Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies on a baking sheet

I spent a looong time developing these chocolate chip cookies to maximise the flavour of the dough! There’s a few different factors involved which make them the BEST cookies. 

It’s pretty hard to not fall into the boring food trap. There are always these pre-determined concepts for how recipes should be, or which flavours should be paired. Yeah, I get that they’re there for a reason.

Tried and true, blah blah blah, but there’s so much more potential!

two chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a bottle of milk and a glass of milk

Close up of a chocolate chip cookie on a plate

Don’t you always find chocolate chip cookies a bit ‘blah’ ? Heck yes that chocolate is going to taste good, but what about the dough? For me, it’s normally leave-able. As in I could eat the chocolate and just leave the cookie part, to be honest. The dough is a vessel to get molten chocolate into my face. That is all. 

With these cookies though, they have SO much toasty, buttery flavour in the dough that they’re absolutely my favourites & will be forever!!

Why are my chocolate chip cookies coming out flat?

When the chocolate chip cookie recipe came out in the NY times in 2011 everyone was going mentallll over them!One of the main reasons? Aging the dough, which developed the flavour and produced a cookie that had more depth than the Nestle Tollhouse recipe (which always turn out flat for me). 

Letting the dough rest in the fridge helps hydrate the flour (i.e. the flour absorbs the moisture in the dough). This means that the cookies will spread less upon baking! So if you find your cookie dough to be spreading a lot, chilling your dough for even an hour or two will improve this. If you age it for longer, like I do, you get the added bonus of improved flavour as the ingredients mingle together for a bit longer. 

Another factor is the eggs. I’ve found that because UK eggs are graded larger than US eggs (a UK medium egg is equivalent to a US large egg) that when baking cookies from American recipes, my cookies always spread more than they should. The extra moisture the egg is making a wetter dough which spreads a lot. So if you’re in the UK but are baking from an American recipe and find your cookies spreading, try using small eggs instead!

The difference in butterfat % can also affect the cookie dough. In the US it is common to bake with butter which has a lower butterfat %. In the UK most of the butter we get (even bog-standard own brand butter) has a butterfat % of around 80-82%. The more butterfat, the more the cookies will spread. An easy way to rectify this is to decrease the amount of butter slightly in a recipe – maybe take out 15-30 grams (1-2 tablespoons) and see if it helps. 

One and a half chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a glass of milk

So anyway… aging the dough definitely makes the most difference to me – I find it helps with the flavour SO much!!

Then there was the whole browned butter phase, and let me tell you, I still brown butter for 50% of things I make, because it’s just another way of giving food a liiiiittle bit more zing.

If you think about it, it’s a bit strange how in baking we use so much less flavour enhancing ingredients. When you cook, you add salt + pepper, a myriad of condiments, herbs and spices. Whereas for baking, it’s usually vanilla, cinnamon, almond or fruit. Sometimes there might be some anise or cardamom. But that’s about it. You might experiment with cayenne in chocolate cookies once, but it’s never going to become a regular addition.


Chocolate chip cookie dough, portioned and ready for the fridge
One and a half chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a glass of milk
See the inside of these chocolate chip cookies – moist and gooey

and I think that by using that logic, I’ve finally cracked it:

My perfect chocolate chip cookie.

I thought I’d reached perfection a few months ago, when I made these bittersweet chocolate chip cookies, but by changing one little thing this time, I improved them even more!

They have all the things I would ever want: Soft, chewy middle, loads of molten chocolate shards, crisp edges a flavourful cookie dough base (that is deffo not leave-able) and, ofc, some salt on top!

Sooo when I was browning the butter for chocolate chip cookies, I added chopped basil to the saucepan, then strained them out. I was left with this lightly scented butter, that when added to the cookie dough just gave it SO much FLAVOUR!

It wasn’t like *bites into cookie* “HELLOO BASIL”,

it had a herby undertone that simply worked. I asked people to guess what they thought I’d put in it, and literally no one could guess, but they loved them. And so did I, and you probably most def will too, if you make them!


They’re also a snap to make – no stand mixer needed! You can just bring the dough together by hand in a bowl as we’re melting the butter so the dough is super easy to mix. 

aaand I’m out.

Other cookie recipes:


  • If you don’t fancy the basil in your chocolate chip cookies, leave it out! It’s still a delicious 
  • Freezer cookie dough: once you’ve aged your balls of dough, you can freeze them for cookies any day of the week! I freeze the dough on a cookie sheet first and then slide them into a resealable bag (the first freeze stops them sticking together in the bag). When you want to bake them, no need to defrost the dough. Just pop the frozen cookie dough balls onto a lined cookie sheet and bake as instructed – you may need to ad 1-2 minutes to the total bake time. 
  • You can sub the fancy salt for a scant 1/2 tsp of table salt in the dough, however you can’t use table salt for sprinkling so either use the fancy salt for sprinkling or just don’t sprinkle at all.
  • You can just use a 1/4 cup measure (which equals 4 tbsp), then roll the dough into a ball with your hands and slightly flatten into a hemi-sphere on the baking tray.
Chocolate chip cookies on a baking sheet

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

4.33 from 34 votes
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Course: Cookies
Keywords: chocolate chip cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 to 16 large cookies


  • 4 tbsp fresh basil leaves (optional – see notes)
  • 140 g (5 oz / 1 stick + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 230 g (1 3/4 cups) plain white (all purpose) flour (I like using half whole wheat and half plain white)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 100 g (scant 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 140 g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp), light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp flaky salt / fleur de sel* (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1 UK medium egg (US large egg)
  • 200 g (7 oz) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I LOVE either 85% or 70% – it's hard to find 60% in the UK, but you can use that or semi-sweet)


  • Roughly chop the basil then add to a small saucepan with the butter. Heat continuously it on medium-low on the stove until it foams up and smells nutty then stir in the vanilla extract. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then strain it through a sieve (push through as much of the browned butter bits as poss though, you're just trying to take out the herbs).
    4 tbsp fresh basil leaves, 140 g (5 oz / 1 stick + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Meanwhile, either in a stand mixer or a large bowl combine the next 6 ingredients (flour through to salt). Pour in the butter and mix until it looks like moist clumpy sand with no floury patches. Add the egg and mix in for a few seconds.
    230 g (1 3/4 cups) plain white (all purpose) flour, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 100 g (scant 1/2 cup) granulated sugar, 140 g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp), light brown sugar, 1/2 tsp flaky salt / fleur de sel*, 1 UK medium egg
  • Let the dough cool a bit (so the chocolate doesn't melt) then add the chopped chocolate and mix until well distributed – but not for too long!
    200 g (7 oz) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Using a 1/4 cup cookie scoop (see notes), scoop up some of the dough and smoosh it into the scoop until it's just full. Turn out onto a lined cookie tray, and repeat with the rest of the dough. You can cram them together onto the tray at this point since we're going to chill them. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for anywhere between 1 – 72 hours (the longer you wait, the better the texture and flavour!!!).
  • When ready to bake preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Take 4 to 6 mounds of cookie dough and place onto a separate lined baking sheet, spacing them about 7cm (3 inches) apart as they spread during baking. Sprinkle these mounds with fleur de sel and shove into the oven immediately!!
    1/2 tsp flaky salt / fleur de sel*
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes, until browned, with set edges, and a puffy, soft center. Let cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

136 thoughts on “Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. This is one unique recipe for CCC and I love it! Can’t wait to try the basil verbena butter!

  2. Oh these sure look like the best chocolate chip cookies ever, love the added salt. I will be dreaming of these all night!

  3. These look great! I totally hear you about how it’s strange that in baking, there really isn’t too much you can do to enhance the flavor of the ingredients. Have you heard of Thomas Keller’s chocolate chip cookie recipe for Bouchon Bakery? He adds just a touch of molasses, which works to enhance the chocolate flavor, as well as the nuttiness of the flour. I did a variation of the recipe here: and was really pleasantly surprised by the results.

    • thanks Michelle! 😀 Ooh I haven’t, but I think using brown sugar is kind of the same (although, I would probably add more molasses too like TK’s recipe, heheh), thanks for the tip 🙂

  4. Yes yes and yes. The dough, yes. The chewy middles, yes. The crispy edges, yes. This is ALL YES.

  5. What a crazy cookie combo…. I definitely never expected the basil and verbena, but you totally have my curiosity piqued! The cookies look PERFECT (as I told you on Instagram haha). I agree with everything you said about flavoring baked goods and how it’s hard to figure out new flavor ideas all the time when you have cinnamon, vanilla, and… a few other things. Good thinking outside the box!!

    • super crazy! I usually don’t go for herby/flowery flavours in baked goods (just stick to vanilla ect), but I loooved it in these cookies 🙂

  6. Wow, I would have never thought of pairing basil will chocolate, but will now. Beautiful photos 🙂

  7. Really? Because for me, the cookie part is the best and I often make them without chocolate chips!

    • yes omg, the cookie part is normally SO dull, I’d probably be better off eating raw cookie dough tbh, it usually tastes way better than when it’s been baked!! haha

  8. Mmm what an interesting idea! I definitely need to try this herb infused butter in cookies thing. And your cookies are gorgeous! Love those gorgeous chocolate chunks.

  9. To answer your question, no the Tollhouse recipe has absolutely NEVER worked for me, EVER! I actually tried one of their cookies from a place in the mall and it was just as flat and greasy as the ones I made so maybe they just like theirs that way!

  10. Of course! Herbs and spices are always the key ingredient in delicious food, so why not cookies? These look stunning with such lovely ripples of chocolate

  11. These are getting made this weekend – earlier if at all humanly possible. I seriously cannot wait to stuff several in my face.

  12. Gorgeous post. Need a good weekend to be able to bake again, so many wonderful recipes of yours that I have yet to try!!

    Katie <3

  13. I’m all for the salt and brown butter. But omg herb-infused?? You are ah-mazing x

  14. OOOOooooOOoOooooo!!!! HOW WILL I DO WORK TODAY WHEN ALL THE THINGS TO MAKE THESE ARE IN THE HOUSE?? (Sorry, that was a really long sentence to type in all caps…but that is how the question sounds in my head!) I remember seeing a recipe for thyme & sea salt chocolate chip cookies a couple years ago on DforB and thinking it was genius, but I believe there were just straight-up herb bits in the cookies. The butter infusion is the best idea, because you get those subtle herbal notes throughout the entire cookie. Man oh man. I am making and eating these for dinner, obv.

    • HAHAH sorry for the distraction! Yes! I remember seeing that recipe too, I think it was on the cover of Sated too (if I remember correctly!) I was jut kind of put off by the idea of having leaf pieces in my cookie/ kinda worried it would make the dough a weird colour :/ Strangely, when I was infusing the butter, it did go kind or green, but in the cookie dough, it didn’t affect the colour at all 🙂 hehe, sounds perf

  15. Oh wow, chocolate and BASIL???? I have never heard of mixing them before, and I never would have done it myself. But your cookies look so good, and if you say they are the best cookies ever, then surely I should try them out?
    I really want cookies now, thanks 😉

    • heck yeahhh! Thanks Sophie, you should deff try them (ofc, I’m biased, but they were so gooood) 🙂

  16. They look incredible – you’ve completely sold them to me, which is a shame because I’m trying to eat healthy but not a shame because cookies are so delicious. I’ve been trying to play with some more unusual food combos recently – rosemary in lemon cake, smoked sea salt on EVERYTHING, strawberries and balsamic (not that unusual, but a bit more interesting than plain strawberries) etc. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. WOW! I always want to make up my own interesting combos, but I’m always afraid (and don’t want to waste stuff). But I guess to succeed, ya gotta make a few mistakes first :))

    • I know exactly what you mean, it’s hard to be adventurous when you’re using 2 bars of high quality chocolate and reaaally don’t wanna waste them :/ But that is very true! 🙂

  18. Thank you for posting this recipe!! I’ve been anticipating it since the instagram post 🙂 BASIL! Awesome!! I cannot wait to try making these–I absolutely love basil on almost anything (drinks and pizza especially), and lemon undertones? yum! I hope I can make these sometime this week!
    As for the tollhouse cookies–they are my family’s favorite!! I’ve been making them with my mom since I was little and they are my go-to recipe! I have actually had them turn out flat and greasy before, so I know what you’re talking about. Do you make them in a stand mixer? If so, I highly recommend not doing that. When you over work the dough they turn out flat and greasy. I either do them by hand, or I use a hand mixer until I add the chocolate chips and/or nuts. I just use a wooden spoon after that. To me, it’s worth the workout. It makes me feel like I’ve earned the cookies afterward anyway 😉

    • hahah, no prob 🙂 I loooove basil (I’m Italian by blood too, so you know, it’s a given)
      I’ve made them both ways, stand mixer and by hand! I think it might be due to differences ingredients between the UK and US too. European butter tends to have a higher % of butterfat, and medium eggs here are the same size as large eggs in the US. That probably all contributes to the whole flat cookie stich, but they’ve just never everrrr worked for me (and believe me, I made them many mannyyy times trying to get thick cookies, without success 🙁 ) Ahaha, that is the same for me, and with bread baking too: ‘If i knead this dough, that’s technically a workout sooo I can eat loads of bread, yes?’

  19. These. Look. Incredible. I love the idea of basil & chocolate together! And verbena, whatever that is. Cannot wait to try to make these!

    • thanks Maddy! They compliment each other so well 🙂 Verbena is another herb! It’s subtly lemony, but not extremely common (well, not as common as basil) in the supermarket, so you can just sub it for a bit of lemon zest if you don’t have it

  20. What a fascinating, amazing idea.. One that I would never think of, but you’re right. If it works somewhere else why not give it a go? Layers of flavors make just about EVERYTHING better!

  21. Alright congrats, this threw me the Basil/Verbana thang! FYI, for the tradish Tollhouse recipe cut back by 1 1/2 tblsp of Buddah, (Think Harry Potter when he uses a diff formula for that potion and his comes out best) Also Allspice as an ingreed to recipes with nuts especially is a nice flava flave enhancer. Just sayin’, keep it rollin’ Neecie!

    • ahahah 🙂 I remember making Tollhouse cookies with you, and that’s the only time they’re ever worked! I think you’ve got the magic-cookie-making skills down! Thanks for the tips! I willll 🙂 xx

  22. These look so amazing I am salivating like crazy! It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been avoiding chocolate biscuits for a few weeks now. I am totally fascinated with your addition of browned herb butter, so intriguing!

    • Ahh thanks Steph! I hadn’t had any chocolate biscuits in a whiiiiile before these, and they TOTALLY hit the spot 🙂

  23. The fact that you were inspired to make cookies by smelling a perfume is beyond fabulous. You go girl!

    • Ahaha thanks Erica, ofc it would be me that turns fragrance into cookies :/ cookie obsessed. Fo def.

  24. These sound amazing! All the possibilities that infused butter brings is blowing my mind!!! You’re so ridiculously creative!

    Also as far as Tollhouse cookies? You are soo right- the recipe never turns out amazing.. well that’s what i thought until i met my sister in law. She changed the recipe up a bit turning them into these unbelievable gobs of goodness. She upped the flour to 3 cups instead of 2.25. She uses margarine instead of butter and fake vanilla. She then uses a teaspoon to put huge blobs of dough onto the cookie sheet then proceeds to under bake them just a bit.. they are a slice of heaven.. seriously!

    Anyhow. I love you. And your blog. You do amazing things at 17!

  25. Izy, I just made the mix. It is sitting in the fridge as I write this and Icannot wait until these bake in the oven! I love your photos and recipes, so keep up the amazing work! Thank you <3

  26. Wow!! Chocolate Chip Cookies, my favorite. This looks really delicious!!!!!! You’re so awesome!! Makes me hungry right now, the chocolate is really melting. Ugh. Yummy.

  27. Chocolate chip cookies are that best cookies for me. They give off a wonderful smell and taste that kids and even adults love. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe. Got to try making it soon.

  28. Wow, your photographing and storytelling is really breathtaking!

    Thank you for being such a good inspiration, we love to follow your blog, it’s very different from the scandinavian ones we are used too 🙂

    Greetings from Denmark,
    Lulu and Liva(dessertbloggers too)

  29. I love chocolate chip cookies and so does my family – I can’t wait to try the basil and verbena (or lemon zest if I can’t find verbena)- sounds very interesting and looks yummy!

  30. Great photos of the cookie. I can tell from the images that it is rich in chocolate and that it is kind of sweet. There’s a recipe though so those who want to try making it can just adjust the sweetness.

  31. What a lovely and interesting pairing…what about an orange infused! orange and chocolate go wonderful together..I think that would be an interesting experiment. 🙂

  32. Such a delicious take on a classic cookie! These photos are beautiful too – I love the setup.

  33. What lights are you using and with what modifiers? I love your photos and would love to pick your brain on a few things. Thank you!

  34. I only ever use natural light, and if by modifier you mean editor then I use Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5

  35. Guuuuuuuurl. I would never have thought about this, but it sounds freaking insane. I’m quite convinced you’re some culinary mastermind. Ferr reals.

  36. Well the kitchen smells amazing…
    I divided the mix into two. one to cook in an hour and one in a couple days.
    *tapping fingers* while I wait for an hour to pass.
    Patient, I am not 🙂

  37. Oh my gosh, I baked these today and they are the best cookies I’ve ever tasted..
    The hint of basil is so awesome!
    Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe!
    I can’t wait to try all your other recipes 🙂

  38. Izy! You are seriously so amazing! I’m in lovvveee with your blog. 🙂 I’m a 16 year old blogger too, and you inspire me daily! Keep up the good work! PS Im making these cookies ASAP haha

  39. These are so great! I made this last weekend and I’m totally blown away by how good they taste. I’m recommending it to all my friends!! 😀 By the way, for some reason my cookies didn’t spread as nicely as yours did 🙁 they spread a little but ended up a little chunky looking. Do you know what might have caused it?

  40. Hmmmm, these are sitting in my fridge right now, and if they taste nearly as good cooked as they do raw, I’m in good shape. I found they are super super crumbly though, when trying to shape them into little cookie mounds – is this standard? I hope they turn out well, I’m still super stoked!

    • Don’t worry, sounds like it has the right texture! It’s a much more crumbly dough than usual choc chip cookie doughs 🙂 Hope you like them

  41. I want these now. All I have is bread flour…is that a deal breaker?! Help! I got a craving.

  42. These look and sound insanely delicious! Instant new follower. Thanks for the inspiration – can’t wait to try these!

  43. I was wondering if I could use mint instead of basil and verbena? Because I absolutely love the combination of chocolate and mint, but I never knew how to do it. Will it work if I follow the same steps as you do, but with mint? That would be awesome! I love the idea of infused butter as much as I love this recipe and all your other recipes! Your’e such an inspiration!

    • I definitely think that you could use mint instead! Yep, just follow the same steps to infuse the butter and you should get a subtle minty flavour in the dough 🙂 Thank you!

    I MADE THEM!!!!!!!! froze the dough into a log, sliced it and popped the babies into the oven. (and blogged about it.)
    and they’re obviously the best. (!)
    also, of course, nice to meet you.

    – c.

  45. Flavor is good but cookies look nothing like pics posted. They hardly spread out, too dry. Maybe they need more butter?

    • You can add an extra egg yolk to the dough. The dough is quite crumbly but once baked the cookies should be fine

  46. What must I adjust to maintain the texture of these cookies if I want to halve the sugar content. The original recipe is too sweet!! I looked everywhere for tips on what to do if I reduce sugar… all gave me different answers. Then I thought, how stupid, just ask the creator of the recipe. DUH. Thanks in advanced 😉

    • I think that if you reduce the sugar you’ll have a hard time maintaining the texture.

      The way I think about these cookies is that the dough is HELLA sweet but then you put very dark, bitter chocolate in the cookie and salt on top to counter that sweetness!

  47. Just made these and I love them so much! I was excited to have leftover basil from something else so I could finally give these a go. I did have the same “no spread” issue as some other readers but I sort of smushed them down mid-baking and it helped them get a slightly better shape. They’re much more crumbly-looking than yours still, though- not smooth on top. I don’t know why but they taste good so I am a happy camper! (and I totally subscribe to the school of “taste > looks” anyway)

  48. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these cookies over and over for a few years now! They’re my favourites too. It’s so hard to wait when ageing the dough but it’s so worth it

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