The search for the perfect small batch chocolate chip cookie has led me through many, many recipes. This small batch chocolate chip cookies recipe offers the fastest reward for your efforts—just 10 minutes of mixing and 10 minutes of baking, which means happiness is minutes away from where you stand right now. Almost all cookie recipes had an all-butter base. Although that tastes great, I wanted my chocolate chip cookies to have the chewiness of a real bakery cookie. For this reason, I use a bit of shortening in my cookies.–Christina Lane

How long can I keep these small-batch chocolate-chip cookies?

Expect cookies that are slightly fragile with crisp edges and chewy centers and, when snatched straight off the baking sheet while warm from the oven, are unabashedly gooey in the center in the loveliest possible way. Actually, they’ll make you almost regret not baking more. Almost. The cookies are at their best when warm. As the cookies cool, they meander into cakey territory. Not that we expect the cookies to last until they’re cool. Nope, not at all. 

A small batch of chocolate chip cookies on a baking sheet.

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 / 2 votes
These small batch chocolate chip cookies make just enough for two. Made with butter and brown sugar and all the usual ingredients. Because if you’re anything like us, small batch is better than no batch. Sometimes much better.
David Leite
Servings12 cookies
Calories143 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lard or solid non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped milk or dark chocolate


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • In a medium bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together. Beat very well, about 45 seconds. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: You may need to occasionally scrape the sides of the bowl while mixing to incorporate all the ingredients since there’s a smaller amount than usual.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and add this mixture in 2 batches to the butter mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • If thin, flat, crisp-edged, almost lace-like chocolate chip cookies are desired, immediately divvy the dough into 12 equal balls or heaping tablespoons and space them evenly on the prepared baking sheet and slide them in the oven. If slightly thicker yet still not cakey chocolate chip cookies that don’t spread during baking are desired, cover and refrigerate the dough until chilled through, at least 8 hours, before divvying the dough into 12 equal balls or heaping tablespoons and spacing them evenly on the prepared baking sheet and sliding them in the oven
  • Bake the cookies for 8 to 12 minutes. The cookies will spread somewhat during baking and may look underdone—as in pale, pale golden brown—even when fully baked. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes –they’re incredibly when warm—and then carefully use a thin metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool slightly before descending upon them with your cookie craving.

Adapted From

Dessert for Two

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 143 kcalCarbohydrates: 16 gProtein: 1 gFat: 9 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.4 gCholesterol: 26 mgSodium: 50 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 9 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Christina Lane. Photo © 2015 Christina Lane. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I was raised on the Toll House recipe, with cookies more cakey than chewy, so it was with bated breath that I tried this recipe. But I think it’s possible I’m never going back. These were delicious, and my husband devoured 5 in the first 10 minutes. The problem, for those of you who’ve read the recipe title, is that this was nearly half the batch. Nom. Nom.

I was drawn to this small batch chocolate chip cookie recipe because of the smaller quantity it offers. Sometimes you just want to whip up a small batch of cookies and not have to go through halving a recipe. I was delighted that the recipe was very easy and that I was able to get through the recipe so quickly.

Most of the ingredients are kitchen staples with the exception of the espresso powder. I had a little trouble finding it, but I finally did. The cookies took 12 minutes to bake, resulting in cookies that were golden brown, gooey, oozy, and chewy right out of the oven. That is the best time to eat them.

By the time the family was done raiding the goods, there were only 2 cookies left, which had cooled down completely. I found that these cookies didn’t have the same “oomph” as those eaten warm. They seemed to dry out a bit and didn’t have that rich taste. I would definitely give these another try. I had to bake them for 12 minutes to get a golden brown color and crisp edge.

Because I’ve always wanted to make enough chocolate chip cookies for just tonight. Because using a scale means leaving the measuring cups in the cupboard. Because I only had to wash the mixing bowl and beater, the scale bowl, and a spatula (rinsing the baking sheet can wait for tomorrow). Because this small batch chocolate chip cookies recipe makes a single baking sheet of cookies dangerously fast from the pantry. These were exactly what I was looking for in a need-chocolate-chip-cookies-tonight recipe, when you don’t want to take any to work or have them in the house later that week.

Way better than those break-and-bakes, these guys sport a bitter edge from the espresso powder that gives a caramelized, browned-butter punch. These cookies emerged soft and warm from the oven and didn’t last long enough to cool down. For that reason alone, I’d come back to this recipe…not to mention because 20 minutes can really mean homemade cookies. I baked them for exactly 8 minutes. I pulled them from the oven even though they were still a little pale (but golden brown at the edges). They tasted more done than they were and were nice and soft in the middle, maybe from the shortening? After mixing, I’d scrape down the bowl. Especially when working with smaller amounts of batter, my KitchenAid tends to need extra help.

I chilled my dough during dinner and baked the cookies afterward. Instead of shaping my dough by spoonfuls, I just divided it in half, then evenly into a total of 12 pieces that I rolled into balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Because there are so few cookies to make, it’s easy to eyeball this. The single baking sheet, though a bit more crowded than usual, was perfect, and none of the cookies spread enough to overlap. Not sure how well they keep or fare once cool—we inhaled them.

Nothing says “comfort food” to me more than a really good chocolate chip cookie. I’ve spent years trying to perfect a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I’ve tried just about everything—melted butter, browned butter, adding vanilla pudding mix to the dry ingredients, even making them gluten-free (which is, surprisingly, my favorite so far). But what is the secret to those delicious, soft, chewy cookies that I buy in the coffee shops and bakeries?

These cookies had a different texture than other cookies I’ve baked, although I’ve never used shortening in a chocolate chip cookie recipe, which would account for the different texture and less brown appearance. I did like the texture, which was almost like that of a soft shortbread cookie. Overall, the cookies were soft and delicious. They had a good flavor and the perfect amount of chocolate chips. I would give these cookies a thumbs up and would make them again for the taste, simplicity, and quantity.

If I wanted a quick chocolate chip cookie fix, these would fit the bill nicely. All the ingredients are pantry staples, for the most part. I used a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop and it made exactly 1 dozen small cookies. The cookies didn’t spread very much while baking, so I only needed 1 baking sheet. The cookies puffed up in the oven, but flattened out to look like more traditional cookies once they came out. I set my timer for 7 minutes but gave the cookies 9 minutes in the oven, although they could have been left in for 10. They were baked but not very brown, on either the top or the bottom. The cookies could not be moved immediately to a wire rack. They were very soft and almost fell apart when I attempted the transfer them, so I left them on the sheet for about 10 minutes, at which point they were set and I could easily move them to a rack. The cookies were flavorful, although I think increasing the salt and the instant espresso powder would have boosted the flavor a bit.

As a baker, what drew me to this small batch chocolate chip cookie recipe was the yield. A perfect dozen. I find that most times when I make cookies, I get 2 to 3 dozen, when I really only need one. I said need, not want. Believe me, the more cookies there are, the higher the probability of eating more than a dozen! Especially if they’re warm, fresh from the oven, and there’s a cold glass of milk at the ready.

I tested this recipe twice. The first batch was delicious. The cookies were what I like my chocolate chip cookies to be—chewy, gooey, and not too sweet, but I found that they were a little too greasy and spread too much. They turned out more like a lace cookie rather than a bakery-style cookie. Since the flavor was definitely there, I wanted to try again. During my first batch, I found the imperial measurements and metric equivalents didn’t quite match, so I chose to follow the metric measurements. I also used lard instead of vegetable shortening. For my second batch, I followed the imperial measurements and used lard again instead of vegetable shortening. The chocolate chip cookies were DIVINE! Chewy, gooey, just the right amount of volume, and not cakey.

Definitely two thumbs up! In less time than it takes to pick up a dozen cookies from the bakery, you can get a dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies freshly baked from your oven. I dare you to eat just one!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These small batch chocolate chip cookies were a hit: quick, easy, and delicious. Just 10 minutes of prep time, 9 minutes in the oven. I usually avoid shortening (I had a chef in culinary school who swore off it and advised me to do the same, due to the hydrogenated oils). I couldn’t find a brand without the hydrogenated oils and decided there were only 2 tablespoons in this recipe, so I made an exception and bought Crisco. I used a tablespoon-size ice cream scoop to portion out my dough, which yielded 18 cookies. I loved the size of the recipe—it’s just enough to produce a yummy snack that lasts a few days for my family of 4. The results for this recipe were chewy—not necessarily cakey, but nice and chewy. They were a hit at my house, maybe even more so than the crisp cookies that my all-butter recipes yield. Maybe shortening isn’t terrible after all!