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Apr 1, 2013 11:21 AM

Crunchy chocolate chip cookies?

Hey everyone,
Does anybody know of a recipe for crunchy chocolate chip cookies, all the way? not just crunchy at the edges and soft in the middle?
I've tried many recipes but didn't found what I was looking for- They were either crispy and thin, or relying on chopped nuts to provide the crunch, or way-way-waaaay too sweet.
I tried searching for a similar thread, and only came up with some people recommending the Neiman Marcus recipes- but I couldn't really figure out which one of them [the "real" one (with the espresso powder) or the 250$ one (with the ground oats) is really crunchy. Maybe both but I thought I would ask anyway.

My guess is that either high propotions of sugar or oats can contribute to the desired crunch.


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  1. Make the Jacques Torre discussed in the thread below. But, alter the recipe to use a smaller scoop, cooking the smaller cookies for the same length of time as the larger cookies specified in the recipe. I use a 2-inch diameter scoop. The cookies end up crispy all the way through, but still high. The overnight refrigeration keeps them from going flat. These cookies are outstanding.

    3 Replies
    1. re: janniecooks

      Thanks! I have made JT's recipe and never though of that idea! Don't the cookies end up dry?
      Do you remember how the cookies should look like before I take them out?

      1. re: McBrownie

        The cookies don't end up dry with my modifications. They should look cooked, the bottoms should be golden. If the cookies have any dark edges or are dark on the bottom they are overcooked.

    2. I think I have the perfect recipe for you. I discovered it very haphazardly one day when I couldn't quite figure out what to make. I made snickerdoodle dough and added choc chips and did not roll them in sugar. They were crispy all the way through and were delicious.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Gloriaa

        Thanks! But aren't snickerdoodles kinda soft in the middle?

        1. re: McBrownie

          Yes and I love the chewy texture. I guess I must have baked them a little longer and they came out with a wonderful crispy,not crunchy, texture. They do taste eggy though, but I like that. Maybe too much baking soda? Or maybe too much egg? Everyone loved them.

          1. re: Gloriaa

            I baked snickerdoodles not so long ago, and the weird [and slightly surplus] leavening agents probably contribute to that aftertaste. Mine came out crunchy [even though I know they're supposed to be soft.. probably overbaked them too] but that aftertaste really disturbs me..
            Thanks anyway!

      2. Do I have a recipe for you!

        I was looking for a nice crunchy chocolate chip cookie recipe for a long time, when I came across this one.

        But it's for oatmeal cookies, so I thought, well, I'm really looking for chocolate chip, but why not give these a whirl. Besides, I had half a bag of miniature chocolate chips in my pantry I wanted to use up, so why not.

        In a word EXCELLENT!

        Crispy throughout, flavorful, crunchy. The kind of cookie you want to eat several of with a glass of milk. The mini chips are perfect, but I have made them also with regular-sized chips and they were fine too. Sometimes I throw in a handful of finely chopped crystallized ginger.. because, well just because. Also, I used quick-cooking oats which are the same as regular oats except they are cut finer. They work better than regular oats for this one.

        See what you think:

        14 Replies
        1. re: TrishUntrapped

          Agreed these are wonderful. I have made them several times from cook's illustrated. My favorite are the coconut oatmeal ones, they have a few variations. They are good but they are oatmeal cookies not chocolate chip cookies.

          1. re: Gloriaa

            The OP mentioned oatmeal, so I thought I'd pass this one along. Add the chocolate chips and you're good to go.

            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              The neiman Marcus cookie I made called for oat flour- I ground oatmeal in a coffee grinder. The end product did not taste like an oatmeal cookie. I do agree with you that it is a delicious recipe and a very worthwhile one at that.

              1. re: Gloriaa

                This is interesting. I just looked at the back of my favorite commercial crunchy chocolate chip cookies (Kelly's Kookies) and the ingredients listed include oatmeal and margarine (even though the other cookies in her line all use butter). Wonder if the margarine helps with crunchiness, too.


                1. re: emily

                  I've read in many places that margarine [and shortening] provide baked goods with crispness and flakyness.
                  I think that's why many people use it in pie crusts!

                  1. re: McBrownie

                    I make a very flaky piecrust with all butter. Yes, shortening also makes a flaky piecrust. But it brings nothing to the party tastewise, and leaves an unpleasant coating in the mouth. Add that to the artery-clogging aspects of shortening, and it's a loser overall.

                    EDIT: Remarks about shortening also apply to margarine; they are virtually the same thing.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      I would disagree about your pie crust findings, but that would be a better discussion for another thread.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        I totally agree [minus the minor fact that shortening isn't available here, so technically I was talking about margarine]. Also, I prefer butter even health-wise.

            2. re: TrishUntrapped

              Thank You! Did you replace some of the oats with chips, or did you just add them?

              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                I made two batches of these cookies this weekend for a seminar luncheon (Photo below). Huge hit as usual, with requests for the recipe.

                This is how I changed them up. I added one cup of mini chocolate chips (Ghirardelli). I also omitted the orange peel and added two tablespoons of finely chopped crystallized ginger (Optional. You don't need to add the ginger, I personally like it) Also, I used quick cooking oats, slightly less amount than the original recipe, and slightly less sugar too.

                So I guess I have reinvented the basic recipe. They are delicious. Look at the link above to see how to put them on the cookie sheet. I flattened mine by putting a small piece of parchment paper over the top and pressing lightly with a flat bottomed glass.

                Here is my recipe variation:

                Crispy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (with ginger)

                Yield: 24 cookies


                14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
                3/4 Cup granulated sugar
                1/4 Cup brown sugar
                1 large egg
                1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
                1 Cup all-purpose flour
                3/4 Teaspoon baking powder
                1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
                1/2 Teaspoon salt
                2 Cups rolled oats (quick cooking)
                1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or regular sized if desired)
                2 Tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)


                1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

                2) Cream the softened butter and the sugars in a mixer on medium speed.

                3) Add the egg and vanilla extract.

                4) In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients except the rolled oats.

                5) Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into butter mixture.

                6) Mix in oats, 1/2 Cup at a time, in order to prevent clogging. Then gently blend in the chocolate chips and ginger.

                7) Take about 2 scant Tablespoons of batter and make into a ball. Place balls a good distance apart on the baking sheet as they will spread.

                8) Place a small piece of parchment over the ball and press down lightly with a flat bottomed glass (so it doesn't leave a mark) or a small pan. The resulting disk should be about a 1/2 inch high (SEE PHOTOS IN THE LINK I POSTED ABOVE).

                9) Bake for 14-16 minutes and if they appear to be cooking unevenly, rotate the sheet halfway through.

                10) Once the cookies are lightly browned around the edges, take them out and let them cool on the parchment a minute or two to firm up, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  Thank you!
                  I see now that it's an ATK recipe- I have made them before! There's also a recipe for "thin and crisp chocolate chip cookie" they did back in.. season 4, I think, and it's also delicious. I actually don't like oats in my chocolate chip cookies so maybe I'll try to replace some of the oats with chocolate chips, rather than just add them.
                  I think the [fake] Neiman Marcus recipe said to grind them in a food processor which I thought was interesting but I haven't made it yet.

                  But the ATK oatmeal cookie is indeed VERY crisp and light! I especially like the nice buttery taste it has, yet there was still some molasses cookie so it wasn't boring.

                  1. re: McBrownie

                    If you don't like oatmeal at all I wouldn't bother. Didn't know that or I wouldn't have posted this recipe. For anyone else, give this one a whirl.

                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                      I do like oatmeal, just not in my chocolate chip cookies (:

              2. The real neiman marcus one is crunchy.


                I think the bake time is too long but if you like really crunchy, it might be fine for you. I think 15 minutes is fine.

                13 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  I JUST finished baking these. I baked most of the batch for 20 minutes and the rest a little longer. I looked at them after 12 and 15 minutes and they didn't look baked enough [to my understanding, crunch is obtained when you bake it long enough though obviously not too much]- they looked like a normal choc-chip cookie. And at 300 degrees F, 20 minutes doesn't seem too much to my un-professional mind [I figured since a #30 scoop at 350/375 is normally baked for about 16 minutes, at 300 degrees, 20 minutes sounds fine].
                  Anyway I will report back once they thoroughly cool.

                  1. re: McBrownie

                    I found them almost too crunchy but if they don't work for you, have you tried Alton Brown's "The Thin" chocolate chip cookie?


                    Use light brown sugar to get a crisper cookie, or better yet, I control it by using white sugar w/ a little molasses. The less molasses, the crispier the cookie will be. A lower temperature for longer bake time will also help. It'll cause the cookie to spread more before setting.

                    1. re: chowser

                      How about only using white sugar?

                      1. re: Gloriaa

                        It would make it crispy but more like a sugar cookie w/ chocolate chips than a chocolate chip cookie.

                      2. re: chowser

                        I think I slightly underbaked them, because, well, while there was a definite crunch in the outer "rings" of the cookie, the inner ones were more chewy. The only problem is that they are a bit too sweet. Also I think the espresso powder is there to hide the sweetness.

                        It doesn't really bother me if the cookie is thin or thick, but I have tried many thin recipes [Alton's recipe excluded] and found them okay, thin- yes, crispy- yes, but not really crunchy.

                        1. re: McBrownie

                          Sugar does make them crispy, esp brown sugar. I would take your favorite recipe, use more white than brown sugar, not refrigerate the dough, bake at a lower temp at first until cookies are set, then turn up the temp until baked. Cutting sugar will result in a cakier cookie, not crisp.

                          1. re: chowser

                            CI has taught me that white sugar will make cookies crispy while brown sugar gives them some chew. The molasses adds moisture.

                          2. re: McBrownie

                            You can put them back on a cookie sheet and bake some more.

                            Shirley Corriher's "Cookwise" has a whole, charted section on how to control the results of chocolate chip cookies. I am guessing that the same info is in her later book, "Bakewise".
                            Melting the butter and subbing a little corn syrup for some of the sugar are two of the many tweaks. Unfortunately my volume is not at had at the moment.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              Baking twice is a great idea.

                              Wouldn't adding corn syrup make it a chewier cookie? I also thought melting the butter would do the same. The CI best recipe has the great chewy cookies that start w/ melted butter.

                              1. re: chowser

                                I think that underbaking the syrup would make it more chewy, but completely baking will evaporate the liquid and thus make it crispy [America's Test Kitchen "thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies"].

                                Hmm, is there a difference between baking once for a long time and baking twice?

                                1. re: McBrownie

                                  I think the second baking would dry them out while overbaking once could potentially burn them.

                              2. re: greygarious

                                Okay, I excavated and located Cookwise. For crisp, you want flatter (more spread) and browner. So here are what Shirley does to increase these characteristics:
                                - fat with a sharp melting point, like virgin coconut oil. or butter.
                                - high protein flour
                                - add 1-2 T liquid (water, milk, or cream, NOT additional egg) for a recipe using 1/5c flour and making 2.5 dozen cookies
                                - high protein flour
                                - corn syrup
                                - extra baking soda

                                Brown sugar makes cookies that soften on standing. So use half brown, half white. She does not mention oatmeal and I do not think oatmeal adds crispness since soluble fiber like oats will trap and hold liquid.

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  Wow you rock, man. I had no idea whatsoever that high gluten flour makes cookies both flatter and browner. Trying to substitute the flour may just solve all my problems.

                                  The reason I thought oats can contribute to the crispness, is because I had thought that if you bake them long enough, they dry out and contribute to the crispness, and as time goes by and more moisture enters the cookie, the oats absorb it and make the actual "dough" stay crisp. [also the 250$ recipe was said to produce crunchy cookies, and it adds ground oats]. But I guess it's only a theory.


                      3. Best Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

                        1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided use
                        4 oz. brown sugar (about 1/2 cup)
                        4 oz. granulated sugar (about 1/2 cup)
                        1 large egg
                        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                        8 oz. unbleached flour (a shy 2 cups)
                        1/2 teaspoon baking soda
                        3/4 teaspoon baking powder
                        1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
                        1 cup pecan halves
                        1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

                        1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
                        2.Set aside 2 T. of the butter to soften. Brown the remaining butter over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix the sugars in a large mixing bowl. Throw the 2 T. of butter in with the sugars. When butter is nicely browned, run it through a fine strainer over the sugars and regular butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is somewhat uniform. Set aside to cool a bit.
                        3.Toast the pecans at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Put on a cool plate to cool. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
                        4.When butter-sugar mixture has cooled slightly, throw in the vanilla and the egg. Mix. Stir together the flour, BS, BP, and salt. Dump the dry stuff into the gooey stuff and stir to blend. Throw in the chips and nuts and stir again. Chill dough for 20 minutes or so.
                        5.Use a 1 1/4" scoop to portion dough - it won't hold together, so you will have to squeeze it gently in your hand to form slightly flattened balls, 12 to a sheet.
                        6.Bake for 20-22 minutes.

                        If you age the dough in the fridge for a day, they will be even better.

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: sandylc

                          Do they come out thin and crisp or thick? Also, is the crunch because of the pecans?

                          1. re: McBrownie

                            They are of uniform thickness of a medium sort.

                            I think the crunch is a combination of things. I developed this recipe by studying the other crisp cookie recipes out there, then combining parts of them and adjusting the sugar to my taste. I think the lower, slower baking has an effect, as do the browned butter, white sugar, and baking soda.

                            These are a completely different texture; they are light and crisp throughout and stay fresher longer than, say, Toll House Cookies. They are also less sweet.

                            1. re: sandylc

                              Thank You! It sounds very intriguing.
                              Have you ever tried baking them without hte nuts? I know that generally you can omit them in chocolate chip cookies, but I'm only asking it because they have an inherent crunchy quality about them, so I just want to eliminate the option that they are crunchy because the pecans exist in every bite.

                              1. re: McBrownie

                                The crunch is not from the nuts. If you want to omit them, I'm sure you could - just not sure why you would want to! :-)

                                EDIT: One of the main things to remember is to bake them thoroughly. They should be browned nicely. Many Americans seriously underbake their baked goods.

                                1. re: sandylc

                                  I know! I hate under baked cookies.

                                  1. re: Gloriaa

                                    Yup! Or breads, piecrusts, etc.

                                    EDIT: And whomever "invented" those chocolate "lava/molten" cakes should be shot. Sure, I want to eat unbaked cake batter - not.

                                    1. re: sandylc

                                      Exactly! I want a moist delicious cake, anyone can make a hot from the oven cake or cookie taste good. I guess that is why they are so popular. Gone are the lava cakes and here are the hot from the Von cookie dessert. Really? Pillsbury cookies taste good hot. Make me something I can't get at home.

                                  2. re: sandylc

                                    Thanks! I'll try them and post my results soon.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Haha, no pressure.
                                        BTW, which brown sugar do you use? I'm guessing light brown to avoid extra moisture?

                                          1. re: sandylc

                                            I've made the cookies yesterday.
                                            When I tasted the cookies last night [when the last sheet was in the oven, the first one was properly cooled]. they indeed were crisp and light, but they were still fresh from the oven, so I wanted to see how they were the next morning.

                                            Oh, first, a few comments:
                                            - After the dough aged for 24 hours in the fridge, it was quite hard, and very hard to scoop from it. Is it possible to scoop first and then chill the entire batch? I'm not sure what goes during the aging process, other than the obvious fact that the liquid components are absorbed.
                                            - I used a #60 scoop [1.25 inch diameter] and got 13 cookies on the sheet [3-2-3-2-3], about 4 dozen cookies total.
                                            - I wasn't sure how much to flatten the cookies prior to baking, so I've made two batches- one was flattened to 1 3/8 inch diameter and the other to 1 1/2 inch. Besides the way they look, I can't really tell them apart.

                                            So, when I ate one [=two] today.. The cookies were indeed crisp and crunchy all the way! And pretty. They are a tad too sweet for me, but I think it's because of the chocolate [53% cocoa solids], not the dough itself. Also I would probably add a tiny bit more salt the next time I'll crave some chocolate-chip-crunchiness [and decrease the total amount of chocolate].

                                            Thanks Sandylc!

                                            1. re: McBrownie

                                              Glad they turned out!

                                              It is very hard to scoop them, you are right. Your idea of scooping before aging might be a good one.

                                              They are slightly too sweet for me, as well, but I don't want to give up the crispness and others eating them want lots of chocolate; I do use 61% chopped up sometimes and that helps.

                                              Happy eating! I have a coconut-pecan-rum cake in the oven!

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                I was just about to reply that after [quite..] a few more cookies, I think I prefer the flatter, rather than the chunkier ones. I don't know why, but it's nicer to bite into.

                                                I actually thought about using higher percentage cocoa, but they start to lose their chip-shape, and a chopped chocolate bar stays soft longer and I like the way the chips set quickly, and become an actual morsel, rather than become a gooey [but delicious!] mess.

                                                Enjoy your cake! It sounds delish.