Ask a Chef: Chewy chocolate chip cookies

Ask a Chef: Chewy chocolate chip cookies

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Every week one of the chefs from Harmons Grocery Stores will be answering your toughest culinary questions. No question is too big or too small if you're question is selected we'll invite you to take part in an upcoming cooking class at Harmons. Email your questions to

This week's question comes from Angie:

What culinary questions do you have? Let us know! Email our Harmons chefs at
Ask a Chef: Chewy chocolate chip cookies

"What is the science behind soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies? I'm not great at baking, but have learned to make whole wheat bread and soft chewy gingersnaps, but getting the chocolate chip cookie dough right eludes me. Any tips for me on measuring or how the dough should be?"

Fantastic question Angie! The secret to perfect chocolate chip cookies can be tough (even for chefs!). I am so glad you used the word science because baking is exactly that — science.

The secrets to the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie can be unlocked by balancing temperature, ingredients, and process.

In regards to measuring tips, I suggest weighing out your ingredients in grams. Once you have developed the perfect cookie a system utilizing weight will produce the most consistent product. Plus, the loved ones who inherit your recipe will thank you.

Another thing to keep in mind when creating your cookie dough is to scrape the bowl frequently during the creaming process to ensure that you are fully incorporating the butter. If not, you will have butter seeping out of your cookies during cooking — a process called "run out". You also want to make sure that you don't over-whip your sugar and butter, as this will produce a flat over-spread cookie. No one likes "hockey puck" cookies.

Another suggestion is to reduce the amount of time you work the gluten into your dough. This will produce a cookie with a better texture. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs, then add the flour and mix just until the flour incorporates but still looks white and dry (about 50 percent).

Ask a Chef: Chewy chocolate chip cookies

Add the chocolate chips and slowly finish mixing until it looks just hydrated. This will reduce gluten formation and produce a chewy, soft cookie.

When adding the eggs you want the temperature of the dough and the eggs to be the same. Take your eggs out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature before adding to the dough.

You should also do this with your butter as well. Add the eggs one at a time making sure that they fully incorporate before adding the next one. It will be helpful to scrape the bowl after each egg to make sure each egg is emulsifying completely.

Another tip is to brown the butter first. This will give you a very tasty and chewy cookie. The brown butter will add nuttiness to the cookie and the cooking process will remove the water from the butter. This will also reduce gluten formation. It will spread a little more than raw butter. Let the browned butter cool to room temperature again before using.

Flour choice can be a factor for chewiness or the softness of the cookie. Cake flour has less gluten in it and will produce a softer crumb while bread flour will create a denser and chewier cookie.

Leavening can be an important factor in whether you want a flat chewy cooking or thick dense cookie. Using baking soda will create a flatter cookie with browner edges. Using baking powder will create a smaller thicker cookie. Using a combination of both will give you a happy medium.

Oven temperature is also a very important in creating the perfect chocolate chip cookies. Lower temperature will create a thinner chewier cookie with crispy edges - around 325F. A higher temperature will give you less spread and more rise - 350F to 360F.

Lastly allow your dough to rest in the refrigerator overnight before baking. This will serve two purposes: allowing the gluten to rest and balance the flavors.

Whether you use your family recipe or try my recipe below, I hope you have fun discovering the science behind chocolate chip cookies! It may take a few tries to fine tune your recipe to get it just right, but if you follow my tips above you should end up with a delicious result.

Ask a Chef: Chewy chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a conversion tool for grams to cups, etc.


  • 156 grams Butter
  • 96 grams Sugar
  • 117 grams Brown Sugar
  • 71g eggs (1 large egg is roughly 56g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 234 grams Bread Flour or Cake Flour (depending on what type of crumb you want)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 241 grams Chocolate Chips


1. Cream butter and sugar together, scraping bowl several times during creaming.
2. Add eggs one at a time scraping in between to allow for full emulsification of the fats.
3. Add vanilla and quickly incorporate.
4. Sift dry ingredients together and add.
5. Mix until slightly incorporated (still dry looking).
6. Add the chocolate chips and finish incorporating, just until flour looks hydrated.
7. Roll into log about 15" long.
8. Refrigerate overnight.
9. The next day preheat oven to 350F.
10. Cut dough into 50 gram disks and bake off for about 12 to 15 minutes.
11. Allow to cool and enjoy!

If you are looking for even more culinary inspiration, check out our other Ask a Chef articles articles. There you'll find recipes for main dishes, desserts and more!

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Chef Aaron Ballard for Harmons


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