Today we’re talking all about making SOFT chocolate chip cookies. The kind that are ultra tender but still hold their shape and are loaded with tons of ooey gooey chocolate chips.
But sometimes I crave different textures. Sometimes I want them to be super soft chocolate chip cookies. Yet other times I want them to be thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies.
Which texture of cookies do you prefer? Does your family love soft batch cookies? Chewy? Crispy? Some combination of it all?!
How to Make SOFT Chocolate Chip Cookies
There are a few key ingredients to ensure your cookies bake up ultra tender and soft.
Brown sugar is hygroscopic, which means it takes in and retains moisture (better than granulated sugar). Adding moisture to your cookie dough can help make it softer and chewier, and stay soft for longer. That’s why I use way more brown sugar than granulated sugar in this recipe. Learn how to to DIY your own brown sugar and how to keep it soft in your pantry here.
Cookies with cornstarch are ultra soft and often slightly gooey and paler in color. It can also aid in lift and height, as it is a thickening agent. Just be sure not to add too much extra cornstarch, otherwise your cookies will develop an almost glue-like pudding consistency. I find in this recipe 2 teaspoons is the Goldilocks measurement.
Not only does cream cheese add richness and flavor, but it also tenderizes the cookies so they’re super soft, even slightly chewy, without being cakey due to the fat content. I know it’s a bit of a hassle to add in cream cheese here, but believe me it’s these small details that take your cookies from good to GREAT. Be sure to use full fat brick cream cheese, not cream cheese for spreading on bagels.
Baking Time & Temperature
If your oven runs hot, you may want to reduce the temperature slightly to avoid overly browning these cookies. You want to remove these from the oven just before they actually look done baking. The residual heat will continue to cook them and they will solidify as they begin to cool. Also, avoid using a dark colored baking pan.
How to Bake THICK Cookies
The key to making sure your cookies bake up nice and thick instead of flattening into those little sad puddles is to make sure your butter and/or cookie dough isn’t too warm. Make sure your butter is at a COOL room temperature, about 67°F, before creaming with the sugar.
Next, make sure your balls of cookie dough aren’t warm when they enter the oven otherwise the dough will melt too much. If you experience issues with your cookies spreading too much, try popping the tray of shaped dough into the freezer while the oven preheats. If you live in a very humid climate, try adding a couple extra tablespoons of flour to the dough to combat that added moisture.
Why Use a Cookie Scoop?
Using a stainless steel spring-loaded cookie scoop when portioning out cookie dough is one of the KEYS to beautiful, uniform, evenly-shaped and evenly-baked cookies. My cookie scoop is one of my most frequently used kitchen gadgets. A spring-loaded scoop saves you *so much time* in forming the balls of dough. When using a scoop, you ensure each ball is evenly sized so the cookies bake evenly, meaning you don’t have any small overbaked cookies or large underbaked cookies. Learn more about Cookie Scoops and how to use them here!
Science of Cookie Baking
Download my FREE Cookie Customization Guide which shows you quick and easy ways to alter the texture of your favorite cookie recipes. So whether you like soft cookies like this recipe, or prefer cakey, crispy, or chewy, this handy visual guide will show you what tweaks to make to get the texture of your dreams!
The best chocolate chip cookie recipe!! Every time I make these … Everybody LOVES them!!
Fabulous cookie!! Soft and chewy.
Thank you so much for the recipe.
I’m sharing this with my three sisters.
Happy New Year
Had my tough critic cookie lovers rate this and they mentioned it’s little too sweet. Maybe I can use salted butter instead of unsalted to balance the sweetness?
Hi Jayne! Yes, that should work just fine. You can also try a darker/more bittersweet type of chocolate, to further balance out the sweetness. Happy baking!
OMG!! I always wondered why my cookies where never chewy and soft! I made this recipe and never had used cornstarch and I believe that was one key.
You’re absolutely right! Cornstarch is one of the ingredients in this recipe that helps to create ultra soft cookies! Glad you gave our recipe a try! 🙂
I accidentally used 2 whole sticks of butter, purely out of habit. I followed this recipe for everything else, though, and everyone was very happy with the softness.
I even got a text from my husband, complimenting the cookies on his lunch break!
I love this recipee!
There are never any cookies in my cookie jar!
So happy to hear that, Denise!! 🙂
This is the third Chocolate Chip Recipe that I’ve tried from Handle The Heat. And it’s just as fabulous as the others. My plan is to try them all and I expect that they will all be just as fabulous as one before. Your simple rules for good cookies every time is the key. I have followed them exactly and have not been disappointed. Before I started using the recipes from Handle the heat, many times I froze the finished cookies I made, when necessary, because of time constraints. Do your baked cookies freeze well?
Sweet Regards, Linda Butler
Hi Linda! I’m so happy you love HTH’s cookie recipes! You can freeze baked cookies by wrapping well in plastic wrap, then storing in an airtight container. Tessa details everything you will ever need to know about freezing cookie dough, or baked cookies, in this article here. I hope that helps! Happy baking 🙂
The cookies remain so soft and everyone loved the cookies!
I want to try these out but can’t find block cream cheese in the Uk, only soft cream cheese. Would this work or do you have any other suggestions?
Hi Brooke! Please make sure to use full-fat, high-quality cream cheese. The spreadable type of cream cheese shouldn’t be used as it’s normally processed differently and is too aerated. I hope you can find something that will work well, I wish I could help more!
Hi, for anybody in the UK like me where block cream cheese is impossible to find. I think cream cheese triangles may work as they’re dense and not spreadable as required.
I’ve made this recipe 3 times now. I’m not sure why, but these do not brown at all. I’ve reduced the cornstarch amount by half and still they turn out very pale. Flavor is very good.
Hi Lindsey! Besides reducing the cornstarch in half, have you made any other substitutions to the recipe? Are you baking the cookies on the middle oven shelf? These are lighter-in-color cookies, but they should still be a lightly golden brown on the tops when they’re finished baking.
Hi Tessa, can I add oats to this? Would it not affect the texture of the cookies?
Hi Lieza! Yes, adding oats will affect the texture of the cookies, but you’re welcome to experiment with it! I’d suggest making the recipe as written first though so you have something to compare it to 🙂 If you’re looking for a soft Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, check out ours HERE, and follow the baking instructions to bake for about 12-13 minutes. Hope that helps!
Your cookbook says to use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and it says it makes about 26 cookies and to cook for 10 minutes and leave on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and the recipe made 5 dozen cookies — the time and size worked for me. Here, it says to use a 2 tablespoon scoop and should make about 26 cookies; and it says to cook 10-11 minutes and cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Why the differences from the cookbook?
Hi Pam! Some cookbook recipes differ from older blog recipes. We only used a 1 1/2 tablespoon or 3 tablespoon scoop size for all recipes of the book. We’ve not had this recipe make 60 cookies before, just around 26. Did you by chance double the recipe? I’m not sure how you got so many cookies!
Just made these and oh my goodness these are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. This recipe is Devine! Big fluffy ooey gooey deliciousness! I did add I bit of cinnamon to mine because it always takes chocolate chip cookies to the next level of yummy. But definitely adding this recipe to my recipe book. My go to from
Now on. Thank you!
Genius about adding the cinnamon to your cookies! So glad to hear you loved this recipe.
Can you freeze the dough and then bake later, after letting the dough come to room temperature?
You can definitely freeze this dough! Be sure to ‘marinate’ the dough prior to freezing (see directions for details), then follow this post here to bake directly from frozen: https://handletheheat.com/how-to-freeze-cookie-dough/. Enjoy your cookies!
Hi!What can you suggest instead of cream cheese?Love your ideas…
Hi Ellen! Cream cheese is one of the secret ingredients to making these cookies so soft! We don’t suggest substituting the ingredient, sorry!
these cookies are amazing!! i love how chewy, crispy, and soft they are. plus, they are incredibly easy! also tessa, i just posted these cookies on my instagram @a.spoonful.of.sugar_ and i invite youto check them out!! thanks again for the recipe, i recommend for everyons to make them!!!
Thanks so much for tagging us in your photo on IG, Ila! Your cookies looked delicious! So happy you enjoyed this recipe 🙂
This recipe for soft chocolate chip cookies or sooo good I recommend 100%!
I’m so happy you enjoyed them, Monica!
I love to bake and always volunteer to bring desert – this recipe is by far the most requested. I’ve even made these cookies instead of cake for birthdays!
WOW! I’m absolutely thrilled they’re such a hit!
I love a warm, thick, chocolatey chocolate chip cookie. This recipe is amazing! I make a full batch at a time and freeze the dough balls. I pop 1 in the oven every night as my dessert and it is what I look forward to all day! I put the frozen dough in for 13 minutes and they turn out perfect!
I am 100% for having a cookie every night for dessert!! I’m so thrilled you love this recipe, Adi! 🙂
These were fantastic! I added 1/ 1/2 cups of oatmeal and another egg yolk to balance it out – still worked perfectly!
Happy to hear your additions worked!
Hi! Have made this recipe a thousand times and I absolutely luv it! One question though. My family doesn’t eat cream cheese a lot, and I often forget to add it to the shopping list as I don’t have the best memory. I usually find myself in the situation where I want to bake these delicious cookies, but I can’t because I never have the secret ingredient. Tessa, what would you recommend as a substitute for cream cheese since I know that some substitutes could alter the taste of the cookies, and I wouldn’t want to do that because they are the best I’ve ever tasted! A little help, please?
I haven’t tried this recipe without the cream cheese, I think it’s an essential ingredient! Not only does cream cheese add richness and flavor, but it also tenderizes the cookies so they’re super soft, even slightly chewy. Sorry I can’t help <3
Can I use double cream ! or can u give specific brand of cream cheese!
Hi Alia! Any full fat cream cheese (Philladelphia is the common brand name here, but a store brand is fine as long as it’s a full fat variety!). We have not tried these with double cream instead, but I do not think that would work instead, unfortunately.
How do you keep your cookies from hardening after baking for the next couple of days?
To keep your baked cookies soft, you can add an apple wedge, piece of bread, or a tortilla on the top and bottom of the cookies to the container a day or two after baking them, or whenever you find the texture starting to harden. The moisture from the bread or apple will migrate to your cookies, making them soft and chewy again! Enjoy!!