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How can I get my chocolate chip cookies to come out thick and soft? I always use real butter; is this a problem?

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@Patti, @hobodave - is thick and soft a chewy cookie or a cakey cookie? –  justkt Sep 17 '10 at 23:43
    
@justkt, @patti -- I was going to say that the title didn't match the body, as one mention 'chewy' and one 'soft', but it looks like the 'chewy' was added by @hobodave. I'm going to edit the title to say 'soft' rather than chewy, and re-open. –  Joe Sep 18 '10 at 2:21
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This seems like a duplicate of: cooking.stackexchange.com/q/1/60 –  hobodave Sep 18 '10 at 2:44
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It would be nice if the OP expanded a little more on what they wanted with "thick and soft" cookies, but these can be quite different than chewy cookies. –  KatieK Jan 3 '13 at 23:48
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4 Answers

I've found the key to be chilling the dough. If you can get it really cold, put it on room temperature baking sheets, and put it in a well preheated oven, you get a lot less spread and therefore a considerably thicker, cakier cookie, which I also prefer. If I mix the batch in my KitchenAid, I'll put the metal bowl in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour before portioning and baking, with great results.

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Do you re-chill the dough left in the bowl in-between baking batches? –  KatieK Mar 19 '12 at 17:41
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In the Good Eats episode, "Three Chips for Sister Martha", he referred to what I think you're asking for as the 'puffy' cookie. See the transcript for how he varied a basic recipe to get more puffy / chewy / crispy variations.

For the puffy ones, he recommended shortening, as it'd melt later, giving more rise. So yes, the butter might be a problem. There is on the market butter flavored shortening, if you want the taste. (and it comes in sticks, making it easy to measure ... I use it for my christmas cookie baking, as I've got a few vegan friends).

He also recommended more brown sugar for tenderness, baking powder instead of baking soda to reduce the amount it spreads, cake flour instead of all purpose flour, and chilling the batter so it spread less. See the transcript for more details.

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When following the traditional recipe, using 1/2 the amount of butter and the rest shortening will yield a much softer cookie. –  nithins Sep 19 '10 at 2:10
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For a cookie with a texture more like cake, make sure to use soft room temperature butter, but don't melt it. It should be around 70 degrees. Cream the butter with white sugar. Make sure to use whole eggs - even extra whites, as foamy whites will add to the bubble network needed for a cake-y texture.

This is the opposite of the Cook's Illustrated cookie, which is designed to be chewier.

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I know it's not a recipe request... but find Cook's Illustrated 's Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, it's amazing and stays thick and chewy and delicious for days.

Their tricks include melting the butter, a lot of brown sugar, and using an extra yolk in addition to a whole egg.

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