Here's The Biggest Mistake You're Making When Baking Cookies
The Delish team has made (and eaten) more than our fair share of chocolate chip cookie recipes. Keto, air fryer, brown butter, vegan, even slow cooker; you name it, we've done it. But as much as we love riffing on the beloved flavour combo, sometimes there's nothing better than the original.
And we've definitely cracked the code for the ultimate classic chocolate chip cookie. After a whopping 17 rounds of testing, we created a cookie with a soft, fudgey centre and delightfully crispy edges. It has everything you want in a small, chocolatey package.
There are a few elements of this recipe that distinguish it from the shop-bought stuff. But one step that really takes these cookies to the next level requires nothing but patience (and serious restraint): chilling the dough over night.
We know, we know. When you're craving a warm, gooey cookie, the last thing you want to do is wait for it. But trust us: letting the dough hang out in the fridge a full 24 hours makes a major difference for the texture, flavour, and appearance of your finished cookie. It bakes more evenly, it tastes better, and it helps make the cookie fudgier. Promise.
You can keep the dough in the fridge for a minimum of four hours if you're feeling especially impatient. But, the longer the better.
The reason behind this method comes down to science. The longer the dough chills, the more the moisture is absorbed by the sugar and evaporated into the air. By the time you bake, the sweet, buttery flavour is more concentrated than when you first mixed it together.
The fridge also improves the cookie's texture and appearance. Our recipe starts with melted butter, which means chilling the dough is essential so that the fat can solidify again.
The butter retains its integrity better and doesn’t melt straight away when you put the cookies in the oven. This means instead of ending up with a wide and flat cookie, your finished treats will be taller and have that soft, slightly chewy centre you know and love.
Another perk, is that your cookies will reach the optimal level of golden brown and crispy as resting and chilling leads to better caramelisation.
Beyond just having a more concentrated flavour, the slightly dried out dough means there's a higher ratio of sugar—AKA more caramelised goodness on the cookie's exterior.
Still unsure if chilling the dough is worth it? Check out the finished results for yourself (and learn a few more tips) in the video below: