The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 - Handle the Heat

The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2

August 11th, 2013

This thorough guide to chocolate chip cookies shows you how different ingredients and techniques produce different chocolate chip cookie. Read through the entire post to learn how these changes impact your cookies, which I liked and didn’t like, and to see them compared in one photo!

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Exciting post today! I’m sharing part 2 of my Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookie series with you. CLICK HERE FOR PARTS ONETHREE, and FOUR!!
The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from

I used the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (at the bottom of this post) as my control and made little changes and variations in techniques and ingredients to show you how they affect the cookie. I halved and adapted the original Tollhouse recipe and that is what you see here. I kept everything the same through each recipe test, changing one key thing to see its effect and photographing the results for you. The first post was such a huge success that I knew I had to write another one with different ingredients and techniques tested. I listened to all of your requests for what you would like to see and tested many of them to share the results with you today. Keep reading to find out how dark nonstick baking pans, cornstarch, egg yolks, cake flour, bread flour, and shortening affect chocolate chip cookies.

Tools and Ingredients Used (when applicable):
-Spring-Loaded Cookie Scoop (Medium or 1 1/2-Tablespoon size)
Chicago Metallic sheet pans
Escali Digital Food Scale
KitchenAid 5-quart Stand Mixer
Oven thermometer
Unbleached parchment paper
-Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour
-Fine sea salt
-Light brown sugar
-Large eggs
-Unsalted butter at a cool room temperature
-350°F oven and 10 minute baking time for each test


The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from

Note: This is my adapted version of the Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe, which I used for each of these batches.


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (142 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well to combine. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Dark Nonstick Baking Sheet:

The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from
Instead of using a Chicago Metallic sheet pans with a Silpat baking mat, I baked the control recipe directly on a dark nonstick baking sheet to test the differences between baking sheets. As you can see, the dark nonstick sheet significantly increased the browning on the bottom of the cookies. The cookies browned on the bottom more quickly, causing them to spread a little less. They also had more of a crunch due to the browning. If you have a problem with your cookies burning on the bottom, it may be due to your baking sheet. Luckily these ones didn’t burn and were quite tasty. However, I prefer to use unlined baking sheets to ensure my cookies won’t burn. The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from


Added 2 teaspoons cornstarch to the cookie dough along with the dry ingredients. The cornstarch cookies were more pale in color but had crisp edges and very soft and slightly gooey interiors. I was surprised by the amount of spread these cookies had, I thought they’d be thicker considering cornstarch is a thickener. Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction has a very popular cornstarch chocolate chip cookie recipe that calls for melted butter and chilling the dough so I wonder if one or both of those steps creates the best effect with the cornstarch. Sally’s cookie recipe also has a higher ratio of flour to butter compared to the Nestle Tollhouse recipe. I’m thinking these differences must produce a thicker cookie. The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from

Extra Egg Yolk:

In addition to the whole egg called for in the control recipe, I added an extra egg yolk to this test. This produced ultra soft cookies with a little bit of a chew. Egg yolk is full of fat which acts as a tenderizer. This allows you to add softness to your cookies without having to add more butter. I think the extra liquid added to the dough from the yolk increased the cookie’s spread. If you want to add more softness to your cookies with an extra egg yolk, you may want to add a little more flour to create a thicker cookie.

The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from

Cake flour:

I swapped out all the all-purpose flour for 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (127 grams) and the results were interesting. These cookies turned very brown and looked like they would be crispy but were actually very soft. Someone actually called these cookies “mushy.” They spread out fairly flat.

You can learn more about the science of cake flour here.

The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from

Bread flour:

I swapped out the all-purpose flour for 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour (142 grams) and the resulting cookies were thick and ultra chewy. My boyfriend and I both favored these cookies over many of the other trials. If you like thick, chewy cookies I would try substituting at least half of the all-purpose flour in your favorite cookie recipe with bread flour. It totally makes sense now why Alton Brown uses bread flour in his “The Chewy” cookie recipe.

The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 from


Okay, I had a LOT of requests to test of the differences between butter and shortening. I don’t use shortening in my house, I don’t like it. BUT I went out and got some Crisco just for you guys since you all asked so nicely! Plus I was quite curious about what kind of cookie shortening would produce since so many of you swear by using all shortening or half shortening half butter. For this trial I swapped out all of the butter with an equal amount of vegetable shortening and the resulting cookies were more pale and had a thicker texture that was crisp at the edges and soft in the middle. I thought these cookies would be super greasy but they weren’t. Tasting these shortening cookies made me realize that many bakeries and chain restaurants that serve chocolate chip cookies must use shortening because they had a similar taste and texture to those cookies. I was surprised to find these cookies didn’t taste super artificial or plastic-like, however they didn’t have that crave-worthy butter flavor either. The texture was fantastic but they definitely lacked flavor.


WOW this is everything I've wanted to know about cookies!

[updated photo 2015]

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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  1. #
    Adrian — January 26, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Hi I’m doing a science project based on your recipes and experiments and i wanted to know what was the difference between parchment paper and the silpat baking?

  2. #
    Janice Williams — January 21, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for that wonderful information. Is there a way to make cookies with honey instead of brown and white sugars, but still have that same sugar texture somehow? All the honey cookies I’ve tried just don’t taste as good as those with sugar.

  3. #
    Doris Noyes — January 11, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Why is the temperature changed from 375 degrees as on the chocolate chip bag to 350 degrees. Cookies take forever to bake at 350 degrees….. I don’t think 350 degrees is correct.

  4. #
    Katy — September 4, 2016 at 10:49 am

    I had made my bf vegan cookies bc he had to go vegan a week with a co-worker and it used coconut oil. It didn’t cream very well and caused a crumbly cookie but now I know if it’s melted I can do all the alterations to make a fluffy cookie and a experiment to use all this coconut oil I have leftover or when I’m out of butter.

  5. #
    JenniferBakes — July 2, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    As far as shortening goes. I swear by it!! I love the butter taste too which is why i use Crisco butter flavored shortening!!!

  6. #
    jewelz — May 6, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I read recipe that omitted BUTTER, replaced with shortening (Crisco)…
    Okay so what I like to do (& because cookies consistency more often than once) when baked were FLAT BUT TASTE GREAT .. I PREFER SOFT NOT TO THICK 1\4-1\2 INCH AND NOT AT ALL CRISPY.. PERFECT AS; I SAY…

  7. #
    trivell — May 3, 2016 at 10:25 am

    thanks for helping me with the ingredient of how u make cookie my son will really enjoy it

  8. #
    Vanessa — January 28, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Hey, your website is helping me so much with my so much with my science fair project thank so much. ( :

  9. #
    Vanessa — January 21, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Oh and i also wanted to know if u can give me some tips because I love cooking

  10. #
    Vanessa — January 21, 2016 at 9:57 am

    This is helping me alot with my science fair project “The secret behind the best cookie” I hope I get 1st place this is a really helpful page and thx.

  11. #
    ANAHI — January 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Hi, my name is Anahi. I’m doing a Science project on your cookies! I just want to know if you can give my some tips! Thanks!

  12. #
    Feren — July 26, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Thank you for doing all the experiments! i’m definitely eager to try the bread flour addition! Anyway, i’ve heard about adding vinegar to your cookies. i’m not really sure what it do but would you mind maybe do the experiment in the future? i suppose it would react with the baking soda but not sure what will happen. thanks!

  13. #
    Tracy — June 11, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Tessa, thank you so much for testing out all these different ingredients and techniques and sharing them with us!

    Quick question: when beating the butter with sugar, do you use a wire whisk or a paddle? Thanks!

  14. #
    Emily — May 14, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    When you added the extra egg did you a) add in only the yolk of the extra egg or b) add in the egg yolk and the egg white of the extra egg
    Also will the changes the you made to the recipe (ex. adding adding extra egg yolk or using whole wheat flour) will those changes affect other cookies in the same way? I want to try and make double chocolate cookies, but I also want to make them to my preference too. That’s why I was wondering if your experiment would work on other cookies as well.

  15. #
    Rachel — March 6, 2015 at 9:29 am

    My fiance loves chocolate chip cookies, and through this guide I have managed to perfect them exactly to his liking! What I changed from the control recipe is to use 1 and 1/4 cup bread flour and only 1/2 cup chocolate chips. I found that when I add the egg/vanilla to the sugar and butter BEFORE adding the flour mix, the cookies don’t spread as much and are more crunchy – but if i add the egg/vanilla after the flour, they spread more and are more soft and chewy. It’s crazy how swapping one step can totally change the cookie!

  16. #
    linda — December 27, 2014 at 10:07 am

    The original Nestle Toolhouse chocolate chip cookie called for shortening (Crisco). To be specific though, it wasCrisco now is not the same as Crisco then. Now it is soy, which has definitely changed how they bake. I wish I had a choice. I will try the beead flour.

  17. #
    Laurel — December 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks, Tessa! My 13-year-old was trying out chocolate chip cookies in Germany and your “tastiest chart on the internet” gives us great clues. We used something like molasses with the brown sugar, because it is drier here. I’m not sure what bread flour is, but I’d like to try it. The flours here have numbers and the “all-purpose” flour seems to be 405. It makes very different tortillas (good ones though!) compared to “all-purpose” flour in the U.S. I think the gluten is different, but you know more I’m sure. Thanks for sharing your work!

    • #
      Tessa — December 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      How fun! Flours among different countries definitely have different protein contents. I’m sure a quick Google search could offer you some details for the brands available to you. In my Ultimate Cookie Troubleshooting Guide I actually break down the protein levels of various flours:

  18. #
    julie — December 6, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Full Melt chocolates are organic fair trade premier brand of medicated chocolate bars.
    full melt chocolates are too delicious.

  19. #
    Cookie Monster :-) — November 28, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Your cookies look wonderful. Honestly, I am not a big chocolate chip fan but I love the chocolate chip cookies that are sold at Wegmans. I am not sure where you live and if you have ever had one of their cookies that you buy from the case and when bought in a bucket (about 12) cookies, it cost $14. Anyway, I would like to know how to bake a cookie like what they sell and am not sure from your options which would be the closest. There cook is very dark as if they used dark brown sugar. There are a lot of chips (more than the norm). The cookie is thin and chewy and not crisp at all. If you hold the cookie between two fingers, it would probably bend. I don’t know if they slip a chocolate wafer in them to give them a little extra goo or not. Can you help me decide which of your cookies would be the best match? The cookie also leaves a lot of butter on your fingers.

    Also, what is the difference between using all butter, butter mixed with margarine or all margarine? Does one give a different result or flavor. I wonder if glycerin is used to keep the cookie soft because even after a few days it is not stale or crispy. The cookie is not a soft baked cookie because I hate those. It’s the best cookie ever and looks like your ultimate cookie but darker and a pinch thinner. Thank you for any advice, My husband will kill me if he knew I was making about 15 batches of cookies to get the perfect cookie so I thank you for testing so many options.

  20. #
    Holly Prees — November 16, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Love these tests! I grew up using the 1/2 shortening 1/2 butter recipe but prefer butter now. Butter flavor shortening also makes a nice consistency. I like using dark brown sugar rather than light, and I generally sub in 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.

  21. #
    julie rawat — October 14, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Chocolate is one of the most enjoyable and effective ways to medicate.Full Melt offers a variety of fun and delicious flavors to choose from including both plain milk and dark chocolate bars for those who want to experience the true flavor of cannabis.

  22. #
    Peter Klemperer — September 21, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Oh No! Thanks for replying. I was trying to directly link into the picture, but if you have time there’s a big picture of the cookie halfway down this page.

  23. #
    Peter Klemperer — September 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Hi, I’ve been trying to reproduce the chocolate chip cookies from my favorite bakery. Do you have any insights on how I could get this sort of texture? Looking at your choices it seems to be very low in brown sugar and possibly use shortening. Thanks! Peter

    • #
      Tessa — September 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Peter! That link isn’t working for me 🙁

  24. #
    André — September 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Awesome! Thank you!

  25. #
    André — September 8, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Do you (or anyone you know) have a similar breakdown of what the ingredients do for cakes or brownies?

    Brilliant article, by the way. I just found your site today!.

    And, Thank you.

  26. #
    Charlie Sorsby — August 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm


    I enjoyed reading of your experiments with chocolate chip cookies. Now, how about doing the same thing with the recipe for oatmeal/raisin cookies from the inside of the Quaker Oats box lid? Quaker call them “Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.”

    I’d like to be able to consistently produce softer cookies rather than crisp ones.

    I should mention that I plump the raisins using about a fluid ounce each of dark rum and water (or occasionally, all dark rum).



    • #
      Tessa — August 31, 2014 at 9:33 am

      I’ll have to try that recipe out! As mentioned, adding a bit of cornstarch (1-2 teaspoons) and using more brown sugar helps keep cookies nice and soft.

  27. #
    Denise Corbett — August 28, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I used to make choc chip cookies all the time. I used peanut oil in place of butter! My family loved them! Now I have one diabetic and one glutin free! Any suggestions?

  28. #
    Frici — August 26, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Really appreciate all the work and time spent on trying out all the various combinations. Will definitely try the chewy ones! YUM – just what I have been looking for for years! Love you!

  29. #
    jc — August 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    instead of using the butter flavored shortening in the chocolate chip cookie recipe, why not just use one tsp. of the butter flavored extract to get the butter taste?

  30. #
    Carol Rhodes-Rice — August 18, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Hi Tessa,
    I kinda got derailed from this report by the very first test. I am confused by the last line:
    Dark Nonstick Baking Sheet:
    Instead of using a Chicago Metallic sheet pans with a Silpat baking mat, I baked the control recipe directly on a dark nonstick baking sheet to test the differences between baking sheets. As you can see, the dark nonstick sheet significantly increased the browning on the bottom of the cookies. The cookies browned on the bottom more quickly, causing them to spread a little less. They also had more of a crunch due to the browning. If you have a problem with your cookies burning on the bottom, it may be due to your baking sheet. Luckily these ones didn’t burn and were quite tasty. However, I prefer to use unlined baking sheets to ensure my cookies won’t burn.

    I thought you preferred parchment LINED or Silpat baking mat for your cookie sheets?

    • #
      Tessa — August 18, 2014 at 11:51 am

      What I meant by “unlined” was a baking pan manufactured without any nonstick or silicone coatings which is why I said that would ensure my cookies don’t burn.

  31. #
    KR — August 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    As a rule I do not use shortening either, but you really did not do an honest test with it. Most chocolate chip cookie recipes that use it NEVER use white Crisco. It is ALWAYS butter flavored Crisco and most of us (myself included) use half butter (good butter) and half butter flavored Crisco. I also add a touch of almond extract to highlight the nuts and I put my dough in the refrigerator for a bit before baking. I will add more or less flour depending on the person I am making them for but as a rule I keep to the Code of the Cookie (Tollhouse Recipe)

    Anyway if you want a soft batch of cookies that tastes really good replace half of the butter with butter flavored Crisco and it will surprise you how good they are if you like soft cookies. if it makes you feel any better this is the ONLY time I ever use Crisco.

  32. #
    Bea Wilson — August 6, 2014 at 7:53 am

    what about the difference of using a mixer or mixing by hand

  33. #
    Nena Morton — August 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve been using your ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe since your Part I post. They are THE best! But now, looking at that bread flour change, I’m thinking…. just maybe! Thanks for your diligence! And I’m with you on Crisco! Yuck! I use coconut oil instead! 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — August 5, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Thank you! Yes.. Crisco isn’t my favorite that’s for sure 😉

  34. #
    IsaacsLaughing — June 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    My grandma always made the shortening + butter variation. I loved her cookies as a kid. Now, though, I loathe shortening in cookies. Not only does it add no flavor, it’s waxy, which leaves an unpleasant residue in the mouth.

  35. #
    Meghan — June 10, 2014 at 9:34 am

    You commented on the shortening test that you missed the buttery flavor, have you thought about using the Crisco butter flavored shortening? That is what I used in my cookies and I think it works great. Just a thought. 🙂

    I just stumbled across this blog and love it! It is so great to have a visual comparison of different versions of the same cookie recipe so you can know what to expect when you try different things yourself. Thanks!

  36. #
    Kim lindsey — May 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    The bread flour surprises me. I like dense, but kind of slightly doughy cookies in middle, so I will be trying that, and maybe butter flavor crisis for half the butter and baking powder.

  37. #
    manda — April 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    AMAZING work you have done! I have never been able to come up with a good chocolate cookie to my satisfaction even thought people around me like it. I like it a little crisp on the outside, with a little chewiness. I have tried different recipes, and still haven’t found one. I think the issue I have is, not enough sugar. I tend use 1/2 the sugar recipes ask for, and only use raw sugar in all my baking and cooking. To compensate for the extra moisture, I add a tablespoon of honey. Currently in my refrigerator is a modified Tollhouse recipe, using unsweetened applesauce to replace the 3/4 cup of the brown sugar; 1/2 C of raw sugar instead of 3/4 C for white sugar. Well see how it turns out. I need to be more like you, and just try different variables at different times. Thank you for the inspiration!

  38. #
    Stephanie Williams — March 14, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    For years my Aunt Rita has made the most amazing CC cookies and says she’s using the TH recipe but I think I’ve finally figured out her adjustments! They look like the all brown sugar, but are fuller so I’m guessing she uses bread flour and chills them too. She lives so far away and is getting older now. I hope I can try these adjustments and recreate her cookies if she is no longer able to make them. The only other thing I can think of that could make them any different is the love that she puts in them. I hope that I can come close so that we’ll always have a reminder of her on the days when Aunt Rita’s cookies and a cappucinno just made everything better.

  39. #
    Tracy — March 5, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Came across this and my 13 year old decided to recreate the tests for her science experiment. We had the control batch (bag recipe), then we used: all baking powder, all granulated, all brown sugar, all bread flour and all melted/cooled butter. We did everything the same, baking pans, cooking time, etc. Interestingly enough, our results were different than yours, which I do not understand.

    The bread flour cookies, however, fell flat.
    The all granulated are just as thick as the original. They did not fall flat. I was really looking forward to the all granulated falling flat so my 13 year old would have to research why they weren’t thick (didn’t allow 13 year old to read your blog yet).
    Any ideas? I really do not want to remake these batches!

    • #
      Tessa — March 5, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Hi Tracy. It’s really difficult to answer your question since I didn’t get to see your 13 year old’s kitchen experiments to see what might have happened. I’m most surprised by the granulated sugar cookies, because from my personal experience and from what baking science tells us, the granulated sugar offers no acid to react with the baking soda so there is no leavening powder in those cookies and the white sugar doesn’t provide moisture like brown sugar does so it tends to create flatter and crisper cookies. If you do a simple Google search of this you’ll find the same info (there’s a good article on Serious Eats about cookies). I’m really not sure why you experienced different results, but my suspicion is that maybe the sugar + butter were overbeaten, or too much flour was added to the dough (did you weigh the flour?). Also, did you use an oven thermometer to ensure your oven was at a consistent temperature throughout your experiments?

  40. #
    Liz — February 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Any chance you’re going to experiment with gluten free chocolate chip cookies?

  41. #
    Alice — February 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Thirty some years ago a friend of mine and I were studying abroad and found ourselves missing Chocolate Chip cookies. We were in London, and I can’t remember now if we didn’t have a recipe or if we got one off the back of the bag of chocolate chips. I remember that the sugar and flour in that country looked different than I was used to; the cookies they produced were nothing like I’ve seen before or since. They were almost like Lace cookies, *very* gooey until cool and then very crispy. We’ve tried to recreate them since returning to the states and have never succeeded. Any idea what ingredients/process might lead to such a result?

    • #
      Tessa — February 15, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Interesting!! It can be quite challenging to recreate recipes from other countries, the ingredients are just not the same. I couldn’t really say what might create that result, though I’d be curious to see the possible recipe from the back of the bag of chocolate.

  42. #
    will — February 10, 2014 at 5:15 am

    I use my great grandmas recipe which is half shortening half butter makes crave worthy but gooey with no burning like I’ve experienced with just butter everyone loves my cookies

  43. #
    Sandi — February 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I just found your blog and am really appreciating this cookie information. My husband and I own a whole-grain bakery where we mill our own flours. I am interested in trying the bread flour we use (milled from an uncommon variety of wheat with a lovely, mild flavor and aroma) in place of the soft, locally grown wheat that we have been using for all of our pastries. I do have a suggestion for another ingredient: coconut oil. We switched from shortening (ugh!) to coconut oil quite a while ago and found it made dramatic improvements in both taste and texture. It is definitely worth the extra cost. Finally, we are now making our own vanilla and I can’t wait to see the difference with that, too. Thank you, again, for your scientific approach to this project!

  44. #
    Connie — February 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I make a lot of Chocolate Chip cookies. over 130 dozen at Christmas time. the Christmas ones have a little peppermint twist. I use the recipe on the Butter Flavor Crisco sticks and have never had it not turn out well. I Love the flavor. It uses all brown sugar, baking soda and all purpose flour. I do add about 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon to the recipe which gives it just a little different taste. I always use light colored 1/2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Just a note. I live in Colorado. When I moved here from California I had to change my recipe and add a bit more flour because of the altitude. I have done that with most (not all) of my recipes. Flat cookies might just be a result of altitude.

  45. #
    Bryan — February 1, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    “I was surprised to find these cookies didn’t taste super artificial or plastic-like”

    REALLY? Are you THAT out of touch and prejudicial about food ingredients????

    REALLY? Plastic-like? PLASTIC-LIKE?

    Well, la-di-da, got to go play the Grande Piano, now.

  46. #
    Jenna — January 29, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Great article! Thanks for all the helpful information. 🙂

  47. #
    tv — January 13, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    What makes these so quick to burn on bottom?
    2 1/4 cups flour (I like King Arthur unbleached)
    2 teaspoons soda
    1 teaspoon ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup brown sugar (192 grams)
    3/4 cup Coconut Oil Supreme™ (melted) (157 grams)
    1/4 cup dark molasses (56 grams)
    1 large egg (room temperature)
    Preheat oven to 400°F.
    Combine egg, brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add coconut oil and continue mixing until all of the oil is incorporated into the first mixture.
    Sift together flour, baking soda, spices and salt and then add to liquid mixture. Mix on low-medium speed until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated and it forms a smooth oily dough. Make walnut-sized balls of dough and drop them into a bowl of raw sugar and roll around until coated on all sides. I use a #40 disher to make uniform balls of
    dough and to speed up this process. Using this disher a single batch produces 24 cookies.
    Bake about 2 inches apart on parchment paper for about 10 minutes or until cookies puff up and split apart on top.
    After removing from oven, slide parchment paper from cookie sheet onto a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool before removing them.

  48. #
    Susan — January 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    WOW… I was just thinking about doing this and then came across your site… I love you for doing this! The picture of all the diff cookies side-by-side was an amazing help for me!! Thank you so much!
    I have been playing around with more of the organic-type cookie. I tried using half organic butter and half organic coconut oil. Since it is winter in AZ right now, the coconut oil is not in a liquid form – but not really solid either. My last batch looked like your All Granulated Sugar sample, tho’ I followed the Toll House recipe pretty much. This last batch I put the 8 tablespoons of coconut oil in the freezer for 15 minutes. They were rock solid when I took them out. I also used cooler-than-room-temp butter. I sort of mashed a little then mixed a little, back and forth, until the butter and coconut oil were well blended with the flour mixture (half organic whole wheat and half Pilsbury all purpose).
    The cookies were actually pretty good and still had that buttery flavor. I also added a cup of chopped walnuts.
    It seems that when I’m trying recipes for the “perfect” cookie for our family, it doesn’t matter how I change the recipe, those cookies are always gone in record time!
    Thanks for all you do!

  49. #
    Ninay — January 6, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Hi Tessa! Thanks for having the patience to do all those trials. You’ve been a godsend: I’ve finally been able to make excellent cookies. 🙂 I do have a question, though. I’ve been using all dark brown sugar and all bread flour in my cookies, but they never get as thick as the ones in the bread flour photo above. They’re flat, but very chewy and tasty. I’d love to get thicker cookies. Would you be able to point me in the right direction? I use a scoop to measure the dough out and bake them on an unlined, light colored cookie sheet. I also live in a somewhat high altitude city in Southeast Asia, if that helps. Thank you! 🙂

  50. #
    Barbara — January 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    I really enjoyed your comparisons of various recipe variations. I use a combination of butter and butter-flavored Crisco, regular and dark brown sugar, add oatmeal and swap out 1/2 cup of whole wheat for the regular unbleached flour. However I also have a recipe that ran in the NY Times a few years ago for Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Chip Cookies. It uses a mix of cake and bread flour, light brown and regular sugar, both baking soda and powder, dark chocolate chips, and requires chilling the dough for 24-36 hours. The finished product is HUGE (3.5 oz), with crunchy edges and a chewy center. They are fabulous — but I still love my standard tollhouse-type CCCs. The “Neiman Marcus” style CCCs are great too for a change of pace.

  51. #
    Margi — December 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I have a friend who comes and does heavy work, repairs for me and the only think he wants in return is Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have made so many of these in the past year and they always turn out different every time. They range from hard as a rock, very crunchy, cakey, etc. and I never knew what I was doing wrong. Your site is a god-send to me. I have all the items you use but I also think one of my problems may be in creaming the sugars and fats too long. Was told I should be able to really feel the sugars so I have been creaming for 5 min or better. So after the new year is over and I have an operating kitchen I will get going on your way of doing it. Had a tree fall on the kitchen and it has been out of commission for 7 months. Last week they brought in all my cabinetry and counters and today the appliances showed up. Nothing hooked up but I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. Chocolate chip cookies will be my first baking endeavor. Thanks again for such a great post and so glad I found you on pintrest.

    • #
      Tessa — January 3, 2014 at 9:18 am

      I’m so sorry to hear about your misfortune. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I can’t wait to hear about your first baking endeavor once your kitchen is back in commission!

  52. #
    jan — December 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I would, similar to app103 (above), like to see some fat comparisons, which I know affect the result quite a bit:
    * butter (standard), salted vs. unsalted (any difference other than saltiness?)
    * butter/margarine combination (this is what my mom always did)
    * margarine
    * Crisco, butter flavored
    * Crisco/butter combination
    * Crisco/margarine combination
    * margarine spread (specify what brand — I was thinking Imperial, as it claims it can be used in place of margarine in recipes
    * lard
    * lard/butter combination

    Very interesting — I love your approach!

  53. #
    app103 — December 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    @Luke – Don’t use honey instead of sugar, unless you want to make pancakes instead of cookies, as they will spread a lot and be very moist and cake-like.

    @Tessa – You could do a Part 3, in which you make substitutions of the following:

    – Fats: liquid vegetable oil, lard
    – Flours: whole wheat, coconut flour, various nut flours
    – Sugars: powdered sugar, replacing the white sugar with molasses, replacing all sugars with a combo of powdered milk and sugar-free sweetener
    – Additions: increase the ph with the addition of lemon juice, vinegar, or orange juice
    – Subtractions: leave out the yolks, leave out the whites, leave out the eggs entirely

  54. #
    Luke — December 13, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Great site – glad I found it via Google

    I have always been curious why my cooies sometimes come out a little different, and now I can see why.

    Have you tried honey instead of sugar in some test batch Chocolate Chip cookies? I am thinking of trying it myself, but all your cookies look better than mine

  55. #
    Jenny — December 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Well now I am definitely going to buy some bread flour for the next time I make chocolate chip cookies! My mom always used all shortening, no butter, and even though I liked the texture – I never thought they had much flavor. Now it looks as though I can get the texture I want with bread flour, and I won’t have to sacrifice the butter! Yay! Thanks!

  56. #
    haley pounders — December 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    To the person asking about air bake pans a few months ago: I use a Calphalon air baking sheet exclusively for cookies and I’m not going back (until I burn the heck out of it I suppose I’d give up lol). The first use was strange. None of my recipes came out at the same time as usual and I burned a few things before I got it down. It cooks quicker and more evenly. I haven’t seen a burnt cookie bottom in a LONG time. I always watch the cookies at the end instead of timing exclusively on new recipes, whereas on my plain baking sheet time suggestions were accurate.
    Sometimes when in a hurry with too many batches I bake on a super cheap walmart baking sheet with a silipat on top and notice no difference. I don’t bother with the silipat on the calphalon if it’s a sturdy cookie like the tollhouse that will transfer easily to the cooling rack. So the calphalon air baking sheet is not a game changer, just easier to clean than a silipat.

    Tessa: you seemed unimpressed with the cornstarch as a cure-all for the chocolate chip, correct? Only effective with completely different recipe?

  57. #
    Jenny Kearl — December 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Also, in this, and any recipe, how does the butter vs margarine and salted vs unsalted change things?

  58. #
    Jenny Kearl — December 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I’m assuming you used normal, white Crisco. I would like to see a half butter, half white Crisco comparison; a half white Crisco and half butter-flavored Crisco comparison; and an all butter-flavored Crisco comparison. I’d also like to see a higher temp and shorter cook-time comparison.

    Thank you so much for this. I need it. My cookies never work out.

  59. #
    Julia Roark — December 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Very well done on the trials and the documentation. Really well worth it. Thank you.

  60. #
    Lisa — December 3, 2013 at 1:10 am

    My friend swears she can soften hard cookies by putting them in a ziplock bag overnight with a piece of bread. I’ve never bothered but am really curious to see if it works (my cookies come out soft 90% of the time! but it would be interesting to use this to get a softer cookie with one of the crispy effects or a good compromise in a household with different preferences)

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