I’ve already posted about my one of my newfound favorite chocolate chips cookies. The recipe calls for butter – very common in cookies. Well, I have another all-time favorite cookie recipe and this one uses shortening. I know some of you are cringing. Shortening is kind of on the outs with trendy cookie-baking these days, and I understand why – many of the cookies I eat using shortening don’t have a lot of flavor and taste. However, let me tell you, I have been making this cookie recipe for at least 8 years and they are phenomenal and definitely not lacking in flavor. The recipe comes from another great cooking mentor aunt of mine, Alecia. She is famously known for miles around for her cookies and from the time I was a little girl, whenever we would visit her, she would pull out enormous tupperware containers of cookies from her freezer for us. These cookies were always on hand and honestly, I think they could be some of the most perfect chocolate chip cookies around. My aunt has several unusual “secrets” to her recipe and they pay off making a chewy, delicious cookie. If you are willing to set aside your butter-base cookies and give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Aunt Alecia’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Makes 2-3 dozen


  • 1 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


  1. Beat together the shortening and both sugars. Add eggs and beat for 5-6 minutes until the batter is very light in color. Mix in the hot water, salt, vanilla and baking soda. Add the flour and chocolate chips at the same time and mix until combined.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F until edges of the cookies are very lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.

Recipe Source: From my awesome Aunt Alecia


44 Responses to Aunt Alecia’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Ann says:

    I just found this recipe and would love to try it. I live in a high altitude area. Would I add an additional cup of flour and/or add additional egg or liquid?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ann – I made these cookies all the time when I lived at about 6,500 feet and the recipe as is worked fine for me. Interestingly, I make them now close to sea level and they still work great so at least for this recipe I haven’t ever needed to alter it. You might try googling to see if there’s a better suggestion. Good luck!

  2. Stephanie E says:

    Hey Mel! Just so you know I have cooked over a dozen recipes from your website in the last two weeks. It has helped build my confidence in my cooking/baking skills and it makes me feel like such a better wholesome mother and wife! Thank you for being such a great teacher! You have been given a gift, thats for sure. I had left a comment about the plastic wrap. Well I actually found a better thing, they are covers like shower caps. I just sprayed those and placed them over my bread pans and bowl. Pretty awesome and they are reusable. Anyway, have you ever baked with mexican vanilla? If not..it will be your new favorite. You can order it online and worth EVERY penny. If your interested, I will send you a link to order and try some! 🙂 Thank you for everything!!

    Stephanie Eldridge

  3. Emily says:

    This was my favorite! Where did Aunt Alecia’s recipe go?!

  4. Tamera says:

    I was looking for something to send to my daughter in a college care package. I prefer bar cookies-what would suggest for temp and time if they were in a greaed 9×13 pan? Thanks in advance-this is a great website!

  5. Erika says:

    I know that this comment is like 3 1/2 years after this post, but I made these cookies because I have been searching for that chocolate chip cookie receptive that would make me want to eat and eat and eat, then lick my fingers. Well you have done it again, or should I say your aunt has done it. Yahoo! I couldn’t help myself when I ate 4 in 1/2 an hour, they basically jumped in my mouth without warning.
    Anyways! Awesome!

  6. Tami G says:


    I never knew that about flour. So thanks for that tip, when making these cookies I just shaked it off to level. That must be the problem because my dough was not sticky at all. In fact, it was really fluffy. And I’m not sure what type of eggs I used! They were just in the fridge. I did the half egg thing too that you mentioned above, thinking I could get away with it, but it didn’t work. At the store will the carton actually say extra large eggs? I’m going to attempt this again and see if I can get it right. Also, one more quick question. I used a hand mixer because I’m just a newly wed and i’m saving for a bosh. Would a kitchen aide or a mixer have made a difference?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Tami – yes, the eggs at the store will say “extra-large” on the carton. I don’t think a kitchenaid or bosch would make a difference since my aunt, who developed the recipe, always used a hand mixer to make them. Having said that, I hope you can eventually save up for a stand mixer because they definitely make things a bit easier! Let me know how they turn out if you try them again.

  7. Tami G. says:

    Your outcome didn’t turn out like mine when making these cookies. I followed the directions exactly, but somehow the ended up short and fat instead of flat and spread out like yours. Do you think it is because I used a cookie scoop? For some reason they were huge fat balls and I don’t understand why. Please offer any advice… Baking is where I struggle and I want to improve, so any advice would be great!

    • Mel says:

      Tami G. – I’m sorry these didn’t bake up well for you! There are several factors that can affect how a cookie spreads…or doesn’t spread. Many times, a cookie doesn’t flatten and spread if there is too much flour. I know you are probably thinking “but I measured the flour according to the recipe!” and that is true…but one trick to get the right amount of flour is to scoop it into the measuring cup with a spoon and then level it off. This gives a more accurate measurement than scooping the cup into the flour and shaking it off to level (that packs it down in the cup causing more flour to be added to the dough). I’m not sure how you measure your flour but that could be something to look out for. I don’t think a cookie scoop would make a difference since when I make them, I roll them into balls which is a similar shape to the cookie scoop. This particular cookie dough is fairly sticky, in fact, the first couple of times I made it, I thought it would be way to sticky to roll into balls but it ends up working fine (although my hands are a mess afterwards). If your dough didn’t seem as soft or sticky, it seems like it is probably over-flouring which caused the dough to be too stiff. Did you use extra-large eggs? It seems finicky in this recipe but it also makes a difference. I hope that helps a little bit!

  8. Alicia says:

    I could tell from the dough that these were going to be fabulous. My husband was the first to try and his response was “These are fantastico!” Thanks for another great recipe!

  9. Melanie says:

    mini-mcgoo – yes, my Aunt Alecia is pretty great. I’m really glad you liked her cookies!

  10. mini-mcgoo says:

    These are great! I’m usually wary of the shortening, but these are fabulous. Aunt Alecia’s the stuff!

  11. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – that’s great that you loved this cookie so much. Thanks for letting me know!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I loved these cookies. I think the shortening really made the difference. Other recipes I have made come out cakey…but these were wonderful! Thanks for helping me find a great cookie!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This was by far the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve found. Thanks so much. It is the perfect texture and the shortening really does help make it the perfect consistency. My family loved it.

  14. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I’m glad this recipe worked out to be your favorite! Thanks so much for letting me know.

  15. Melanie says:

    Hey Jenn – these are some of my favorite cookies and yes, they do work great with half butter. I’m glad they worked for you, especially in light of your go-to recipe disappointing as of late.

  16. Jenn says:

    Hey Melanie! Once again a great recipe. I’m a tried and true Toll House Recipe user, until lately, when they just haven’t been turning out pretty. They taste good, but they turn out extra flat. So, I looked up this recipe and tried it. They are beautiful and taste great.

    Good to know that I can use half butter in these, because I prefer butter ( I think that might be part of my problem with my usual recipe too).

  17. Deborah says:

    My favorite chocolate chip recipe uses half butter and half shortening. I’m not a shortening snob!

  18. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I’m sorry you didn’t have good results. This recipe makes an amazingly delicious cookie and I wonder what went wrong that it didn’t turn out! Since your results were doughy maybe they need to be baked longer in your oven. Thanks for commenting…good luck!

  19. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – thanks for letting me know I hadn’t put a temperature for baking on the cookies! Sorry about that. I edited the post but the cookies bake at 350 degrees. I’m glad you’ve liked the french bread rolls and sweet and sour chicken!

  20. Lydia Stewart says:

    I am really good friends with (I think it is your sister?) Emily. I got this link from her, and I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your recipes! What a great cook you must be. I actually just started a cooking blog of my own and you are welcome to check it out if you want:http://putalydonit.blogspot.com/

  21. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – thanks for the comment! Let me know if you try any recipes.

  22. Melanie says:

    slm – wow! I’m so flattered you loved them and I can’t tell you how excited I am about your testing them with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts – that’s my husbands perfect combo so I can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks!

  23. grace says:

    i have no problem with shortening. i always use it in my pie crusts and certain cookies and have found that nothing can sufficiently replace it. why mess with perfection, which is what these cookies appear to have achieved. give your aunt a pat on the back for me. 🙂

  24. Kevin says:

    Those look good! I have not tried using shortening in cookies yet.

  25. Melanie says:

    Jonelle – so glad these worked out for you! I try to avoid shortening, too, but always use at least half in these cookies (I’ve tried the half shortening, half butter and it works great). Thanks for letting me know – glad they turned out just in time for Vaughn’s blessing!

  26. Leigh Anne Wilkes says:

    Melanie,Not sure why your site won’t take my url – it only shows up if I use my blogger url?? Any ideas?

  27. Kathryn says:

    Hey Melanie! I have tried several of your recipes and have absolutely fallen in love with this site! I will not rest until I have tried every recipe. I am curious though if you know of any good popcorn recipes? Different varieties?

  28. Jonelle Hughes says:

    Mel- I was a shortening snob..until now. We have made these cookies approximately 10 times in the last 2 weeks. We made them for Baby Vaughn’s blessing- a double batch. My kids made them and my 10 year old scooped them all. They were gone in seconds! Seconds! I do use the butter flavor shortening, but only half. I use butter for the other half and after making them both ways didn’t find a HUGE amount of difference, so I think it works! I have always struggled with chocolate chip cookies. UNTIL NOW! This will become a family recipe for sure. Thanks Aunt Alecia!

  29. slm says:

    this has now replaced my personal favorite c.c cookie recipe. love love love it. i baked them last night, but used white c.c & mac.nuts and they turned out wonderful!! awesome!

  30. Merianne says:

    Mel, one more “secret” of my mom’s is to mix in the flour by hand. She NEVER mixes her flour with a mixer, only by hand. She swears this is her secret to good cookies. Although, altitude and humidity make a HUGE difference in these cookies. I always have to add almost a full cup more of flour out here on the east coast. Glad you like my mom’s cookies…she’ll be so flattered to know there’s a blog post on the www about her cookies! 🙂

  31. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – so glad these cookies were a success. You should give yourself more credit on your baking skills!! I hope the bread bowls and broccoli cheese soup turned out great for you!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hi there!I came across this blog a few days ago and I’m sooo happy I did!So far I literally want to try EVERYTHING. I have two boys and hubby and I am sick of the same old suppers lately! I HAD to start with these cookies first though. I am not much of a baker… OK I am terrible! Hahaha I have never actually been able to pull off a cookie from scratch but I just did! I made these last night and they are delicious!! I was afraid I had something done wrong because the dough was sooooooo thick and stiff but they turned out nicely! Thanks so much!On to the bread bowls and broccoli cheese soup. Wish me luck!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I love your web site. I just happened to stumble across it and I am so glad that I did. You have some excellent recipes.

  34. Leigh Anne says:

    I am always a sucker for a new chocolate chip cookie recipe and had to try these right away. I made them this morning – when my kids got up they asked me what I was doing making cookies first thing in the morning!They turned out great and we made ice cream sandwiches out of them. My kids loved how light and fluffy the dough was after beating it for 5 minutes. Thanks – will add it to my collection of chocolate chip cookie recipes!Leigh Anne @ http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com

  35. Anonymous says:

    I just tried these cookies and I am disappointed. They are too salty and doughy. Better luck next time!

  36. Anonymous says:

    I just discovered your blog while searching for a good french bread roll recipe and made those and loved them. Then we tried your sweet and sour chicken recipe and loved it, and most recently tried the shortening chocolate chip cookies which were good but I think because my husband baked them they were not great (overcooked). He said he was not sure what temp. to bake them at and the temp was not listed. I think that could have made a difference. What temperature do you use for this recipe??

  37. Anonymous says:

    Hoping this is the ONE, I’m on an endless search for the perfect choc. cookie…yours looks good.

  38. Melanie says:

    Kathryn – thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed some of the recipes.

    Email me at mykitchencafe @ gmail . com and I’ll send you my two favorite popcorn recipes (one for caramel popcorn the other for parmesan cheesy popcorn).

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