Chocolate Chip Cookies

CATEGORIES: Cookies, Kate

So you know how in my profile, it says that I don’t need 10 chocolate chip cookie recipes, I just need the best one? Well this, my friends, is the best one. The world may not agree with me, but to me, chocolate chip cookies are the comfort food of the dessert world. If you don’t love them, a) you’re crazy and b) someone who loves you does love chocolate chip cookies and you should have a great recipe for them on hand for when they’re sad. Or happy. Or any time that anyone needs a little extra poundage.

Up until I found this recipe, I was using the one that floats around as either the infamous Neiman-Marcus cookie or the Mrs. Field’s cookie. That’s a good recipe, don’t get me wrong. But in my book, if something is really, really arduous, there had better be a phenomenol payoff. And those cookies aren’t THAT good; if I’m grinding my own oatmeal flour and grating a whole chocolate bar, those puppies had better be golden. They’re not something you’ll whip up when your friend comes over to watch Lost or to take to your neighbor as a thank-you.

This recipe, on the other hand, is like an ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich on white bread. Simple and childish, but that’s what you want 99% of the time with a chocolate chip cookie: something comfortable. And comforting.

I do have a few notes about this recipe. I believe it was formulated in Utah (it comes from some Mormony cookbook that I have…I can’t remember which one off the top of my head), so if you live at a high elevation, your cookies will turn out absolutely perfect. When I made these for the first time at sea level rather than 5,000 feet, they turned out kind of…cakey. They were still delicious, just a different texture than I was used to. But I’m not sure I’m brave enough to start messing around with the flour measurements when the cookies taste just fine.

The other thing is that you should pretty much never use margarine in a recipe that specifies butter. Butter is awesome. Butter should not be crossed. However…every once in awhile, ALL butter is not necessarily the best choice. In this recipe, I use 1/2 c. of butter and a 1/2 c. of very high-quality tub margarine. I’ve found that using all butter makes the cookies crumbly and crispy, while the margarine makes (and keeps) the cookies nice and soft. I know some people use butter-flavored Crisco, too, but I’ve never tried it. Just be SURE to get regular margarine; do NOT get light, low-fat, anything with yogurt in it, whipped, nada. If you use any of those, you’ll be getting extra air or water into your cookies and that is not what you want. Just get regular ol’ tub margarine.

So now that I’ve rambled on…and on…let’s get started!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ c. butter
½ c. high-quality tub margarine (like Smart Balance)
¾ c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 12-oz. bag chocolate chips

Cream together butter, margarine, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in chocolate chips. Doesn’t your heart just skip a beat? Is it sad that mine does?

Drop onto cookie sheet by tablespoon or with this little dude:

Meet cookie scoop. It looks like a tiny ice cream scoop and most of them measure to exactly 1 tablespoon. This way, you get perfect, pretty cookies and you generally get more because most people are often over-generous when dropping cookies onto the cookie sheet. And the whole dough-dropping process, which used to be so tedious for me, is now super-easy. And you can use it for other things like peanut butter. And cream puffs. And when you make meatballs. It is awesome. You should get one immediately if you don’t already have one.You should get 12 cookies per cookie sheet. Oh, and if you don’t have a set of these light-colored heavy alumnium pans, they’re awesome! I highly recommend them.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Naturally, you want to keep an eye on them because every oven is different. Makes about 4 dozen.

Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Except for that one that you have to eat right now. Because you have to. Because those are the rules of chocolate chip cookies, and they are unflinchingly rigid.



  1. Seriously, how did you know that I was craving chocolate chip cookies TODAY? I’m so glad you posted this recipe because I agree with you about the Mrs. Field’s recipe. Good-but come on, who has that kind of time?

  2. Seriously, how did you know that I was craving chocolate chip cookies TODAY? I’m so glad you posted this recipe because I agree with you about the Mrs. Field’s recipe. Good-but come on, who has that kind of time?

  3. Seriously, how did you know that I was craving chocolate chip cookies TODAY? I’m so glad you posted this recipe because I agree with you about the Mrs. Field’s recipe. Good-but come on, who has that kind of time?

  4. Okay, so I just made these and they’re fantastic! Smart Balance makes cubed butter that is 50% real butter mixed with 50% SmartBalance so that’s what I used. I figure they make it just for these cookies 😉 Yum!

  5. Sara, what a magical invention! I must get some!

    Alison, I can totally sense a pregnant woman’s needs; it’s a sixth sense. And believe me, when you’re nine months pregnant, you NEED chocolate chip cookies and an online shopping date with yourself!

  6. Okay, seriously. Do you want me to gain back the weight I worked so hard to lose? Thanks A LOT! lol…I sooo wanna go make these cookies now. I just need to get margarine first. YUM. These look fantastic. Thanks! 🙂

  7. I’m a friend of Marcy’s. I made these cookies and am (almost) ashamed to admit that I have eaten nearly the entire batch myself in the last 24 hours. I love your blog!

  8. Hey guys! I just made these cookies and I do live just above sea level. What would I change to make them less cakey and more cookie-y. They also turned out kind of flat. Thanks!

  9. Hmmmm…April, it’s tough to say for sure. To make them less cakey when you’re at a lower elevation, you might want to try cutting back to 2 3/4 c. of flour (up to 3000 feet elevation; after that, go for the whole 3 cups) and then see if you need any more after that; then add some more 1 Tbsp. at a time if you need it. As far as the flatness goes, I haven’t had that happen at high or low elevation. You might want to try beating the creamed mixture a little longer. Sara, do you have any ideas?

    As for all of you who loved them, I’m so glad! 🙂

  10. April, I was thinking, too, that maybe you should use butter-flavored Crisco instead of margarine; it may hold up better.

    I’m sorry again that it didn’t work better for you!

  11. Okay, one more thing, and then I’ll stop agonizing about why your cookies didn’t work out, April! 🙂 What kind of pans are you using? For me, it was hit and miss until I got heavy aluminum pans. Okay. I’m done. 🙂

  12. Ok, first off I must say that these cookies freakin rock my socks off! And second, I think this may have been the first happy go lucky, no fighting and whining cookie making fest I’ve had with my kiddos! Thanks Kate! 🙂

  13. Ok, first off I must say that these cookies freakin rock my socks off! And second, I think this may have been the first happy go lucky, no fighting and whining cookie making fest I’ve had with my kiddos! Thanks Kate! 🙂

  14. Ok, first off I must say that these cookies freakin rock my socks off! And second, I think this may have been the first happy go lucky, no fighting and whining cookie making fest I’ve had with my kiddos! Thanks Kate! 🙂

  15. Kate, I have those aluminum pans actually too. My dough was really soft and squishy with all 3 cups of flour. After the first batch I looked at our oven thermometer and it was too hot by about 30 degrees. I turned it down and then rest turned out a bit better. But I’m used to stiffer dough when I make cookies so I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be so soft. I also used butter and smart balance. Maybe I’ll have to try the butter flavor crisco and see if that helps. Thanks! (yeah, we’re around 150 feet or so… big change from utah…ugh)

  16. Hi Kate. You don’t know me, but you know my sister Carly. Just wanted to say that I made these cookies and they were GREAT! And this is from someone who has tried a LOT of different chocolate chip cookie recipes and comes from a family who adores chocolate chip cookies. I was a little skeptical at first when I saw the margarine and the amount of flour, but they were perfect. As soon I tasted the dough, I knew they were going to be good. Just the right amount of crispy chewiness. Thanks for sharing! Great blog!

    P.S. I’m lucky to live at a high altitude so I can fully appreciate the value of these cookies. Probably less flour would be better at sea level?

  17. Hey, Lindsay! I bet you’re just as cute as Carly. I’m glad these worked out great for you! I’m thinking (and if anyone tries this and it fails, please don’t hunt me down and shoot me) that next time I make these at sea level, I’ll do 2 3/4 c. of flour and see how the dough looks and then go from there. I’ll keep everyone posted because I know everyone’s just DYING to know about my sea-level cooking experiments!

  18. I’m finally trying these cookies tonight for FHE…woohoo! I’m a much lower elevation so I’ll try the flour thing and let you know how it turns out Kate!

    P.S. Sometimes expired baking soda can make cookies flat.

  19. Okay so who even knows if anybody is reading these comments anymore. Just wanted to say that I made the cookies and put in 2 3/4 c of flour and undercooked them slightly and they were PERFECTO! Seriously yummy. Even hubby agreed and he’s not much of a cookie eater (crazy right?). So thank you Kate!

  20. Oh Carly, we’re alllways reading, lol. Seriously though, that’s good to know because you’re at a low elevation, so that might help people out.

  21. So, when I first read this recipe I thought to myself “I already have five chocolate chip cookie recipes that are really good, why do I need another?”…but I had previously made the french dip sandwiches and loved them so I gave the cookies a try. They are fabulous!! I have thrown out all my other recipes, except one because these are that good. Thanks!

  22. So, when I first read this recipe I thought to myself “I already have five chocolate chip cookie recipes that are really good, why do I need another?”…but I had previously made the french dip sandwiches and loved them so I gave the cookies a try. They are fabulous!! I have thrown out all my other recipes, except one because these are that good. Thanks!

  23. So, when I first read this recipe I thought to myself “I already have five chocolate chip cookie recipes that are really good, why do I need another?”…but I had previously made the french dip sandwiches and loved them so I gave the cookies a try. They are fabulous!! I have thrown out all my other recipes, except one because these are that good. Thanks!

  24. Theses are super good. I didn’t have margarine though, so I used shortening … and not the butter flavor kind. BUT they still turned out super yummy!

  25. I am definately making these cookies later today!!! I will comment again later and let you know how they came out. Sounds absolutely awesome!!!

  26. mormony – hahaha!! that’s the best thing i’ve heard all day Ü
    and yey for a cookie recipe that’s already adjusted to Utah altitude! Ü I stink at making cookies – they never turn out right. and after working at a certain cookie care package place for 2 years, i have no desire to eat cookies anymore (sinful, I know) but there’s always the dough!!! mmm. Ü

  27. I can't believe I waited so long to bake these!! My sister and husband both said the dough was the best dough they've ever tasted. Seriously, between 4 of us we ate like a dozen cookies as just dough.
    The actual cookies were wonderful too! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  28. Ashley, my friend Carly has reduced the flour by 1-2 Tbsp. with fabulous success. It didn't work for me the first time I tried it, but I think I'm going to try it again. Like…now. 🙂

  29. This really is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. I promise, try this recipe and you'll be 4ever hooked. Oh and this is to everyone: I make these all the time w/ butter-flavored Crisco and it works wonderfuly. Thats actually how I do it every time. Check out my blog to see my pictures of this recipe using the Crisco

  30. I made these this morning (for breakfast 🙂 and they are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made! And I'm such an amateur cook, so I was amazed I didn't mess them up somehow. Thank you so much for sharing.

  31. These cookies are fantastic and I have made them many times over the last couple of years.

    There are some additions I have played with, and they are a huge hit. I add 1/3 c. cocoa to the batter, and then instead of a full bag of chocolate chips, I put 3/4 bag choc. chips and 3/4 c. peanut butter chips.

    Either way, they are to die for! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  32. so if I live at sea-level (VA Beach area) I should decrease the amount of flour to 2 3/4c.? Did I read that right?

    I want to make my kids some cookies (cause I'm a cool mommy like that LOL) to have for when they get home from school.

    Oh, and if you sub butter flavor crisco (instead of the margerine which I don't buy) is it a 1:1 ratio?


  33. I'll have to give these a go. A friend a long time ago gave me a similar family recipe. She told me one of the secrets was to whip the cream mixture for a long time- like 5 minutes. It really makes a big difference to make them light and fluffy. Yum!

  34. Sooo…for those using butter flavored Crisco, are you replacing just the margarine with the crisco, or both the butter & the margarine?

    Also, I saw that someone had used 2 3/4 c. flour at an elevation of around 1200 ft…I'm at 700 ft…do you think that I should use the 2 3/4 c., or a little less yet?

  35. Since this recipe gets such a ringing endorsement, I'll have to try it.

    I usually just take the Tollhouse recipe and add some extra salt and vanilla. Have had no complaints yet. Oh, and pecans… have to have pecans. Not walnuts, pecans!!

    As for flat cookies, I always assumed it was because I was using old baking soda. Since I now use baking soda everywhere in my house, I always have fresh baking soda now. I never thought for an instant that it had to do with how long or hard the dough was beaten! Come to think about it, I got a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas one year and that is when my cookies started having a more consistent texture!

    Read your blog often and have pre-ordered the book. Can't wait to have it delivered!

  36. I recenlty bought one of those cute little cookie scoopers (been wanting one for years), what better way to break it in than making this delicous recipe! Can't wait to try it out. 🙂

  37. Thanks for this recipe–I have a tub of Smart Balance in the fridge that needs to be used! (I used it for something dairy-free for a friend and then didn't seem to have any use for it.) And just to chime in, ME TOO! on the little cookie scoop–seriously, one of the best tools in my kitchen. (I also use it to serve ice cream to the kids: "Look! You're getting THREE scoops! You're so lucky!")

  38. Tried these tonight–delish! Living in Texas, I am below 3,000 feet so I used 2 1/4 cups flour (since that's what they recommend on the Ghiradehli chocolate chips bag). Troy thought there was a smidge too much salt so I think next time we'll cut it down to 1/2 teaspoon but other than that– perfecto! Thanks so much for another fabulous recipe. Can't wait to get the new cookbook!!

  39. I have this EXACT same recipe from a ward cookbook and they are hands down the BEST! I personally love them with all margerine because they are sooo soft but to each their own. 🙂

  40. Oh my goodness!! These are the best cookies I have ever made. And my husband thinks so too. Thank you so so much. I've never been much of a baker (sad I know) but with this recipe I could bake every day. Oh and gain 100 lbs. When i make them i feel like putting a big blue ribbon on the plate & declaring myself the 4-H fair winner.

  41. I just made these and they are pure deliciousness!! I live in Washington, so a bit lower than you Utah-ins. They were slightly crisp on the outside, chewy goodness in the center. I used a little more than 2 cups of flour (almost too much), one egg plus one egg yoke (probably part of the reason for the need for less flour), I melted the butter and used butter flavored crisco. Baked for about 8 mins to perfection!! Thank you! Hope this helps some of you at lower sea levels. Thank you for the recipe! I am pregnant and that means good chocolate chip cookies=one happy momma!

  42. I made these cookies a couple of days ago and they were delicious. The cookies turned a little cakey but my bad, I should’ve read the comments before I made them. No harm done, they were really tasty and we enjoyed them. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  43. Yum! I accidentally purchased self-rising flour and used it in this recipe, truly thinking they wouldn’t turn out. I reduced the baking soda and salt just a tad and they were delicious! I was too lazy to do the drop cookies (it’s raining here and my motivation is at an all-time low) and the bars turned out perfectly. Score! Thanks for the recipe.

  44. So, I haven’t tried these yet but can’t wait to make them! I have lost my “cookie confidence” as every cookie I make lately comes out thin & flat! They just don’t rise and it’s not because I don’t add the leavening ingredients such as baking power or baking soda. My friend thinks it’s because I cook with Costco eggs which are extra large and they make my dough too runny. She thinks I should be adding more flour especially since I live in Utah (high altitude). But my dough doesn’t seem especially runny. Any suggestions how I can get my cookies to rise? I’m desperate:)

  45. Made these and brought a few to work. Some special people got one. One of those people is in his most stressful time of the year. When I didn’t have more the next day, he was sad. I’m about to make another batch to bring to work again. Great recipe.

  46. I recently discovered your website, and I’ve already been pleased with the results from your recipes! I have tried several (love the stuffed red peppers!). Thank you for sharing! I made these cookies last weekend, and they are now my new favorite chocolate chip cookie! Thanks!

  47. I made these and loved them…so soft and perfect. I wanted to try making them into oatmeal cookies with nuts…do you think i could just add some oats or do i need to reduce the amount of flour….im clueless. thanks again!

    1. Sandi, I add oats all the time. The trick is to not go overboard. You can add a little without having to adjust the recipe. I usually cut the chocolate chips down and replace that amount with oats. So like, 1 1/4 cups chips and 3/4 C oats. If you want to add more then you might reduce the flour just by a couple of tablespoons.

  48. These are so good! As are all your recipes! I am in Utah so I was expecting them to come out perfect, but they got flat when they cooled. And although they are chewy, they kinda crumble apart when you pick them up. I used smart balance and real high quality butter and followed the directions exactly, any ideas? Thanks!

  49. Ok – I tried these this weekend. They were almost exactly what I was looking for except they didn’t really flatten out. They still kind of look like big cookie dough balls…any ideas/suggestions?

  50. I’m willing to bet you’re at a low elevation because that’s what happened to mine when I moved to Louisiana! 🙂 Try taking out 2 tablespoons of flour next time. You can also very, very lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cups and level it out with a the blunt edge of a knife–that will keep you from getting too much flour into the cookies.

  51. hehe! making these right now.. I am thirteen years of age.. and something i did was add 1 cp of coconut, and 3/4 tsp. of coconut extract and 1/4 of a cup of oats, and i doubled the vanilla!! SO SO YUMMY KATE!!!! (: P.S i made these because my mom got gumm surgery and they worked well with her sensitive gums so thanks again! (:

  52. Ok so I live in Houston which isnt too far from louisiana. My cookies turned out super chewy and honestly the best I have tried and I have tried many choc. chip recipes. The only think different I did was I added those toffee bites to the cookies. about 3/4 c. The toffee melts into the cookie while it bakes and keeps it from getting cakey. You should just try it and see if you have as good of luck doing this as I did. I also used a stone cookie sheet instead of metal. I honestly dont think you need to change up you ingredients at all. They were perfect even in this humid climate 🙂

  53. I’m super happy to have found a recipe for chocolate chip cookies for high altitude baking that’s not Tollhouse! Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I want something special and this looks like it. Can I add pecans? I will be making this tomorrow or the next day.

  54. I have made cookies for my children longer than I care to mention, oldest child is 45. I have always used the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip package. They were good and needless to say got gobbled up. But my daughter was visiting one weekend and used your recipe. I will never use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag again.

  55. I have tried batches upon batches of choc. chip cookies and they always spread out to gross looking pancake cookies. I had written off chocolate chips forever until my boyfriend said his favorite cookies where chocolate chips. I’ve had such success with other recipies on your site I thought I’d give it a try. SUCCESS! Didn’t have to put the dough in the fridge or freezer, or do any other ‘trick’ to it, just mix. plop, cook. love it. My only addition was a cup of chopped walnuts, yum!

  56. I have never (ever ever ever ever) made a successful batch of cookies in my life, despite years of trying various recipes. My inept baking skills have become family lore. My friend insisted that I try your recipe this morning and you have made our Christmas merry and bright! The best present I have ever given my husband, the chocolate chip cookies of his dreams! THANK YOU!! They were PERFECT!! Absolutely, completely, totally, and wonderfully DIVINE!! THANK YOU a million times!

  57. oh yeah. these were good. i haven’t stopped dreaming of them since i made my first batch on thanksgiving weekend. i’ve got another batch in the oven right now. mmmm. great recipe!

  58. Having literally tried to make chocolate chips cookies around the world (even in Belgium during my time there as an intern)I can honestly say these are absolutely the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. I have tried dozen of your recipes but somehow never spotted this one until today. Thanks for all the awesome tips (margarine and heavy aluminum pan–who knew??). I almost gave up making chocolate chip cookies altogether since they always turn out different wherever I live and never to my liking! Now I have the best recipe ever! 🙂 Thank you!!

  59. I just made these last night. They are wonderful! I have seriously eaten almost a dozen today because I have no self control with them! I don’t think I’ll ever use another chocolate chip recipe again!

  60. I love this cookie recipe. They are literally the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. I think I’ve gained a few pounds because I just keep making them over and over. I would like to post this recipe on my blog that I am just starting up. I will have a link back to your original. I love your recipes!

  61. I used this to make BROOKIES! It turned out great, I follow the instructions for making the cookie dough, then made up a box of brownie mix. I poured the brownie batter in a greased 9×13 pan then droped scoops of cookie dough on top(I only used half to cookie dough for this). Then I baked it for 40 minutes at 350degrees(check to make sure to brownie batter come off clean when poked with a toothpick, the last ten minutes I cover the pan with tin foil so the cookie batter didn’t burn). Enjoy! Use the extra dough to make regular cookies to share with a friend!

  62. I know this is such an old post by now, but I just wanted to say a quick thanks for this recipe–it is literally the ONLY chocolate chip cookie recipe that I get great results from EVERY time! I usually struggle to get cookies to come out nicely, but these always turn out perfectly. They’re my go-to chocolate chip cookies! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

  63. I have tried this recipe twice because I refuse to giveup. The first time I used all butter because I had no margerine and the cookies did not melt into nice flat cookie shape and turned out very cakey. I tried again today with half cup buttet and a half cup margerine and the same exact thing happened. Also I am just missing the tempetature this should be bakwd at or is it not included in the recipe? I just can’t seem to find it, but I baked them at 350 F. Help?

    1. I started making these when I lived at a high elevation and they were perfect, but when I moved to Louisiana, mine were cakey as well. Are you at a low elevation? You might want to try reducing the flour by 2 Tbsp.-1/4 cup. Hope that helps!

  64. I made these today. Since I NEVER have margarine on hand, and we are in the middle of a blizzard, I decided to substitute butter flavored crisco in its place. They turned out great! Not that I was surprised by that, everything I make from your website or cookbooks turns out amazing! Thank you.

  65. I followed this recipe exactly except for reducing the flour by 1/4 cup because I live at a low elevation. Alas, they didn’t taste good and they didn’t have the nice appearance of the cookies that are pictured. Not sure what went wrong. Your ginger spice cookie recipe is my favorite–I get compliments whenever I bake them.

  66. “So you know how in my profile, it says that I don’t need 10 chocolate chip cookie recipes, I just need the best one? Well this, my friends, is the best one.” This is *exactly* what I’m looking for on this rainy afternoon! Off to the grocery store to grab some margarine now. Love your blog!!

  67. These were SOOO good!! I used to make the tollhouse recipe when we lived in Memphis but when we moved back to Utah is just wouldn’t turn out any more. I stopped making chocolate chip cookies because they were always just flat. This recipe is awesome. It has restored my confidence in baking chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been a long time blog reader- can’t believe I hadn’t tried this recipe before now!

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