Got any good chewy cookie recipes?
July 5, 2010 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Got any good chewy cookie recipes?

Here's the thing: I like chewy cookies. Thin, flat, chewy cookies. Not cakey cookies, not crunchy cookies, not crumbly cookies. Crispy on the outside rim is okay if they are chewy in the middle. But the state of most cookie recipes makes it impossible to tell ahead of time if I'm going to be baking a chewy cookie or not. So, MeFites, using your tried and true cookie recipes, what do you know for sure makes a delectable, chewy cookie? Any flavor is okay (but I especially love chocolate chip)!

Bonus points for telling me how to identify and/or convert an existing recipe for chewiness. Eggs? Or something?
posted by Addlepated to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I love oatmeal lace cookies - pretty flat and very chewy, don't overcook!

I've heard a good spoonful of sour cream added to toll house cookie dough makes it chewier but I don't know first hand.
posted by codswallop at 11:13 AM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: The Good Eats Chocolate Chip Cookie Episode (Chips for Sister Martha) covers what makes cookies flat & chewy or cakey or crunchy. Shirley Corriher covers the same ground in Bakewise.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:15 AM on July 5, 2010 [3 favorites]

Best answer: A great way I've found to cook chewy cookies is to put them under the broiler instead of baking them like normal. This cooks the tops of the cookies to form the bottom, and leaves the side on the pan gooey and delish.
posted by msbutah at 11:19 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I use the Toll House recipe on the back of the bags of chips, and modify it so that there is 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar. That's usually the only modification I make, and my cookies come out much chewier than the 3/4-3/4 split the regular recipe calls for. I also scoop cookies out with a disher (Oxo makes one called the "medium cookie scoop, which is 1-1/2 tablespoons that I cannot recommend highly enough, as this is also the perfect size for various other things, like matzo balls, and when doubled it almost-but-not-quite fills a regular size muffin cup), and bake my cookies on a silpat. Perfect cookies every single time, and they stay chewy for 2 or 3 days.

I have also made these cookies as posted by Smitten Kitchen, which is similar to a traditional Toll House, but different enough that you can taste the changes. I personally found these cookies to be far too sweet (the amount of sugar stays the same, but the flour and butter both drop), but I fed them to a lot of people who loved them, and they were pretty soft/chewy.
posted by shamash at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Smitten Kitchen's Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Thick Chewy Oatmean Raisin Cookies.

[On preview: snap!]
posted by hot soup girl at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: Brown sugar makes cookies chewier. Replace white sugar in your favorite cookie recipe with brown sugar, and it'll be a chewier cookie.
posted by phunniemee at 11:29 AM on July 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Also, here's my (personal) recipe for Maple Bacon Cookies. They taste like breakfast and are very chewy (and delicious!).

-Cut 4 or 5 (your preference) slices of thick-cut bacon into 1-inch(ish) segments. Fry up with some brown sugar (like, a tablespoon) until cooked and candied.

-Beat 1 stick butter, 3/4 c. packed brown sugar, 2 tsp. maple flavoring. Beat in one egg.

-Gradually beat in 1 hefty cup of flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

-Fold in your candied bacon.

-Bake at 350 deg. for about 8 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen.
posted by phunniemee at 11:33 AM on July 5, 2010 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Cooks Illustrated Brown Sugar Cookies. You have to sign up for a free trial to get the recipe (or search around), but they are sooooooo damn good. Take them out a little earlier than the recipe suggests, like 10-11 minutes instead of 12.
posted by anaelith at 11:35 AM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: I've been using this recipe and its my hands down favorite.

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
posted by wongcorgi at 11:58 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Chewy Maple Cookies. I don't like coconut much, but in this recipe it's the coconut that makes these chewy without really flavouring it. I add raisins when I make this recipe. And a few weeks back I brought three dozen into work one Monday morning and my co-workers polished them off in no time.
posted by orange swan at 11:59 AM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: There's a great, simple recipe in the Fanny Farmer Baking Book, makes what are basically very chewy walnut bars (ie they're brownie-shaped rather than round cookie shaped). Looove these. They are called Children's Nut Chews, because they're in a section of very simple recipes that children can help you make.

I don't have the Fanny Farmer in front of me now, but here's a children's nut chew recipe that sounds similar; I'm not certain it's the same but it sounds the same.

2 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt butter in small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Pour into 8-inch-square baking pan or 9-inch pie pan and swirl to cover bottom of pan.

Beat eggs lightly in mixing bowl with fork. Add sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and vanilla extract and beat until well mixed. Stir in walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees until center feels firm when touched gently, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Cool and cut into pieces: 2-inch squares if using square pan, thin wedges if using pie pan.

Makes 16 cookies.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:41 PM on July 5, 2010

Ah, and that article is by Marion Cunningham, who updated the Fanny Farmer book, so the recipe is almost certainly the same.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:44 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: These are great and you can leave out the chocolate and add nuts or whatever you like:

Chewy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (or chips)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl, then add to the peanut butter mixture, stirring until combined. Fold in chocolate chunks. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake for 11 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Also, these are very flat and chewy once they have cooled (they aren't so great straight out of the oven) but they go stale/hard quickly: Swedish Cookies

And most cookies can be converted into chewies just by undercooking them.
posted by Polychrome at 12:47 PM on July 5, 2010

Sorry, wrong link. Swedish cookies are here
posted by Polychrome at 12:48 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: I think Allrecipes' Award-Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies fit this bill. In their case, the secret ingredient is instant pudding mix in the batter.
posted by Bardolph at 1:20 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: IME, egg yolk is what makes cookies chewy. I've experimented with the allrecipes big fat chewy cookie recipe (linked earlier) using 2 eggs vs 1 egg and 1 yolk, and it is definitely more cakey with more egg white.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:51 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: This recipe is quick to make, plenty of chocolate flavour and plenty chewy. From an old Mennonite Recipes treasury:

Unbaked Cookies

In a large saucepan, combine:
2 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 c milk

Stir over medium-high heat until it starts to boil. Reduce to medium and cook for three minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the following; stir until competely mixed:
3 c quick oats
1 c coconut
1/4 c cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

Drop by heaping tablespoonsful onto pans lined with wax paper. Chill in freezer for two hours. Makes two small cookie sheets full of chewy treats.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 2:12 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: chewy generally equals more butter. Just add more then you usually add to your regular choc chip recipe
posted by ShootTheMoon at 4:03 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: The New York Times has you covered for the perfect, chewy chocolate chip cookie. The secret is to let the dough rest for at least 24 hours before baking. That lets it absorb the moisture and makes for the perfect texture. Baking without waiting gets the flat, crispy crap.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 4:46 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: self-link of deliciousness, double chocolate toffee chews
posted by spinturtle at 5:43 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: Here's my experience with the Cook's Illustrated Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (with pictures!). They tasted great and were definitely chewy, but came out a little flat for my liking.

From what I've learned via Alton Brown and Cooks Illustrated (and experience), sugar is very important in making chewy cookies. Chewy cookies have more sugar than non-chewy cookies, and brown sugar lends more chewiness than white granulated sugar. According to Cooks Illustrated, omitting one egg white cuts back on crispness as well. And of course not overbaking is crucial.
posted by geeky at 5:45 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: Try this Nick Malgieri chocolate chews recipe; it's one of my favorites. The addition of dark brown sugar definitely adds chewiness, but I believe that egg whites do too. Sometimes you'll find French chocolate cookie recipes that use only whites, and the result is a cookie that is intensely chocolately but also has a good chewy quality and a meringue lightness to it. I'm not sure whether the whites are beaten or liquid, though and I couldn't find a good example in a quick search. You can often identify cookies that are heavy on the whites because they have smooth, shiny tops -- almost like a skin.
posted by chummie26 at 6:31 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: I cut this recipe for Molasses Cookies out of the LA Times years ago and make them at Christmas. The trick is to cool them on a wooden cutting board and not a wire rack.

1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar, plus additional sugar to roll cookies in
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Cups butter
3/4 Cup molasses
2 eggs
4 Cups flour
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp baking soda

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, butter molasses and eggs; beat until creamy. In a separate large bowl, mix flour, spices and baking soda until combined. Add flour to molasses mixture and mix until combined. Chill dough.Pinch off globs of dough and roll into balls about the size of gold balls; roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 14 minutes.Do not over bake; you want them to turn out chewy and flexible, not crisp. Remove from oven and place on a solid wooden board to cool (if you put them on a wire rack to cool they may become more crisp than you like), Makes 36 large cookies.

I make smaller cookies, since I give most of them away and they are fine. They keep forever and just get chewier the longer you have them. I store them in a cookie tin or a Rubbermaid - type container. People LOVE these.
posted by jvilter at 10:10 PM on July 5, 2010

Best answer: I also use the "Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie" linked by wongcorgi above. It gets rave reviews.
posted by escher at 12:29 PM on July 6, 2010

Best answer: I've already talked about them in MeTa, but these pistachio apricot cookies from Orangette are very chewy thanks to a lot of brown sugar which results in a caramel-y almost-but-not-quite burnt (in a delicious way!) toffee-ish sticky flavor. So good.
posted by ifjuly at 8:03 PM on July 6, 2010

Best answer: Tips to make 'em chewy: lose the eggs (they can give the cookies some cakey fluff). Replace regular flower with high-gluten flower. Add a chewiness agent like molasses, banana, ground flax, or (if you're feeling like an adventure in food chemistry) xanthan gum. Make sure the dough isn't too moist or they'll come out flat and thin. Bake at a low temperature and not for too long.

Experimenting with various vegan and gluten-free cookie recipes is a good way to learn about what each of the classic cookie recipe components actually does.
posted by yourcelf at 5:49 AM on July 7, 2010

Best answer: Even chewy cookies stored in open air become crunchy, tasteless things.

Make chocolate cookies, and when they're cool enough that the chocolate isn't melting to everything it touches... put 'em in tupperware, and they stay chewy for a few days.
posted by talldean at 10:07 AM on July 8, 2010

Response by poster: Followup: We made Cook's Illustrated's Brown Sugar Cookies. Wow! Wowie wow wow! Excellent recipe. Next up will be their Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. (I tried an old, untested recipe of my great-grandmother's in there too, but it ended up beiing more like little biscuits than cookies. Live and learn.)
posted by Addlepated at 5:53 PM on July 9, 2010

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