The Best Homemade Chips Ahoy Cookies

When we were little, my dad would grab a stack of six Chips Ahoy cookies after dinner, and lie sideways on the floor in front of the TV with us. He would eat the cookies, methodically, one at a time as we watched Family Ties or The Wonder Years, and I loved the unspoken evening ritual. (I wonder if he even remembers!) Well, food blogger and author Nicole Hunn has a great recipe for baking your own—and they’re gluten free…

The Best Homemade Chips Ahoy Cookies You’ll Ever Have
by Nicole Hunn of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, and author of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy and Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

I have a real penchant for the packaged cookies and treats of way-back-when. Think Ritz crackers, Ho-Hos and Nilla wafers; I dream of them all. But since my son has celiac disease—and I’m entirely gluten-free out of solidarity—a hankering for those brand-name treats can be satisfied only in my very own kitchen. With my two gluten-eating daughters nearby to keep me honest, nothing short of a dead ringer for the real thing will do. And what I really carry a torch for is…Chips Ahoy! cookies.

Chips Ahoy cookies are thick and perfectly round, and they crumble in big chunks when you break them apart. Just the right amount of brown sugar give them their trademark aroma, and just the right amount of regular granulated sugar keeps them crisp. The chips get tossed with cornstarch before they’re added to the thick dough, so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cookies during baking.

The raw cookie dough is so stiff that you might be tempted to add another egg. Resist the urge! Just knead the dough with your hands before adding the chips until it comes together properly. And be sure to freeze it in a log before slicing and baking so the cookies don’t spread in the oven. The minute you smell them baking, you’ll know these really are the very best.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Chips Ahoy!-Style Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

You’ll need:

2 cups (280 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (I used a blend of 187 g superfine brown rice flour, 62 g potato starch, and 31 g tapioca flour, which is also called tapioca starch)
1 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 tbsp. (125 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp. (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tbsp. (48 g) vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat your oven to 325F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

In a large bowl, add the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk, working out any lumps. Add the butter and shortening, then the vanilla and egg, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick, and even a bit crumbly. Knead the dough with your hands if necessary for it to hold together well.

In a separate small bowl, toss the chocolate chips with the cornstarch to coat. Then add the chips and cornstarch to the cookie dough in the large bowl. Mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Scrape the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Shape it into a cylinder about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, close the plastic wrap tightly over the dough, and rock it back and forth on a flat surface to form the dough into a log. Place the tightly-wrapped dough log in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. (At this point, you could also just keep the dough in the freezer for late-night cookie emergencies. Even though, of course, that never happens to you. Just to me.)

Remove the cookie dough from the freezer, unwrap, and slice into 3/4-inch thick rounds using a large serrated knife, or a very sharp chef’s knife. Place the rounds about 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake, rotating once, until the cookies are lightly golden brown and set, about 12 minutes. Be sure not to take them out until they’re lightly golden brown all over, and maybe a bit more around the edges.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet until firm. Don’t move them off the baking sheet until they’re truly set (wait at least 10 minutes), or they won’t have that familiar thick and crumbly texture. Store any leftovers in the freezer, in a freezer-safe container or wrap.

What a flashback! Thank you so much, Nicole.

P.S. More best recipes, including the best hot chocolate and the best lemon cake.

(Photos and recipe by Nicole Hunn of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. Hi, This is a good post, indeed a great job. You must have done good research for the work, i appreciate your efforts.. Looking for more updates from your side. Thanks Forex tips

  2. If I’m using all purpose flour, can I skip the xanthum gum?

  3. YUM-MEEE! Gotta try it.

  4. Can gluten-free flour be replaced with regular flour for the same results?

    • Most likely it can, Lindsay. I haven’t tried it with conventional flour, but if you pay attention to the descriptions of the dough at each step, you should be able to make any moisture adjustments that might be necessary without any problem!

      Nicole Hunn

    • I tried it out last night with regular unbleached all purpose flour. The dough was very crumbly before going into the freezer, but I resisted the urge to add more moisture and it came out great – chewy and delicious!

  5. These look so delicious – and being in Australia I miss my amazing American cookie fix! I’m desperate for a “soft-bake” style recipe – when we were little I remember that you could get a soft bake version of chips ahoy, do they still exist? Does anyone have a good recipe? I’d love your help!

  6. I would love to help out with a series on your blog! What lucky ladies that get to contribute!! :)

  7. Seriously, I just got a free cookie with my lunch and couldn’t eat it (gluten free girl right here) and for some reason I just wanted that cookie more than anything in the world today. So this recipe is verrry timely :)

  8. mmmm. these sound delicious. i love to sprinkle a little sea salt on my chocolate chip cookies. the sea salt with the sweet is ridiculous.

  9. Amazing recipe! I love those cookies…so yummy!
    Hope you’ll visit my blog!

    xoxo from Italy

  10. I’ve made these cookies. They are amazing. My non-gluten free friends gobbled them up!

  11. jm says...

    I love chocolate chip cookies!!!! A new recipe is just the excuse I need for making some!

  12. KJ says...

    For some reason, I just started craving cookies… :)

    These look phenomenal!

  13. I love all the chocolate chip cookie variation recipes! I am always looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe but I might just like to try a lot of different kinds of cookies:)

  14. Great post. Thank you Nicole for the recipe

    Favorite way to have chocolate chip cookies is to warm them in the microwave for a few seconds.

  15. My mom always insists we wrap our cookies like that when we make them back home! then refrigerate them… when we were young and impatient for cookies this was torture, but they are SOOO good.

  16. This is amazing! And for those of us with all kinds of fun food allergies, you could probably make these dairy free too by replacing the butter with margarine and using 100% cacao dark chocolate chips. Thank you so much for sharing!


  17. These look a million times better than Chips Ahoy! I remember those cookies as being dry and rather tasteless. But this recipe looks amazing. Well done.

  18. I love Nicole’s recipes!! Definitely will be trying this one too! =) Thanks for posting this!

  19. Oh thank the Lord. We went gluten free last week and the only thing my daughter misses is a cookie in her lunch sometimes.

    This will help!

  20. These look good. Gluten Free on a Shoestring had you on her FB page, so I headed over to your blog.

    I never cared much for these types of cookies growing up, we were more of a generic snack household and I still preferred the generics back when I was able to eat gluten.

    I’m up for trying these soon and seeing how they compare.

  21. I love Cup of Jo so much, but these recipe posts are becoming redundant. Would it be possible to start doing them bi-monthly or something?

    • I love the recipes! I don’t think there have been any repeats. Perhaps you could just not read the recipe posts if you’re not interested in them? Seems a reasonable solution….

    • TH says...

      I agree with Lindsay. Once in a while, I like them, but they feel like filler. If I want a cooking blog, I go read one!

    • thanks for your comments! we do a recipe post every wednesday morning as a way to showcase great versions of classic recipes. these are chips ahoy cookies specifically, but your point is noted: we’ll stay away from chocolate chip cookies for a while! :)

    • I love these choc chip cookie recipes.. although I don’t bake I give them to my husband to make:)
      If you’re posting frequently but good quality who cares if there are a few cookie recipes… people don’t need to read everything, who has that time anyway!

    • I LOVE the recipe posts, used many of them!

  22. Holy !!!!!! these look delicious. And yes to watching Wonder Years as a family, so great.

  23. Wow! They look amazing! I am reminded of how my roommate and I once purchased an entire box(!) that had about a 100 packs of full of Chips Ahoy cookies! We both were found complaining few weeks later why our jeans no longer seem to fit!

  24. Yum they look great, and I’ve just started a gluten free diet. Can’t wait to try, I love you recipe suggestions. cate x

  25. I have a small obsession with chocolate chip cookies. So I’ll be thinking of these cookies all day;)

  26. These look delicious! A few different ingredients to explore on that list! They look almost good enough to eat right before baking!! Yummy!