Secrets to Baking the Perfect Homemade Cookies

Chill out, rack up, and other pointers to improve your next batch

From the LifeMinute.TV Team

December 19, 2023

Cookies are the classic, ultimate treat. Put these tips to good use and make your next batch the best ever.

Flour Power
For the dough, consider other flour types besides all-purpose. For example, bread flour makes cookies chewier, and cake flour makes them more delicate.

Room Temperature
Allow butter to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Butter plays a vital role in the structure of the cookies, impacting how cakey, crispy, or flaky they will be. At room temperature, butter adheres to the air better, helping the fat coat proteins in the dough more effortlessly, resulting in a fluffier, uniform-textured cookie.

Chill Out
Chilling cookie dough before baking firms up the fat in the cookies and helps control it from over-spreading. It also concentrates flavor, making the cookie taste more flavorful and sweeter.

Lighten Up
Use light-colored baking pans. Cookies baked on dark sheets will tend to burn on the bottom. They absorb more heat than light ones, which can make a noticeable difference in the outcome of the cookies.

Avoid Oil
Don’t grease the pan. It will cause cookies to spread too much. Instead, use a baking mat or parchment paper.

Time It
To better ensure chewy cookies, set a timer for five minutes less than the recipe instructs. You want your cookies barely browned and not look wet in the center. When pressing on them, you should be able to make an indent, but it should not feel raw. As soon as they reach this point, remove them from the oven.

Stuck cookies? If your cookies get stuck to the pan, place the pan back in the oven for 30 seconds to warm up. The warmth helps release the cookie. After 30 seconds, remove them from the oven and use a thin, flexible fish spatula to get underneath and lift them.

Cool Off
Use cooling racks. Allowing cookies to cool directly on a hot sheet pan will continue to cook them, which can lead to over-browning or burnt bottoms. Also, the steam cannot escape when the cookies are resting on the pan, often leading to sogginess. As soon as the cookies are cool enough to move (no more than 2 to 3 minutes), transfer them using a spatula to a cooling rack with at least 1/2 inch of clearance underneath to ensure proper airflow.

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