4.84 from 125 votes

Chocolate Chip Cookies 101

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Chocolate Chip Cookies 101 | Everything you need to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

When I was at the University of Vermont studying theater, studio art, English lit, philosophy, photography, Latin, art history and everything else a Liberal Arts Degree offers, I decided to throw a business class into the mix. Truth is, I was just fulfilling a math credit requirement. I learned how to balance a checkbook and some basic—very basic—accounting, which went something like this … don’t spend more than you make! Then the professor had us write a business plan. It was the mid-1980s and I grew up eating Mrs. Field’s, David’s and Famous Amos cookies, which were the “gourmet” cookies of the day. While in college I was also the “baker” at a favorite breakfast joint in Winooski, VT and spent my free time baking to relax after classes. So, I wrote my business plan based on a fictitious cookie company called Zoë’s Cookies. I can’t remember how I did in the class, but six months later I was standing on Church Street in Burlington, VT, selling my cookies from a hand-pushed cart.

This post is your chocolate chip cookie primer: the result of what I learned making those cookies and the countless batches I’ve baked in the 32 years since then. This post offers a really great chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it is also a Chocolate Chip Cookies 101. I want to explain what the ingredients do to a cookie and how baking can change them. You can tweak your cookies to be just how you like them using my cookie guide towards the bottom of the post.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 101 | Everything you need to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

My boyfriend, Graham, designed my logo, built the cart and gave up his apartment oven so that I could build my cookie empire. I married him! Within a couple of months, I got some wholesale accounts and outgrew his tiny oven, so I moved my operation to a fraternity house kitchen, where they let me bake my cookies in exchange for leaving a dozen on the counter. I took a semester off from school to pursue my dream and was on my way to being the next Ben & Jerry’s-style success story to come out of VT. But, I came to realize that takes more than a semester and a cart that didn’t have snow tires. So, I went back to school, having learned a lot about cookies and business. I didn’t spend more money than I made, but, I wasn’t rich at the end of it either. 

This week I found my old Zoë’s Cookies recipes in the back of a filing cabinet and baked up the Chocolate Chip Cookies that were the foundation of my business. It pains me to say, but they weren’t very good. They’re like an old favorite movie that just doesn’t age well. When I was 19 years old, they seemed so sophisticated and special, because I was using high quality chopped chocolate, when Nestle was the only chocolate chip game in town. I sweetened them with brown sugar, to give them a richer flavor and only used real vanilla, also a rarity in the day. But, that was before going to culinary school and understanding how ingredients play together for texture and taste. I’ve come a long way in my baking in the past 32 years. You can read more about my pastry journey here.

I took my original cookie recipe and tweaked it to be delicious. You’ll find the original version at the bottom of the post. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies 101 | Everything you need to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

Chocolate Chip Cookies 101 

About the Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (320g) unbleached all-purpose flour – I use an all-purpose flour that is about 10% protein (Gold Medal). If you are using King Arthur Flour (11.7%), you will want to reduce the flour by about 3 tablespoons or 30g or the dough will be too dry. Measuring with a scale is the ONLY way to ensure that the cookies will come out consistently each batch. IF you have to use cup measures, then you’ll want to spoon the flour into the cup and then scrape it clean. Watch me measure flour in my instagram video.

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda – this is quite a bit of baking soda for a cookie, given the amount of flour. I use this much, because I want the cookies to puff up and then collapse to get the crunchy edge and soft interior. As a rising agent, baking soda needs an acid to react, but there is enough acid in the brown sugar (from the acidic molasses in the sugar). This much baking soda also helps produce a darker color on your cookie, so it isn’t dull looking in the short baking time. ALWAYS SIFT BAKING SODA, because it tends to clump and there is nothing worse than getting a mouthful of baking soda in a cookie. 

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt – In professional kitchens salt is often referred to as “love!” If a dish needs salt, a chef will say, “add a bit of love to that!” My original recipe was WAY too short on love. Although I was probably using table salt and not kosher salt in 1986, which would have resulted in a saltier cookie. The salt is a contrast to the sweet and enhances all the flavors. If you don’t have enough it will taste flat and lack that caramel flavor. 

1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature – FLAVOR baby!!! that’s why we use butter in cookies. It melts really fast, so it will cause cookies to spread if you use too much. Note for my European friends: I used American butter, which has a lower fat content than what you have. So your cookies may spread a touch more, since you have even more fast melting fat in your butter. 

4 tablespoons (57g) shortening – This is 100% fat (no water like butter), so it won’t produce any gluten structure (which can make a cookie less tender). Shortening doesn’t melt as fast as butter, so the proteins in the cookie (from eggs and flour) have time to set before you have a flat cookie. Shortening is whipped, so it also contains more air bubbles, which help things rise as they bake. Adding a bit of shortening will make a cookie more tender and help keep its shape. 

  • For my European and Australian followers: “Vegetable shortening is a white, solid fat made from vegetable oils. In the UK it is sold under the brand names Trex, Flora White or Cookeen. In Australia the best known brand is Copha.” from Nigella Lawson
  • UPDATE – If you can’t find shortening, you can also use the following, but they are not typically whipped, so they don’t have any rising power, so the cookies may spread a touch more than with shortening:
    • Margarine
    • Solid Coconut Oil
    • Solid Palm Oil
    • Ghee – this is clarified butter, so the water and whey are removed and it has a nutty flavor, but it is pure fat and will have a nice texture, but will SPREAD the cookies
    • Lard – this will impart a flavor, so only use if you like that taste
    • If you can’t find any of these, then use all butter, they will just have a different consistency, but will be delicious!!! 

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar – Makes for a crisp cookie when baked, so if you want a cookie that stays crisp use white sugar over brown sugar. Sugar also adds to the color of the cookie, so more sugar will produce a more caramelized cookie.

1 cup (230g) brown sugar, packed – Deeper flavor than white sugar, due to the molasses in the sugar. If your cookies tend to soften more than you like, consider using LESS brown sugar, since it absorbs more moisture into the cookie and softens them. 

  • If you can’t find brown sugar, use an extra cup of sugar and add a teaspoon of molasses 

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make vanilla yourself) – Adds flavor, so use a good one. The artificial vanilla flavoring is not to my taste, but some people love it, so, by all means, go for it, if that’s your favorite. I do recommend making your own just to try it, so easy and tasty! Add the vanilla to the fat, not at the end and you will get a more intense flavor.

2 eggs, room temperature – adds protein to set the cookie, which prevents it from spreading too much. Eggs also act as a leavener when they are whipped up with air, but in cookies, we’re not whipping them enough to really get that benefit. If your cookies end up with a shiny “crust” on the top, it’s because you whipped the batter too much after adding the eggs and they developed a layer of meringue on the top. You may want this effect, but not typical in a chocolate chip cookie.

12 ounces chocolate, chopped in largish chunks (about 1/4-inch wide) – I used 72% bittersweet chocolate, but you use whatever kind you want. This is the main flavor of the cookie, so again, I suggest you use your favorite chocolate. I save some larger chunks of chocolate for sticking into the dough after I have scooped them, so they melt on top of the cookie and look dramatic. 

Flaky Sea Salt – Flavor and pretty. The contrast of salt and sweet is addictive. It is why candy bars have sooooooo much salt in them. It enhances the flavors it’s combined with. I use flaky sea salt because it gives you a nice BIG hit of salt and also it looks pretty on the cookie and that does count.

Watch me make my Chocolate Chip Cookies on instagram! It also shows the various results when I changed the baking temperature and time.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 101 | Everything you need to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François
Chocolate Chip Cookies 101 | Everything you need to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François
The cookie my son is dipping in the milk is an Original Zoë’s Cookies chocolate chip, the chocolate chip cookies on the counter are the new version.

How to Make YOUR Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

The following is not an exhaustive guide, but just a start to understanding how to play with your cookie recipes.

For Crisper Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Use more white sugar, less brown sugar – if you use all white sugar, you will need to switch to baking powder, since it will rise without the acid of the brown sugar.
  • Use less eggs (you may need to add a tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry) or replace one yolk with an extra egg white, which will dry out the baked cookie a bit. 
  • Use less flour, so there is a higher ratio of fat and sugar, which makes the cookies spread and crisp
  • Bake at a lower temperature for longer

For Softer Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Use more egg yolk (which contains the fat in the egg. Egg whites dry out the cookie)
  • Use more brown sugar, which is hygroscopic, which just means it absorbs moisture, so it will soften the cookies as they sit in the cookie jar.
  • Use more flour, so the ratio of flour to sugar and fat is higher

To Prevent Chocolate Chip Cookies from Spreading (or do the opposite if you want them to spread more.)

  • Use more flour or one with higher protein (some recipes call for a combination of bread flour (super high protein) and cake flour (super low protein), but I find that basically equals all-purpose flour.
  • Add more egg, which adds protein, that sets the cookie in place
  • Add a touch of acid to the dough, which activates the proteins in the flour and eggs. Acid is found in: brown sugar, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, lemon, vinegar, just to name a few) – keep in mind that acids prevent browning, so go easy if you are looking for a caramel color on the cookie
  • Use more shortening and less butter, since shortening holds its shape at higher temperatures, so it won’t spread so fast
  • Bake at a higher temperature, since the high heat sets the proteins faster, so the cookie won’t spread.
  • Refrigerate the dough balls before baking for up to 36 hours. This allows the liquids to marry the dry ingredients and become a more uniform dough, which won’t spread as wildly when baked. It also allows the fat to solidify, which slows it’s spreading when it hits the oven.

Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Need a chocolate chip cookie recipes that gluten free, paleo or vegan? These Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies from Stephanie Meyer’s The 30-Minute Paleo Cookbook are the ultimate snack to satisfy. They are super decadent and rich with flavor because they are made with almond butter. The cookies, like everything Stephanie creates, is gluten-free, in fact, these have NO flour at all and can also be made vegan.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 101 | Everything you need to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

There are 1,000,000 chocolate chip cookies to try, but now you will know how to adjust them a bit to suit your taste. One of my favorites, along with just about everyone on Instagram is from Sarah Kieffer‘s book The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. Her cookies involve banging the pan, which gives them a lovely ripple and wonderful texture as they bake. You can find Sarah’s recipe here.

I am also a big fan of these chocolate chip cookies by Jacques Torres which appeared in the New York Times several years ago. Here I added bacon to it, because BACON!

I also smashed ice cream between them for a spectacular treat in the summer. This is Olive Oil & Basil Ice Cream I made using Sarah Kieffer’s no-churn ice cream from her book, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, which is one of my favorites! 

Here is the Original Zoë’s Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from 1986 – this is here just so you can see where I started and the changes I made. Keep in mind I was 19 years old – (don’t bother using this ingredient list for your cookies, it’s just not that good, make the recipe in the recipe card below). I don’t remember my reasoning for the choices I made back in the day, but I’m sure I was just guessing. At the time this cookie was probably a cross between Mrs. Field’s and Famous Amos. They needed more sugar (both white and brown), more butter and more salt to be tasty. They needed more baking soda (for color and crispness, so I got rid of the baking powder, since it seems redundant and doesn’t need the rising power).

2 1/2 cups flour  
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 pound butter
1/4 pound margarine 
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla
10 ounces semisweet chocolate

Chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are the result of what I learned making countless batches for decades. I also explain what the ingredients do to a cookie and how baking can change them. You can tweak your cookies to be just how you like them using my cookie guide towards the bottom of the post.
4.84 from 125 votes
Course: cookies, Desserts
Cuisine: Desserts
Servings: 18 cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups (320g) unbleached all-purpose flour I use Gold Medal. If you're using King Arthur, reduce the flour by about 3 tbsp (30g)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) shortening
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (230g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 12 ounces chocolate chopped in largish chunks (about 1/4-inch wide)
  • Flaky Sea Salt


  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  • In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, then add the shortening until evenly mixed in. Add sugars and beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Add flour and mix just until incorporated. Mix in chocolate. Scoop cookie dough using a portion scoop, I used a 3 ounce (83g) scoop. You can make the cookies larger or smaller, but it will effect the baking time.
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes if you are in a yank, but they improve if you let them sit for 24-36 hours. Resting will make them taste better, be more uniform in shape and color nicely when they bake. After they are chilled you can bake them or freeze the dough balls for later baking.
  • To bake: Heat oven to 375°F.
  • Bake 6 chilled cookie balls, evenly spaced on a sheet pan in the middle of the oven for about 12-15 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt while the cookies are baking. Do it when they are almost set but not done baking.
  • Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the pan and then remove to a cooling rack.

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112 thoughts to “Chocolate Chip Cookies 101”

  1. 5 stars
    These are so delicious! I am a volunteer for the Pine Valley California sheriff’s department. I love to spoil the deputies every Tuesday when I work by making them cookies. They say they have never had such a good cookie! Zoe, thank you for helping me spoil our hard working law enforcement!!

  2. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe. I even tried the slam pan method and it made it crispy on the edges and soft in the center. Best recipe.

  3. Just made these for the second time, the dough is chilling in the fridge currently. This is my favorite CCC recipe to date and I’m so glad I found Zoe’s show on HBO. I did a little pan slamming on this recipe (I know the show did this for a different recipe but it still created the gorgeous rippling). Thanks Zoe! I have your book and have been very inspired by your work <3

  4. 5 stars
    This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Tbh I never use the shortening and just use 2 sticks of butter but it’s delicious. Also I just use plain chocolate chips because I haven’t ventured into investing in chocolate bars yet but I’m sure they will be even better.
    I have tried many a chocolate chip cookie recipe, and my family said PLEASE stop experimenting and just keep making this recipe!! I didn’t really know if it was that much better until I made plates for a couple different people and both parties asked me for the recipe. It’s so good!! Also chilling the dough is worth the time investment!

    My only complaint is the that the cookie dough itself is too delicious, and by the time the cookies are made i’ve eaten so much cookie dough i don’t even want a cookie- don’t tell my husband

  5. 5 stars
    This is my goto Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. I love to make a batch of these and freeze them and bake them 3-4 at a time. Delicious.

  6. 5 stars
    They are delicious. My boyfriend thought they were from a bakery. Great to have extras in the freezer for a quick treat.

  7. 5 stars
    I have tried so many different recipes because my chocolate chips always came out flat. I started making these for the Christmas season and oh my! I wasn’t sure how big to make them and they were crazy good but huge for the first batch. So last week I made them smaller and that was it! My family wanted the recipe! There are none left! I never realized that having eggs and butter at room temperature would make such a difference. Learning how each ingredient works together is the difference. Thank you for explaining everything. Now I can make the best cookies!

  8. 5 stars
    Got tired of the NTH cookies that I’ve been making for so long. Thought there must be something better. This is that something! Perfect as written.

  9. Zoe, how much flour should I use when using Pillsbury?
    I have the Zoe Bakes cookbook and looking forward to your cookie book. Love watching you bake, learn so much, thank you.

    1. Hi, Pillsbury flour has essentially the same protein content as Gold Medal, so you can do it as written with no adjustments. Happy baking!

  10. 5 stars
    Everyone at our Christmas brunch loved them. None were leftover for us. One thing I had to do due to limited refrigerator space was refrigerate the entire bowl of batter versus individual cookies on trays. Seem to work out fine. This is the first recipe I made of yours Zoe thank you for sharing. Katie.

  11. 5 stars
    We love these cookies at our house! I make them with my 4 year old and we love keeping some dough in the freezer. Watching Zoe Bakes, Zoe mentions using a cookie scoop (maybe 3oz? I can’t remember) for extra large cookies. Could you share a link to the same size scoop? Thanks!

      1. King Arthur baking sells a set of 3 really pretty scoops for more than Amazon, but they are worth the fun of using them and your son can pick the color he likes and make fifteenth size ones if he would like!

  12. 5 stars
    Your recipe doesn’t say whether you use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, does it matter?
    This recipe looks great and can’t wait to try it!

  13. 5 stars
    Used bacon fat in lieu of the shortening because that is what I had and they were great! I froze them and my son loves to pop a few in the oven at night. Thank you for this!

  14. 5 stars
    These are hands down the BEST chocolate chip cookies. If I want to make cookies as a gift, I always use this recipe because they look a little fancier than traditional CCC’s because of the chopped chocolate. These cookies are always a hit and my kids beg me to make another batch when they are all gone.

  15. 5 stars
    These cookies are really the BEST! I’ve made thousands of chocolate chip cookies (I’m a personal/private chef). I’m always on the look out for best go-to recipe and THIS IS IT!!! Chewy center, slightly crispy outside, caramel flavor. Did not spread, was not dry or cakey. In the past, my chocolate chip cookies were sometimes dry and I think it was because I used King Arthur Flour. In this recipe, you state that if using KAF to subtract 3 TBLS. That makes total sense. I will do that next time. This time, I used Gold Medal Flour and it was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much Zoe. This is a perfect recipe!

  16. 5 stars
    These cookies are the BEST!! I followed your direction to a T and love how they turned out! My husband loved them as well and I will bake some for my sisters tomorrow! I enjoy you on the Magnolia Network-you are so darling and have a beautiful family Looking forward to making more of your recipes!

  17. 5 stars
    Chocolate Chip cookies have always been by #1 go-to. When I became a pastry chef, I made it my mission to find the best recipe. Over the past 20 years, I have tried hundreds of recipes, tried chocolate chip cookies across every farmer’s market in NYC and beyond, then a chef named Zoe popped up on my Instagram feed. I quickly became a fan of her live feeds, so when she shared her chocolate chip cookie recipe, it was a no-brainer. I had to test it out. Wow. Wow. These are the best I have ever tried. Everyone I give them too says the same. I was skeptical that I would ever find a recipe that I loved enough to throw away all the rest, but I have. They are crispy on the edges with a little chew at the center. They have a wonderful caramelly flavor and are just as good days later as fresh from the oven. Not only do I enjoy following Zoe’s culinary journey, but I trust every recipe that she shares. That says it all.

    1. Wow, Denise! This is quite the endorsement. Thank you so much for coming back to share your experience here. We greatly appreciate your kind words!

  18. 5 stars
    I made your Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe above and it was fantastic! The best Chocolate Chip cookie recipe I have every tried. My husband loved them, he took some to work and the guys at work loved them too!
    Will never use another recipe again! I did use the butter flavored shortening because that was all I had on hand at the time. Turned out great! Thank you for sharing and giving us (not so professional bakers) a chance to shine in our families eyes!!

  19. 5 stars
    Everyone has made some form of chocolate chip cookies but THESE cookies are indeed the BEST ones yet. I have made them numerous times with rave reviews. I try and keep them (unbaked and ready to bake) in my freezer for drop in guests or simply my husbands cravings. Certainly, one of the best! Thanks Zoe!

  20. 5 stars
    Since trying this recipe several years ago when I first started following your account and then buying a few of your cookbooks, it’s my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. I especially love keeping the frozen balls of dough on hand for those random cravings! ❤️ The flavor, chewiness and ease of making these keep me coming back for more!! ❤️❤️❤️

  21. 5 stars
    I made one of your chocolate chip cookie recipes that was a thicker cookie version. I cannot seem to find that recipe. I think these made the thin crispy one. Can you share the other recipe as well? So yummy!

    1. Hi Erin, we’re not sure what recipe you may be thinking of as this is Zoë’s classic recipe and she doesn’t have another. Perhaps you made the “original” recipe listed up in the blog post? Sorry we can’t be of more help!

  22. Hi, Zoe! In your narrative for Chocolate Chip Cookies 101, you mention that “salt is often referred to as ‘love!’” and that “salt is a contrast to the sweet and enhances all the flavors”. What brand of Kosher salt do recommend for baking? Diamond Crystal and Morton are two popular brands of Kosher salt, but are very different in taste.
    I love watching your show on the Magnolia Network, and I hope there will be a Season 3!

  23. 5 stars
    These chocolate chip cookies are the absolute best I’ve ever had! Will definitely make the for Christmas cookie trade.

  24. 5 stars
    Love your recipes & your shows; thanks Zoe!

    I need your help tho’ – I have made this cookie recipe 2xs & cookie’s came out perfect. Since then, all if my batches have been cake-like & I don’t understand where I’m going wrong….I want the flat crunchy edges & the gooey center. Help!!!

    I have tried different things in this recipe – decreasing the flour (2 cups instead of what ur recipe calls for); I’ve also added 2TBS of water to batter, but the end result is still cake cookies.

    One note, I am using Stevia sugars instead of regular sugars.

    Any suggestions on how to reduce the sugars & still get the crunchy edge? Thank you!!!

  25. 5 stars
    I baked these after watching them on Zoe Bakes and they are hands down, the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Truth be told, I am not a big fan of chocolate chip cookies in general, but she made these look so good that I had to try them. They did not disappoint, and now I am a huge fan. As a matter of fact, we have house guests this weekend and I am about to whip up another batch. Maybe some bread too. 🙂 Thanks Zoe!

  26. 4 stars
    I am no Zoe, but I always bake my cookies on parchment paper and it does not effect the results I want. Flour, sugar, butter ratios do. What type of sugar also has an effect.

    1. Thank you for reply! Interesting about the type of sugar. I used regular granulated sugar. Is there a different kind of granulated sugar I should try?

      1. Using more brown sugar than white makes a difference. The chocolate chip recipe we all grew up with calls for equal amounts. In one of Zoe’s recipes, she calls for more brown than white. I think that improves the flavor immensely as does browning the butter before adding to the recipe.

  27. Hi! I’m repeating my questions from August 8 and 14. Is it not advisable to use parchment paper when baking these cookies? And, my cookies did not spread thin. They spread only a little and were quite chunky. I used GM flour, a standard size scoop, and refrigerated them for 24 hours before baking. I baked them on parchment. I’d like to bake them again and am wondering what I might need to change. Thanks!

  28. 5 stars
    I DVR’d that episode from the Magnolia Network. I won’t ever delete it! HAHAH!!! So, I’ll have it until the machine breaks! LOLZ!

  29. Hi! I can’t seem to find the video of Zoe making the cookies on Instagram. I have an Instagram account. When I click on the link it just takes me to her Instagram page with all her posts and all the videos but I can’t seem to find the specific one on the cookies.

  30. I just discovered your show recently and LOVE all the hints and tips like adding your extracts when mixing butter and sugar because fat carries flavor! I see you always using homemade vanilla extract. What is your ratio of booze to vanilla beans and what kind of booze do you use? Ha! I made a rhyme 😉

  31. Hi
    I would like to try this recipe but I do not use shortening in anything. Never have and not sure I want to. Ok to continue with butter?

    1. Hi Karen, you can use all butter and they will still be delicious, but they will not be the same consistency. Zoë discusses the reason for the shortening in the blog post above, but in short, it is 100% fat, unlike butter which contains water, and using 100% fat helps the cookies hold their shape and rise a bit. Other options include margarine, solid coconut oil, solid palm oil, ghee, or lard. Enjoy!

  32. Made these cookies for a church bake sale. They were delicious but did not spread thin like yours. Mine were fat cookies, spreading only somewhat. I used Gold Medal flour, a standard size scoop, and refrigerated them for about 24 hours before baking. Any idea what could’ve happened? Thank you!

  33. FINALLY got to try these and they were SUCH a hit with the entire family!!!!

    MANY thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  34. 5 stars
    Possibly the best cookies I’ve ever made or tasted. I chilled for about 1 hour and baked two which were outstanding. The perfect balance of white/brown sugar and butter/shortening. Maldon salt on the top is such a nice counterbalance to the sweet of the cookie. I made cookie dough balls with the rest and they are in my freezer but probably not for long. I may use this recipe for ice cream sandwiches.

  35. Hello! So excited to try this recipe. I’m wondering if I could add toasted pecans. If so, what amount would work well? Thank you! Love your show!

    1. Hi Darla, you could add toasted pecans by replacing some of the chocolate chips with them. You could add all of the chocolate chips as well as additional pecans, but it will likely change the texture. You can experiment to see what you prefer!

  36. 3 stars
    Help please if possible…Love your show and recipes! I have made these cookies twice now. Weighed all ingredients as directed. Mixed and chilled for 36 hrs as directed…watched the show of you making the cookies over and over…BUT MINE JUST DON’T TURN OUT LOOKING LIKE YOURS. They seem to brown/ spread on edges too much while the center of the cookies almost remains raw. Do you think my oven is too hot? The thermometer says it is 375 and I turn the single pan around half way through baking. I am baking only one pan at a time (with 4 instead of 6 cookies due to spread). Please advise…I want to have big beautiful cookies like this!

    1. Hi Stacy, there are a few things that could be going on. You may need more flour. Just two or three tablespoons may do it? Maybe the flour you are using is lower protein. The type of butter will also make a difference. European butter has more fat, so they’d spread more. Do you have an independent oven thermometer to make sure the oven runs true to temp? Are you baking on parchment? We’d love to be able to help you get to the bottom of this!

      1. 3 stars
        Thank you so much for your quick response! I’m running 3 test batches right now: one with more flour , one with 1/4 tsp less soda and one with the ratio of butter/ shortening changed to 50/50 plus 2 Tbsp extra flour. I am using parchment on light colored nonstick pans. I do have a separate oven thermometer which is reading 375 as desired prior to any addition of pan for baking. I am using BLEACHED Gold medal flour and Crisco brand shortening. Fingers are crossed! Keep you posted on my progress. I did notice that my butter (despite being the requisite 65 degrees/ room temp when I begin baking) gets pretty loose as I go. Here in Texas it is hard to keep a cool kitchen in the summer. Maybe I should mix less next batch

      2. 5 stars
        Great news! The extra flour worked! Thank you so much for your help! Love the cookies!!!! And so many of your recipes!

        1. Hooray!! We are so thrilled to hear it worked. Thank you for letting us know!

        2. 5 stars
          I’m late to the party but this exact scenario happened to me as well. The cookies were absolutely inedible. I was very careful weighing the ingredients, chilling the dough, pre-heating my oven with an oven thermometer in place and the cookies were thin and overcooked on the edges and raw in the middle. I’m also in texas but it’s currently winter and my house is actually cold. How much extra flour did you end up adding? It has to be the flour. I only had all-purpose, Gold Medal flour which I use to bake my other cookie recipes and it has always worked fine. I want to try again with extra flour!

      3. I have a couple questions based on this reply.
        1. I always use King Arthur flour in my baking, but I understand it has more gluten than, let’s say, Gold Medal. So, KA flour may be ok for these cookies but maybe not for the blueberry muffins?
        2. I’ve always baked on parchment paper. Is that not necessarily a good thing to do for these cookies?
        Thank you for your help!!! I love Zoe Bakes and have watched some episodes many times. Her recipes, instructions, and tips are awesome and it’s very entertaining as well. Love it!

  37. Hi there! I saw the episode where you made the cookies for your son and then packed them up & sent them off to him & his buddies… But those looked like they had a bit more chocolate in them and you DID bang them in the oven, no?
    Just wondering because THOSE are the ones I want to try! lolz!!!


  38. 5 stars
    Zoe, thank you so much for sharing your tips for this recipe! They help a lot!

    I did this recipe yesterday and my family loved!
    I started watch your show and it ia amazing! My daughter is 5 years old and loved watched togheter!

    Thank you again and a hug from Brazil!

  39. 5 stars
    Zoe, BRAVO, you’ve done it again. I have been in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and have tried many mediocre cookies…I’ve found my keeper recipe! These have an impeccable balance of sweet/salty, crunch/soft, and chocolatey goodness! I love your show, site, and recipes. I can’t wait to get one of your cookbooks (cookbooks are my guilty pleasure).

  40. 5 stars
    I have to be gluten free so I made these cookies using gluten free flour, King Arthur Measure for Measure blend. They came out amazing. I chilled the formed cookie dough balls in freezer for about 5-10 min. before baking, as I knew there might be a problem with spreading too quickly otherwise. I banged the pan in the oven a couple of times to get the crispy edges, worked perfectly! I love all your recipes..now just trying to convert the bread and baquette recipes to gluten free, not so easy…

    1. So glad you enjoyed these cookies, Merry! Converting the bread will be a but more difficult as Zoë did not use a gluten-free all-purpose flour for her GF bread book, but made a blend of her own because she wasn’t happy with the results of all-purpose GF flour. It would probably be easiest to check out Zoë’s gluten-free artisan bread book!

  41. Hi Zoe,
    I am a big baker with a side gig of selling cut out decorated sugar cookies. But, I don’t have a good chocolate chip cookie recipe in my collection, no matter how many I tried, so was most excited for this one. However, the dough was delicious, I followed the recipe to a T, refrigerated the dough over an hour. But, when I was baking them the bottoms got more done b4 the tops were done resulting in burnt bottoms. Oven temp is good since I did several batches of cut outs just b4 baking theses. Are the tops suppose to be less done when they come out? Advice please?
    Anyway, I love your shows and watched everyone I could find. I’m trying the bread next, grinding my own wheat berries too. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and making it look so easy.
    I live in the upper Peninsula of Michigan, so enjoy that you have the same climate.

    1. Hi Jackie! The only thing we can think of is if you were making multiple batches at one time, you’d want to rotate the pans during the bake time so the ones lower in the oven don’t get browner on bottom. If you did do just one pan at a time, perhaps the pans were too close to the heating element in the oven. You could try moving your rack up next time to see if that helps!

  42. These are amazing! If we wanted to try new brands of “good” chocolate, would you have any recommendations? Has anyone experimented with semi sweet vs darker chocolate mixes?

    1. Hi Mary! So glad you like these cookies! Zoë has several brands of chocolate she uses and she talks about them all in this post. Cheers!

  43. I have been baking the same chocolate chip recipe for years and want to try Zoe’s recipe. I’ve also always added 1/2 tsp of espresso powder to my cookies as I’ve read that the espresso powder enhances the chocolate. Is it okay to add it to Zoe’s recipe?

    1. Hi Judith, you can absolutely add 1/2 tsp of espresso powder and it will be delicious! Enjoy.

  44. 5 stars
    These are the BEST chocolate Chip cookies I have ever made. Love how large and crunchy you vacantly make them. Ooy, gooy, yummy. Everyone loves them including me.

  45. 5 stars
    Zoe, YOU are a beautiful gem! 🙂 My husband is a cookie fanatic & he sent this recipe/episode to me. I love cooking & baking; after watching this episode, I’m hooked & learned a few new tricks! This cookie recipe is THE BEST, hands down. I have to agree with you, the “banging” makes these cookies & I’ll never go without this method again. THANK YOU for sharing your wonderful gift! ♥️

  46. 5 stars
    I tasted your “banger” chip cookies at my cousins. The best chocolate chip cookies ive ever tasted!!
    Can i use pink himalyan salt instead of Kosher salt?
    Also, when do you bang the pan, I Dont see that in the original instructions??

  47. Hi Zoe, I keep kosher & usually use margarine to bake. I know that “butter is better” but am wondering if you think they would come out ok with the margarine & shortening. Also, which chocolate(s) do you use in the cookies & where do you buy it? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Elaine, margarine/shortening should work, and you can experiment with a half batch until you get the recipe the way you like it. Zoë recently used Country Crock’s plant based sticks in her Chocolate Pecan Pie and was very happy with the results, but whatever brand you typically use should work as well. They’re all a little different, so it’s important to try it until you get a result you like. Zoë uses lots of different chocolate. A few are Valrhona, the large chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s, Scharffen Berger, and Guittard. Happy baking!

  48. 5 stars
    This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe!. I have used other recipes that didn’t make me happy. No more searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is the “ONE”! Thanks Zoë!

  49. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever tasted! Everyone I’ve made these cookies for, they’ve loved. I’ve already made them 5 times in less than 3 months. Don’t judge me, but I do add a bit more chocolate chunks to the recipe♥️

  50. 5 stars
    LOVE your show and reference back to bake WITH you today I am making your biscuits with my beef stew and also these chocolate chip cookies!!

  51. 5 stars
    This recipe is now my go to! I baked them for the second time, this past weekend and I received rave reviews from my neighbors. I now have to bring them to all our get togethers! I love your show and will be making more of your recipes. I am now on the hunt for a fabulous oatmeal raisin cookie for the hubs!
    Thank you,

  52. 5 stars
    The only changes I made to these wonderful cookies was to brown the butter before adding it to the rest of the ingredients and using 1 whole egg plus 1 yolk. Like you said, both the brown butter and egg yolk make the cookies soft and rich. Yum!

  53. At first I was disappointed in these chocolate chip cookies because they spread too much and were on the thin side. However, after leaving the dough in the fridge for a day and a half, they baked up with less spreading, but still thinner than I had hoped. I froze the baked cookies, and my husband loves them right from the freezer! I also shared the cookies with my neighbor’s young grandsons who are always asking for my chocolate chip cookies. I wondered if they would like the thinner, crispier cookie, but they loved them. So, I guess I’ll be keeping this recipe in my repertoire! Must admit I used chocolate chips rather than chopped chocolate.

  54. Hi Zoe. I’m an American living in Australia. I can’t wait to try out your recipe, I’m a chocolate chip cookie aficionado…haha at least I tell myself that. I would suggest taking out the suggestion for Australians of Copha as a shortening/Crisco replacement. Copha comes in a block and it’s about the consistency of hardened candle wax. It’s nowhere even close to being what Americans know as shortening. It’s good for stuff like a buttercream icing if you want to stiffen it up in a humid climate but it’s not something really to bake with in the same sense as Crisco. You’re certainly not going to get a fluffy pie crust with it. For your Australian fans I’d suggest using the food importer https://usafoods.com.au/ where you can find US ingredients. That’s who I use to get my Crisco. People will really screw up your recipes if they use Copha. Trust me I know first hand! I recently received your new cook book. Love it! Cheers, Carter

    1. Hi Sarah, this will definitely be an experiment because Zoe has not tried it, but she suggests replacing some of the flour with oats. Whatever amount of flour you take out, try doubling the amount of oats you add. Have fun and please let us know how it goes!

  55. Mouth watering is right! I had to get my butter and eggs out before I finished reading! I have just been introduced to the world of Zoe Bakes and WOW! Can’t wait to get started:-)
    Question- recipes call for butter and eggs to be ‘room temperature’ – is there an exact or close to temperature? For instance, I love in Illinois, my room temp is different than a recipe from Texas, Colorado etc.. should the butter be mushy or just soft? please advise.

    1. Hi, great question. You should get your butter and eggs out about an hour+ ahead of time. In terms of “room temperature” it’s usually just to make sure the ingredients aren’t ice cold when you start using them because the cold temperature of eggs can re-solidify the fat. Eggs are pretty forgiving. For butter, you should be able to stick your finger into the butter, but not so warm that it doesn’t hold its shape when you pick it up. I hope this helps!

  56. Hello. I made these last night with my 14 year old and they are great!!! Just a few questions:
    • Do you cover the dough balls in the refrigerator, especially if left for more than the initial 30 minutes?
    • Can the vanilla be replaced with bourbon or some other flavoring? Not sure if that would change any of the reactions.
    • We wanted to watch your video, sited in the story of the recipe, but it seems the link is broken or not working: “Watch my Chocolate Chip Cookie video on instagram”
    Thank you! We really love your site and your sunny personality.

    1. So glad you’re enjoying them!! If you’re baking the cookies the same day, no need to cover them in the fridge. If you’re making them a few days in advance, you will want to cover them. The vanilla can definitely be replaced by another flavoring–sounds delicious! I just tested the link to the video and it’s still working for me. Is this the link you tried? You may need to have Instagram to view it. https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18005182168187555/

    2. Yes.. me too wanting to watch your story highlights about cookies 101 on Instagram but I can’t open it.. please I need to see how you make it.. thankyou so much

      1. Hi Rika, do you have an Instagram account? I think if you do not you won’t be able to access it.

  57. 5 stars
    These cookies are so incredible. I make them over and over and my husband asked specifically for them today. I use only butter, I never have shortening in hand. I also use half dark and half milk chocolate. I halve the batch and bake 4 after they’ve been in the fridge for a few hours, and then I freeze the rest and pop a few out when we want them, or if we have company over they’re a quick easy and impressively delicious snack/dessert.

  58. Hi Zoë, I just made these cookies and froze the rest. When I want to bake them later, do they need to thaw or can they go straight in? Thank you!

    1. Hi Dorina,

      I generally lay them out on a baking sheet while the oven preheats and then bake them. They will end up a little crisper on the edges this way.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  59. That was such a wonderful and detailed post. I was drooling while reading it. Thank you so much. Will definitely have to try this one.

    1. Zoe’s recipes as well as her tv show are packed with suggestions and helpful hints. She is the best teacher and so much fun to watch….

  60. Love this post and all your posts!!!❤️
    Any suggestions for baking thesengorgeous cookies at high altitude in Colorado?

    1. I live in Colorado and just made these cookies and they turned out great! I used whole wheat flour, specifically 50% soft white, 25% turkey red, and 25% einkorn. I also put about 25% less sugar and added about 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed.

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