Chocolate Chip Dough Balls Success

Oh yes…chocolate chip dough balls…finally!

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7 batches later, I finally have a chocolate chip cookie dough ball recipe to share with you guys!

But maybe you’re wondering what the heck dough balls are anyways. Well…

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…back at the Foodbuzz Festival a couple weeks ago (wow, has it already been that long?), the buzz of the tasting pavilion was Annie the Baker’s dough balls. I had two. They were amazing. I knew as soon as I tasted them that I just had to try to re-create them at home.

On Monday, I was too jet-lagged to be creative, but on Tuesday, I attempted my first batch. Little did I know that on the other side of the country at (possibly) the same time, Mama Pea was working diligently on a vegan version of dough balls in a peanut butter flavor. Her balls came out beautiful and perfect.

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Mine started out ok, but…

…they baked up completely flat. (real photos from batch #1…oy vay! I was too embarrassed to publish them last Tuesday)

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I mean they were flatter than normal cookies, even. It was a total fail. *tear*

But, you guys know me…I like a good challenge. And, I would NOT let these dough balls get the best of me.

I researched what caused flat cookies and tried to do the opposite. My main takeaways were:

  • I needed to put the dough in the refrigerator before baking it
  • I needed to reduce the amount of baking soda I used
  • I needed reduce the amount of liquids in the recipe

So, I modified my recipe and tried…and tried…and tried again.

As I mentioned earlier, my second batch more resembled dog treats than human treats.

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I tweaked the draft recipe and while my third and fourth were pretty good, but didn’t have the right texture (though they were at least no longer flat).

My fifth made for a delicious regular chocolate chip cookie, but once again, they were flatter than they were supposed to be (though not nearly as flat as the dreaded batch #1).

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By batch #6, things had gotten serious. I knew I was on the verge of success, but wanted to put the dough balls through several tests before finalizing my recipe. I tried various variations of the draft recipe with the same dough, but different baking methods:

  • I tried refrigerating the dough
  • I tried freezing the dough
  • I tried baking the dough balls at 350, 375, and 400 degrees F

I tried various trial versions of the dough balls and made hubby do a taste test.

He thought they all tasted really good.

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Notes on baking times and modifications.

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A strange collection of dough balls baked from frozen, refrigerated, and at 350, 375, and 400 degrees F.

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Which version will taste the best?

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Only a taste test would tell.

I liked the version that was refrigerated and baked at 350 best.

***

So, here we are at lucky batch #7. See below for full recipe, but here are some photos to help.

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The wet just before stirring into the dry.

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It will look like there is entirely too much flour and not enough dry. You may think you’ll never be able to get cookie dough out of this desert of a bowl, but keep working the dough. Trust me. Just press the wet dough back into the dry parts, using the back of the spatula. Try to not overmix, though.

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Add in chocolate chips and Boom!

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You have chocolate chip cookie dough.

Now, you won’t actually want to eat this dough. Since it has raw egg in it (unless you use a flaxseed egg, and trust me, I will be testing that version of the recipe out sooner than later to ensure it works), you can’t safely eat it until it reaches 160 degrees F, according to various web sites.

First you’ll want to chill the dough a bit. You could probably skip the refrigeration step, but your dough balls may be a little more flat and cooked through in the center.

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Use a small scooper to scoop out same-sized balls of dough.

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I think this is either a melon baller or a sorbet scoop. Use the one that is smaller than an ice cream scoop. The one with the little sweeper button will make this process a bit easier for you.

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Roll the into balls.

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You can try skipping the ball rolling step, but since the balls will flatten out a bit during baking, I find it best to try to get them as “tall” as possible so they stay more ball-shaped throughout the cooking.

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Bake and you should have perfect little dough balls.

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You’ll want to look for very light browning on the raised area of the dough balls. For the most part, they may look like raw cookie dough when you remove them, but you don’t want to cook these too long or you’ll just have tall cookies and not dough balls. Likewise, you don’t want to undercook these because of the eggs. I used a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of my dough balls were over 160 degrees F to be safe.

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The bottoms will be lightly browned.

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Note cooked outside edge and tender inside. That’s pretty much what you’re looking for.

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But, you can cook your balls a minute or two longer if you want your center a bit more set, like this.

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Chocolate Chip Dough Balls Success
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ stick butter, softened/room-temp
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed-egg)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
Newer and Preferred Method (Scoop and Freeze)
  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. (I used a handheld mixer, but you could probably just use a whisk). Add egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. Note: it will appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. See tips above for combining. Careful to not overmix.
  5. Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
  6. Use a small sorbet scoop (about 1″ wide) to scoop out dough into small mounds. Note: In this method, I don’t roll the dough into balls, I just scoop straight to the baking sheet. Try to not let dough touch too closely so they don’t freeze together. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, though 1 hour is better if you can wait that long. See Notes below for tips on baking/freezing.
  7. When you’re ready for some sweet and delicious dough balls, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Bake balls for 8-10 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers (I find mine are perfect at 9 if the oven is well pre-heated). I usually consider mine done when the tips of the dough are lightly brown. If you use egg, and you’re paranoid like me, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of the balls are at least 160 degrees F, which many web sites say is the safe temp to eat eggs.
  8. Let your dough balls cool till they’re save to eat and enjoy!
Original Preparation Method (Chill and Scoop)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. (I used a handheld mixer, but you could probably just use a whisk). Add egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. Note: it will appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. See tips above for combining. Careful to not overmix.
  5. Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes before using a small sorbet scoop to scoop out dough into small mounds. Roll each mound into a ball and spread evenly on a baking sheet, leaving roughly 2-3 inches between each ball.
  7. Bake balls for 10-14 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers. If you use egg, and you’re paranoid like me, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of the balls are at least 160 degrees F, which many web sites say is the safe temp to eat eggs.
  8. Let your dough balls rest on the baking sheet to cool at least 5-10 minutes or until they’re safe to eat. Enjoy!
Notes
I almost always make a double batch of these, especially using the “Scoop and Freeze” method. I like to freeze the scooped dough balls on a baking sheet for at least an hour to overnight before moving them to a flat tupperware container. This way, you have dough balls ready to bake whenever you’re ready to eat them!

This is my favorite dough ball flavor, but the sugar cookie version is a close second!

***
I’m hoping to try out some other flavors I’ve been dreaming about (I’m thinking of mixing in oatmeal and almond paste!), but be sure to check out Mama Pea’s scrumptious Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls for another wonderful flavor option and a vegan version.

Btw, if you like my recipe, please consider liking the official The Chic Life Facebook page (click to view), so you can stay in the loop of my latest and greatest creations. I like to announce things early for my FB friends. ;)

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Who wants dough balls and pink salted caramels for Christmas? Because I’m starting to think that’s all I’m going to be making this holiday seaon. lol

Bon Appetit!

What’s the most times you’ve tried making a recipe? Did you ever get it right?

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Comments

  1. says

    I have been waiting for this recipe since all of you Foodbuzz goers posted pics a couple weeks ago! Thank you for doing all of the hard work of figuring out a great recipe! I’m going to make them tomorrow, and I’ll come back to let you know how they turned out for me! Thanks again!

  2. says

    Mmm!! Thanks for sharing all your hard work with us and the beyond amazing results. Just so you know, I would be happy to take some of your test cookies and success cookies off your hands. Don’t want to crowd the kitchen too much! Also, I’m pretty sure I’m available for taste testing ;)

    • says

      Hey Natalie! I think your kitchenaid would be just fine. The only part I’d watch for is when you’re mixing the wet into the dry. I would think that the kitchenaid would be pretty good at combining the two, but if it looks like it’s not coming together, you may want to mix this part by hand. Just keep an eye on it. ;)

  3. says

    I think you could make a drinking– I mean eating– game out of this post. Every time you say “balls” take a bite. LOL. Dirty mind… sorry…

  4. says

    In all seriousness, I think this is a great idea. I mean, how many people LOVE to eat cookie dough? This combines the best of both worlds. This is baking season, right???

  5. says

    How did I miss the dough balls at the Tasting Pavillion? Thank goodness you created this recipe, now I can try them in the luxury of my own home and dazzle my guests! Have a great weekend Gold Dust Gal ;)

  6. Liz @ Blog is the New Black says

    I made these yesterday and tried to de-veganize them. I did ok but planned to keep trying. Next time it’s your recipe all the way!

  7. alanna says

    Hi Diana,

    After hearing so much about the infamous cookie dough balls, I’m excited to have finally found a non-PB version. I might just try them right now. But…I do have a weird request: could you email me the recipe for the failed first attempt? I love the looks of the pics you posted. I know – I’m weird, but I love a good flat cookie, as long as it is really soft and chewy. Those pics remind of of a total cookie failure I made many years ago that turned into a happy accident when I made chocolate chip cookie bowls and then used then for ice cream sundaes. I’d love to lood at attempt #1 and try it out!

    Thanks,
    Alanna

  8. Shauna says

    Ahhhh! I’ve been waiting for a peanut butter-less, chocolate chip version of these! Thank you so much for having the patience to go through the trial and error of seven batches. I really appreciate your mad recipe-tweaking skillz, and I’m so excited to make these tomorrow. Thanks again!

  9. Val @ Balancing Val says

    THANK YOU!

    Your blood sweat and tears will save me a ton of time trying to win the dessert contest on Thanksgiving :)

  10. says

    Yesyesyes!! Thank you for going through 7 batches to perfect this recipe Diana. Your efforts are worth it! I’m happy there is a non-vegan version out there now too, because now I don’t have to buy vegan margarine to try it :P These are happening in my kitchen sometime this week – I’ll report back on how it goes!

  11. says

    I just made a gluten free snickerdoodle version of these and I will post on them tomorrow. Between my three boys…they lasted an hour in the house! While I did not go to Foodbuzz (so I have no frame of reference), I would say this is a winner!

  12. Kaitlyn says

    Thanks for the recipe! I tried making these but modified it by replacing the chocolate chips with walnuts and adding oats. Turned out pretty good!

  13. says

    I just made a batch of these, and must say – well done, Diana! You have captured the deliciousness of Annie’s cookie dough balls in a great homemade version :-)
    I am going to figure out a way to make sugar cookie dough balls and maybe even decorate them a bit, for the Holidays… fun!

  14. says

    I made these tonight – I nixed the chocolate chips and added oats and cinnamon. I also rolled them in a cinnamon sugar mix before baking. They turned out great. I’ll put ‘em up on my blog this week.

  15. Amalia says

    I made these last night, and while they were tasty…they were very dry and crumbly, and I even baked them for slightly under 10 minutes….

    Anyone know why that might be?

    • says

      Hmm…not sure why. Did you use the proper portions of wet ingredients for the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs? I wonder if maybe you didn’t mix them enough? The flour should be incorporated fully into the wet. Hmm. Does any one have any ideas?

      • Amalia says

        I measured everything out correctly and the batter looked really good, so I don’t think it was that.

        I did however have to make my own baking powder by using baking soda+cream of tartar, but I doubt that variance would change the texture that much….

        Oh well! Just means I’ll have to make them again ;)

        • says

          Hey Amalia…maybe you baked them too long so they got dried out? Or maybe your oven is hotter than it says. So hard to tell with ovens being so different, etc. lol. Good point about “having” to make them again. :lol:

  16. Emily says

    I tried your recipe the other night. Are they supposed to taste like raw dough? I love raw cookie dough but the taste kinda made me sick to my stomach. The bottoms were browned lightly. Did your batch taste too doughy or just like a soft cookie?

    • says

      Hey Emily, the texture if really a personal preference thing. But, it sounds like you didn’t cook them long enough. If there are any left, you could possibly try baking them another minute or two. You may need to play around with the baking time. When I was testing, I would bake two at a time and cut into them to see how they looked before I baked a whole batch. Mine turned light brown on the bottoms before the top started to get golden. You’ll probably want to wait till the raised tips in the tops of the balls are juuuuuust golden. But you can also let them rest a few minutes and cut into one to test. I would say next time, you’ll probably just want to go about 2-3 minutes longer than you did this time. Happy baking! :)

  17. Christie says

    I made these tonight with a flax egg instead of a real egg. They turned out great!

    The last time I made them (using mama pea’s recipe) I didn’t soften the butter like I should have and they were crumbly. I think the proper softening is really important.

  18. says

    I have to say that I am totally impressed by your dedication! I’m glad you stuck with it though because these are amazing!! I made them the other night and already can’t wait to make my next batch :) I have to admit I accidentally added too much butter (oops), though it didn’t exactly hurt the flavor any, haha

    I took a whole bunch to work yesterday and they were a huge hit! After handing them out to several co-workers I put the extras in the kitchen and they were devoured in about 2 seconds. So thank you for the recipe!!

    • says

      Yay Lauren! I’m so glad to hear the dough balls were a hit not only with you but your co-workers. It’s amazing how fast things can get devoured in an office, no? lol

      You’re welcome! :)

  19. says

    I saw Susan Balancing ACt link these…and yes, you did a great job. 7 batches later. Girl I would have given up! I am like a one shot to get it right girl. I keep messing w/ the batter til I can “Save” it. I am cheap…on both ingredients$$ and time and never want to throw anything out…or repeat performance it. You are dedicated :)

    • says

      I am pretty cheap with the ingredients, too. Luckily, the “messed up” batches were just not right in texture/flavor, but were still pretty tasty. Hubby has eaten an insane amount of cookies over the last few weeks. hahahahahaha :)

  20. says

    I made these and followed everything exactly except I used Smart Balance margarine and they turned out pretty dry and crumbly- not doughy at all! I baked them for 11 minutes…could my butter sub have been the problem?

    • says

      I’ve never used Smart Balance and don’t know what it’s made of. I used whipped earth balance to make the dough balls and they turned out perfect.

    • says

      It’s possible. :( Did you soften the margarine before mixing?

      Also, I sent out a tweet to my twitter friends to see if anyone else has tried Smart Balance yet. I know a lot of people have used Earth Balance with success, so you could possibly try that?

  21. Jennifer says

    The texture was absolutely perfect but mine were not sweet at all! My husband asked “is this bread or a cookie?” I read and re-read the amount of sugar a zillion times. Did anyone else have this issue? Afraid if I just dump in more sugar I will mess up the texture.

    • Juliette says

      @Jennifer – I just made them last night and had the same issue! Have you tried to re-create them? It needs more sugar for sure, but I’m also afraid to mess up the texture.

      Anyone have any advice or suggestions?

      • says

        Adding too much sugar or butter may make them flatten out. I actually like it when cookies aren’t too sweet, so I may have been a little light-handed on the sugar on purpose. Whoops! :) I would suggest adding sweet mixins, or possibly rolling the balls in sugar to add extra sweetness without changing the texture. Happy baking!

  22. Miranda says

    I (finally) made these last night and OMG! They were perfect little balls of heaven! I will definetly be making these again!

  23. Mary says

    I live in an apartment building with my 5 best girlfriends from college. We make these almost every night! Thanks for the recipe :)

    • says

      It’s comments like this one that make the 7 batches worth it! That’s so cool to hear! Thank you so much for letting me know and happy baking! :)

  24. Kim says

    I’m catching on late… I just made these and they are absolutely heavenly!! The texture was perfect.. I was so tempted to add a tbsp of milk to the mixture and I’m so glad I listened! I was reading some of the comments regarding the sweetness of the cookies… maybe using more regular sugar in place of brown sugar will make the cookies sweeter? I did 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup regular sugar and a tbsp of brown sugar. Thank you. I’m building the tower to take to my office bake off!!

    • says

      Kim, it’s never too late for dough balls. ;) lol jk So glad to hear you liked the recipe, and that you’re building your very own dough ball tower!! I’d love to see a photo if you have the time. My email is: thechiclife at gmail dot com or you can post it on my Facebook wall. :) Happy baking! Diana

  25. Cassie says

    I literally just made these, and they are AMAZING! So glad I found this, and that you made them of course. Thank you so much for sharing!

  26. Jamie says

    I made these today for a party tonight along with a peanut butter version of the butterscotch ones. They are so tasty I am not sure if they will all make it to the party ;). I wanted to post a note because I substituted in wholewheat unbleached flour on both recipes, and I used chia seeds+water in place of the eggs. They turned out beautifully. Thank you so much for the all the hard work on getting this recipe together. I will be making these again soon!

  27. Bron says

    Hi!
    After hearing about these amazing balls, but knowing I’d never be able to buy them, as I live in Australia, I knew I had to make them one day. And then you posted your trials! Amazing!!

    I made them today – SUCESS. Good news is they work down-under too!! And even if your egg is a double yolked egg (I didnt pour it into the glass first – thats the last time I try to rush my baking) – they just end cracking (maybe I overbaked?!) Sounds like it might be a little forgiving, so I might try experimenting with flavours/health later.

    I found them sweet enough and I am a sweet tooth. I am not very accurate so maybe I added a tbsp more of the brown sugar, but they retained their shape.

    Husband loves them too!

    Thanks sooo much!

  28. Amanda says

    Just tried these with a flax/chia egg (i did mixture of flax and chia – the flax wasn’t getting very gelatonous on its own) and the dough tasted AWESOME and the cooked dough balls turned out great too!!

  29. says

    I made these once a month or so and devoured the whole batch in two days with a little help from my husband (who usually hates sweets).

    Have you ever considered a snickerdoodle version? Hint hint ;)

  30. says

    I made these on the 4th of July because we got rained in and this the first dough ball recipe that I’ve yet to screw up. They were amazing! : )

    • says

      Woohoo! Go Kim! These are great rain-day-eats. :) I have a sugar cookie version I need to post soon! They are almost…almost even better than chocolate chip! Mmmmmm

  31. Whitney says

    Hey Diana- Thanks for all your hard work in coming up with this recipe! I’ve had it bookmarked for months and FINALLY got around to making these. They turned out fabulous! I thought they were perfectly sweet– and that’s coming from someone who adores over-the-top sweet things, too! I’m going to have a hard time NOT eating all of these in the next two days. Just wondering– did you end up with 16 cookies, too? That’s how many I made using a 1″ baller.

    Thanks for a great recipe! Love your blog! :)

  32. says

    Oh my goodness – Isaac and I just ate the dough balls you gave me and they are delicious. Probably one of the best chocolate chips cookies I’ve had. I’m definitely going to try out your recipe for the next party I go to.

    Again, it was great getting to hang out with you this weekend. :)

    • says

      Yikes! Just realized I didn’t reply to this – so sorry for the delay!

      Anywho, so glad to hear you and Isaac liked the dough balls! And it was great hanging out with you at HLS, too! Hope to see you at Foodbuzz again this year. :) Maybe we can go for another shopping spree? ;)

  33. says

    OMG. The dough balls this weekend were sooooo good. I really need to make these again soon because I am drooling over these photos. Thank you for bringing them to HLS, it was a delicious treat!

    • says

      Sorry for the delayed response – somehow I missed replying to this thread for a bit. SO glad to hear you liked the dough balls! Thank you Kelly. :)

  34. says

    thanks for making this recipe. i like cookies that are more like cookies dough, ughh and i hate flat cookies. i might want to order sometime from annie the baker and try the REAL thing

  35. says

    I totally just made these tonight and they are fabulous!! Just had to say that these will be staple in my dessert recipe book from now on! Thanks for sharing! :) I blogged about my baking process, but don’t worry I gave you all the credit because I only know how follow recipes, not create them! hahaha

    • says

      Sorry for the delayed response, but this is so awesome to hear! I’m so glad you liked the dough balls, and from the photos, it looks like they turned out perfectly! Good luck with the new(ish) house!

  36. Miranda says

    These are AWESOME!!! Literally like eating a ball of cookie dough. I’m addicted. I followed your recipe exactly but made it gluten-free and vegan by subbing Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour mix, a splash of xanthan gum, Earth Balance buttery spread and a flaxseed egg. They came out PERFECTLY!!! Thanks for the new obsession!

    • says

      Hey Miranda, that’s so great to hear! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment to let me know. I always enjoy hearing when someone likes a recipe from TCL. Also, I love that you were able to make a tasty-GF version of the recipe. Nice job! Have a great rest of the weekend! :)

    • says

      Hey Laura, you’re so welcome. It was frustrating at times, but overall, I had fun doing it. I’m glad to hear they turned out well for you! :) Have a great week!

  37. says

    “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again!” You totally took that to heart, great job! They came out beautiful! Can’t wait to try this out for myself; think I’ll make them for hubby for Valentine’s Day.:) Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. Ally says

    Thanks for adding all the mid-process photos. After years of fairly proficient baking, it’s still hard to gauge when something’s really done. Good to have some new parameters to consider!

  39. Night says

    HI, I just saw Annie the Baker on Cooking Channel and she said she freezes the cookie balls before baking to keep the shape and cooks them at a “very” high temperature.

  40. Nicole says

    I made these chocolate chip cuties tonight and they are fantastic!! Thanks for the best choc chip cookie recipe I’ve ever tried!!

    • says

      Hi Nicole! Thanks for checking out my recipe! I’m so thrilled to hear you enjoyed the cookies. Best chocolate chip cookie recipe? I’m so glad you think so! You made my day! :)

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