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These Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies are thick and chewy with a flavor that will blow you away! The cream cheese keeps these cookies incredibly soft and tender and adds just a hint of tang.
There are few things that I love more than a chewy chocolate chip cookie and there is no shortage of different recipes on CLF. These soft batch cream cheese chocolate chip cookies are right up there with these Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies and these brown butter chocolate chip cookies. If you don’t have cream cheese on hand and the CCC craving strikes, make one of those recipes!
Or there are always chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies if you are in the mood for a nut-butter treat! You could also make it extra classy with these Red Velvet Cookies, I support all your cookie choices.
Table of Contents
Why you will love these cream cheese chocolate chip cookies:
- Professional experience: Since these cookies were developed by a professional chef, they were tested in large batches in a commercial kitchen as well as in a home kitchen! Best of both worlds.
- Texture, texture, texture: These thick cookies have a chewy and tender texture–making them an extraordinary chocolate chip cookie experience in every bite!
- Unique tang: Cream cheese gives your cookies added richness, softness, and a small tang that sets them apart from other chocolate chip cookies in the most delightful way.
Why add cream cheese to chocolate chip cookies?
Cream cheese behaves differently than butter when baked, which makes cookies thicker and chewier than using butter alone. The added tang keeps them from being too sweet.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. Every brand is different and it makes adjusting the recipe a challenge.
- Cream Cheese: Cream cheese in cookies gives them a soft, chewy texture. It also adds a nice tang and rounds out some of the sweetness. I always use full fat Philadelphia cream cheese.
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is less salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties. It heightens the flavor here and will keep your cookies from tasting dull or flat.
- Light Brown Sugar: Using light brown sugar adds sweetness along with a little moisture. This will keep the cookies softer while adding a nice, rich molasses flavor.
- Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar is obviously here for sweetness, but if you add too much in proportion to the butter and flour, the cookies will spread rather than stay tall and chewy
- Whole Egg: The eggs are here to add fat, moisture and leavening. The fat from the yolk adds richness and helps keep the cream cheese chocolate chip cookies chewy. Beating in the eggs just enough will add a little or a lot of leavening depending on the desired texture. Eggs also emulsify the batter and keep everything texturally perfect.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract adds a beautiful flavor itself but it also boosts the flavor of other ingredients around it such as chocolate and brown sugar.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour has just the right amount of gluten to make a chewy, soft chewy cookie.
- Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to cookies helps make them chewy and thick.
- Chocolate Chips: I use a mix of semi-sweet chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chips for contrasting flavors and to balance some of the sweetness.
Regarding chocolate chips, Ghirardelli is my brand of choice, but Toll House chocolate has never let me down.
- Mix-ins: You can absolutely add mix-ins to these cookies! Get crazy with it! Add oats, peanut butter chips, M&M’s, butterscotch chips or mini snickers. Or all of them for a party like in these Kitchen Sink Chocolate Chip Cookies! Be sure to let me know in the recipe comments which mix-ins are your favorites, so I can give them a try!
- Stuffed: Flatten each cookie dough ball into a disk and then wrap it around a frozen scoop of peanut butter, caramel candy or more chocolate!
- Salty Sweet: Sprinkle the top with fleur de sel for an elevated salty sweet finish!
- Cornstarch: If you don’t have cornstarch you can omit it, or you can use a cornstarch substitute like tapioca starch instead.
- Light Brown Sugar: If you don’t have LBS on hand, you can absolutely substitute dark brown sugar in equal amounts. The flavor will just be a bit more robust but you will still get all the benefits of the added moisture and caramel notes.
- Chocolate Chip Types: You could use different mixtures of chocolate chips in this cream cheese cookie recipe. Can you use milk chocolate chips? Of course! Only dark chocolate? Go for it.
I’m personally a fan of how the bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate chips taste with this particular dough, but they’re your cookies–so try all the combos!
How to Make
Use these instructions to make the perfect cream cheese chocolate chip cookies every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!
Make the cookie dough:
Step 1: Mix dry ingredients. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Step 2: Cream wet ingredients. Cream butter and cream cheese. You want to be sure both the cream cheese and butter are cold, but soft and pliable. That way it will incorporate smoothly together and cream nicely with the butter and sugar but not take on too much air. This will help your cookies stay chewy rather than cakey. Add sugars, egg, and vanilla to the creamed mixture and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. I use the paddle attachment on my stand mixer for this!
Step 3: Combine mixtures and add mix-ins. Reduce your stand mixer’s speed to low and add the flour mixture in small additions slowly. You don’t want flour to get everywhere! It usually takes me 5-7 additions, and I only mix each until just incorporated. Add mix-ins (chocolate chips), and briefly mix so that they are evenly distributed.
Step 4: Scoop the dough using a 2” cookie scoop of a ¼ cup measuring cup.
Optional, chill your cookie dough: This step is optional, though I do find that the flavors enhance with refrigeration of 2 hours or up to 3 days before baking.
I like to scoop my dough using a 2” cookie scoop prior to chilling so that the dough balls are ready-to-bake! There is nothing more frustrating (or difficult) than portioning chilled dough.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350℉.
Step 2: Bake the cookie dough in an oven at 350℉ on a parchment-paper lined sheet with the dough balls 2” apart on the sheet, they don’t spread that much so don’t worry about giving them excess space between cookies! I usually bake them for 11-12 minutes, or until the sides of the cookies start to brown.
Step 3: Let cool, and enjoy. Let the cookies cool for five minutes on the baking sheet, and move to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
To ensure the thickest, chewiest cookies, barely cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Beat just until a smooth paste forms. This will keep extra air from incorporating into the dough, which will make for chewier cookies.
Frequently Asked Questions
I store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or frozen. When they are stored in an airtight container, they will lose a bit of the crispness around the edge. You could leave a corner cracked but they will dry out faster. They will keep up to 10 days at room temperature or several months frozen.
Chilling is only truly ‘required’ when butter in the dough was melted, which it was not in this case. However, chilling this dough before baking will create thicker, chewier cookies and also give more time for the flavors to meld. I find it best to scoop the cookie dough and chill in balls, because it is easier to manipulate before it solidifies.
You can make this cookie dough and chill up to 3 days before baking, or freeze the raw cookie dough balls for up to three months.
You can make as large a batch of these cream cheese chocolate chip cookies as you would like. You are only limited by the size of your mixer.
Personally, I always use full-fat cream cheese for the flavor and texture benefits in these cream cheese chocolate chip cookies. Low fat or whipped cream cheese are not suggested.
These cream cheese chocolate chip cookies will keep up to 10 days at room temperature or several months frozen.
You can freeze these cookies for up to 2 months after baking, or freeze the cookie dough balls. Then you can bake them fresh at any time.
Bake the dough at 350°F for 12-14 minutes straight from frozen! Bake until the edges have begun to brown. They will take just a little longer than from completely chilled.
These cookies ship wonderfully. Package in a decorative tin or just place in a zip-top bag in a mailer box. They keep for 10 days and they stay chewy for almost as long. The larger the cookie, the longer they stay chewy!
If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!
Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt kosher or sea salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup cream cheese softened (avoid using fat free, light or whipped cream cheese!)
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips I use Ghirardelli
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips I use Ghirardelli
- Whisk together in a medium bowl the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugars, egg and vanilla to your creamed mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. I use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. After each addition mix until just incorporated. I do 5-7 small additions.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix briefly to distribute.
- You can refrigerate the dough or not. I actually baked one right after mixing (#impatience) and it was just as thick as the ones I baked the next day. I do, however, think the flavors are enhanced after a little refrigeration, so I would suggest refrigerating the dough 2 hours or up to 3 days before baking.
- Scoop the dough using a 2” cookie scoop or a ¼ cup measuring cup. Chill or bake immediately.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350℉ and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place cookie dough balls 2” apart on the cookie sheet. These cookies really don’t spread that much.
- Bake 11-12 minutes. The sides should just be starting to brown. You don’t want them to be brown. Just have a nice kiss of color. Let them cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Before You Go
I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed Cookie Recipes!