What could be more classic and universally loved than the chocolate chip cookie? Baking isn’t just about following a recipe; it’s about understanding the magic and science that turns simple ingredients into a batch of cookies that can light up any gathering. It amazes me how, out of all the fun and tasty desserts I love to make, this original recipe remains the favorite for my family.

This recipe uses a combination of unsalted butter and shortening, balancing flavor and texture. This combination is one of the keys in the magic of this cookie. The butter imparts a rich, creamy taste, while the shortening helps the cookies maintain their shape. Chocolate chips, the star of the show, add sweet, melty goodness in every bite.

Why use both butter & shortening?

Combining butter and shortening balances flavor and texture, ensuring deliciously tender yet structured cookies.

Butter melts at body temperature, so it gives you a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation. This will keep your cookies soft & gooey, while still maintaining density and a light exterior crunch.

Shortening is 100% fat, with 0% water. Because of this, it has a higher melting point, so it keeps your cookies a little thicker and helps the overall structure.

How does brown sugar change the cookie?

Because brown sugar has a little molasses in it, it’s sweeter than granulated sugar. Molasses is acidic, so it will help your cookies have a longer shelf life and will extend the duration of your cookies softness. Brown sugar adds moisture and a rich, caramel-like flavor, enhancing the cookie’s overall taste profile.

Can I use all butter and leave out the shortening?

Yes, but the cookies may spread more and be less flaky.

Why chill dough before baking?

Chilling the dough does a couple things, first it will help the flavors blend together and almost marinate, making it a more flavorful cookie.

Second, chilling the dough solidifies the fat. This means the ingredients won’t melt down too quickly while they bake, which helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much and ensures a thicker cookie.

Chocolate chip cookie dough in mixing bowl

How do you store chocolate chip cookies?

Cookies should be stored in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days before going a little stale. If you want to keep them longer, they can be kept in the fridge for 1 week or the freezer for up to 3 months. Just always make sure to seal them in a tight container or bag so they don’t end up absorbing other flavors in the fridge or freezer.

The science behind the ingredients:

Butter & shortening

Butter adds flavor and a tender crumb, due to its water content, which turns into steam during baking. The steam also helps with the gluten formation and creates the structure of the cookie. Shortening, being 100% fat, provides a flakier texture and prevents spreading because it doesn’t melt down in the oven.

Brown and granulated sugar

Brown sugar adds moisture and a slight caramel flavor, due to its molasses content. Granulated sugar, on the other hand, contributes to the crisp edges.

Eggs

Adds both protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and plump cookies. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters together and help your dough from collapsing.

Eggs are crucial for binding the ingredients together and contribute to the cookie’s structure.

Suggested equipment

A standing mixer is ideal for creaming together the butter, shortening, and sugars. Use a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for even baking and easy removal of the cookies.

Chocolate chip cookies

4 tips on how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie:

  • Chilling the Dough: Chilling for at least 30 minutes helps in flavor development and texture.
  • Whip the butter & sugar: Whipping will incorporate little air bubbles into the mixture that will help your cookie puff up while baking.
  • Avoid Over mixing: Mix only until it’s just combined with all of the other ingredients after whipping your butter & sugar. This will maintain a tender texture and avoid tough cookies.
  • Baking Time: Watch the cookies closely; there are visual cues for when they are done baking. The cookies should be just set and lightly golden for a soft center.

How to cream your butter & sugar

First, combine your butter & sugar in a standing mixer. Then, turn the mixer on high for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl every 30 seconds. When the mixture is creamed it will be lighter in color and texture. Here is a visual example of how the ingredients look when just combined vs. creamed:

Butter and sugar just combined
Butter and sugar creamed

Recipes You May Enjoy

Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 from 5 votes
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
My go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. These cookies get raving reviews every time from family, friends & neighbors. You can use a standard scoop and get 24-30 cookies or an extra large scoop and get 12-18 cookies.

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 bag chocolate chips

Instructions

  • In a standing mixer, mix your butter, shortening & sugars
  • Once combined, whip the sugar mixture on high for 1-2 minutes until lighter in color and texture
  • Stir in eggs & vanilla. Be sure to not over mix.
  • Pour in flour, soda & salt
  • Mix until the dough comes together & then stop
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Cover bowl & place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  • Scoop cookie dough with a cookie scoop onto a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Bake for 8 minutes
  • Remove cookies and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes
  • Transfer cookies off of the cookie sheet and enjoy

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal Carbohydrates: 32g Protein: 2g Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 6g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 24mg Sodium: 103mg Potassium: 73mg Fiber: 0.4g Sugar: 21g Vitamin A: 138IU Calcium: 23mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.