What magic keeps cooked chocolate chips melty?

Chocolate chips are pretty solid at room temperature. You mix them into a batter, put them in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes, and they turn gooey and stay that way. You don’t have little solid chunks in your cookies, thank God. What gives?

i dont know but i love it.

It is the combo of sugars and butter/fat used (aka ‘recipe’).

Brown sugar with crisco will yield chewy cookies, along with such techniques as only baking when the dough is very cold.

Of course, using the proper cooking sheet and temps will keep the outside from over browning and will prevent it from hardening.

Brown sugar and fat can yield quite a gooey combo.

I think he means the chips themselves. I thought it was stupid question, but I realize that the OP is right… the chips pretty much maintain their consistency pre-cooking, but afterwards are pretty much always on the verge of melting just by touching. So, what’s the mechanism behind that?

I would guess that some of the fat from the batter infiltrates the chocolate, making it stay creamier, kind of like adding fat to chocolate to dress cakes with.

Are we sure the OP isn’t begging the question?.. because I’m not positive that chips are soft after baking and cooling…

Off to check, as the wife had made several xmas batches earlier today…will report back after very very thorough analysis, double blind study and general sampling.


Grandmothers make the best chocolate chip cookies. This is a fact.

Once their hair starts turning blue, certain wisdoms and truths are revealed to them. Only when our own hair turns blue and we become grandmothers ourselves will these truths be revealed to us. Until then, it’s best not to try and figure grandma out. She may never make us these cookies ever again, dismissing our requests with “You’re a smart little whippersnapper. Why don’t you figure it out and make 'em yourselves, sonny-boy? How come you never visit me anymore? C’mere and let me pinch you.”

I’m with Philster here. They don’t seem that much different once they’ve cooled. I would buy the ‘additional fat’ explanation for whatever tiny difference is there.

My guess, though, is that when you eat the cookie, you’re chewing them up with other stuff and all of it melts together quickly in the mouth, making it seem as though the chips were melted. I would test this with a non-chocolate cookie/biscuit/cracker, and eat a few uncooked chips with it to see what it feels like.

Not my Grandma. Don’t think you could pay me to eat anything she makes, its all god awful.

I am reporting back.

I sampled chips in Italian butter cookies and in the traditional brown sugar style chocolate chip cookies and the chewy cookies seemed like the chips were soft and chewy, but they were firm like the others when I chipped (no pun intended) a couple morsels out. When I popped them like M&Ms, they were firm little chips.

In the Italian butter cookies (a crumbly cookie), they were firm upon eating the cookie and after sampling them. They never seemed soft.

Upon further investigations, the reason semi-sweet chocolate (the stuff morsels and chips are made of) is used is that it holds up when cooking and won’t get chewy, soft or runny.

I’ve observed much the same phenomenon as in the OP - the chips seem to be softer/squishier after the cookies are baked, even when they’ve cooled. Not fresh-out-of-the-oven gooey, but definitely softer than they were before being baked. I wonder if it’s some function of chemical changes in the cocoa butter / solids, maybe it de-saturates some of the fat or something?

Chocolate can form up to 6 different crystal structures depending on how it is heated and cooled. Each different crystal structure has a different melting point. Ordinary eating chocolate is tempered to bring all the chocolate into a single crystalline structure that has a melting point of around 36C or body temperature which gives you a solid snap and melt in your mouth. Chocolate that is not tempered will be a mixture of all 6 different kinds of crystals which means that it will soften at significantly below 36C and give you that softness.

This article (PDF) has more than you ever want to know about tempering chocolate including the 6 different crystal structures.

Shalmanese, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

      • I was told that it was because many commercial chocolates have hardening agents put in them, and if you heat the chocolate to liquid, the hardening agents will usually separate out. So even when the stuff cools, it won’t be as hard again.

Chocolate chips will usually have extra lecithin added which makes it harder but it won’t seperate out upon heating and recooling.