The trick to making this best chocolate chip cookie recipe gooey is to not over-bake them. At the end of the baking time, these chocolate chip cookies won’t look done but they are.
These chocolate chip cookies will look a little doughy when you remove them from the oven, and thats good. They will set up as they sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes.
WHY DO COOKIES SPREAD & FLATTEN?
There are a few main reasons for this that I have found in my experience:
Expired leavening agents. If your baking soda or baking powder are past their prime, your chocolate chip cookies will likely flatten and spread. Even if the date on the container checks out, it still might not be good. That would be the first place I would start.
How to test if your baking soda is active: Combine 1/2 cup of hot water, 1/4 teaspoon vinegar and 1/4 tsp of baking soda. When you add the baking soda a reaction should take place immediately. If not, then you need new baking soda.
How to test if your baking powder is active: Add 1/2 tsp of baking powder to 1/2 cup of hot water. It should bubble immediately. A reaction should take place immediately. If not, then you need new baking powder.
Over-mixing. If you over-mix the ingredients in this best chocolate chip cookie recipe you may end up with flat cookies.
Ingredients are too warm. Sometimes over-mixing can also lead to your ingredients becoming too warm. If you notice this happening, you can chill the dough before baking to return the batter to room temperature.
Incorrect oven temperature. I recommend baking with an electric convection oven. If your cookies and other baked goods are not turning out properly, invest in a cheap oven thermometer to check the temperature. If your oven is baking too hot or too cold, then the cookies will not turn out well.
WHY DIDN’T MY COOKIES FLATTEN?
If your cookies didn’t flatten, here are a few things that could’ve been the problem. I have never had this happen to me in 10 years, so here are my educated guesses…
The ingredients/cookie dough was too cold. Cold dough doesn’t spread as well as room temperature dough.
You accidentally used too much flour. Be sure to use a measuring cup made for dry ingredients (NOT a pyrex liquid measuring cup), and do not use a knife to level the flour. Instead, fill the measuring cup over-full and shake off the excess until you have a level 1 cup.
The oven temperature is incorrect. I recommend using an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven (it’s only $7), because it can often be different than the reading it gives on the display or what the dial is set at.
The butter/sugar mixture wasn’t fully creamed. Try creaming the butter and sugar together for longer.