The Difference Between Good and Great Chocolate Chip Cookies is 10 Minutes

Just whisk and wait.

Published Mar. 21, 2022.

Many chocolate chip cookie recipes—including the one on the back of the Toll House chocolate chip bag—produce a cakey, uniform texture. This style certainly has its appeal, but in the test kitchen, we think that really spectacular chocolate chip cookies–the kind you can’t wait to devour by the stack with a tall glass of cold milk–aren’t just one texture but two: moist, chewy middles that transition to crisp, deeply browned edges.

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One way to help ensure these dual textures is to bake larger cookies. But the other way may surprise you: It involves repeatedly whisking—and waiting—while you put the dough together. Here’s how to do it:

  • Whisk together melted butter, brown and white sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla until smooth, then let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes, whisking for 30 seconds every 3 minutes. 
  • Add flour and baking soda, followed by chocolate chips, then scoop portions of the dough onto a baking sheet and slide them into the oven. 
After 3 rounds of whisking in 3-minute intervals, the mixture turns thick and shiny, like frosting.

What Happens During the Wait?

The resting period allows the sugar to dissolve in the small amount of moisture in the dough before baking. Then, when the cookies are in the oven, the moisture in the dissolved sugar burns off and its molecules break apart, creating a brittle, amorphous structure that translates to a crispier texture. But that effect occurs mainly at the cookie’s outer edges. Just like an evaporating lake, as moisture on the perimeter disappears, the remaining moisture becomes concentrated in the center. 

The result?  Cookies that couldn’t be more perfect: gooey with chocolate chips, crispy at the edges, and chewy in the center.

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