In my opinion, there are only three kinds of cookies – bad cookies, good cookies and great cookies. Obviously everyone is aiming for a great cookie…but somehow they don’t always turn out that way. Why? Unfortunately, there are a lot reasons a great cookie recipe can go wrong.
So here are a few tips and tricks that will help you turn all your cookies into great ones.
1. Chewy vs. crispy: Cookies always continue to cook once they come out of the oven – so if you like them chewy like I do, always under bake them. Then allow them to cool on the cookie sheet. This allows the center to be nice and chewy. If you like a crispier cookie, bake them to the recommended time or just a little bit over.
2. Oven problems: Some ovens can be trickier than others. The best way to avoid oven problems is with an oven thermometer. They are inexpensive and super helpful. If your oven is not baking evenly, try just using the center rack. This gives your cookies the best chance of baking evenly.
3. Butter: Use unsalted. Salt is usually an ingredient in the recipe, so using salted butter is overkill.
4. Over Mixing vs. Under Mixing: Over mixing the dough can make the cookies tough, and under mixing it can make them too dense. The general rule of thumb is beat the heck out of the butter and sugar. The longer you beat it the fluffier it gets. But once you get to the dry ingredients you want to take it easy. Mix until the dry ingredients are just combined. As soon as you stop seeing flour, STOP MIXING.
5. Parchment paper: It’s your new best friend. Use it.
6. Cookie Sheets: Make sure the cookie sheets are cool when you put the dough on them. A warm cookie sheet will cause the cookies to spread before they get into the oven.