My recipe for crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-in-the-centre chocolate chip cookies gets more visits than any other page on my blog, by a very long way. It probably gets more traffic than all the other pages combined.
Get the recipe >> Crunchy On The Outside, Gooey In The Centre Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Here’s how I get picture-perfect, TALL cookies, with a crunchy outside and gooey centre, every single time:
1. Freeze the dough
This is super important - freeze the dough for at least 1 hour before baking. If they’re frozen throughout before being baked, it will take the heat from the oven longer to reach and bake the inside of the cookie, so it’ll still be gooey when the outside turns golden and crisp. If the butter is warm when it goes in the oven, the cookies will collapse much more quickly, resulting in a lot more spread and thinner cookies.
2. Don’t flatten your cookie dough
Don't try to push the dough into a ‘cookie shape’ before baking - leave them as balls to give them as much height as possible, so they stay tall in the oven. It also means that the heat takes longer to reach the centre, which helps to keep it squidgy. If you want the cookies to look uniform and be the same shape and size, use an ice cream scoop.
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3. When in doubt, underbake the cookies
We like our cookies medium-rare! Cook the cookies for WAY less time than you think you need to - they should be slightly golden around the edges but still very soft, almost the texture of raw cake mix, in the middle. Most chocolate chip cookie recipes contain lots of butter and chocolate - these two ingredients are liquid when hot but solid at room temperature, so your cookies will be very soft straight out of the oven but will set firm when cold. If you take them out of the oven when they're solid and very golden all over, they're probably a little overcooked, and will set completely firm.
4. Bake on tinfoil, not baking parchment
Line your cookie sheet or baking tray with tinfoil, not baking parchment. Baking parchment is made to be non-stick, which makes it easier for the cookies to spread and flatten; tinfoil will help them set in place quickly, making for taller cookies with a soft centre.
5. Pre-heat your baking tray
A pre-heated baking tray will start cooking the bottom of your cookies as soon as they hit the tray, helping to set them and avoiding further spread. A cold tray will take some time to heat up when it goes in the oven, allowing the cookie to melt slowly and spread before it gets a chance to cook.
6. Get your baking temperature right
Most ovens will show as 'hot' and the 'heating up' light will go off before they are actually up to temperature. If you try to bake your cookies in an oven that isn't hot enough, they will take too long to get golden around the edges, and the centre will over-bake, drying out and losing the squidgy texture. Pre-heat the oven properly and take the cookies out at the right time.
7. Don’t skimp on the fillings
You really need to add the volume of fillings stated in the recipe. I use lots of chocolate (like, a giant Dairy Milk bar for 1 batch of 12 cookies), but nuts, dried fruits or any other fillings will do. These aren’t just there for flavour, they help the cookies hold their shape in the oven.
They can be eaten straight out of the oven or cold; you can make the dough in advance and bake a couple at a time, or freeze it, in balls, and bake straight from frozen.