February 27, 2013

Tips for Baking the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate chip cookies are classic. But what happens when you get a cookie that’s too flat, too crunchy, or too burned on the bottom? You know when you’ve bit into the perfect cookie, so here are some tips to help you get there:

Be a Softie

Softening butter in the microwave can be difficult. It’s either not soft enough, or it’s entirely melted. When you know you’re going to be baking cookies, set the butter out for an hour and let it warm up to room temperature. If you’re short on time, you can also grate refrigerated butter into a bowl, and it will soften in just a few minutes.

Take the Touch Test

Tips for Baking the Perfect Chocolate Chip CookiesWhen you’re shaping your cookies, you should feel the dough to make sure your flour content is correct. If it’s sticky and comes off on your hands, you don’t have enough flour. If you have to force the crumbly dough into a ball, there’s too much flour. The perfect dough should just barely stick to your hands, and form a smooth ball.

Measure Twice, Bake Once

Measuring your flour is important. Spoon your flour into a measuring cup and scrape the top off with a knife or spatula. Don’t use the measuring cup as a spoon or the flour will get packed too tightly, and you’ll end up with too much flour in your cookies.

Find Your Balance

Most cookie recipes call for a blend of white and brown sugars. If you want crunchy and crisp cookies, add more white sugar. For chewy cookies with a hint of butterscotch flavor, add more brown sugar. You may have to play with the ratios a bit with each subsequent batch in order to find the cookie you like best.

Take a Chill Pill

Once you’ve gotten all your ingredients mixed together, it’s time to pop those babies in the oven, right? Wrong. If you chill the dough for a little while before you bake it, your batter will have more body and your cookies will rise better. 20 minutes in the freezer is enough, or you can let the cookies chill out in the refrigerator overnight.

Finding the perfect cookie takes some trial and error, so experiment with different ingredients. Add more brown sugar, try a bit of almond extract, or switch out dark chocolate for white chocolate. The possibilities are endless, so try and find the cookie you think is perfect!

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