Do you aspire to make the world’s best chocolate chip cookies? Everyone has a different opinion of what that means, but whether you like them chewy or crisp, fluffy or flat, there’s always something you can do to make this classic cookie even better.
1. Use better butter
High-quality unsalted butter, preferably a European-style butter, gives a better flavor and texture and lets you control the salt.
2. Say no to shortening
The fats or oils you use for your cookie play a big role in flavor. Shortening simply doesn’t taste as good as butter does.
3. Switch the salt
Use a fine-grain sea salt to avoid the chemical-like flavor of ordinary table salt.
4. No imitators, please!
Using real vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla will enhance your cookies’ flavor more.
5. Choose your chocolate carefully
Skip the cheap chips, and use high-quality chocolate if you can. Try chopping chips out of a block or bar.
6. Don’t limit yourself
You can use multiple types of chocolate (even white chocolate) in the same batch for a more interesting cookie.
7. Don’t over-beat the eggs
Beat eggs lightly, and then stop before adding them to ensure a soft, not stiff, cookie.
8. Room temperature is your friend
Make sure all your ingredients, including the eggs and butter, are room temperature.
9. Cream that butter
Incorporating plenty of air while creaming your butter and sugar together helps the cookies rise.
10. Individual eggs
Add the eggs one at a time before adding the flour to make sure the batter stays nice and emulsified.
11. First chocolate, then flour
It’s easier to control the proportion of flour (and avoid overdeveloping gluten) if it’s the very last thing you add.
12. Get in with gluten
Your cookies will be chewy on the inside with a crisp crust if you use a high-gluten flour.
13. Keep ’em chewy
For chewier cookies, use more brown sugar than white.
14. Or make ’em crisp
For crunchier cookies, use more white sugar than brown.
15. Add butterscotch-y goodness
Using dark brown sugar (instead of light brown sugar) gives your cookies a subtle but distinct butterscotch flavor.
16. Avoid the dreaded spread
If your cookies spread, that may mean you used too much butter. It can also happen when you don’t chill your dough before baking.
17. Soft and structured
For soft yet structured cookies, melt the butter a third to halfway in the oven while it preheats, then let it come back to room temp before making your dough.
18. Want cake-y cookies?
Add an extra egg, remove about 1/3 cup of sugar, add a tablespoon of milk, and use more flour for cookies with a more cake-like texture.
19. Measure everything… except the chocolate
There’s no rule that you have to follow the amount of chocolate chips in the recipe. Add more or fewer depending on your preference.
20. Check the weather
Things like humidity can affect how a recipe turns out, even in the same kitchen. Adjust the flour as necessary. Remember, you can add more, but you can’t remove it, so add slowly.
21. Soft and dry
You know you have enough flour when the dough is soft and doesn’t feel too wet or sticky.
22. Don’t overmix
While gluten gives a chewier texture, it can be a double-edged sword. Overdeveloping the gluten can make cookies tough, so mix only until the flour is just combined.
23. Make a half recipe
Halving your recipe makes it easier to avoid overdeveloping the gluten.
24. Refrigerate that dough
It’s vital to let the dough completely chill to avoid cookies that spread. Letting dough rest at least 24 hours also enhances the complexity of flavors.
25. Use an ice cream scoop
A spring-loaded ice cream scoop helps you measure out cookies that are all the same size so they finish cooking at the same time.
26. Use the right pan
Heavy-duty light aluminum baking sheets lined with parchment help prevent cookies from burning on the bottom or sticking.
27. Give them breathing room
Cookies spread out as they bake, so make sure there’s plenty of room for them to do so without becoming one big cookie.
28. One batch at a time
Put only one batch in the oven at a time for optimum baking. If you have to bake two batches at once, swap their locations halfway through cooking.
29. How you know when they’re done
Chocolate chip cookies are done when the edges are golden brown.
30. Finish with more salt
A light sprinkle of fleur de sel or salt flakes really enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
31. Hands off!
It’s tempting to eat right away, but letting cookies rest for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack optimizes the texture.
32. Cool the baking sheet
Let the baking sheet cool completely between batches for best results.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.