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!