The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is essentially a hack of the most famous cookie recipe in the world, which we all know from the back of the Nestle “morsel” bag. Extra chewiness is attained by substituting bread flour for regular all purpose, replacing one egg white with milk, and changing the ratio of brown to white sugar. 

The Chewy
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  1. 8 ounces unsalted butter
  2. 12 ounces bread flour
  3. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 2 ounces granulated sugar
  6. 8 ounces light brown sugar
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1 large egg yolk
  9. 2 tablespoons whole milk
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  11. 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, then set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda onto a paper plate.
  3. Pour the butter into your stand mixer's work bowl. Add the sugars and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the whole egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract.
  5. Slow the mixer to "stir" and slowly work the egg mixture into the butter and sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds
  6. Using the paper plate as a slide, gradually integrate the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula
  7. Once the flour is worked in, drop the speed to "stir" and add the chocolate chips.
  8. Chill the dough for 1 hour.
  9. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven.
  10. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-ounce portions onto parchment paper-line half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet.
  11. Bake two sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
  12. Remove from the oven, slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack, and wait at least 5 minutes before devouring.
  1. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies
  2. *I don't recommend half or double batches. Instead, make a whole batch, bake what you want, portion and freeze the rest.
  3. Another note: Keep in mind this is a "chocolate chip" cookie and therefore the quality of the final product will be greatly effected by the quality of the chips used. Although the semi-sweet "morsels" that we all know from the yellow bag are serviceable, I'd suggest combining such kid-friendly fodder with something a bit more daring, say dark chocolate chips/chunks in the 68% cocoa range. Oh, and remember you can chop your own.
Alton Brown's The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Alton Brown’s The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


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    • 2

      I make smaller versions all the time. Times will be different depending on your oven so just watch the cookies as they bake the first few times and you’ll eventually get an average cooking time.

  1. 3

    One of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes we’ve ever tried. I usually like mine thin and crispy but these just might change my mind. Turned out fantastic made as the recipe states. The only difference was that we did one pan at a time in the middle on a silpat sheet and deceased the temp to 365Β° because we live in Denver. Otherwise, perfect!

  2. 7

    Made these. They tasted Great. They didn’t look like the picture. Next time I try them I will: let the dough chill longer (I think mine chilled like 1.5 hrs, but maybe my fridge is terrible (too warm?) and I will cook them like 5 minutes then 6 (instead of like 7.5 and 7.5). My oven is convection-only, and i think it cooked them too fast. Also, I don’t have (/can’t find since we moved) a sifter, so i whisked the sift ingredients vigorously in a bowl and then slowly tumbled them onto the paper plate, maybe that’s not the best substitute for whisking (perhaps i should have used my sieve to sift)?

  3. 8

    I’m so happy I found this recipe!! I went to culinary school and I remember one of the first cookies we made was a chewy chocolate chip! This is hands down better than the one I learned in school. I use a mix of half dark half milk couverture chocolate and they turn out extra yummy every time.

  4. 10

    These are
    My favorite chocolate chip cookie. I’ve been making them for years after seeing them on a Good Eats episode. I have always used AP flour and they still turn out nice and chewy.

    • 14

      It is in every grocery store I’ve been in. It will be right beside AP flour in the baking section.
      The difference between All Purpose and Bread flour is that bread flour has more protein therefore it makes more gluten which when mixed correctly is chewy!

  5. 15

    I made these & used cake flour ( which I thought is what your TV show stated) & dark brown sugar as stated. Didn’t remember “refrigerating dough”. Very tasty & full of flavor but very flat & when one tried to pick one up it literally fell apart. Love your shows

    • 16
      Doc Jones

      @Lillie cake flour is on the opposite end of the spectrum from bread flour (with all-purpose flour being in the middle). That’s probably why you had the problem you experienced!

  6. 17

    These are awesome! My family has always made the original Tollhouse and I always wished they weren’t so flat. I didn’t have bread flour but used cake flour (as another friend said that worked well). They were perfect! Look just like Alton’s pictures. My whole family wanted the recipe!

  7. 18

    Been making Alton’s chocolate chip cookies for a few years. The hardest part making these tasty gems is waiting for them to cool down long enough before shoveling them in my pie hole…er should I say cookie hole. In fact, made them tonight. Six just out of the oven, the rest to the freezer for later. Paired with a glass of whole milk and my life is complete!

  8. 19

    I just made these exactly as directed including weight measurements; very yummy! Not flat but not mounded, I’d say about 1/2 inch tall, golden brown and delicious!

  9. 20
    Mary Ann Ludwig

    Or…you could go with some higher quality chocolate chips like the ones from Ghirardelli. Hershey has some higher quality chocolate available, but it is very hard to find.

  10. 22

    OK, I understand why you can’t cut the recipe in half. But why can’t you double the recipe when you’re making a lot of cookies? It doesn’t make sense to make just one batch and then start all over again.

    • 23

      In my baking experience doing a double batch can cause you to over work the dough in some cases. Working it too much can compromise the texture. But do what feels right to you I say! πŸ™‚

    • 24
      Doc Jones

      I agree with Ashley, don’t double the recipe. It’s not like all the cookies will fit in the oven at once anyways, so mix up one batch, start baking, and then while the cookies are baking start making a second batch. Effectively takes the same amount of time, without risking overworking the dough!

    • 26

      I live in Denver and just cut the temperature down to about 365 so the flour has a little more time to set before the butter melts. That way they don’t turn into puddles.

  11. 27

    What rotate the pans means is take the pan from the top rack, turn it around 180Β° and place it on the lower rack, then take the pan from the lower rack and turn that pan 180Β° and place it on the upper rack. Think rotating your cars tires, you want to take the front upper cookie and have it end up as the lower back cookie.

  12. 28
    Judy S.

    When AB says to rotate the pans, he means to switch them, so that each pan ends up on the rack the other one was on previously. This helps your cookies to bake evenly if there are hot spots in your oven.

  13. 29

    Just so I understand Alton correctly, he says, “Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven. Bake two sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.” Does this mean that I place one sheet on the top third rack, and one sheet on the bottom third rack, and then halfway through the baking process, I take the sheet from the top third rack and place it on the bottom third rack, and then place the sheet that was on the bottom third rack and transfer it to the top one?

  14. 31
    Tom Peltz

    One step you did not clarify as you did on GOOD EATS is to use a #30 scoop to form the balls before refrigeration. The picture you show is from the scoop as you see from the texture. Also longer refrigeration changes the height and diameter after baking.

  15. 33

    This is my favorite of all of AB’s recipes. I double the recipe and then use 1 bag of semi-sweet morsels and then 1/2 bag each of dark chocolate and milk chocolate morsels. I tried half and half white morsels and semi-sweet once too but did not like the results.

  16. 36

    Made these tonight and they were perfect. Subbed coconut oil for butter because it’s all I had. Also made them smaller and baked for about 12 minutes. Perect!

  17. 37

    Alton – have you updated this recipe? When I printed all three in 2005 (thank you very much) they were measured in cups, sticks and spoons. The only thing I seein ounces is milk on the thin recipe.

  18. 43

    Just completed the recipe. Weighed and measured as instructed. Baked about 11-12 minutes with the two half air bake sheets that I have in the oven at the same time. They turned out great no burning (watch your cookies bake people don’t just walk away) my only thought is they look nothing like the photo attached with the recipe. Mine are fairly flat not mounded as the photo shows. So not sure if I did something wrong. Or they just picked a pretty picture of a random cookie to use. Either way recipe did well. I think I may stick with another I use a bit less tedious and always happy with those results as well. Also I used ghirardelli milk chocolate morsels (I don’t like semi sweet) and I always. Always. Add bits o brickle to any cookie I make. Even peanut butter.

  19. 50
    Russ Troester

    Well, just found out the flour wasn’t the only change. We inadvertently used baking powder instead of baking soda. The fault is entirely ours (and our oven’s). I guess we’ll have to try again πŸ™‚

  20. 51
    Russ Troester

    We just made these cookies and the only change we made was using regular flour instead of bread flour. That must have been our undoing because they were quite the disappointment. I prefer a dense, chewy cookie and these were definitely more on the cake-like side. Flavor was okay but nothing special. We also had a problem with burning like one of the other commenters but oddly enough, that wasn’t until the third batch. That issue is probably our oven’s fault.

  21. 53

    Question – what does the bread flour bring to the party? I have an unfortunate allergy to barley, a common ingredient in many flours and pretty much every bread flour whose label I’ve read. Is there a work around or another flour that would give the same results? Thanks in advance.

    • 54

      Bread flour produces more gluten, which in turn probably makes the cookies grow upwards a little more. This recipe seems to be fine with AP or barley free flour. I suggest giving it a try.

  22. 55

    It must be a sign this was originally posted on my birthday. It’s my favorite recipe of anything ever. I even got AB to autograph The Chewy page in his cookbook.

  23. 59

    Alton, how do you measure dry ingredients in ounces? My mom always said to use measuring cups for dry, and the “pouring” type of measuring cups for liquids. do u you have to weigh the dry ingredients? I am certainly confused… Thanks!

    • 61

      Ginny – In his shows he always recommends using a small kitchen scale for measuring dry goods. Cups or scoops are always inaccurate as the dry mix could be more or less condensed and you end up with the wrong amount. If you use a scale, it is always 100% accurate.

    • 62

      I always weigh, but I’ve experimented and found that if you use the dry cups and measure the flour “properly” you’ll get the right amount 120-125g (~4oz) per cup. To measure properly, use a whisk if your flour bag or bin to fluff it up a bit, then use a spoon to scoop one spoonful at a time into your measuring cup, then level it off with a knife. (By “scoop”, I mean poke the end of the spoon in it at a 45 degree angle, then pull it back out. Make sure not to push the spoon forward or you’ll compact the flour and end up with the wrong measurement. If you bake even semi-regularly though, a $20 scale is totally indispensable. It makes measuring super fast and you can always get the exact same results. (Note that when looking at recipes from other sources online, you won’t know whether they measured the flour properly or not so the measurement in the recipe could be off by up to 50%. AB always lists weight, one more reason I love him!)

  24. 64

    On that episode you gave a recipe that used margarine. The quest against transfat has prompted margarine makers to change their formulations. What’s a good replacement? Crisco? Lard? Refined coconut oil?

    • 65
      Brian B.

      There are margarines on the market which do not contain trans-fats. You must spend a little done in your dairy section reading labels to find a brand that works for you! Avoid spreadable margarines for baking applications.

  25. 67

    These are the perfect cookies. I’ve made these several times and they are always wonderful. Also, I don’t have a stand mixer or hand-held mixer – I just use a whisk and a wooden spoon! I do have scales, although most of the time I use my Mum’s old Tala cook’s measure, which is an old-fashioned tin vessel that lists weights of various standard ingredients on the side. It must be horribly inaccurate but I do have good luck with it!

  26. 68
    Patricia Mahoney

    I was so excited to try this recipe, but my cookies were burnt 12 minutes into cooking time! Also, they didn’t seem sweet enough – is 2 oz the correct amount of sugar? Thanks

  27. 72

    By far the best cookies I have ever made!!!! Thanks, Alton!!! I had to substitute the butter and eggs and make them vegan for my daughter’s allergies (dairy, eggs and nuts). I have made them twice now and everyone loves them and can’t have enough! πŸ™‚

      • 74

        To make them vegan:
        Egg replacer: 10grams of ground whole flaxseed meal in 3 tbs of warm water before starting the recipe.
        Milk: used Silk original soy milk
        Butter: Smart Balance original flavored or Earth Balance brand
        Chocolate: enjoy life vegan chocolate dark chips (think they are in the 60% range)
        Everything else is the same. Enjoy!

  28. 75

    I made them today and they came out pretty well, but they honestly weren’t as tasty as I was hoping. I did use a handheld mixer, though, which probably didn’t help. I might try all-purpose flour next time.

  29. 76

    For some reason, these always come out really fluffy for me! Still, my family and roommates (I’m a college student) absolutely adore them. It’s…kind of alarming just how much, actually.

    • 79

      @ Amber – yes, refrigerate up to 48 hours. After that there’s no noticeable improvement. This is very much like my own hack of said “famous recipe” that I’ve been using for 30 years . Melt the butter, refrigerate 24-48 hrs, use 100% DARK brown sugar to get chewy-NOT-crispy cookies. Alton’s use of bread flour just enhances the effect. I would never have thought of that.

      • 82

        @WD, Nothing inherently wrong with whole milk. Some people just don’t keep whole milk in the house for whatever reason. Buying perishable whole milk just for this application becomes an expensive barrier to entry to the recipe.

        @Lanie, I use soy milk, because that is what I usually have in the house, and it works fine. Skim milk sometimes needs help in baked goods. Try adding non-fat dry milk powder to the wet team, starting at 1 TBSP.

  30. 84

    WARNING: I made the mistake of converting the dry ingredients using Google (ounces to cups). I didn’t realize that was only for wet ingredients and my cookies came out HORRIBLE. Please use a food scale if you’re going to attempt these. Also, I’m not sure if this cookie will end up being for me. I was not far off in my measurements and I can already tell the bread flour makes the cookie taste like a muffin… sorry!

    • 85

      I wouldnt give up after a first try. I weigh everything and try to follow the recipe to a T. And after a year of having all my cookies turn out like mini cakes this recipe has been perfect. My father does mention he likes the flavor of all purpose as opposed to bread flower but mine have not come out muffin like, Again weigh the sugars and the flower. They are also excellent frozen. Good luck

    • 86

      Some measuring cups.. NOT Pyrex have the Ounces written on the side for dry ingredients. I would suggest getting one of those, but the conversion rate is fairly simple if you can do the math..

  31. 88

    I made these tonight with my two year old. They turned out amazing. I used a bigger scoop so I ended up with huge cookies but they came out perfectly.

    • 90

      I think you don’t have to worry too much when mixing the butter/sugar and butter/sugar/eggs, but I’d be careful when you add the flour. The additional gluten in bread flour could make for a tougher cookie if overmixed. Just don’t stir too long after the flour ‘disappears’ into the other ingredients.

  32. 91

    That recipe looks positively easy for an Alton Brown recipe, which usually seems to be made up of 3 parts normal cooking and 1 part mad scientist (don’t get me wrong, Mad Scientists are cool). That said: I look at that and wonder how I can stow away in Alton Brown’s kitchen.

  33. 92

    Please invest in a scale. They are very reasonably priced and make a big difference when baking. Converting recipes is not very accurate and one may wind up with mixed results.

  34. 93

    i like ghirardelli (sp?)chips. however, having made WAY too many batches of the famous recipe as a 16-year old, i actually prefer milk chocolate for the chips. honestly? oatmeal raisin is my baby, lol.

    • 94

      The “famous” recipe which uses Nestle toll house chips? Those chips are semi-sweet, not milk chocolate, if I’m not mistaken…

  35. 95

    Dry Ingredients conversion

    Bread Flour: 1 cup = 4 1/2 oz
    White Granulated Sugar: 1 cup = 7 oz
    Brown Sugar: 1 cup = 7 1/2 oz

    • 97

      That’s for volume (liquid) measurements. 12 ounces of flour is 3/4 of a pound, it’s a bit over 2 cups volumetrically.
      I hope you’re not trying to get out of using a scale with those conversions.

  36. 98

    I know the most accurate way is to weigh ingredients, but I don’t have a scale. Is there a dry measure equivilant?

    • 99

      Dry Ingredients conversion:

      Bread Flour: 1 cup = 4 1/2 oz
      White Granulated Sugar: 1 cup = 7 oz
      Brown Sugar: 1 cup = 7 1/2 oz

      • 100

        As others have said, having a scale is important. Weights of dry ingredients can vary because of environmental conditions, e.g. humidity.

  37. 102

    Alton, Im curious as to why you suggest not doubling the recipe? I absolutely love these cookies and if anyone makes them and has problems its probably because they didnt follow directions! Have me had an issue with these… they are mu go to choc chip cookies!!!

  38. 103
    Cami Jensen

    Alton, right now I both love and hate you. I have to bake pretty much all weekend and into next in preparation for my sister’s wedding and the very long drive, with five kids under 10, to get to already mentioned wedding. Here I thought my list was/is daunting enough and then you throw in this temptation. Yikes, I’m going to need some Choffy to stay awake as I’m adding one more to the list.

  39. 104

    Any thoughts on what to do for altitude on this recipe? I live near Denver and always have issues baking because of the altitude.

    • 105

      I also live in Denver and high altitude baking has been very hit or miss for me. A lot of websites I find online are fine as-is.
      Typically any adjustments would be made in the leavening, sugar, or, liquid. Compared to a lot of my other cookie recipes this one is very similar, if anything I would cut the baking soda by 1/4 to 1/2, but I’m going to try it a little later today as is and see how they turn out. πŸ˜‰ good luck!

  40. 106

    I love this recipe. I have a small problem though as I bake and give my baking away to the residents of the apartment where I live, so I need to make at least 6 doz. cookies at a time. Preferably 10 to make sure at least half of the residents get some. I sometimes use light and dark brown sugar and at least two kinds of chips to make things interesting. I also make these with cocoa to have a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie. I always have bread flour around since I make my own.

  41. 107

    My husband loves chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, I’m going to try to use some of these same modifications to my recipe and see if they are even better.

  42. 109
    Sylvie Foss

    All ovens are different. I’d recommend just watching them next time Kevin, and getting a good oven thermometer.

  43. 110

    there is no substitute for unevenly chopped chocolate nuggets in a home made, hot from the oven cookie…anyone else ever feel like if you put too many cookies on the sheet or space them unevenly that Mr Brown will slap your wrist from the other side of the oven?

  44. 112
    Kevin Kent

    I like the recipe, but either the temperature or the cooking time are off! 10min into the stated 15min cooking time at 375 and the cookies were overdone (the center was ok, but the edges were way too dark). Is there a misprint somewhere?

    • 113

      Kevin – Does just one side of the sheet end up like that or is it the whole sheet? If it’s just one side, your oven isn’t heating evenly. Something else you can try is doing one pan at a time and instead of leaving them in a ball, slightly smoosh them in the middle. This will push more dough to the outside edges letting the cookies spread more evenly which will allow them to bake more evenly. Here’s hoping your next batch turns out better!

    • 114

      I had this issue too…although admittedly in a very old oven that “runs hot” according to my father-in-law. Lacking an oven thermometer at the time I don’t know what the actual temp in the oven was, but we worked out a system of about 5 minutes in, switch the pans (top and bottom), 3-4 minutes more, done/cool. They were extremely tasty and cooked through just fine.

    • 115

      If you oven gives you fits on overbrowning (burning) your cookies, reduce the temp to 350 F and cook for a longer time. I can’t tell you how long, because I don’t know about your oven. The other thing I have learned is that the large the scoop, the lower the temperature should be.

      For instance ****for my oven only*****:
      OXO small cookie scoop, 375 degrees, 13 to 14 minutes
      OXO medium cookie scoop, 360 degrees, 16 to 17 minutes
      OXO large cookie scoop, 350 degrees, 18 to 19 minutes.

      This prevents burnt outside and raw inside as the cookies get larger.

  45. 116
    jennifer sabatino

    finally, i finally got this recipe to work! i admit the fault was all mine, as i did not have a kitchen scale, but i do now, and shall forever use it to follow your recipes! BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER!

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