The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe for Every Occasion

Do you like your chocolate chip cookies chewy? Crispy? Nutty? Just enough for a single serving? We have the recipes you need.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Photo: © Emily Farris

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Finding the best chocolate chip cookie is a highly personal proposition. What’s perfect for one person might be too crispy or cakey or gooey for someone else. The ideal chocolate chip cookie can vary based on the situation and what you’re craving. Maybe you love a recipe that requires the dough to rest for a few hours before baking, but you have a craving for one immediately. Maybe your go-to requires you to haul out the stand mixer, and you can’t face that right now. No problem! Having a great chocolate chip cookie recipe up your sleeve is excellent. What’s even better is having several, so you can take your pick depending on what mood you’re in and what kind of texture and flavor you want to achieve.

When You Need Cookies Within the Hour

This classic chocolate chip recipe has several great things going for it. First, you can use a stand mixer if you have it out, but a bowl and a whisk will work just as well since the recipe calls for melted butter rather than softened, creamed butter. The melted butter in the cookies means that the texture of the cookie is even chewier. But the best part: These come together so quickly that they’ll be ready to eat within the hour that you start making them, meaning they’re a great fit for when you just need something sweet right away. If you can wait, the dough also freezes well—just wrap the log in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to two months.

When You Want a Cookie That’s a Little Crunchy and a Little Chewy

One of the best and most elusive textures for a chocolate chip cookie is one that’s crispy on the outside but still retains its gooey, chewy center. This recipe achieves that goal with a few tricks, but the key is letting the dough rest for at least an hour after you mix it. This allows the sugar to absorb moisture from the eggs and butter, and means that the sugar is more evenly distributed, leading to that chewy-crunchy effect. The rest also allows the flavor to more fully develop (as tempting as it is to skip it and go straight to the baking and eating part). These Milk-Chocolate-Chip Cookies also use, as you may guess, milk chocolate rather than bittersweet chocolate, giving a smoother, sweeter result.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

When You Want the Cookies Thin, Chewy, and Butterscotch-y

If you love butterscotch and want a cookie that’s chewy throughout, the best bet is using brown butter. Browning the butter means that the milk solids in butter take on a toasted, nutty note. It also means that this takes a bit more planning in advance, since you first need to melt and brown the butter and then chill it until it re-solidifies, but the results are well worth it. These Brown-Butter Chocolate Chip cookies are sweet, salty, chewy, and have both chocolate chips and a chopped-up chocolate bar dispersed throughout, giving them pools of melted chocolate as well as smaller flecks.

When You Want A Recipe That Could Be Crispy OR Chewy

If you’re looking for a chocolate chip cookie that’s super versatile, you couldn’t do much better than Grace Parisi’s Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies. The inclusion of toasted nuts adds crunch, plus the composition of the cookie allows for the texture to change somewhat depending on how much time you leave them in the oven. If you want them on the crispier end, bake these for about 16 minutes. If you want them on the softer, chewier side, bake for about 11 minutes instead.

When You Want Just One Cookie

If you live alone, or you’re just not up for dealing with a whole batch of cookies, there are still good ways to answer the cookie call. First, many chocolate chip cookie recipes freeze beautifully. Just freeze pre-scooped cookie dough on a tray and then transfer to a resealable bag in the freezer. You can bake off one or two at a time without going through the whole rigmarole of mixing up a batch or dough. Or you could take a tip from Justin Chapple, and make a cookie for one in your toaster oven. No mixer or oven required.

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