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How do you get a chewy cookie?

Getting the perfect chewy cookie can be a tricky endeavor. Many factors go into baking cookies that are soft and chewy on the inside with a nice crisp edge. In this article, we’ll explore the key elements to getting a chewy cookie and provide tips and tricks to help you achieve cookie perfection every time.

What Makes a Cookie Chewy?

Chewy cookies get their texture from a delicate balance of ingredients and techniques. Here are some of the main factors that contribute to a chewy cookie:

Using Brown Sugar

Brown sugar contains molasses which helps retain moisture in baked goods. This extra moisture is key for creating a chewy, fudgy texture. Replacing some or all of the granulated sugar in a cookie recipe with brown sugar is an easy way to achieve a chewier end result.

Minimal Mixing

Overmixing is one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to chewy cookies. Vigorously mixing or creaming the butter and sugar incorporates too much air into the batter leading to a cakey texture. For chewy cookies, you want to mix just until the ingredients are combined.

Using Eggs

Eggs act as a binding agent and add moisture to cookie dough. Using an extra egg yolk in addition to the whole eggs can help make cookies chewier.

Chilling the Dough

Letting the dough chill for at least 24 hours allows the ingredients to fully hydrate and develop flavor. The lower temperature also prevents the butter from melting too quickly while baking which can lead to flatter, crisper cookies.

Using Bread or Cake Flour

These flours have lower protein content than all-purpose flour. Less gluten development equals a softer, chewier cookie texture.

Underbaking Slightly

Pulling cookies out of the oven when they are still slightly underbaked leaves them fudgy in the center. An internal temperature of around 200°F is ideal for a chewy cookie.

Top Tips for Chewy Cookies

Follow these tips for guaranteed soft, chewy cookies every time:

  • Use melted butter instead of creaming cold, solid butter.
  • Replace 1/4 of the all-purpose flour with cake or bread flour.
  • Brown the butter for deeper flavor.
  • Add an extra egg yolk.
  • Refrigerate dough overnight before baking.
  • Scoop dough into uniform sizes for even baking.
  • Use a thermometer and bake until centers reach 200°F.
  • Let cookies rest on baking sheet 5 minutes before removing.

Chewy Cookie Recipes

Here are some delicious recipes for soft, chewy cookies to try:

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips


  1. Whisk together flours, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl mix melted butter and sugars until combined. Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Chill dough at least 24 hours.
  5. Scoop dough balls 2 tablespoons in size onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 325°F for 13-16 minutes until centers reach 200°F.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, browned and cooled
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.
  4. Chill dough at least 24 hours.
  5. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls onto parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes until set.


What is the difference between chewy and crispy cookies?

Chewy cookies have a soft, fudgy texture whereas crispy cookies are crunchier with a snap. Chewy cookies typically use less flour and more moisture-retaining ingredients like brown sugar and extra egg yolks. They are also often underbaked slightly. Crispy cookies use more flour and are baked until fully set and dry.

Can I make a crispy cookie recipe chewier?

Yes! Try swapping some all-purpose flour for cake or bread flour, using dark brown sugar instead of granulated, and adding an extra egg yolk. Underbake the cookies slightly for a chewier center. Chilling the dough longer also helps develop a chewier texture.

Why are my cookies flat instead of chewy?

Cookies spread out instead of rising when too much butter is creamed into the dough, overmixing occurs, or the dough is overhandled. Use melted butter instead of creaming, mix just until combined, and handle the dough as little as possible for thicker, chewier cookies.

How long does cookie dough need to chill?

Most cookie dough benefits from chilling for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days. This allows the moisture and flavors to evenly distribute through the dough resulting in a chewier texture. Always chill sliced log cookie dough before baking.


Achieving the perfect chewy cookie is easy when you focus on ingredients and techniques that add moisture and limit gluten development. Be sure to use brown sugar, extra egg yolks, melted butter, bread or cake flour, chill the dough thoroughly, and slightly underbake. Follow the tips and recipes in this article and you’ll have bakery-quality chewy cookies every time you bake.