This is the most important step for making the best chocolate chip cookies

Team Delish 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 to indulge in beloved flavor combinations, sometimes there’s nothing better than the original.

And we’ve definitely cracked the code for the ultimate classic chocolate brownie. After 17 rounds of testing, we’ve created a cookie with a soft, crunchy core and delightfully crunchy edges. It has everything you could want in a small chocolate package.

There are a few ingredients in this recipe that set it apart from the store-bought stuff. But the one step that takes these cookies to the next level requires nothing but patience (and serious self-control): Refrigerate the dough overnight.

Chocolate chip cookiespinterest icon

Photo: Rachel Fanny; Food Formatting: Making Gore

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: Leaving the dough in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours makes a huge difference in the texture, flavor, and appearance of the final cookie. It bakes more evenly, tastes better, and helps make the cake more flaky. Prepare.

You can keep the dough in the fridge for at least four hours if you’re feeling particularly impatient. But, the more the better.

The reason behind this method is science. The longer the dough chills, the more moisture the sugar will absorb and evaporate into the air. By the time it’s baked, the sweet, buttery flavor is more concentrated than when it was first mixed together.

Refrigeration also improves the texture and appearance of the cookie. Our recipe starts with melted butter, which means cooling the dough is necessary for the fat to solidify again.

Butter maintains its integrity better and does not melt immediately when cookies are placed in the oven. This means that instead of ending up with a wide, flat cookie, your finished foods will be taller and have that soft, slightly chewy center you know and love.

Another plus, is that your cookies will reach their optimal level of golden brown and crunchy because resting and cooling results in an enhanced caramelization.

In addition to the concentrated flavour, the slightly drier dough means there’s a higher percentage of sugar – which makes for a more caramelized quality on the outside of the cookie.

Still not sure if refrigerating the dough is worth it? Check out the end results for yourself (and learn a few more tips) in the video below:

Preview After 17 taste tests, we've perfected this chocolate chip cookie
Head shot by Gabby Romero

Editorial assistant

Gabby Romero is the editorial assistant at Delish, writing stories about the latest TikTok trends, developing recipes, and answering any and all of your cooking questions. She loves to eat spicy food, collect cookbooks, and add a mountain of Parmesan to any dish she can.

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