Why Chocolate Chips Don't Fully Melt In The Oven

A fresh batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies is among the top pleasures in life. From the deeply sweet aroma that fills the home to the warm sensation and chocolaty bliss in each and every bite ... there are few better feelings than sinking your teeth into these masterpieces. Chocolate chip cookies as we know and love them were invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield, co-owner of the Toll House Inn in 1930, according to Business Insider. Instead of using baker's chocolate, which the recipe called for, she reached for Nestlé brand semisweet chocolate, and a legend was born.

The tried-and-true recipe for this iconic dessert is simple, and the finished product typically only lasts a short while. After all, studies have shown that eating chocolate boosts our mood by releasing endorphins in the brain, per Science Focus. There is, however, one small detail you may or may not have noticed when baking chocolate chip cookies. While the chips definitely soften from the heat, the chocolate morsels don't fully melt in the oven. But why, exactly, does this happen?

Chocolate chips contain less cocoa butter

The culinary arts are infused with science, specifically chemistry. So, we're offering up a quick and delicious chemistry lesson for you to explain why chocolate chips don't completely liquefy while baking in the oven. This feature is not a chocolatey mistake; it's by design. According to Science Focus, cooking chocolate generally contains less cocoa butter than most chocolate that is made to be eaten on its own like chocolate bars or candy. Cocoa butter is a type of pure vegetable fat commonly used in cosmetics as well as confections, providing a soft and smooth consistency, per The Spruce Eats.

Thus, less cocoa butter in chocolate chips results in a higher melting point. This is why the sweet brown morsels are able to maintain their shape for the most part during the baking process and solidify seemingly back to their normal form as they cool. If you just so happen to crave meltier, gooier cookies, you can try swapping the standard semisweet chocolate chips for your favorite candy bar broken into bite-sized chunks.