When all you want is to enjoy delicious cookies, nothing is worse than a cookie fail. It’s taken me many years to figure out how to make the perfect cookie. I’ve gone through lots of trial and error: burnt cookies, raw in the middle cookies, cookies that just melt into a puddle on the baking sheet. You know what I’m talking about! It happens to the best of us. BUT, there are ways to avoid these annoyances. Here are my top 5 tips on how to get a great batch of cookies every time!
Number 1: There is a basic formula to practically every cookie recipe I’ve ever seen. It is as follows:
Mix your dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda/powder, spices). Mix your sugars and wet ingredients (butter, shortening, vanilla, milk, eggs, oil, peanut butter, etc.). Mix those 2 things together. Then lastly, add your “extras” (choco chips, oatmeal, toffee, nuts, whatever your heart desires).
If you know that basic formula, you can really let your creative juices flow.
(Note: There have been rare times where I’ve seen a recipe that does not use this guideline, so if you are trying to follow a recipe, be sure to read it carefully. I like to use the formula above when trying to create my own recipes.)
Number 2: A mechanical “ice cream” scoop (like the one shown here) can be your best friend if you want all of your cookies to be the same size. Just scoop the desired amount of dough, squeeze the handles, and it comes out in a perfect ball shape. They come in a bunch of different sizes, and it is a multi purpose tool. It saves you from guessing and rolling the dough into your hands to make a gooey, sticky mess.
Number 3: With ANYTHING you put in the oven, be sure to preheat your oven at least 15 minutes before placing them in to cook. I used to always turn the oven on 2 minutes before popping cookies in the oven, and they never cooked right. It is very important to make sure that the oven is at the full temperature you need!
Number 4: When it comes to baking the cookies, you should try to keep them perfectly centered in the oven. If they are on a rack too close to the bottom, they will cook and (probably burn the bottom) while they are still raw on the top. It is important to know how your oven cooks. Mine, for example, requires me to turn the cookie sheet around half way through cooking to ensure that all of the cookies are cooked evenly.
Number 5: Once your cookies are taken out of the oven, they can continue to cook on that hot baking sheet for 10 minutes, so you want to be sure to give them a little under a minute before transferring to a wire rack so they don’t burn or over-cook. I don’t often move them immediately because sometimes they are still too soft to move, and break when I try to spatula them up. If you think you left them in the oven a little too long, it is best to get them off as quickly as you can.
If you follow these tips, along with measuring everything correctly, using good quality ingredients, and really following your recipe, you will have success every time!
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