20 Ways to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

Food Love: Ingredient Focus
20 Ways to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

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September 22 2020


Recipes for chocolate chip cookies have had numerous modifications over the years. To show how various ingredients and techniques affect taste, texture, and appearance of this classic cookie, we tweaked our classic recipe, noting characteristics for each recipe alteration. We share with you what we learned from making changes to fats, sweeteners, flours, cookie sheets, baking times, and temperatures. All cookies, except those made with canola oil, baked successfully on ungreased cookie sheets with no sticking to the pan. Although we did not use parchment paper, we find it works well to make cleanup a breeze! So, are you ready for a cookie comparison? Let's see these 20 different cookies!

  1. The Control Cookie

    The recipe that started it all: our go-to best-ever chocolate chip cookie.

  2. All Butter

    Alteration: Fat

    Brown, spread widely, flat, good overall flavor and richness. 

  3. All Shortening

    Alteration: Fat

    Tall, light color, spread a little, tender and slightly chewy, mild flavor. 

  4. All Canola Oil

    Alteration: Fat

    Light color, flat, very soft, mild flavor, oily aftertaste.

  5. All Margarine

    Alteration: Fat

    Dark, flat chewy, crisp edges, reminiscent of a childhood favorite.

  6. All Granulated Sugar

    Alteration: Sugar

    Light color, spread some, crispy, crunchy, sweet yet mild tasting.

  7. All Light Brown Sugar

    Alteration: Sugar

    Medium brown color, slightly chewy, rich and warm molasses flavor.

  8. All Dark Brown Sugar

    Alteration: Sugar

    Dark brown, moist, pleasantly chewy, rich and toffeelike flavor.

  9. All 100% Pure Maple Syrup

    Alteration: Sugar

    Nice rise; little spread, soft and cakey, light texture, mild maple flavor.

  10. All Cake Flour

    Alteration: Flour

    Light color, spread widely, soft and fluffy center, sweet-tasting.

  11. Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour + Xanthan Gum

    Alteration: Flour

    Light color, dry and chalky tasting.

  12. 50/50 Bread and All-Purpose Flours

    Alteration: Flour

    Very little spread, chewy, hearty, floury aftertaste.

  13. 50/50 Whole Wheat and All-Purpose Flours

    Alteration: Flour

    Golden to dark brown, very little spread, slightly chewy, hearty, nutty flavor. 

  14. Dull Aluminum Pan

    Alteration: Baking Sheet

    Even brown color, nicely risen, crisp bottom and edges, rich flavor.

  15. Shiny Aluminum Pan

    Alteration: Baking Sheet

    Pale golden color, spread some, crisp bottom and edges, rich flavor.

  16. Dark Pan

    Alteration: Baking Sheet

    Overbrowned bottom. If using, lower oven temperature by 25 degrees.

  17. Air-Cushioned Pan

    Alteration: Baking Sheet

    Baked longer, spread widely, less browning, soft, moist, rich flavor.

  18. 325 Degrees for 16 Minutes

    Alteration: Baking Time & Temp

    Spread widely, flat, chewy and tough, rich flavor.

  19. 350 Degrees for 12 Minutes

    Alteration: Baking Time & Temp

    Evenly browned, tender, slightly chewy, rich flavor.

  20. 400 Degrees for 8 Minutes

    Alteration: Baking Time & Temp

    Dark bottom, crisp edges, spread a little, caramelized flavor.

  21. While Preheating Oven

    Alteration: Baking Time & Temp

    Baked longer, spread widely, thin and flat, rich flavor.