High Altitude Chocolate Chip Cookies

After experimenting with several recipes for making good Chocolate Chip cookies at Denver altitude, I finally found one that gave the right texture and taste. A couple friends asked me to share the recipe, so I decided to write this up. For reference, you can find the original recipe, with more details, and suggestions on how to tweak other cookie recipes for high altitude here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda1
  • 3 cups All-purpose flour
  • 12 oz package of Chocolate Chips2

Directions:

  1. To have the butter properly softened and the eggs at room temperature, you’ll want to put them out on the counter at least an hour before starting to make the cookies3. This step is pretty important.
  2. Mix the butter and both types of sugar in a stand mixer, Bosch mixer, or mixing bowl, and keep mixing them until the butter and sugars are thoroughly mixed and creamy. Scrape the walls of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
  3. Add the eggs and mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape the walls of the mixing bowl again.
  4. Add the vanilla, baking soda, and 1 cup of the flour, and mix until well combined. Scrape the walls of the mixing bowl again.
  5. Add another ~1 and 1/2 cups of flour, and mix thoroughly. The dough will be pretty tough by this point, so you may want to switch to a dough hook, especially if you’re doing a double or triple batch.
  6. Test the batter at this point, scoop out a little dough and pinch it. It should squeeze easily but not stick to your fingers. If it’s still sticking, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, mix thoroughly, then try again. If necessary, keep adding flour 1-2 Tbsp at a time until it is the right consistency.
  7. Mix in the chocolate chips4.
  8. Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 15-30min while preheating the oven to 375F. Between batches return the cookie dough to the fridge5.
  9. I scoop the cookies out using a 1 Tbsp measuring spoon, but heaping it up about double size (~2 Tbsp per cookie), and then rolling them into a ball. You can fit about 12 of these, evenly spaced, on a normal-sized cooking sheet. I tend to use an aluminum cooking sheet with a layer of parchment paper lining it.
  10. Cook for 9-12 minutes until the knobby parts of the cookie are starting to brown a little. The rest of the cookie might look undercooked, but it will keep cooking a bit after you remove it from the oven.
  11. Once it’s cooled down sufficiently, I then transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack.

There are pictures an a lot more details and suggestions in the original recipe, but I wanted to provide simplified/concisified version here on the blog. Let me know if you have any comment/suggestions in the comment section.


  1. If you accidentally put in Baking Powder, it’s possible to salvage the recipe by adding 2-3x the amount of baking powder (reference). It won’t be as good, but is still decent. Don’t ask how I know. ↩︎
  2. I prefer semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, as it spreads the chocolate out more throughout the cookie. And 12oz works out to approximately 2 cups if you have a bigger package. ↩︎
  3. If you forget to put the butter and eggs out in advance, you can soften the butter using a microwave (say ~20s at 50% power) or putting it in a Ziploc baggy and immersing it a bowl with warm water. The eggs can also be warmed by putting them in a bowl with warm water. More suggestions are provided in the linked original recipe. ↩︎
  4. If you want to add other stuff like chopped nuts or coconut, this would be where you’d add them. My dad goes with chopped walnuts and dried coconut. ↩︎
  5. You don’t have to do this step, but I’ve noticed that by the time you’re done mixing, the butter in the cookies is getting pretty close to melting, and you end up getting harder, flatter cookies. Chilling the dough seems to make it stiffer, and the cookies end up being more chewy like I like them. ↩︎

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