Alton Brown’s Chocolate Chip Cookie


Oh yes, the Chocolate Chip Cookie. I may have found my new Go-To recipe!!
Many bakers seem to be searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I too, have been searching for the ‘perfect chocolate chip cookie’ I do have a tried and true recipe that I fall back on that I know will not fail me but like many bakers, continue to seek out and try new versions of this classic. I have received almost a dozen emails from my blog readers requesting I try another chocolate chip cookie recipe and several have requested this recipe in particular. It comes from my beloved Alton Brown.

Several bloggers have already tried other versions of his chocolate chip cookie recipe so I decided to go with a recipe that I have had saved for over a months now. I was emailed the recipe by a friend and I do not own the book from which it originates, if my citing is wrong, please drop me a line and let me know.

I chose this recipe for a few reasons. It calls for no special ingredients,  it calls for an unusual method of mixing the ingredients and it implements the use of unconventional baking temperatures. Like my last cookie recipe, no mixer is needed to whip up this recipe, however, a little arm power is essential for adequatley mixing the chips into the dough. The dough came together in less than 15 minutes and after a short chilling in the fridge (the recipe does not require this but I feel it enhances the flavor of the baked cookie) these were ready to bake.  As stated before, unlike usual cookie recipes that call for one constant baking temperature, this one starts the cookies out at a higher temperature and then has you lower the temperature right after placing them into the oven to bake. I am asuming the higher initial temperature helps set the edges and the lowering of the temperature ensures consistent baking (no burnt bottoms and underbaked centers) producing a cookie with crisp edges and soft, chewy centers. What better combination in a cookie??

The texture of these cookies is great, everything I would look for in a cookie, phenomenal actually. They are slighlty crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the middles.  They taste great out of the oven (after cooling for 10 minutes). I can’t wait to try them after they cool completly.
The depth of the flavor is also phenomenal, the perfect combination of brown sugar and butter. I was surprised that the cookies came out as chewy as they were and that thebrown sugar flavor was as pronounced as it was, given I used equal proportions of white and brown sugar. Once again I used a combination of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips and found that proportion was just perfect in my opinion, sweet but not overly so.

I do have two complaints about this cookie. First, the finished cookies were too greasy in my opinion.  After realizing this with the first pan, I allowed the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then transferred to paper-towel lined cooling racks to cool completly. This seemed to help soak up a bit of the grease. Second, you really need to monitor the cookies closely while baking as you need to constantly increase and decrease the temperature of the oven. This was fine today as I was in the kitchen cleaning, however, these may not be ideal for those who are multi-tasking and want to bake up a batch of cookies quickly (it took my oven 5 minutes to reheat to 375 between baking the batches).

Overall I loved these cookies. So much so that I am going to make another batch tomorrow for a party. I will decrease the butter by a 1/2 stick to see if that helps with the greasiness of the baked cookies. If I can make these less greasy while maintaining the flavor these may be my new favorite cookie. If you try adapting this recipe with great results PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know!

One last thing, Alton also gives directions on how to bake the dough as one large pan cookie which would be perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and parties. I would love to try baking it this way and then decorating with a little buttercream frosting!

I rate these cookies an 8
Only because I thought they were too greasy in my opinion, these would be at least a 9 for flavor and texture alone

Chocolate Chip Cookie #10 
Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food Cookbook

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I only used 1/2 tsp and felt that was enough)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup un salted butter, melted and slightly cooled (I used salted butter, like always) **
2 cups chocolate chips (1 used 1 cup semi-sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees*.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the melted and cooled butter, sugars, egg yolks and vanilla until may-128combined. 

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the butter mixture and  fold the ingredients together just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and fold to combine. Do not overmix.
I chilled my dough for 2 hours because I always do, but Alton does not call for this step.

For individual cookies, use a spoon or a disher and dish out your cookies, 2 inches apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. *

Bake for 12-15 minutes (Mine were done in 12).
Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined counter top.

*As soon as you put the cookies or cookie cake into the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. Alton Brown swears by this initial temperature boost.

Alternate Option:
For a cookie cake, dump the dough into an ungreased pizza pan or whatever kind of pan you have and gently press down until the dough is evenly distributed around the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or light golden brown.

**UPDATE: 5/4/09:
I made these again, only this time I used only 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 TBS) and found the baked cookies to be less greasy without sacrificing the flavor. I did chill the dough overnight so that may help keep and enhance the flavor of these cookies. I highly recommend chilling the dough at least a few hours before baking.
I also allowed the cookies to cool on paper-towel lined cooling racks for about 5 minutes and then transferred them to a regular cooling rack to cool completley. I found the paper towels to help absorb any grease from the warm cookies while the regular cooling rack allowed the bottoms of the cookies to firm up alowing the edges to become crisp upon cooling achieving the texture I  desire.
All in all I would recommend this recipe and suggest you play around with butter amounts and cooking/cooling methods that suit your tastes and preferences. I can’t wait to make them again!


34 thoughts on “Alton Brown’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

  1. I’ve seen so many people make this cookie, but like you, my tried and true recipe is the one from ATK although there’s always room for a new one! I never made Alton’s version because of all the butter. I’d probably reduce the butter by 1/2 a stick too, then it would have a similar ratio of flour to butter as the ATK one, which isn’t greasy. I can’t wait for your review for the version with less butter!

    • i realize this post was put up some time ago but heres my thought on the butter situation lol… could it be the chocolate chips are whats gving the greasy feeling? …. they tend to have an oily texture…… i love love love this recipe.. i find that it makes such a significant difference putting the temp higher in the beginning and then lowering it…. leave it to Alton to think of that lol… Hes a Genius!
      in my opinion.

  2. Is this the same as AB’s Chewy CCC? Sounds like it with the melted butter. Can’t wait to hear if using less butter still works great. Sure looks good, but then again, your cookies always do.

  3. Katrina,
    No this is a different recipe, the Chewy uses Bread flour and 1 egg and 1 egg yolk.

    I love that these use regular AP flour!

    • I made this recipe but used bread flour, and it turned out less greasy. I also did not put the dough in the fridge. They turned out wonderfully!
      (Also, I don’t use the salted butter, I find it’s too salty.)

  4. I think my brother has made this recipe before. I’ll ask him and see what he remembers because they weren’t greasy when he made them.

  5. Everyone seems to agree that Alton’s chewy cookies are just awesome. I can’t wait to try out his recipe. I’m always on the search for the perfect CCC. Your cookie looks great!

  6. Greasy is not a good adjective to use when describing chocolate chip cookies. I’m going to wait to see how you modify them before I give them a go.

    But instead of decreasing the butter, maybe increase the flour?

    • Jane,
      I got a couple dozen cookies at least. It is hard to tell because I was not counting and I ate a few that were, um, a little less than perfect looking! I love cookies that I smoosh with the spatula, I get to eat and destroy the evidence!

  7. hello! it was so nice to hear from you. thank you for your kind comment. i have to tell you that i have been a big fan of your blog for quite sometime. i visit you all the time looking for delicious recipes. i really enjoy your blog, it is one of my true favorites. my mother and i were just looking at your blog the other day and enjoying reading your post. keep inspiring with your delicious recipes.

    i am a true cookie monster and chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. i must try this recipe. i am also a big fan of Alton Brown, he really cracks me up!

    thanks again and have a wonderful day!

    God Bless,

  8. Thanks for commenting on my blog! These look delicious and I will definately try them, but I would love to know what you think about them after you try the recipe with less butter.

  9. I found your website somehow and I’m loving it. Thanks so much for the great recipes. Like you, I have been trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and this one is it!! I tried this chocolate chip recipe today and they are the best I’ve ever had. I also only did 1 1/2 sticks of butter and LOVE them. My whole family did too. Thank you!!!! I love your website and I love reading your comments. I have a hard time trying a new recipe unless there’s great tips and great reviews…and you do just that. Thanks again!

  10. These sound great – again! I love AB and have seen the chocolate chip cookie show at least 3 times. Crunchy, chewy, thin… I still don’t quite get the science behind the sugar – but I love knowing that Brown makes them softer & more chewy. (pun intended 😉

  11. Your TNT recipe (I have the ATK book, I do not mean YOUR recipe) came out totally greasy and flat for me–whereas I have had success with this recipe. This problem with making chocolate chip cookies, the variation from kitchen to kitchen and why it happens particularly for cc cookies, is the subject of an upcoming (this Sunday) post for me. Shirley Corriher (Bakewise) has me totally convinced that brand of flour is really important. I agree with you that chilling the dough for as long as possible (up to 72 hours or so) is really important. Anyway, just wanted to say that your cookies look awesome to me. I did not have the greasy problem–but I increased the flour when I did not use King Arthur flour based on what I read in Bakewise. I also discovered I needed 3 egg yolks when I weighed them which completely shocked me!

    PS my copy of the book says nothing about changing the temp of the oven–did you get that from the book or from Food Network? Crazy!!

  12. I just love Alton Brown.

    I have made “The Chewy” from his site. (over 500 reviews, and still has 5 stars!! Hard to beat that!) It’s my favorite CC Cookie of all time.

    I might try this one next time, though, just to taste the difference. I’m not really in the habit of chilling my dough, but I agree that it improves the flavor.

    Thanks for a great post!

  13. I just made those cookies and they came out more than great! I did, however, use 3/4 cup of butter, 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar and more than half of the flour is whole wheat. And guess what – no one could even tell that I used less sugar and whole wheat!!!
    Thank you for sharing!!!

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  15. I followed your suggestion about using 1 1/2 cups butter instead of 2, mainly because I’ve had issues with slightly runny cookies with Alton’s FoodNetwork recipe though the flavor for me is perfect. I must say that by decreasing the butter the cookies don’t flatten out as much and is the exact thickness that I’ve been trying to achieve. I think I have FINALLY found my perfect CCC recipe. Thanks so much, wish I thought of this myself sooner! =)

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  17. I made these cookies once and they turned out perfect… the second two times i made it… the dough did not come together and they didnt work.. I followed everything perfectly.. HELP!!!

    • Gary, since you got them to work once, I know the recipe works where you live. The humidity in the air in some regions can make dough difficult to combine and at times gummy (or so I have noticed). I am not sure where you live but that could have something to do with it.
      If your dough was too dry you could always add a Tablespoon of milk to help it bind together

      If you could give more details about ‘how’ the dough did not come together I may be able to reply with more specific feedback. Sorry! Good luck!

      • When i made it the second and third time.. the dough turned out dry and crumbly…. like there wasn’t enough moisture… which is odd since it worked fine the first time.

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  19. My dough turned out like Gary’s – dry and crumbly, and the chocolate ships wouldn’t combine with the dough. I had to shape them into balls with my hand. I don’t think it’s your recipe, since others have had success, but maybe it has something to do with egg size? The brand I used, while labeled “large”, seemed to run on the small side.

    • LIz, sorry to hear that they didn’t work for you. I have always had good luck. I wonder if it could be the humidity (or lack of)? Egg size would be a good guess as well. How much butter did you use and could you have overmeasured your flour? I am pretty light handed when measuring my flour.
      Let me know if you have better luck next time.

  20. These cookies are delicious (I made them for a Relay for Life benefit at work and they were all snatched up considerably quickly!), but they turned out much flatter than yours. Any ideas of why this could be?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • I used less butter than the original recipe called for so that could be it. Also you may not have measured your flour correctly and undermeasured a bit. I also like to chill my dough for an hour or so which helps reduce spread. Happy Baking!

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