SHHHHH! It’s her secret chocolate chip recipe!!

Written by Leslie Means

Written By:  Leslie Means

I have a secret.

I started making this secret chocolate chip cookie recipe when I was a young girl.  I’ve made lots and LOTS of batches.


Maybe more.

This recipe has been a fan favorite for many years.  I’ve made it for birthday parties, family gatherings, company picnics and the like.  I’ve heard people say, “Leslie, what is in your cookie recipe?  It’s SO good.”

And I tell them.

“It’s a few of my mom’s secret ingredients that make these bad boys so tasty.”

Then a few years ago my sister, Lindsay shared the REAL secret.

“Um, Les – that recipe mom uses is the same dang recipe on the back of the chocolate chip cookie bag.  You can just tell people you got it from “Nestley – a toll-housey”  (Insert sarcastic accent).


It was.

The. Exact. Same. Recipe.

Crushed, I called mom to ask her if my sister spoke the truth.

“Yes, Leslie,” she says.  “But – there are a few things that I use that makes the recipe unique.”

She’s right.  Our recipe calls for Crisco.  NOT butter.  I’m not a fan of flat, crunchy cookies.  These bad boys will never be flat.

We have other special additions too.  Having made them so many times, I can tell you before the cookies are baked whether or not they will be good.  Here’s a few special touches we add to the batch. 

*Use REAL vanilla.  Nothing imitation.

*Use a HUGE cookie scoop. 

*Use Kosher salt instead of table salt. 

*Place your cookies on a silver, jelly roll pan.  (I seriously think other cookie sheets hamper with the baking process.)

*Bake only about 8-10 minutes on 375.  Take your cookies out a few minutes before they are fully cooked; let them finish baking on the cookie sheet.

*ONLY use Nestle real semi-sweet chocolate chips.  They are the best for these guys.

*Pop them in the fridge or (my favorite) the freezer.  I think they’re best cold.

*Use the entire bag of chocolate chips and eliminate the nuts.  (That’s my addition.) 

*Use fresh eggs.  (This is easy for me as mom and dad and my sister, Lindsay have chickens.  I’m likely to have fresh eggs throughout the year.) 

If you’re a butter-in-your-cookie fan, you might not like the Crisco one as well.  (AKA – my sister, Lindsay who crushed my heart by telling me it’s not a secret recipe.)

HOWEVER, throughout the years I’ve have 100’s of people tell me how much they loved my cookies.  And my biggest critics; Kyle, my girls and my dad? 

They love them.

That’s pretty much all that matters anyway.  😉

Leslie’s Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies! 

(AKA – Nestle Toll House with a few additions)

1.  1 tsp. REAL vanilla

2.  1 tsp. Kosher Salt

3.  1 bag (usually about 3 cups) Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

4.  1 tsp. baking soda (Make sure this one is fresh, too.)

5.  3/4 cup granulated sugar

6.  1 cup Crisco

7.  3/4 cup packed brown sugar

8.  2 eggs (It’s fun to have fresh, chicken eggs.  Make sure you check to see if  there is a chick hanging out in one of them before used!  Yes.  You can stop gagging now).

9.  2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Set aside.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in morsels and (optional) nuts. 

Use large cookie scoop.  Place dough on non-greased cookie sheet (again, I use a silver jelly roll pan).  I can hold 12 cookies on one pan comfortably.

Bake until just about finished; 8-10 minutes.  Take out of oven and leave cookies on sheet to continue baking for 1-2 minutes.

Move to wire racks to cool.  Place in freezer/fridge in air-tight containers once cooled for best taste!

Do you have any “secret” recipes?  We want to know your favorites!!


About the author

Leslie Means

Leslie is the co-founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well.

She is married to a very patient man. Together they have two pretty fantastic little girls ages 8 and 6 and one little dude born March 2017!

When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.


  • Oh Leslie, these look wonderful! I might wait til it cools down a bit before I try these out – way too hot to run the oven 🙂 Thanks for sharing your “secret”!

  • Ok, do I crush another dream??? Do not substitute the chocolate chips—-I always use the dark chocolate Ghiradella (or however you spell it) and the pecans are an absolute must. The real secret is the best chocolate you can afford and using the Crisco for a crisp, yet chewy cookie. Ghiradella chocolate chunks are excellent also. It’s the equal parts of brown and white sugar also that makes this cookie different. See Les, it really was a SECRET and Lindsay didn’t even know it 🙂 🙂 …Mom

  • I also knew that Mom only uses that certain type of chocolate chip. Don’t you remember getting a giant bag from Sam’s Club? Maybe I do only because I would sneak handfulls whenever I wanted some chocolate. Sorry I squished your dreams, and I will probably still eat those cookies. They aren’t THAT bad 🙂

  • Haha! Leslie, this post makes me laugh. I don’t doubt that our ‘family recipe’ from my grandma has a similar story. But hey, the cookies taste amazing so who cares where the recipe comes from?

  • I use the same recipe, but substitute in a box of instant pudding (I have done vanilla, chocolate, and butterscotch) and only use 1/2 cup of sugar. They remain moist and fluffy…well, if your family leaves any for you!

  • This reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica tries to replicate Phoebe’s grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. After baking a ton of batches by guessing the ingredients it is reveled that the secret recipe was from Nestle Toll house.