A bioengineering grad student has explored the science behind baking your ideal chocolate chip cookie.
Ooey-gooey: Add 2 cups more flour.
A nice tan: Set the oven higher than 350 degrees Fahrenheit (maybe 360). Caramelization, which gives cookies their nice brown tops, occurs above 356 degrees, says the TEDEd video.
Crispy with a soft center: Use 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
Chewy: Substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour.
Just like store-bought: Trade the butter for shortening. Arias notes that this ups the texture but reduces some flavor; her suggestion is to use half butter and half shortening.
Thick (and less crispy): Freeze the batter for 30 to 60 minutes before baking. This solidifies the butter, which will spread less while baking.
Cakey: Use more baking soda because, according to Nyberg, it “releases carbon dioxide when heated, which makes cookies puff up.”
Butterscotch flavored: Use 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (instead of the same amount of combined granulated sugar and light brown sugar).
Uniformity: If looks count, add one ounce corn syrup and one ounce granulated sugar.
More flavor: Chilling the dough for at least 24 hours before baking deepens all the flavors, Arias found.