The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies You’ll Ever Have

Do you ever give a box of cookies as a holiday gift? They’re inexpensive, and everyone loves them. We’re giving cookies to a few of our friends and neighbors, so I set out to find the two best recipes…

The first is the chocolate chip cookie recipe that the New York Times named “perfection.” Three secrets of the all-time best cookies? Let the dough rest for 36 hours (!) before baking. Use chocolate chunks or disks instead of measly chips. And sprinkle sea salt onto the cookies just before baking.

Here’s the recipe:
Makes 18 5-inch cookies

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or chunks
Sea salt

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

The other cookie we chose is Rice Krispie Treats, because a friend told me recently that they’re the top seller at bake sales. “Everyone loves comfort foods,” she says, “and these remind people of their childhoods.” For a more adult version, we chose the New York Times recipe for Caramelized Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats, which are richer and more complex.

Here’s the recipe:
Makes 30 to 50 treats

8 ounces butter, salted or unsalted, plus extra for pan
1 10.5-ounce bag marshmallows
1 12-ounce box Rice Krispies cereal

1. Line rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or wax paper, or butter it well.

2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Watch closely and stir often.

3. When butter is evenly browned, stir in marshmallows. (If using unsalted butter, stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt.) Melt and cook, stirring often, until mixture turns pale brown, then stir constantly until lightly browned but not dark, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Turn off heat, add cereal, and mix well, preferably with a silicone spoon or a spatula. Scrape into prepared pan and press down lightly. If necessary, butter hands to press mixture flat. Let cool, and cut into squares or bars.

How delicious do these look? Thanks, NYTimes!

P.S. More best recipes, and the full 2012 Cup of Jo Gift Guide.

(Photos by Rebecca Baust for Cup of Jo)

Thank you GLAD for bringing us this post. Learn more about Glad’s Mom Made Cookie Exchange program here.

  1. Shannon says...

    The first time I made these cookies, I left out the resting in the fridge part, assuming it wasn’t necessary. The cookies were very good, but not amazing. So, I tried it again, leaving the dough in the fridge for 3 days. What a huge difference – the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. I don’t know what kind of magical alchemy happens in the fridge, but don’t skip it if you have time!
    **I also baked for a slightly shorter time for a chewier cookie (my dough balls were a bit smaller than recommended – size of mini ice cream scoop).

  2. Those look absolutely delicious! I love cooking and baking and I will be trying my hand at making those. I wonder if I could use the same techniques to make macaroons.

  3. I’ve always wanted to make Rice Krispie treats – because they seem like such an easy classic. I definitely want to try the brown butter version!

  4. Joanna Goddard thanks for sharing this wonderful article about one of my favorite Cookies i really appreciate that.
    Nice post
    ha ha ha you make me remember those cookies which my MOM made for me last weekend.
    well the chocolate chip cookie was accidentally developed by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930. now at present day Nestlé’s Toll House recipe is widely known, every brand of chocolate chips, or “semi-sweet chocolate morsels” in Nestlé parlance, sold in the U.S. and Canada bears a variant of the chocolate chip cookie recipe.

  5. I also bake chocolate chip cookies from this recipe. Can I ask where did you get the chocolate chunks? I’ve stopped at 3 grocery stores to look for them but didn’t see any. Maybe everyone grabbed them already around this time of year. Thank you.

  6. HY says...

    Chocolate chip cookies are the only kind of cookies I ever, ever crave so I was looking around for a good recipe last year. I found this recipe and never looked back. Everyone I’ve ever made them for have loved them! They really are a winner. Not hard at all, just takes a little patience and planning ahead. It’s nice to make a lot of dough, so you always have some on hand in the freezer for emergency baking situations.

  7. I just have to chirp in as you are using my favorite cookie recipe ever. However, I kind of enjoy the cookies better when you don’t let the dough rest. I know, I’m taking all the fancy out of it. I think the texture turns out even better. And, I like the chunks or the discs okay, but what is even better is to actually finely chop up some of the chocolate as the cookies get a marbled cookie look to them and the chocolate dispersion is more even. And I always weigh the ingredients to make sure the ratios are correct.

  8. I made the NYT Cookies last month – definitely a recipe that needs some planning with that 2-day dough chilling period but looks like yours were worth the wait! And if there’s anything I like more than choc chip cookies, it’s Rice Krispies treats!

  9. Sounds gorgeous! How about everybody’s favourite- Mars Bar cake: 5 Mars bars, 5 ounces of butter, and as many Rice Krispies as you like. Heat butter and chopped up Mars bars and stir for ages over a low heat until the chocolate mixture becomes glossy. Add Krispies. Transfer to Pyrex dish. Leave to set. Sprinkle with smarties. It’s chewy and chocolatey and DIVINE! A favourite here in Ireland…

  10. These are definitely circling the interweb right now because they literally ARE the best chocolate chip cookies ever. My sister is a fanatic baker and finally made a batch, they’re amazing. the bread and cake flour do something special, and chilling the dough is crucial. add sea salt and BAM! too good.

    – caroline @thecopperavocado

  11. A smitten kitchen’s version of these rice krispie treats is seriously addicting!!! I have had so many compliments on them and they are SO simple!!!

  12. I add sea salt (or kosher salt) to my rice krispie treats too! Mix in a bit when you add the cereal, then sprinkle some on top. They are indescribably delicious!

  13. Delish! and PERFECT timing. I am planning a baking arvo this weekend. Xx

  14. As a child I often (accidentally) made brown butter rice crispy treats. Glad to know it’s thing now!

  15. JO! you already posted a DIFFERENT best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever! I know cause i Made them! i was so excited cause the other ones were Gluten Free! So which recipe is the best, huh?

  16. Your blog is going to make me gain sooo much weight! Ag!

  17. No joke! Those cookies are the BEST AND ONLY COOKIE RECIPE ANYONE WILL EVER NEED. I have a batch in my fridge chilling for the 36 hours right now! I did a test run last time, eating one baked after 4 hours, 12 hours, and then one closer to 36. Yes, it does make a difference. It’s hard sometimes, but wait the full 36 hours. You’ll be happy you did!

  18. My husband would say you ruined the perfect cookie by adding the salt! I love salted desserts though, and will have to test this one out!

    Strive to Thrive,

  19. We make thos choc chip cookies all the time – our favorite. But we use all purpose flour, normal chips, and rarely manage to let the dough sit at all, and they’re just as wonderful. The only thing you can’t forget is the salt on top, bc it changes the texture somehow, and they taste too sweet/boring without it.

  20. YUM! I can’t wait to try these!


  21. YUM! I’ve made the NY times one. So delicious :)

  22. so great, thanks for sharing this :)

  23. those chocolate chip cookies look to die for!

  24. First, what kind of person can let cookie dough sit in the fridge fro 36 hours and have anything left to bake? Second, I suggest that you wait for the marshmallow-browned butter melt to cool for a few minutes before adding the cereal. It’s doesn’t need to be room temp, but if you let it cool until it’s just warm, the cereal will stay crispy.

  25. Mmm those look delicious! I also like to throw a pinch of sea salt in my rice crispy treats. It’s amazing what a little salt can do to flavor up something sweet!

  26. Another tip for gooey, soft rice krispie treats? Stick ’em in the refrigerator for a while immediately after pressing them into the pan. This keeps them from drying/hardening and they stay soft and gooey for a long time!

  27. I absolutely swear by the cookies at the top. They have so much depth, and they make people crazy.

    Lauren from Flee to the Cleve

  28. I’m always anxious to try new choc chip cookie recipes. Yum yum yum! Sometimes I go a little cookie-kooky and put panko breadcrumbs in them, or even orange zest.

    Emily | Sparkle Meets Pop

  29. Inspired by Deb Perelman’s new cookbook; I have been bringing brown butter rice krispie treates to every party this fall. They are killer. Everyone goes nutso over them. My father in law told me that I’m not allowed back into his house without those treats.

  30. OMG, those rice krispie treats sound phenomenal – and so grown-up!

  31. My mother-in-law makes a mean batch of rice krispie treats. Her secret ingredient is fluff instead of marshmallows!

  32. this is hands-down the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. i made about 10 batches of them for our wedding favors a few years ago, and they were a huge hit. i now make them regularly. sooo good. the only change i make to the recipe is i do a mixture of chocolate. instead of 100% bittersweet, i do 1/3 bittersweet, 1/3 semisweet and 1/3 milk chocolate. it’s a subtle difference, but i like the variations of sweetness as you nibble through the cookie. and i cheat, i use ghiradelli chips.

  33. I’ve heard so much about these cookies that I’m going to have to give them a try! I may just even give them as gifts this year :)


  34. I will definitely try the chocolate chip cookies recipe!!! Definitely!!

  35. i recently made the NYT choc chip cookies but VEGANIZED and they are amazing. instead of using butter, softened but not liquidized coconut butter is used. finally, i can have these again without the fear of Dairy-Doom.

  36. The rice crispy treat recipe is almost the same as the one by Smitten Kitchen, but she emphasizes adding the marshmallows to the browned butter off heat because it will keep your treats soft and pull-apart delicious instead of stiff and super crispy like styrofoam. The browned butter is more than hot enough to melt the marshmallows off heat.

    That said, I’ve made the Smitten Kitchen recipe more than a few times and now when I show up to dinner parties, the first question I get is “did you bring any treats?!”

  37. I will definitely try those chocolate chip cookies out. I am a huge fan actually of the one on the tollhouse bag, even if it’s not as glamorous, but I’m not so closed-minded that I won’t give this one a try!

  38. These look delicious!

  39. I made those CC cookies last month and people went BAZURK over them. Thx! a

  40. I made those CC cookies last month and people went BAZURK over them. Thx! a

  41. The NY Times chocolate chip recipe really can’t be beat. My husband found them a few years ago and now they are my birthday request instead of cake. SO GOOD! I think the built in anticipation for waiting on the dough helps make them even yummier. We make them big (like 3-3.5″ wide) and one is good enough for dessert. Best warm out of the oven with a tall cold glass of milk.

  42. The chocolate chip cookies look delicious, thanks !

  43. have you ever had a chocolate chip cookie from city bakery near union square!?!? AHHHH-mazing. i swear it’s only made out of butter, sugar, and chocolate…

  44. I’ll have to try that sometime. I use the recipe from They look and taste amazing. Presentation is just as important to me. I don’t like when they look burnt around the edges.

  45. My favorite dessert without a doubt is choc. chip cookies! Will send to my husband;) since I suck at baking.

  46. I had to pin these to go back to make them! Those cookies sound awesome.

  47. Those are my go-to cookies! For a quicker version I just brown the butter that is called for in the recipe and let them sit a few hours in the fridge. Everyone who has ever had them says they are the best cookie they’ve ever had!

  48. So I was going to write a blogpost today about really buckling down and watching what I eat but then I saw this post…I HAVE to try those rice krispie treats!! Omg they sound good!!!!! =)

    Ergo – Blog

  49. Oh I love chocolate chip cookies and those sounds scrumptious. There is something so magical about cookies. One yummy bite makes everything so much better:) Kisses

  50. Mmm- chocolate chip cookies are my absolute favorite. My ultimate comfort food.

  51. everyone has been ranting and raving about these cookies! i need to give them a try…