The secret to making the best chocolate chip cookies.
the best chocolate chip cookies
There are a thousand million billion versions of the chocolate chip cookie, each claiming to the be the best chocolate chip cookies. And for a cookie so easy to make, there sure are a lot of variables.
Here’s one to consider that’s pretty gosh darn important though: Butter vs. shortening. Which one do you use in your chocolate chip cookies?
more cookie recipes
- If you like this recipe, try these Oreo chip cookies.
- Or, use this recipe to make these mini chocolate chip cookies or these teeny, tiny chocolate chip cookie bites.
- How about some air fryer cookies?
butter vs shortening
So which is better in cookies? Butter or shortening?
Butter is a semi-solid dairy product made from the solid components of milk or cream (fats and proteins), usually cow’s milk.
Shortening is a fat that is solid at room temperature and used in baking. The term actually refers to butter, margarine, lard and vegetable oil, but here, we’re assuming shortening is from vegetable oil, such as Crisco.
Can you substitute butter for shortening and shortening for butter? Yes, although the cookie texture will be different.
what does butter do in cookies?
Butter has the better flavor, by far. But it has a lower melting temperature which can make the cookies flatter.
It also contains about 10 percent water, so when the water steams off in the oven, it leaves the cookies crispier.
what does shortening do in cookies?
Shortening has a higher melting temperature and doesn’t contain water, so your cookies are taller and softer. But the flavor isn’t as grand.
the best chocolate chip cookies
So one way to get the best of both: Use half butter and half shortening. By the way “butter” here is butter. Real butter, not margarine. And “shortening” here is Crisco baking sticks. And by the way, this may be controversial, but I always use salted. I prefer the extra bite it gives.
So use the recipe here (adapted from Nestle’s classic) or your own, but try the one-stick-of-each method and see if it makes a difference for you.
the best chocolate chip cookies
The tip to make the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe using shortening and butter.
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I prefer salted)
- 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, briefly whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a standing mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, blend the butter, shortening and sugars.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually blend in the flour mixture.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Drop by flat tablespoons on baking trays lined with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and the center is firm. Cool on the tray for ten minutes and transfer to a wire rack.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 81Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
Some other tips for great chocolate chip cookies:
- Make sure to use solid, good quality baking trays or cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Drop cookies on the sheet by flat tablespoons, preferably with a one-tablespoon ice cream scoop for even baking. If the cookies are too big, the edges cook more quickly than the center.
- Watch the cookies for doneness. They are done when the edges start to brown and the middle is firm.
- Cool on the sheet for ten minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
PIN FOR LATER:
This post was originally published in August 2015 and updated in July 2020.
Beth Murray says
Yum Meaghan! I always use the Jacques Torres/NYT choc chip cookie recipe, which uses a LOT More butter, and you have to chill the dough. Your cookies look just like them – not flat at all! So we will have to try your recipe next time. Who wants to chill the dough when there are hungry choc chip deprived children waiting! Thanks!
Haha, exactly Beth!! Also the key is to make them small-ish. But then you can eat more.
Ohhhh my … This recipe was created by angels straight from heaven …
I have searched for a keeper chocolate chunk or chip cookie recipe for years. Don’t get me wrong I’ve made good cookies but never the same recipe twice non ever made my skirt fly up lol. But, this recipe OMG what to say. I may have added a little over on chocolate and added a cup of pecans chopped. This recipe I will make again, and again over and over.
Thank you sooo much I finally have a KEEPER I am so glad I found this recipe.
Hi Cheryl, Yay!! Thank you so much!! Love the idea of a little more chocolate and some pecans, I’ll try that too!
What temp please?
Hi Aaron, 375 degrees F!
Are these crispy in the middle? One of my relatives has a thick crunchy chocolate chip cookie recipe that she will NOT share. We have been trying to replicate it for a lifetime. Her cookies are crispy all the way through with a slight chew in the middle.
Hi Sunshine! Alas… probably not the one. These are pretty chewy. I vote wooing your relative to release the recipe!
Still trying to find a recipe that a bakery used to make as a child. It was crispy and almost powdery. I guess others are looking for the same. I just made these and doubled them. I used two cups brown sugar to one cup white sugar. 1 cup butter to 1/2 cup shortening a d added 1 tsp baking powder. It’s the closest I have come to my childhood favorites. Thank you.
These are fantastic tips Karen, thank you!! I wonder if the bakery used mostly shortening? A lot of bakeries use shortening instead of butter because of cost. I love the idea of the two cups brown sugar. That will add a depth and maybe make them crispier?
Some recipes call for a teaspoon of cornstarch in the recipe. I thought texture was slightly powdery.
I’ve heard of that. I’ll try it next time!
Darren Van Beek says
i have used the toll house recipe since i started baking cookies as a teenager, my mom taught me how and she used half crisco and half margarine and they turn out the best, i get complements all the time on my chocolate chip cookies every where i take them. i also remember the recipe used to call for a 1/2 tsp water and i still do that even though it is no longer in the recipe on the bag of chips anymore and i also add a 2nd tsp of baking soda which makes them lighter and a bit crispier but still chewy in the middle.
That’s so interesting about the water! My mom has been using the recipe for decades. I’m going to ask if she remembers that! I’m also going to try the baking soda trick. Thank you!
Cheri Tittler says
Just tried this recipe and my cookies turned out flat! What did I do wrong? My husband said they tasted great but not sure why they flattened out like pancakes. ☹️
Oh no! Usually the culprit in flat cookies is too-soft butter. I always err on the side of too-firm butter. You can also chill the dough before baking, that helps in case the butter had softened. Other reasons: Too little flour if under measured. If you put new dough on hot cookie sheets.
Abigail Wenderson says
Wow, these cookies look delicious. I look forward to trying this soon.
Molly H. says
Just tried this and it’s really good! Going to use them for a cookie box gift. 🙂 This is my new favorite choco chip cookie recipe! Using shortening and butter is the best of both worlds
Yay! I’m so glad they worked for you!! It’s been awhile since I made a batch. Might have to get on that.
First recipe that cookies are not flat. Love it and your story
Wonderful! Thank you Bonnie!
Valerie Whincup says
I would like to make these cookies, but since I’m allergic to chocolate, could I use carob chips instead? Thank you.
Hi Valerie, as long as you’ve had success with carob chips, I think they would do great!
I bake as a side hustle. I’ve been testing new recipes to add to my offerings. These look awesome. Getting everything together to make them now!