a high protein content. You may try substituting 2 cups cake flour and 1 cup of whatever all-purpose you have. I have not tried this but it makes sense to me that it would work because White Lily has a protein content almost as low as cake flour. Please let me know if you try this.
  2. Butter. You cannot substitute margarine or any type of butter substitute. And you shouldn’t use generic butter. Quality counts. I only use Land O’ Lakes Unsalted Butter.
  3. Your baking powder and/or baking soda is old. Baking powder and baking soda should be replaced before it’s a year or so old. If older than a year and not kept in an airtight container then the rising properties have diluted.
  4. Method. Steps 2, 3, and 4 are important. The butter needs to be creamed until it is light in color and texture, along with the sugar. The eggs should be well-mixed into the batter. This will all take several minutes.
  5. Use good quality chocolate chips for the best quality. I use Ghirardelli, which can be purchased at most grocery stores. 

 

Nutrition

Serving: 24cookies, Calories: 345kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 3g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 231mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 29g
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Calories: 345
Keyword: chocolate chip cookies, homemade chocolate chip cookies, how to make chocolate chip cookies, the best chocolate chip cookies
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

Update Notes: This post was originally published October 3, 2011, and on March 4, 2024, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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4.90 from 103 votes (23 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




162 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    All of these negative comments are ridiculous… I’m no expert baker, but these cookies come out perfectly for me every time! I’d chalk up these “biscuit cookies” or “tastless cookies” to human error. As long as you follow the directions, you’ll end up with great chocolate chip cookies! I get requests for these a lot, thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these twice one with chocolate chips and one with M&Ms! Loved it my family and friends keep asking for more!

  3. 5 stars
    I made these twice one with chocolate chips and one with M&Ms! Loved it my family and friends keep asking for more!

  4. 5 stars
    These are 100% the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted! I followed the recipe exactly. Perfection!

  5. 5 stars
    These are 100% the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted! I followed the recipe exactly. Perfection!

  6. 5 stars
    I found this wonderful looking recipe last night! I was so impressed from the start and I was so anxious to bake them! It was getting very late, so I only baked 2 trays, saving the rest of the dough to bake the rest the next day, They came out of the oven an they looked perfect! This morning my son tried one and he told me that they were his favorite chocolate chip cookies! I cannot wait to try them today myself! % ) Thx

  7. 5 stars
    I found this wonderful looking recipe last night! I was so impressed from the start and I was so anxious to bake them! It was getting very late, so I only baked 2 trays, saving the rest of the dough to bake the rest the next day, They came out of the oven an they looked perfect! This morning my son tried one and he told me that they were his favorite chocolate chip cookies! I cannot wait to try them today myself! % ) Thx

  8. 5 stars
    Hi! These have been my go-to chocolate chip cookies for a while – I get requests for them all the time!!

    I have a question – I have always creamed the butter alone for the 5-7 minutes, but I am wondering if I should be doing that after the sugars are added? I can’t imagine that they could be any better, just wondering though.

    I really don’t understand all the people who have trouble with this recipe – from the first time I made them they’ve turned out amazing!

    1. Hi Beth,

      I’m playing catch-up with comments today! I cream the butter alone first and then more after adding the sugars. You just want it to get to a light, creamy, fluffy state. Sounds like you must be doing it correctly if you’re getting requests for more! Thanks so much for your kind words. I appreciate you!

  9. 5 stars
    Hi! These have been my go-to chocolate chip cookies for a while – I get requests for them all the time!!

    I have a question – I have always creamed the butter alone for the 5-7 minutes, but I am wondering if I should be doing that after the sugars are added? I can’t imagine that they could be any better, just wondering though.

    I really don’t understand all the people who have trouble with this recipe – from the first time I made them they’ve turned out amazing!

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe on multiple occasions and everyone always loves them! I love them! Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside! Amazing recipe without any changes. Thank you Lucy!

  11. 4 stars
    I’ve made this recipe on multiple occasions and everyone always loves them! I love them! Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside! Amazing recipe without any changes. Thank you Lucy!

  12. 5 stars
    Just made these amazing cookies. I halved the recipe and put brownies on top and cooked them in a brownie pan. Absolutely amazing, you should try it sometime!

  13. 5 stars
    Just made these amazing cookies. I halved the recipe and put brownies on top and cooked them in a brownie pan. Absolutely amazing, you should try it sometime!

  14. 5 stars
    Sounds like you’re the one that screwed up the chocolate chip cookies. The first time I made them and the first time everyone I shared the recipe with made them, our cookies turned out perfectly.

  15. 5 stars
    I agree, these are perfect! I used about half the amout of choc chips, and left the dough alone in the fridge for about 36 hours. started with one plate with 8 cookies on it. They were fine but not great. Next plate I made bigger, so only six cookies, and daaarn it. So good. I now have my recipe, will not look any further. Thank you!

  16. 5 stars
    I agree, these are perfect! I used about half the amout of choc chips, and left the dough alone in the fridge for about 36 hours. started with one plate with 8 cookies on it. They were fine but not great. Next plate I made bigger, so only six cookies, and daaarn it. So good. I now have my recipe, will not look any further. Thank you!

  17. 5 stars
    Ok, I’ve made these cookies so many times (my husband requests them often!) and for the first time I refrigerated the dough for 24 hours. I usually make them right away.

    I have to say that I was skeptical that they could taste better, but oh my gosh, they do!!

    I love, love, love these cookies!

  18. 5 stars
    I loved these cookies! I baked about 6 right away and then saved the rest of the dough in the fridge. I haven’t baked those ones yet, but the ones I baked right away were delicious. I didn’t use quite as much chocolate chips, but I did add some chopped pecans because I love nuts in my cookies. My boys and I both loved them. I don’t understand some of the negative comments, but to each his own I guess. I personally like a cookie with a soft, chewy texture, so this was perfect to me. Also, I am not a baker, so I was very pleased that these turned out so well. Thank you!

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I’m so glad you liked the cookies and they turned out well for you. I’d like to know what you think about the ones that you saved and refrigerated and if you can tell a difference. Thanks so much for visiting In a Southern Kitchen!