Now that you’ve got all the best cookie recipes at the touch of your fingers, keep reading to learn how to get these cookies to turn out perfectly delicious every single time!
- Flour: All-Purpose Gold Medal Flour is really the best for baking cookies. Measure correctly by spooning the flour into the measuring cup. Then use a butter knife or metal spatula to level off the top.
- Sugar: Sugar does more than just add sweetness, sugar also helps your cookies brown and gives them a tender texture. To measure granulated (white) sugar, simply dip your measuring cup into the sugar and level off with a knife or other flat-edged utensil. To measure brown sugar, spoon into the measuring cup and firmly pack down with the back of a spoon.
- Leavener: Cookies usually call for either baking powder or baking soda to help them rise. These two ingredients are not interchangeable.
- Butter: This ingredient is key to tender, flavorful cookies. Let butter soften to room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before using. Perfectly softened butter will hold its shape but will retain a slight indentation when touched lightly.
- Eggs: Add richness, moisture and structure to cookies with eggs.
- Liquids: Water, fruit juice, cream and milk are typical liquids called for in cookie recipes. They tend to make cookies crisper by causing them to spread more.
Cookie Making Technique:
Once you get into the habit of properly softening your butter, you’re most of the way to baking great cookies. However, it is important to learn how to properly beat (or cream) butter and sugar. You can use an electric mixer or a spoon for most cookie recipes. Beat your sugar and butter until the mixture looks fluffy and light in color. Once this step is complete, you’ll be ready to add your dry ingredients or proceed as your recipe directs.
One other step important to perfect baking is properly greasing your pan, so you don’t end up with stuck cookies. Only grease your plan when the recipe calls for it. It’s best to use cooking spray or shortening to avoid burning the areas of your pan not covered by cookies, as may happen with butter. Never grease a nonstick cookie sheet, as it may cause the cookies to spread too much. As an alternative to greasing, you can line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Cookie Sheets: The best are shiny aluminum with a smooth surface. They reflect heat, letting cookies bake evenly and brown properly. It’s helpful to have two cookie sheets, so you can prep the next batch while the other is baking. Always let your baking sheets cool completely in between batches.
- Oven: Always bake cookies on the middle oven rack. For even baking, it’s best to bake only one sheet at a time. If you do bake two sheets at a time, position racks as close to the middle as possible and switch sheets halfway through. Always bake for the minimum time recommended and then check to see if further time is needed.
- Oven Thermometer: You may be surprised to learn that most built-in temperature gauges on home ovens are inaccurate, which is why we recommend buying an oven thermometer. This small investment will ensure your baking efforts don’t go to waste.
- Cooling Rack: A wire cooling rack comes in handy as it allows air to circulate around your cookies, helping them to cool evenly. Flat, thin metal spatulas should be used to remove cookies from hot baking sheets.
- Cookie Scoops: While certainly not essential, cookie scoops are one of those tools you don’t know you need, until you actually use one. Not only do they make quick work of drop cookies, they also help your cookies bake evenly – as all cookies are closer to the same size.
Ready to really dig in? We’ve got tutorials to teach you how to make sugar cookies, how to make peanut butter cookies and how to make chocolate chip cookies. And if you’re craving a few more recipes, there are plenty more cookie recipes where these came from!