My chocolate chips cookies are always too crisp. How can I get chewy cookies, like those of Starbucks?


Thank you to everyone who has answered. So far the tip that had the biggest impact was to chill and rest the dough, however I also increased the brown sugar ratio and increased a bit the butter. Also adding maple syrup helped.

  • 1
    A side note: the recipe on the back of Nestle bags is fantastic! – RCIX Aug 4 '10 at 5:53
  • @RCIX: no recipes on Nestle bags (for which product?) in Italy: can you post it? – Wizard79 Aug 11 '10 at 22:35
  • at least in the US, on the Nestle Chocolate Chips they have a recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies. Probably the most used recipe for them in the States. This site claims this is the orig recipe, don't have a bag on me to compare: verybestbaking.com/recipes/specialty/nth-detail-occc.aspx – ManiacZX Aug 12 '10 at 21:10
  • The URLs have chanced, so here's an updated link to Nestle's Toll House Chocolate Chip recipe: verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/… – KatieK Aug 22 '11 at 17:49
  • re maple syrup, I sometimes sub date honey for brown sugar with amazing results – sq33G Dec 15 '16 at 8:36

11 Answers 11

up vote 39 down vote accepted

I like my chocolate chip cookies chewy too and I do it all the time. Here is what I do:

  • Flour: I use a higher gluten flour instead of AP, such as Bread flour.
  • Eggs: An additional egg yolk will help
  • Sugar: A bigger Brown Sugar to Sugar ratio helps but not vital if you do not have brown sugar at hand.
  • Butter: Butter should be melted. I think this is the key to chewiness.

The recipe is straightforward: cream butter with sugar, add wet ingredients, incorporate dry ingredients slowly and lastly add the chips.

Be sure to chill the dough for at least 30 min. The more you rest, the better. See this NY Times Article for effects of resting the dough.

This is the recipe for chocolate chip cookies For more details check out the Jan/Feb 96 edition of Cooks Illustrated.

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour plus two tablespoons more
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 1½ sticks Butter (melted and this is key! also this is a bit less than typical)
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 Eggs (1 whole, 1 yolk)
  • 1 12oz (bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Mix butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Bake on un-greased cookie sheets for 15-18 min. @ 325°F.

Also this recipe works great with white whole wheat flour as well to add at least some nutrition.

I have had excellent success substituting 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed meal and 5 tablespoons of water for the eggs if you need to go egg-less.

  • 1
    "Stir in morsels and nuts." Nuts? How many and what kind? Also, could you please let us know what the yield is? Thanks! – JustRightMenus Sep 5 '10 at 3:13
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    Update: I got 3 dozen, and they are just about the best choc chip cookies I ever had. You have changed my life. :) – JustRightMenus Sep 5 '10 at 3:43
  • You said "nutrition" in a cookie recipe. I am tempted to -1. – bobobobo Nov 11 '10 at 20:13

In addition to what everyone else has said (increase fat...), make sure you let the dough rest (in the fridge or freezer) for at least 20 minutes before baking.

More fat generally makes softer cookies. For a great desciption of how the fat / sugar / flour ratio affects the texture of cookies etc. check out Michael Ruhlman's "Ratio" cookbook.

You could try cooking at a slightly lower temperature, spraying the walls of your oven with water or putting an oven-safe bowl of water in with the cookies to prevent drying out, and/or cook them for less time.

When finished cooling immediately put them into an airtight container or foil and they will stay fairly soft, but of course are best just after cooling.

You can do a number of things like using brown sugar instead of white, use more leavening, and use oil or margarine instead of butter.

  • Well, I'm using both brown and white sugar (as in every receipt I found), tried with baking soda and true leavening, but they become still crisp... – Wizard79 Jul 9 '10 at 19:21
  • Replacing some of the white sugar with brown sugar would be where I would start. – Chas. Owens Jul 9 '10 at 19:21
  • What about replacing some sugar with maple syrup? – Wizard79 Jul 9 '10 at 19:22
  • 2
    Or try honey... But if you go with honey/syrup, you'll still want some granulated sugar or you won't be able to properly cream the butter. – Shog9 Jul 9 '10 at 21:19
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    For the food science behind substituting in brown sugar, brown sugar is white sugar with molasses. Since it has more fructose, part of the sugar will caramelize at a lower temperature (sooner during baking), making a browner, chewier/crunchier product. The molasses in brown sugar makes it a little more moist and thick, and changes the flavor just a bit. Flavor aside, it's a little like substituting in honey. See this article for a comparison of brown vs white sugar in cookies. – CodyP Dec 28 '13 at 18:33

On the Serious Eats Food Lab, J. Kenji Lopez Alt goes deep into The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. He discusses a couple ideas for making your cookies chewier.

  1. Use bread flour instead (or something with a higher protein content than your recipe calls for)
  2. Replace some sugar with a touch of corn syrup.

The higher protein content in the bread flour than in AP flour will lead to a chewier cookie. The bread flour reference comes from The Chewy by Alton Brown.

I bake mine a minute or two less than it calls for and only let them cool half way and then place them in my cookie container with a layer of parchment paper between each layer and while still slightly warm cover tightly and the heat of cookies will keep them from getting hard and will stay softer and chewier.

I have had brilliant results using this recipe that incorporates instant vanilla pudding mix. These cookies come out with an incredible texture that you just want to keep putting your teeth inside, aside from the fact that they also taste incredible.

You can also put a piece of white bread in your container with the cookies, as it will help keep the cookies softer for a longer time. I don't know why, but it does work for me.

  • 3
    Soft <> chewy. Just sayin'. – Marti Jan 29 '14 at 1:47

The best way is a mix of both white and brown sugar. Too much white and they'll be tough too much brown and they can break by their own weight. Play with the two proportions till you find what you want. More brown typically more chewy.

Another way is to make it with brown and to cool the dough in the fridge before baking so that the integrity is better.

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