Growing up, my favorite Sesame Street character was the Cookie Monster. Elmo came off as an obnoxious, hammy infant and Big Bird’s whole vibe just depressed me, but the Cookie Monster had a singular goal and purpose — to eat cookies. That’s something that resonated with me as a small pudgy child and frankly, still resonates with me to this day. So when my editor asked me to review and rank the top five chocolate chip cookie recipes on the internet I gladly jumped at the chance, even knowing full well that not only would I have to make them all.
Eight sticks of butter, six hours, one broken mixer, and pounds of brown sugar and chocolate chips later, I’m still not sick of chocolate chip cookies. That’s how much I love them.
The chocolate chip is, in my opinion, the perfect cookie. It has this comforting brown sugar and butter flavor with subtle echoes of toffee and caramel and bursts of sweet chocolate in every bite. Even if it isn’t your favorite cookie, it isn’t polarizing like a snickerdoodle or oatmeal cookie — it’s a people pleaser. If you’re planning on making chocolate chip cookies from scratch, you deserve the very best, so we made, reviewed, and ranked the top five recipes on the internet in search of the best-tasting chocolate chip cookie you can make at home.
PART I — Methodology
For our five recipes we did a simple google search for “best chocolate chip cookies ever” and chose the top five results, which were from Joy Food Sunshine, All Recipes, Tasty, Once Upon a Chef, and Pinch of Yum. To keep the flavors consistent I used the same brand of flour, butter, chocolate chips, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs for every recipe. I also purchased a fresh box of baking soda instead of using the one in the back of my fridge.
The recipe for chocolate chip cookies is pretty simple, it’s a mixture of sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, flour, and chocolate chips. The only material differences between these five recipes were the ratios of each ingredient, the use of semi-sweet, sweet, or dark chocolate chips, and the technique by which the batter was mixed.
I followed each recipe’s respective preparations as written, which involved making five different cookie recipes in five different (but very similar) ways. This process showed me that the differences in technique — such as sifting flour, hand-mixing, and incorporating ingredients one at a time — didn’t have a major impact on the final result, but things like baking time and allowing your dough to sit did prove big factors. Since all of the recipes had a range of baking times, I prepared batches of the same recipes using multiple times. I’ll note where that is significant.
Now, let’s rank them on flavor!
PART II: A Pro-Tip On Making Aesthetically Pleasing Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you want chocolate chip cookies that look as delicious as they taste, invest in a cookie scooper or save some spare chocolate chips to place on your dough before throwing them in the oven. I don’t have a cookie scooper and I was making every recipe in a single day, so I rolled my cookie dough between my palm for speed and called it a day. That resulted in chocolate chips that stayed internal and hardly ever erupted through the surface of the cookie.
This doesn’t affect the flavor in any way, but if you’re trying to impress someone with your homemade cookies, it’s worth the extra effort.
PART III: The Rankings
5. Joy Food Sunshine
Joy Food Sunshine is a blog created by Laura, a homeschooling mom, and former chemistry teacher. Her simple no-frills chocolate chip recipe has the number one spot on Google. Congrats Laura, I hope you’re raking in the dough (get it?! GET IT??????).
This dough recipe, which produced the highest yield at over 40 cookies doesn’t need to be chilled and calls for the dry ingredients to be mixed separately and makes a point of specifying that you should be using dry-ingredient measuring cups (leveled with a knife), not liquid measuring cups. This is great advice, always use dry ingredient measuring cups when working with flour!
This recipe differs from the others in its use of light brown sugar, baking powder, the highest cooking temperature, and the shortest baking time. Throughout the recipe Laura makes a point to say not to over-bake these cookies, writing “They will not look done when you pull them out of the oven, and that is GOOD.” She recommends a 9 minute baking time, which I followed and… the cookies looked light as fuck. Even when they cooled.
I did the next batch for 11 minutes, and then a final batch for 12 minutes. All look lighter than I’d want them to be. This probably has more to do with the light brown sugar than the bake time.
They’re great, Laura promised a simple chocolate chip recipe, and this is definitely that. The texture is soft and you can give the cookie a slight bend before it breaks in half — probably because of the use of baking powder and baking soda. Not sure I need this pliability though.
Flavorwise, this cookie hits you with sweetness and ends with a salty aftertaste. It’s a bit too salty, and I blame the use of salted butter. If you like salty cookies, you’re better off using unsalted butter, and instead finishing each cookie with a pinch of sea salt after it bakes while it’s still hot. This would result in a more pronounced but less intrusive salty taste. When mixed into the cookie, this ends up with an aftertaste that is largely dominated by salt when it should be dominated by chocolate and sugar.
The Bottom Line:
A few tweaks away from being a great chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Follow Joy Food Sunshine’s recipe here.
4. All Recipes
Before I had made a single one of these cookie recipes, a quick scan of the ingredients led me to assume that this was going to be the clear winner — it’s the only recipe of the five that actually adds a new ingredient: walnuts. I love walnuts, and I love the earthy nutty quality that nuts add to cookies in general, so I was expecting these to be great. They just slightly miss the mark.
This recipe differs from the last recipe in its use of unslated butter, less salt in general, and an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract. Technique-wise it calls for each ingredient to be mixed-in individually, and for the baking soda to be dissolved in hot water before incorporating. I have no idea if this actually changed anything but the cookies turned out a bit more uniform in this batch than any of the other recipes.
The cookies needed to be baked at 350 degrees for 10 mins and that checked out, getting my cookies to look exactly what I think they should look like: light tan to brown with crisped edges.
Sweet and chocolatey, but not overwhelming so. There is a perfect balance of brown sugar, butter, and salty flavors but the walnuts infuse a sort of bitter and dirty aftertaste to the whole thing. Maybe it’s just a bad bag of walnuts, but I actually would’ve preferred this recipe sans nuts.
The Bottom Line:
Delicious but if you’re going to add nuts make sure you get the good stuff. My walnuts came prepacked from the baking section of my grocery store, had I cracked my own walnuts I have no doubt this recipe would’ve come out better and ranked higher.
Follow All Recipes recipe here.
3. Pinch of Yum
Pinch of Yum is a blog written by Lindsay, a former 4th-grade teacher and full-time blogger living in Minnesota. I had some serious doubts about her small yield recipe which utilized less than a cup of chocolate chips, and the lowest amount of sugar. A half-cup of white sugar and a fourth of a cup of light brown sugar all but ensured these cookies were going to be as pale as what Joy Food Sunshine gave us. And I don’t like that!
This recipe also called for the least amount of salt and called for microwaving the butter before mixing it in. Don’t microwave your butter… just let it sit out for about 30 minutes and you’re good. Microwaving the butter risks you putting hot ingredients into your dough, which will cook it. You don’t want that. Lindsay’s recipe didn’t specify what type of chocolate chips to use, so I went with 60% cacao chips.
This recipe also suggested you make 12 large cookies with the dough. So that’s what I did, despite not being a fan of big cookies, personally speaking.
Lindsay may have sold me on big soft cookies. I love this recipe, I had some serious doubts and the cookies are lighter in color than I want them to be, with an almost sugar-cookie-like appearance, but dammit are they good. Each bite is incredibly soft and sugary, with the chocolate chips serving as bursts of rich flavor.
You don’t get chocolate in every bite because of the big size, but when you do it’s ecstasy.
The Bottom Line:
Add more chocolate chips and swap that light brown sugar for dark brown sugar and you’ve got one of the best soft chocolate cookie recipes on the internet. If you like big soft cookies, work off of this recipe.
Follow Pinch of Yum’s recipe here.
I had no faith in Tasty’s recipe. The website looks like something out of the Geocities era of the internet and it called for me to hand mix the ingredients rather than use an electric mixer, and sift the flour — which I still think did little more than waste my time. This recipe calls for more sugar than any of the recipes, less baking soda, and a mix of semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips.
It also called for the longest bake time, at 12-15 minutes, and produced the least uniform and ugliest cookies of any of the recipes on this ranking. Having said that, who cares what they look like? They’re fucking delicious and that’s all that matters.
This recipe specified that allowing the dough to sit for at least 30 minutes would result in richer flavors, so that’s what I did and it seems to have worked. While these cookies look ugly and have the least consistent shape despite me platting them on the baking sheet with the same method (a tablespoon of dough, palm rolled into a ball), the flavor is noticeably richer here.
There is a slight toffee-like quality to this brown sugar dominant cookie. The flavors shift — at first, you’re hit with buttery sweetness before you get bursts of bitter and rich chocolate ending in a slightly salty finish that is practically begging for a pinch more of sea salt sprinkled on top.
The Bottom Line:
I’m going to go ahead and suggest you go against the recipe and use an electric hand mixer to make this. Finish these cookies with a pinch of sea salt once they’re done baking and we guarantee you this will become your favorite cookie recipe on the internet.
Follow Tasty’s recipe here.
1. Once Upon A Chef
The number four most popular result on Google and our personal number one choice, this cookie recipe rises above the rest. Once Upon A Chef is a blog run by Jenn Segal, a classically trained chef, cookbook author, and mom who used her culinary training to tweak the Tollhouse cookie recipe. It’s funny that the only person who listed culinary training in these recipes utilized a pre-existing and popular recipe but hey, if it’s not broke don’t fix it.
This recipe uses the same amount of sugar as Tasty’s but calls for more flour, which helps the sweetness spread out and results in a more balanced flavor. This was the only recipe that gave explicit mixing times for each ingredient, which I followed to a tee, whether I thought the dough needed more work or not.
Jenn did not lead us astray though, these turned out perfectly. This is the only recipe that suggests you leave your dough in the fridge for a few hours to overnight, so that’s what I did. I think this probably had the biggest impact on flavor, so I definitely suggest you let your dough sit no matter what recipe you make.
Earthy rich brown sugar dominates the flavor here, with creamy chocolate notes in every bite and a toffee and caramel finish. The flavors continue to shift on the palate even when you’re done with the cookie, making this particular recipe especially addicting. Texture-wise this cookie is perfect, it’s perfectly balanced between being soft and pliable on the inside, and crispy and audibly crunchy on the outside.
This is the only recipe that doesn’t feel like it needs any tweaking, and for that, we’re giving it the number one spot.
The Bottom Line:
This requires a little bit of patience but it’s worth it. This is far and above the best cookie recipe on the first page of Google and the one you should work off of as you develop your own perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Follow Once Upon A Chef’s recipe here.