How to Make Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies by Chilling the Dough

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Few confections come close to the magical blend of flour, brown sugar, butter and chocolate more commonly known as the chocolate chip cookie. Classified as a drop cookie, chocolate chip cookies are made from a soft dough that, as the name implies, drops easily from a spoon to form mounds on your cookie sheet. Many cookie-baking methods instruct you to chill the dough before baking to solidify the butter or other fat and allow the flour to absorb the maximum amount of liquid, producing softer, more tender cookies.

Things You'll Need

  • Stand or hand mixer or large mixing bowl and sturdy spoon
  • Cookie sheet
  • Small ice cream scoop or two teaspoons
  • Plastic wrap
  • Spatula
  • Prepare the cookie dough in the stand mixer bowl or with a hand mixer or spoon in a large mixing bowl, using exact amounts and following the directions carefully.

  • Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and place it in the coldest part of your fridge. Alternatively, scoop out the dough using an ice cream scoop or two teaspoons in even amounts and drop onto your cookie sheets to form your cookies. Cover the cookie sheets loosely with plastic wrap and place them the coldest part of the refrigerator.

  • Chill your dough for at least 30 minutes or overnight if you can't bake the cookies right away.

  • Bake your cookies according to the directions and remove them from the oven when the edges start to turn brown; the cookies will continue baking on the pan, and the middles will stay soft.

  • Allow your cookies to cool for 2 to 3 minutes on the pan and remove them to a cooling rack. Store any uneaten cookies in airtight containers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cookie dough is sometimes affected by the room temperature as well as by your adding a little too much or too little of a particular ingredient. Refrigerate any dough that is too soft or that starts to spread as soon as it hits the cookie sheet, and grease the cookie sheet only if the recipe calls for it.
  • Stick with butter when baking chocolate chip cookies, as some of the margarine blends on the market contain large amounts of water or other ingredients that produce a thin dough that spreads too much during baking, resulting in thin, crispy cookies. You can use solid shortening, but you'll sacrifice the distinctive flavor that butter gives your cookies.
  • To keep chocolate chip cookies soft for several days, add a slice of fresh bread to the storage container.
  • If you are baking more than one batch of cookies, chill the baking pans completely between batches, as a hot pan will cause the dough to melt and spread.
  • If you've followed the recipe to the letter and refrigerated the dough, and your cookies still turn out flat and crispy, try mixing the dough more lightly and not over-mixing the next time you bake them.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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