New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve been eyeing this famous New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe for a very long time now.  First published in the New York Times on July 9, 2008, this recipe took the internet by storm when David Leite experimented with baking cookie dough that had a chance to rest in the refrigerator for a given number of hours.  Leite described that refrigeration allows for the dough and other ingredients to fully absorb the liquid, resulting in a drier dough baking to a better consistency.  Leite shared that even Chocolate Chip Cookie inventor Ruth Wakefield noted in her 1953 Toll House Cookbook that the cookie dough is meant to be chilled overnight (a crucial piece of information that is not included in the recipe on the bags of Nestle’s chocolate morsels).  Interesting stuff, huh?

I decided to put this dough to the test for myself once and for all.  I measured the flour and the sugar using a scale so that everything would be very accurate.  And I baked all three versions of the cookies below on the same baking sheet lined with a silpat mat- at the same temperature- for the same amount of time.  I also rolled out the cookie dough and measured it so that it was exactly 3.25 ounces.  The recipe suggests 3.5 ounces, but these still yielded a very large cookie with a slightly smaller measurement. I dotted additional chocolate chips on top of each round of cookie dough (as I do w/ all of my cookies… since it makes them look prettier).

After 5 hours of refrigeration, I couldn’t stand it any longer.  I baked up my first cookie.  It was what we like to call, “a very good chocolate chip cookie.”  Nothing super special though.

After 24 hours, we pretty much had the same reaction as the first.  It was good.  Nothing to alert the media about.

For some reason, the magic seemed to happen around hour 48.  The cookie dough was more crumbly and dry, as Leite mentioned in his article.  The result of the baked cookie was a crispy edge with a softer interior.  The key to making them perfect is to take them out of the oven when they’re golden brown on the edges and still look slightly doughy in the middle.  As they set on the cooling rack, they transform into the perfect cookie.

What’s different about these cookies?  Well, they’re made with cake flour and bread flour- two ingredients that people don’t typically stock in their kitchen.  I really have no idea how they’d turn out if you tried to sub all-purpose flour, but my instinct is that the measurements would be different and they just wouldn’t turn out the same.  They’re topped with a sprinkle of sea salt- I used a flaky sea salt.  It’s not overwhelming, just a little sea salt sprinkled on top.  My kiddo didn’t care for the salt on top, so I made a few without.  My husband and I enjoyed the occasionally salty bite that you get as you make your way through eating the cookie.

For the rest of the dough, I went with 2 ounce balls of cookie dough- about the size of a normal golf ball.  I found that you still get the same result with a crispy edge and soft interior.  And it’s not an overwhelming size for most people to eat.

Are they the best chocolate chip cookie ever?  Perhaps… though I’m not entirely sure.  I really love my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and my Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies too.  One of these days I’ll have to put all three side-by-side in a blind taste test to see which one truly takes the prize for best chocolate chip cookie ever.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 18 very large cookies or 31 smaller cookies

Prep Time:15 min + chill time

Cook Time:18 min


2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (I used sea salt)
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
extra chocolate chips, optional
sea salt (optional)


1. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). I just scraped mine through a fine strainer/sieve since my sifter isn't all that great. Set aside.

2. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars- mixing until the mixture is very light, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients and, mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place the dough in an airtight container and refrigerate a minimum of 24 to 36 hours before baking (and up to 72 hours).

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.

4. For 5-inch cookies, scoop six 3.25 ounce mounds of dough- giant golf ball-sized (I rolled mine into balls) onto a baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Don't try to fit more on the sheet or you'll end up with cookies baking into each other. Dot some extra chocolate chips on top, if desired. Sprinkle each ball of dough with a small pinch of sea salt, if desired.

5. Bake until the edges are golden brown and the center is lighter and soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a rack and let them cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.


*If you'd prefer to make smaller cookies, shape your cookie dough into small golf ball-size instead (2 ounces), and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

Source: (recipe originally from The New York Times and Jacques Torres and adapted slightly)

Other bloggers who have tested out the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe:
The Little Kitchen
Two Peas and Their Pod
Ezra Poundcake
Good Life Eats
Mountain Mama Cooks (adapted for high altitude)
Gluten-Free Girl (gluten-free version)

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Udette wrote:

    Made this recipe and my family loved it. Next time I wont go too heavy handed on the chocolate!

  • Donna Crosby wrote:

    Can you add pecans to the cookie dough?

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • Donna wrote:

    We like pecans in our chocolate chip cookies, has anyone tried adding pecans to the cookie dough?

  • Mollie wrote:

    I mixed all the ingredients and then realized I forgot the two tablespoons of regular sugar. Will this make a difference in baking or the taste of them? 

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I wouldn’t think there would be a significant difference.

  • Tracy wrote:

    I startedthe cookies on thursday,and cooked them today my family waiting in the background,lol I find the cookies have a.firm texture cooking in my oven because I like them darker but switched to lighter texture,they have a.beautiful flavor.and I’m glad I made the batch of cookies my family love them,so a keeper

  • Beck jean wrote:


       I am a novice baker and have never refrigerated my cookie dough before, but your findings have inspired me! I do not have the  exact quantity of supplies but I could manage half, would it be ok to half the recipe??

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      probably– as long as all of the ingredients are halved exactly.

  • Ann wrote:

    I’ve tried your recipe several times after hearing about New York Times 3 day chocolate chip cookie recipe for years. Thanks for your research. My cookies taste good, but they are not as thin as yours; it’s as if the baking soda and powder are working too well. Any suggestions? Also what type chocolate chips do you use?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure what’s happening! I just use whatever chocolate chips I have on hand.

  • tram wrote:

    I love this recipe and have made it several times and it is the only one i make!

    I just wanted to ask if you flatten out the cookies before you bake them?

    thanks! 🙂

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t think that’s necessary.

  • Mary Naumes wrote:

    Would LOVE a good cookie recipe WITHOUT butter…Lactose is a family
    problem which limits a lot of recipes…….

  • Sari Kadison wrote:

    No one mentions if the cookies should be warmed up to room temperature for baking, or if the dough should be still cold from having been in the refrigerator.

    I have made these cookies many times and agree with you on the 2oz. size.
    But the last time I made them, they came out flat as a pancake! I was not sure if it was because both the baking soda and the baking powder were old. (Do I really have to go out and get new boxes of these?)
    OR, it is because I let the dough warm up to room temperature (as well as the butter before baking)?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      They do not need to be warmed to room temp. I’d say the shape and texture of them is best if the dough is baked straight from the refrigerator.

  • Louise wrote:

    I have tried this recipe, after 48 hours in the fridge and it is amazing! If I wanted to make it as double chocolate chip cookies, how much cocoa powder should I add?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure!

  • Ying wrote:

    Can I reduce the amount of sugar?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I wouldn’t mess with it!

  • Saira wrote:

    I just tested out 2 cookies after 2, 3 hrs only. I couldn’t wait to see how they turn out. I used a pizza tray to bake them since I don’t have a cookie sheet. They came out pretty good, crispy edges & soft middle but they got little dark (not the tops though) I tried testing less than 2 oz dough balls though & they were a decent size. Should I reduce the temperature or just take them out early next time if I choose smaller dough balls. Your reply will be greatly appreciated. But mine didn’t look like yours I guess after waiting 24 to 36 hrs they might turn out like yours, LOL. I love the cracked texture on your cookies, mine were not cracked (which I don’t prefer) Any tips regarding that will help me in my baking adventure & I love to have a recipe that turns out the way I want it to be. I have sen a lot of cookies but your cookies are my new obsession & I’m in love with them.

  • Saira wrote:

    I love your pictures, they are so stunning. I followed this recipe & ran out of brown sugar I used 1 cup only. I hope it doesn’t make much difference. I couldn’t wait till 5 hrs even so I am testing one out after couple of hrs. Your cookie has a wonderful texture.

  • Temesia wrote:

    I baked a trial run of these yesterday-wanted to try them out before gifting some next week. They are delicious! While still warm, I felt the ratio of chocolate chips to cookie was too high but trying them this morning (great breakfast!) when they are 100% cool? Perfection! I added the extra chips to the top and they really made them look prettier. My only problem was even with a fan on, they took hours to dry before I could slip them into lollipop-style goodie baggies without the chips smearing inside the bags. This dried them out quite a bit and the middles are more crunchy/crispy like the edges now. Also, it took a few hours for my dough to warm up enough to be scooped out of the bowl. I will probably try rolling it into logs and refrigerating them that way. (Cradle the rolls with towels on a cookie sheet to avoid a flat bottom edge.) I also skipped the sea salt on top because I used salted butter and they are jyst salty enough. These are a keeper! Thank you!

  • Christina wrote:

    Mixed up the dough today, chocolate chips consist of semi-sweet, chopped dark chocolate and 1/3 cup of toffee chips. The dough is delicious – looking forward to baking in a day or two.