Torture. It’s not a word people usually associate with chocolate chip cookies, but spring brings tough times to the edit staff at Sunset. That’s because each year our Test Kitchen bakes up hundreds of thick, chewy, oversized—and frankly, perfect—chocolate chip cookies for the local elementary school kids who visit our campus. The aroma of brown sugar and chocolate wafts down the hall, and like magic, we see staffers we haven’t seen in weeks, “just stopping by.” Oh, the sad faces. Oh, the hopeful smiles. Oh, the attempts at side deals with the cooks to get just a taste.

While a number of broken, “imperfect” cookies seem to magically make it into staffers’ hands, the best way to guarantee a supply, I’ve found, is to bake my own. And so should you. Here’s our best Thick, Chewy, Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, with baking tips from ace Test Kitchen cook Sarah Epstein.

For perfectly baked cookies, use an ice cream scoop and space the balls 5 to a sheet.


Makes about 36 large cookies

2 cups (1 lb.) butter, at room temperature3 cups packed light brown sugar4 large eggs2 tsp. vanilla extract5 cups all-purpose flour2 tsp. baking soda1 tsp. salt4 cups (24 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 400°. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough in rounded 1/4-cup portions (we use an ice cream scoop so they come out even), well apart, onto baking sheets. (They spread quite a bit, so only put 5 on a sheet unless you don’t care if they run together.)

4. Bake until cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet in the center (break one open to check), 9 to 10 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

5. Let cookies cool on baking sheets a couple of minutes. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

Still hungry? Check out 74 favorite cookie recipes from Sunset.

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