What goes into a cookie? Dough and a whole lot of love, yes. But also, a great deal of technique. And we’ve tried and tried, and through many a burnt cookie, found exactly what makes them taste like little bites of heaven. Be prepared for the Good, The Great and The Chewy.
We promise you many great cookies and nothing less.
1. Flour Power
Do not tinker around with your flour measurements. If the recipe says half cup, you’d better be throwing in half cup. But then there’s a tiny cheat, I’d like to follow. It messes with this golden rule. But here it is. I like to knock off a couple of teaspoons. Three, to be exact. Now this cheat can be applied only if your cookie dough is not a sticky one to begin with. Knock off too much flour and you’ll have to pour your cookies on the sheet. There’ s a reason they say ‘scoop’ your cookies on the tray. If you’d like the fail-proof rule, stick to the flour on the recipe and nothing more or less- unless of course, it’s your style statement to walk around with really dry cookies.
2. Chill pill
Dough needs to chill. It not only gets the dough together, but helps the texture so much. There’s a reason we freeze dough. Not only does it ensure you always have cookies (you mean regular people don’t?) and also makes the texture so much better. So freeze dough, if you have the time, and bake frozen dough, just add a couple of minutes to baking time.
3. Fresh First
This may seem like it doesn’t matter too much or is kind of understood, but make sure all your ingredients are from this century. If you’re not one to bake every other day, chance are, something is growing on your baking soda. Fresh Baking soda or Powder give you the freshest, crunchiest cookies.
4. Baking Time
They should call this ‘keep-an-eye’ time. Don’t even think of going in for a bath while your cookies are sitting in the oven. I can promise you, every baking time in the recipe is variable. It’s not that the bakers are lying, it’s that it differs from oven to oven- well, that and a whole lot of science. I like to set the baking time to 4 minutes lesser and peek in on the cookies and decide. Remember they cook even after they’re out of the oven.
5. Butter Better
Fresh butter, of course- but the way you soften it is very important. In the Microwave, is the fastest, yes. But remember that unless you know exactly how this is done, you could end up with butter goo- which is not what the recipe meant when they said ‘softened’. The best way is to take the butter out of the fridge, chop it a little here and there after measuring it- just to spread it out a little- and leave it for ten minutes before using it .
And since you’ve been so patient through this entire list, here’s a cookie to celebrate.