There's nothing better than warm Chocolate Chip Cookies, I like them chunky and packed with chocolate chips. They are such a classic and well known bake, and everyone loves them with a glass of milk or a hot drink. They're easy to make, and really customisable as well. This recipe is my classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, they are thick, golden and have that lovely crackle on top. They never last long in my house, and I'm sure it'll be the same in your home too!
Welcome to my Baking Basics series!
In this series I will be sharing recipes for basic baked goods, think a classic Victoria sponge cake, a brilliant white bread loaf, and ultimate gooey chocolate brownies! So basic in name, but definitely not basic in taste and enjoyment. This series is mainly for beginner bakers who want to learn the secrets behind baking, because getting the basics right is the best place to start. More experienced bakers will really enjoy it too, as there are so many delicious recipes to try out! This time it is the turn of Chocolate Chip Cookies.
The full ingredient quantities are listed in the recipe card at the end of this post. Or you can click the 'Jump to recipe' button at the top of the post to take you straight to it. This post is full of helpful tips and commonly asked questions when making cookies, so I do recommend reading through it all first.
What equipment do you need to make Chocolate Chip Cookies?
You only need a few basic pieces of baking equipment to make cookies, and while I do recommend using an electric stand mixer for the best results, you can also make them entirely by hand without the need for any electrical equipment. The main things you want to make sure you have are baking trays, round cutters (for scooting the cookies - you'll read more about this later!) or you can also use a drinking glass turned upside down instead, measuring spoons and digital scales.
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons
- Baking trays
- Cooling rack
- Kitchen scales
- Electric hand mixer
- Stand mixer
- Round cutters
- Milk chocolate
- Vanilla extract
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For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Chocolate Chip Cookies
To make these Chocolate Chip Cookies you will need 10 basic ingredients. If you bake regularly, you probably already have everything you need in the cupboard and fridge already. If not, all of these ingredients are easy to obtain from even a smaller supermarket or grocery store.
- Butter - I like to use real butter that comes in a block for the best flavour and texture. You can use a margarine or baking spread, but they do have a higher water content and this could make your cookie dough looser. The butter must be softened, which means at room temperature. I recommend using unsalted butter as this recipe contains salt.
- Caster sugar - also known as super fine sugar, you can also use granulated sugar if you don't have caster sugar, or even golden caster sugar
- Light brown soft sugar - this is essential for more than just sweetness in these cookies. Brown sugar helps the cookies turn a lovely golden colour, it helps to make the cookies nice and thick as it reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to make the cookies rise, and it also provides a lovely caramel flavour.
- Eggs - a large UK egg is used in this recipe, and it should be room temperature before baking with it
- Vanilla extract - this adds delicious vanilla flavour. Make sure to use an extract and not an essence. Extract is real vanilla, whereas essence is synthetic. You can also use a vanilla paste
- Plain flour - also known as all purpose flour, this is the best kind of flour to use for cookies
- Salt - adding a little table salt really enhances the flavour of the cookies, I highly recommend not skipping on the salt
- Baking powder - this helps to make the cookies rise, and maintain a risen structure. It also gives the cookies their signature crackle on top
- Bicarbonate of soda - without the addition of bicarb, your cookies will be cakey and uneven. The bicarb reacts with the brown sugar to give the cookies rise, eveness and softness.
- Chocolate chips - milk chocolate chips are the classic choice, but you could also use white, dark or a combination. I used Callebaut chips for this recipe as they are a nice large size. You can use smaller chocolate chips too, or a chopped up chocolate bar
Mix the caster sugar, light brown soft sugar and butter together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Add the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix in. Then add the chocolate chips and mix briefly to combine. Divide the mixture into portions and roll into balls with your hands. Place on a lined baking tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, arrange on a lined baking tray with space in between the dough balls. Bake for 12 minutes, leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the baking tray and placing on a cooling rack (or eating!)
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
Do you have to chill the cookies before baking them?
Although you can bake this recipe straight away if you're in a rush (or just desperate for yummy cookies!) I recommend chilling them before baking. If you don't chill them, the cookies spread more and are thinner and less gooey in the middle. I find that 30 minutes is perfectly adequate for this recipe, but you could chill for 1 hour for even thicker cookies. Some recipes chill the dough for 24-72 hours, but I've designed this recipe to be an easy family friendly one, so 30 minutes is enough.
How do you get perfectly round cookies?
As soon as they come out of the oven get a round cookie cutter, or a glass held upside down, that is larger than the cookies and put it over each cookie. Move it in a circular motion, pressing against the sides of the cookies gently to adjust any irregularities. This is called "scooting" or "hula hooping" the cookies.
How should the cookies be stored and can they be frozen?
You can keep the balls of unbaked cookie dough in the freezer for up to 3 months, and you can bake them straight from frozen whenever you fancy a fresh cookie. The baked cookies will last for 3-4 days in an airtight container in a cool place. You can freeze the baked cookies too, wrap them well or store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Put a square of baking paper between each one to stop them from sticking together.
Do you need any electric mixer to make this recipe?
An electric mixer is not only helpful in making these cookies, but it will give the best results. However, you don't need one to make them. You can absolutely make the cookies by hand with a wooden spoon and some elbow grease. If you have an electric stand mixer, then you can use the paddle attachment to make these cookies.
Can this recipe be made gluten free?
For gluten free you can replace the plain flour with a gluten free plain flour blend. You may also like to add ¼ tsp xanthan gum for better texture. Please check the labels of everything you use if serving to someone with an allergy or intolerance.
Can this recipe be made dairy free?
For a dairy free version, use a dairy free black butter alternative (such as Flora Plant) instead of butter for the cookies. You will also need to use dairy free chocolate chips. Please do check the labels of everything you use if serving to someone with an allergy or intolerance.
Can this recipe be made egg free?
I have not yet tested this recipe without egg, but as soon as I develop an egg free chocolate chip cookie recipe, I will share it. To stay up to date with my latest recipes, I recommend subscribing to my email newsletter and following me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
How do you make the cookies all the same size?
To make the cookies an equal size, start by weighing the whole amount of dough. Then divide it by the amount of cookies you want to make. This will tell you how to big to make each ball of cookie dough. Scoop out the cookie dough and weigh each ball, adjusting as needed until it's the right weight. Continue doing this until all the dough is used up. You can also use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, to scoop out equal sized balls of dough.
How long do the cookies take to cool?
Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for at least 5 minutes (nearer to 10 minutes is ideal) before trying to move them onto a cooling rack. Otherwise they will be too soft and could break or stick to the baking paper.
How many cookies does this recipe make?
I find that making 14 cookies from this batch produces nicely sized cookies. You could also split the dough into 12 portions for slightly bigger cookies.
Does it matter what colour baking tray you use?
Cookies will brown and become darker underneath when baking on a darker baking tray, and even more so if no baking paper is used. This will make the cookies crunchier, and potentially slightly burnt on the edges.
Can you add cornflour (cornstarch) to this recipe?
Cornflour (also known as cornstarch) creates a more tender and softer cookie crumb. If that's your thing, then take out 2 tsp of the plain flour and replace it with 2 tsp cornflour.
Can you add an extra egg yolk to this recipe?
Adding an extra egg yolk to cookies makes them richer and chewier. As I wanted this recipe to be easy and family friendly, I chose not to add an extra egg yolk, this avoids either the egg white being wasted and thrown away, or trying to figure out how to use it up. If you want to add an extra egg yolk, then yes you absolutely can do this.
More tips for making the Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- Make sure to leave space between the balls of cookie dough on the baking trays as they will spread when baking, about 2" should ensure they don't stick together. If you make bigger cookies, you will need to leave more space.
- Please don't eat the cookie dough when it is raw and not baked. Raw flour carries a risk of E Coli, and in some countries raw eggs can also cause sickness. If you would like a safe to eat cookie dough recipe, try my Edible Cookie Dough.
My number one piece of advice to avoid any issues when baking is to follow the recipe. Substituting ingredients, changing ingredient amounts, changing the baking time or temperature, will all lead to different (and not always positive) results.
The cookies spread too much
Chilling the cookie dough before baking it will help to prevent spreading. The consistency of your butter can also affect spreading, make sure it is softened and at room temperature. If it's a very warm day and your butter was much warmer, this can also cause spreading. Expired raising agents can also cause spreading, so check the best before dates before you start baking.
The cookies stuck together on the baking tray
Make sure to leave plenty of space between the balls of cookie dough when arranging them on your baking tray. About 2 inches should be enough, or if you make bigger cookies than I have, then leave a bit more space.
The cookies are burnt and/or too crispy on the edges and bottom
Using a dark baking tray can cause the cookies to brown much faster, and in some cases over bake and burn. You should also check your oven temperature, you can do this with an oven thermometer which is low cost to buy. Many ovens have a slightly different temperature internally than the dial says. Greasing the baking tray with butter can also cause darkening and burning, instead use baking paper or a silicone mat (silpat).
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
More cookie recipes...
- Double Chocolate Cookies
- White Chocolate & Pecan Spiced Cookies
- Nutella Stuffed Cookies
- Mini Egg Cookies
- Mince Pie Stuffed Cookies
- Cheesecake Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies
- Chocolate Orange Cookies
- Carrot Cake Cookies
- Funfetti Cookies
- Kinder Bueno Cookies
- Gingerbread & White Chocolate Cookies
- Creme Egg Chocolate Cookies
More baking basics recipes...
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 125 g Butter softened, unsalted
- 125 g Caster sugar
- 75 g Light brown soft sugar
- 1 Egg large
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 250 g Plain flour
- ½ tsp Baking powder
- ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 300 g Milk chocolate chips
- Ideally using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, caster sugar and light brown soft sugar together until fluffy and paler in colour. This will take 3-5 minutes in an electric mixer (I use speed 3)
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix in
- Add the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix them in until just combined. You can put these ingredients in a separate bowl, and mix them together before adding them, if you like
- Then mix in the chocolate chips briefly, just to evenly distribute them
- Divide the dough into portions, I weighed the dough out to make each cookie an equal size
- Roll the dough portions into balls using your hands, place them on either a lined baking tray, or into a tupperware container lined with baking paper. Chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6
- After the 30 minutes is up and your oven is pre-heated, place the dough balls onto lined baking trays, leaving space (at least 2") between them to spread. If you don't have enough baking trays, keep the dough in the fridge and bake the cookies in batches
- Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven and leave the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking trays before moving to a cooling rack
- Enjoy warm, or once fully cooled. Store leftovers in an airtight container and eat within 3-4 days
- Make sure all your ingredients (particularly the butter and egg) are at room temperature before you start baking.
- I prefer to use unsalted block style butter for this recipe, and you will get the best results with it.
- I highly recommend using the mix of light brown soft sugar and caster sugar for these cookies.
- You can use either milk, dark or white chocolate chips or a chopped up chocolate bar for the cookies.
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.