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« Dark Chocolate Oatmeal | Main | Tuesday Tip: Freezing Cookie Dough »

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I want you to take in these words, close your eyes, and visualize their meaning. Feel the warmth from the oven as you peer at them baking. Breathe in their scent, imagine the taste, the texture, and let it linger softly on your tongue. Chocolate Chip Cookies will always be my ultimate cookie. Certainly sugar, shortbread, and oatmeal raisin all have a time and a place, but they have never carved out such a sweet place in my heart like dear chocolate chip.

And oh what a sweet place it is.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate Chip Cookies

In my year and a half of blogging, I have never shared a chocolate chip cookie recipe with you. There was a reason for this. I've shared a variation here or there, but you don't mess around with the true classic. When I was going to share a chocolate chip cookie recipe with you, I didn't want it to be just any cookie. I wanted it to stand out, to be special, to be different.

A good chocolate chip cookie has a few requirements. A great chocolate chip cookie has many more. I know some of you prefer them thin and crispy, but today's recipe is all about the thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe comes to me from a close family friend. It is her secret recipe, sought after by everyone blessed enough to try one of her cookies (me included). Fortunately, she has given me permission to share her secret with you. I won't reveal my source, however. The woman has an image to uphold (and a secret recipe to stay "secret").

This particular recipe has a slight twist. It is made with vegetable shortening instead of butter, which keeps the cookies wonderfully thick (cookies with a high butter content spread out very thin). The cookie also uses a couple tablespoons of mild molasses for one specific purpose. The molasses keeps the inside of the cookies soft for days (if they last that long, of course), without lending a distinct flavor. Five days on my kitchen counter and these cookies are as soft as the day I made them.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate Chip Cookies

These soft and chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you'll ever need. With just the right ratio of chocolate chips to cookie dough, the cookie maintains a very soft center while the edges stay lightly browned and crispy. These are lovely dipped into a glass of milk or eaten warm and gooey, straight out of the oven.

One Year Ago: Minnesota Wild Rice Soup and Cherry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields about 3 dozen

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons mild molasses (or 1 tablespoon regular molasses)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, blend together the granulated and brown sugar. Cream together the sugars and vegetable shortening until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Mix in the vanilla extract and mild molasses.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, and flour. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and leave cookies on baking sheet for a few minutes so the cookies can set. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Reader Comments (33)

If this is my breakfast I will definitely be on a good mood the whole day!
01.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
My favorite cookie! Interesting that you used shortening instead of butter, any particular reason??
There's obviously something in the air - I posted chocolate chip cookies today too! I can't think of anything more delicious than the smell of them baking, the sneaky bit of raw dough eaten before they go in the oven and the taste as they emerge. Yours look absolutely gorgeous - thanks to you and your friend for sharing!
01.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
Look delicious! And, that answers my question. I substituted butter for the shortening called for in Oatmeal Cookie recipe this winter....and they came out super thin and unable to hold their cookie status/shape. Thanks for the enlightenment!
01.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Might want to try these today !! Thank you for sharing your recipe !
01.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenterargone
Definitely interesting to hear about the shortening trick! I've always been able to make chewy cookies by using only dark brown sugar (and no, or little granulated), but I love the sound of adding molasses too.

That's very nice of your friend to share her secret recipe! :) PS. Love that red table (or wood plank) you shot the photos on, they all look beautiful.
They're in the oven right now so thanks for the recipe :D Can't wait till they're done, it smells amazing here!
01.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose
I had the urge to bake chocolate chip cookies today and luckily I stumbled on to your recipe.
Thanks :)
01.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolina
That quote you put up by Robert fulcrum is probably the best quote I have ever read. I'm Pretty sure the world would be so much better off if everyone just had a glass of milk and their perfect chocolate chip cookie.

The way you described chocolate chip cookies made me think of my perfect chocolate chip cookie. I'm a fan of the soft and chewy verity. Your post also got me to thinking that I have yet to find my perfect chocolate chip cookie. I have found some ok ones but not THE one.

And you're right; molasses has this special property that keeps cookies soft. I made chocolate chip molasses cookies for a white elephant in mid December. The person who received my cookies admitted that he didn't eat them until just a few days ago and they were still very soft and delicious, not stale at all.
Katrina-- Cookies with a high butter content spread out very thin. Shortening is sometimes a way to help get around this (and result in a thicker cookie).

The Little Loaf-- Raw cookie dough is one of my vices, too. :)

Argone-- You're welcome!

Laura-- That red "table" is a slab of barnwood the size of a placemat. Love these thrift store finds! Only I wish they were bigger. :)

Rose-- Let me know how they turned out!

Carolina-- I hope you find them to your liking!

Becca-- I agree! Cookies and milk every day could possibly bring about world peace. Wow, that is a long time for a molasses cookie to last! I'm beginning to think molasses is a wonder ingredient.
01.21.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I wonder if you refrigerated the dough how the texture would change? I may try it for 24 hours or so!
01.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKoko @ Koko Likes
I don't think I've seen a more perfect cookie than this. Chewy is the way to go!
Made these last night and they are WONDERFUL! Great recipe!!
01.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbbey
Great recipe! If you ever need to use butter (don't have shortening around or don't want to use it) just chill your scooped cookies prior to baking and they will be just as thick and delicious! The trick to soft cookies is all about the TEMPERATURE of the butter, not just the use of it.
01.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJana
Great tip on the shortening and molasses! I love my cookies chunky and soft too! Thanks for the tips! I just stumbled onto your blog and you take fantastic pictures!
01.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmrita

Thankyou for this great recipie. I am from Australia.

Would like to ask you if I can also make these into chocolate and if so, what quantity of cocoa shall I add.
02.3.2012 | Unregistered Commenterangela
I've made these cookies today, but with less sugar (1cup total), and with a stick of butter instead of vegetable shortening, along with dark chocolate chips. I've also chilled the dough before baking them, and they've turned out great-sweet and gooey! I love the molasses hint in them yum!
02.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIryna
Your cookies are beautiful. I am trying the recipe right now. I thought I followed your directions exactly, but my cookies are hardly spreading at all. They are little round mounds. They may taste delicious, but what do I do to get them disc shaped like yours? Not sure where I went wrong.
02.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterWLS
WLS-- I'm not sure where you have gone wrong. Without being in your kitchen, it's hard for me to tell. Is it possible you've added too much flour or not enough vegetable shortening? My advice to you is to just start over and try again--these cookies will and do spread out.
02.6.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Well, they do taste delicious and texture-wise they are great, I've eaten a few (read: quiet a lot) of them now that they're still gooey! Just like the other recipes on your site they didn't disappoint.
I just wanted to know if you had any suggestion or know anything about cooking at a higher altitude? Kind of 8k feet.The thing is the cookies came out ultra-rhin, thiner than the chocolate chips! I'm thinking it might be because of the altitude where I live. They started ok when I put them on the oven, about half way through after I opened the oven to flip the cookie sheet and closed it they started to kind of collapse and at the end they were as thin as a piece of paper. Ok, not that much but yeah, a lot.
Any input you have will be must helpful!
Oh, look! I finished writing this post and I have half the cookies left :$
02.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFarjad
I know people complain about flat cookies, but I had the opposite problem! I used butter because I didn't have shortening, so I put the batter in the fridge for about 45 minutes (well, the length of a Doctor Who episode) and then scooped them onto the baking sheet and tossed them in the oven - but my cookies didn't really spread out at all, they just puffed up! They're still very yummy, though - next time, I'll have to try the recipe as written.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I made these and wrote about them here: It took me a bit to get used to the shortening taste as I'm so used to baking with butter, but they were greatly appreciated by my friend who's allergic to dairy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

(I'm going to have to try putting them in the fridge before baking so they don't spread out so much!)
02.19.2012 | Unregistered Commentermrsblocko
I made these last night, and they came out *okay* but a little dry, and then by the morning they were crispy! Not soft and chewy at all! And I was neurotic about not overcooking them. I'm really disappointed because I went out and spent money on vegetable shortening and molasses, and followed the recipe to the letter, and they did not come out at all like you described them. I'm going back to my usual chocolate chip cookie recipe, this was not good.
02.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat
Also disappointed.

I decided to try this shortening-based recipe because I found all my all-butter chocolate chip cookie recipes made the cookies too puffy and cakey/crispy, not chewy and soft and flat.

These turned out round and puffy rather than flat, but decent texture-wise-- they stay gooey. However, the flavour is totally lacking. Very bland.
03.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam
I tried these last night. They were delicious warm and were definitely soft and chewy which is what the recipe promised. My only problem is that they aren't sweet enough. They are a tad bland. I'm wondering if the blogger can suggest an adaptation to the recipe by adding sugar but how much before I lose the cookie all together?!? I had one and thought to myself they weren't sweet enough and then my husband said the same thing without any prompting from me so I knew I wasn't that off.

I am on the quest for the perfect soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie and this could be it, if I can sweeten them a bit.

Thanks--I do love this blog and just discovered it and plan to make many of these recipes.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce
Delicious! I made these cookies last night, and they are by far the best chocolate chip cookies I have made. They are so soft and gooey...yummm! I can't stop eating them! Thanks for sharing this secret recipe! :)
04.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
They look so great!
Never used molasses in chocolate chip cookies, and would love to see how it affects their chewiness.
I measure ingredients by weight, though, flour in particular, and wanted to ask if you're willing to say how much the 2 1/2 cups should weigh?
Thank you for posting this recipe, and for a fantastic blog!
05.10.2012 | Unregistered Commentermichelle
Hi there! Thanks for this wonderful recipe! Those cookies were just amazing! You live in Montreal too, right? :-D
06.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElise
Elise-- I used to (and I miss it every day!)
06.8.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Hello! OMG I'm 15 and I love baking sososososo much! I tried your recipe and it turned out amazing! Soft, delicious. I just have one wuestion, how do you get rid of the shortening flavor? It's really strong! And I also recommend using a degree of 320 because for me try cooked perfectly, where as 350 burnt them :( good thing I have a few batches! Thank youuu!!!!!! :)
12.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelody
The PERFECT COOKIE! I have been searching for the most decedant, chewy, flavourful, mind blowingly good chocolate chip cookie. . . This is it!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I love mollases but I had never used it in a cookie before, excellent addition. I will be trying some of your other posted recipes for sure. Can't wait to see what other creations you come up with : )
10.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChanel
These are THE BEST cookies I have ever made. Hands down. I stumbled on your recipe the first time I made them and looked for it again this time because I knew I had to use it. That little bit of molasses makes them.. .I think :)
02.7.2014 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
Sorry followed the recipe 2 a tee...but nothing even close 2 your pictures or description...sounded great! Maybe its the oven...I will keep looking....or just fall back on five roses...thanks anyway....
03.23.2014 | Unregistered Commentercookieseeker

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