Think you already make a mean cookie? There’s more than one way to make an even better one! Whether you consider yourself an amateur baker or not, here are 10 tips that will up your baking game and produce cookies that are sure to leave an impression your palate won't forget.
1. Use ingredients at room temperature
We are talking about the eggs and butter. At room temperature, they mix better with dry ingredients such as flour and sugar. Take them out of the fridge well before you are ready to make those cookies. You can also get butter to soften faster by cutting it into pieces.
2. Add eggs one at a time
There’s a reason why this instruction appears in many recipes — eggs thrown in all at once won’t emulsify properly with the fat in the butter. Patience is most definitely a virtue when it comes to baking.
3. Measure your flour properly
Baking, unlike cooking, is much more of a precise art. For the best results, make sure you follow the measurements (particularly for flour) indicated in your recipe to the letter (or shall we say number?). Here’s a tip from expert bakers: When in doubt, err on the side of less flour (try it on your favourite recipe and see if you can make a chewier cookie!). Whereas more flour than intended will almost always yield dry biscuits.
4. Fold in chocolate chips by hand
We’d suggest the same for other cookie add-ins. This will prevent you from overmixing the dough, which will produce tough cookies.
5. Chill the dough before baking
Most of us put the dough straight into the oven – we want our cookies as fresh as possible, right? Wrong. By chilling it in the fridge for at least four hours before baking, the ingredients will meld better together, bringing out the buttery flavour and also improving the texture of your cookies. You can even freeze the dough and take it out for baking whenever you’re craving for some cookies. Go ahead and bake the dough in its frozen state — just add a few minutes to the intended baking time.
6. Rotate the pan while baking
Ovens have hot spots, and you’ll find out where they are by observing which cookies on the sheet brown the fastest. Halfway through baking, take out the pan, rotate it and then put it back in so that you’ll end up with an evenly browned batch.
7. Lower the oven temperature when baking big cookies
When making thick cookies, dial back the temperature by 5 to 10 deg C. This will keep the outside of the cookie from getting too dry before the inside is cooked.
8. Use the cooling rack
This accessory that comes with your oven is possibly one of the most neglected baking tools. Cooling racks allow air to get to the bottom of your cookies so that they won’t become soggy.
9. Sprinkle some sea salt on top of chocolate chip cookies
Salty and sweet can be real good buddies — case in point: Sea-salt-caramel anything. Try this on your next batch for some surprisingly yummy results.
10. Store an apple wedge with chewy cookies
This weird tip will help keep soft cookies moist, apparently. To keep crunchy cookies fresh, throw a slice of bread into the cookie jar — this sounds much more doable, by comparison.