If you love a good chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe, listen up: Here are several tips to ensure chewy cookies every time.
Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, of course. But we all have an idea of the perfect version—yours might be crunchy and studded with dark chocolate or soft and chewy with creamy milk chocolate chunks. (Or maybe not even baked.)
Today, we’re talking about some tips to make a chewier, softer chocolate chip cookie. If you like yours crunchy and crisp, get our Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. (And if you prefer unbaked dough, see this Edible Cookie Dough recipe that’s safe to eat raw.) But if you’re into the chew, keep reading!
There are a few things to keep in mind when aiming for a softer texture with your cookies in general:
For classic chewy chocolate chip cookies, stick with all-purpose flour. When you start introducing things like whole wheat flour or spelt flour, you’re going to affect the texture of your final cookie. That doesn’t mean you can’t bake a chewy whole-wheat chocolate chip cookie, but it requires more manipulation. So keep it simple.
If you’re gluten-free, choose a 1:1 flour like Cup4Cup that isn’t too starchy.
Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour, 3 lb for $13.06 on Amazon
This gluten-free blend will get you chewy cookies.
When baking cookies, you’ll be using some sort of fat, typically butter. However, if you want to make a very chewy cookie, coconut oil is the way to go. Coconut oil produces a cookie that is softer and less likely to crisp up than a butter-based cookie. Bonus: that also makes it vegan (at least once you account for the eggs; more on that below)! You can either try subbing coconut oil for the butter in your favorite recipe, or try this Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
Kirkland Signature Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 84 ounces for $15.99 at Costco via Google Shopping
Can't beat that price.
Related Reading: Easy Swaps to Make Recipes Vegan
Most chocolate chip cookie recipes call for regular white granulated sugar. Swapping some of the sugar for a sweetener with more moisture (like brown sugar or even molasses) can help create a chewier texture. Don’t swap all of the white sugar out or you can alter the texture negatively, but try a small substitution and see how you like the result.
Related Reading: A Guide to Types of Sugar
4. Eggs (& Egg Substitutes)
But what if you don’t eat eggs?
There are lots of egg substitutes you can use in baking, but some work better in cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and quick breads than in cookies. Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking suggests going the flax egg route for cookies. Simply whisk 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (you can do this in a spice grinder or coffee grinder if all you have are whole seeds) with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit until the texture becomes a little gelatinous, then use in place of the egg.
5. Secret Ingredients!
For chewy chocolate chip cookies, there is one additional baker’s trick, and that’s to add a little something extra. Try stirring a teaspoon of baking powder into your flour before mixing up your dough. Baking powder encourages dough to rise (which is why we use it in biscuits and breads). It makes sense: Causing the dough to rise slightly higher means your cookies won’t be as flat, and therefore not as crunchy. See it in action in this Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
You can also add a bit of cornstarch or tapioca starch, per this Thick and Chewy Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
And if you’re making a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe, you can also sneak a little cream cheese into the dough to keep the texture nice and smooth.
6. Chill Out
If you can bear to wait (or remember to plan ahead), chill your dough in the fridge for at least 24 hours. That improves the cookies’ texture and flavor too. You can stash the dough in any bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap or another lid, or try these silicone cookie molds and storage trays—they portion your dough with a simple press and then you can stash them in the fridge or freezer until ready to bake!
The Smart Cookie Cookie Maker & Storage Containers, 2 for $35 at Food52
Smart cookies, indeed.
7. Baking Time
A surefire way to create chewier cookies is to underbake them slightly. No, you don’t want them to be raw in the middle (then we’d just all be eating cookie dough, which isn’t a bad thing but isn’t quite the point of this article), but you want to take them out while they still look and feel soft. The edges should be set, but the center should look slightly underbaked. Let them cool, and then reap the chewy rewards.
Related Reading: The Best New Baking Books for Fall
Now go forth and bake cookies! Start with your favorite classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and experiment to your heart’s content.
Bonus Tip: Skip the Chips
This doesn’t affect the texture quite so much (though while warm, you will get amazing pockets of melted chocolate), but is a generally great rule of thumb for leveling up your CCCs. Although chocolate chips are right in the name of these classic treats, you’ll get a far tastier result if you use chopped chocolate instead. Try a mix of milk and dark.
This story was written by Posie Harwood on August 27, 2015 and updated by Jen Wheeler on October 5, 2019.
Header image by Lauren Zaser for Chowhound