Learn how to make some classic chocolate chip cookies that are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. This recipe can be made vegan.
Chocolate chip cookies are an absolute classic. We’re all familiar with them and we all have our favourite ones. Personally I love them to have a little crisp bite followed by a soft and chewy interior. Some of you guys may prefer a more crisp and crunchy cookie. Others may prefer it as a warm gooey cookie dough. This recipe can be adapted to turn into ALL THREE.
But I’m sure there’s one thing we can all agree on. There’s honestly nothing quite like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. The smell once they come out of the oven is incredible. The chocolate chunks melting into puddles inside each cookie. That buttery bite of sweetness, with subtle hints of caramel (from the dark brown sugar) and a pinch of salt. It’s a cookie that’s well balanced and texturally divine – just how it should be.
Enjoy these chocolate chip cookies either on their own or dunk in cold milk/hot cup of coffee. This is one of those sweet comforts and an incredibly easy bake. It’s a great one to get kids involved with too, they’ll love rolling out the cookie dough balls.
Chocolate chip cookie troubleshooting
Do I need to flatten out the cookies before baking?
Nope. Leave them as a ball as they will flatten out themselves whilst baking. All you have to do is roll the dough lightly between your hands into a ball, and place these on a tray spaced out to allow room for them to flatten and expand. These should have around 2 inches of space between each cookie dough ball for 30g of cookie dough. The larger the size of the dough ball, the more space needed between each one as they will understandably flatten out more.
My chocolate chip cookies spread too much/didn’t spread at all, what happened?
Ok, so this is down to one thing, the butter consistency. If your butter is over-softened or melted, these will spread out way too much and you will end up with a thin, crispy, and greasy cookie which is no fun.
However if your butter is too cold, you’ll struggle to cream the sugar into it, and likely end up with clumps of sugar or butter. When this happens, the cookies will barely spread out and will likely be underbaked.
This happens because in over-softened butter, the fat melts too quickly before the flour in the cookie has had time to ‘set’. Whilst in the opposite scenario, the flour ‘sets’ before the butter has melted, and so it can’t spread out. In this case you end up with a very chunky and underbaked chocolate chip cookie
To speed up your butter softening process, cut the butter into small cubes and leave at room temp for 20-30mins, you will know when it’s perfectly softened when you can press your finger into it and leave an indent, with the cube still holding shape.
Also make sure your oven has sufficiently preheated to the correct temperature, this should be done 30 mins prior to baking.
Can I use all white sugar? Is the dark brown sugar necessary?
No, a total white sugar cookie will lack the flavour, the depth, and the chewy texture. The cookies also won’t brown as much whilst baking. The final result will also be a more crumbly and dry cookie.
The dark brown sugar provides a deep caramel flavour through the presence of molasses. It also adds moisture, richness and contributes greatly towards a chewy texture. It’s essential for that golden, crisp finish and soft, moist centre.
You could substitute the dark brown sugar for light brown sugar. It will still lack in flavour slightly, but will be far closer texturally than all white sugar.
One key thing to remember is that dark brown sugar and light brown sugar are NOT turbinado or demerara sugar. For this recipe to work, the right sugars need to be used.
Chocolate chips or chocolate chunks?
Go for your favourite bar of chocolate instead, and roughly chop that up. But otherwise my next option would be chocolate chunks. We want those pools of chocolate as these melt and chocolate chips don’t quite do it. It is after all a chocolate chip cookie and hence the chocolate itself is pretty important. I always use a good quality bar of dark chocolate when I make these. Personally a 70-74% bar of dark chocolate is my first choice as that’s what I like.
Can I refrigerate/freeze the dough?
Yes, you can, but before baking you want to allow them to come back to room temperature. This is due to same reason aforementioned, cold butter = no spreading out = not a happy baker.
To freeze these, place each doughball on a lined tray or plate in a single layer, freeze until completely frozen and then transfer to a freezer-safe bag.
Just make sure to bring them to room temperature before baking.
How can I make these chocolate chip cookies vegan
This is super simple to do. Use any vegan block butter (e.g. Naturli), but avoid any spreadable ones. The spreadable butters contain a high percentage of moisture which would not work here. For the milk, just substitute it for any plant milk of choice. I tend to use oat milk or soy milk when I’m making these vegan.
Also use any vegan chocolate of your preference.
Can I make these gluten free?
I haven’t personally tried but other followers have been successful when using the Dove’s Farm gluten free plain flour blend. So that would be my go-to choice based on recommendation.
How do I make these into crunchy cookies or cookie dough?
This is all down to the bake time. Baking these as per the recipe will lend crisp and chewy cookies which is how I prefer mine. Alternatively you could over-bake these by 3-4 minutes for a more crisp cookie. Or under-bake them by 3-4 minutes for a warm cookie dough cookie.
You could even place the dough in a skillet and bake the entire skillet just until the outer edge has started to turn golden and slightly firm to the touch. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and you have yourself a skillet of warm cookie dough – perfect for sharing.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 200 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 0.25 tsp salt
- 150 g softened unsalted butter/vegan butter
- 70 g white granulated sugar
- 70 g dark brown sugar can sub for light brown
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk of choice
- 120 g chocolate of choice roughly chopped
- Pre-heat your oven to 160’C fan/180’C conventional
- Cream your butter and sugars together, and then add your vanilla and milk, mix to combine
- Mix your flour, baking powder and salt together and then sieve this into the butter and sugar mix
- Mix to combine, and then add your chopped up chocolate and continue to mix
- Form even doughballs and place on a tray, no need to press out as these will flatten themselves during baking. Allow space between the cookies for this.
- 30g doughballs will bake for 14 minutes on the middle shelf
- Allow to cool for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack
If you enjoyed these, make sure to check out my double chocolate chip cookies! Just tap the image below