If you want to know how to make cookies, follow the recipe. If you want to know how to make great cookies, well, that takes a little bit of experience. Every batch of cookies you bake, you’ll come away with knowledge that you can apply to the next batch, and over time, your baking skills will get better and better.
If you’ve already mastered How to Bake A Cake, here are some tips and tricks for baking cookies that I’ve learned over the years that will turn you into a cookie-making master in no time!
The Best Tips and Tricks for Making Cookies
Use the Right Size Eggs
If you have chickens or get eggs straight from the farm, make sure the eggs you use to bake your cookies are about the size of a standard large egg. Smaller or larger eggs can throw off the proportions of your recipe.
Make Sure Your Ingredients Are Room Temperature
And speaking of those eggs! You’re going to want to take them out of the fridge and leave them on the counter to come to room temperature before you start baking. The same goes for milk and butter, too, unless the recipe says otherwise. Be careful, though—in hot, summer months, butter left on the counter might get too soft, causing your cookies to spread when baking. You want the butter to be soft enough to easily cream with the sugar, not warm.
Know What Creaming Butter and Sugar Looks Like
If your cookies often end up hard and dense, it could be because you’re not creaming the butter and sugar properly. You need to mix it long enough that it gets fluffy and lightens in color.
Measure Your Flour the Right Way
When a recipe lists the amount of flour by weight, go with that! It’s the most accurate way to measure flour. If not, you should never stick your measuring cup into the flour and use it as a scoop because your dough will be too dry. Instead, lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then scrape off any excess with a butterknife.
Fix Runny Dough
If your cookie dough ends up looking more like a batter, there’s no need to throw it out and start over again. Add one or two more tablespoons of flour and stir it in until the dough is thickened. Knowing how to make cookies means knowing how to get back on track when something goes awry!
Use an Ice Cream Scoop or Cookie Scoop
Whichever you choose, they both accomplish the same goal: uniformly-sized and evenly-shaped cookies. They also make the process of forming cookies a lot easier than doing it by hand or with a spoon.
Refrigerate Dough Before Baking
You’ve probably heard of this trick before, but if you haven’t tried it, it’s time to start! Not only does chilling your dough before baking it result in thicker, more solid cookies, but if you leave them in the fridge for 24 hours to age the dough, your cookies will taste better too.
Invest in a Silicone Baking Mat
For truly perfect cookies, you can’t just make them directly on a baking sheet—they’re more likely to spread that way, and then instead of a dozen round cookies, you end up with one big blob of a cookie! Parchment paper works well, but if you bake a lot, it can be wasteful. You can get a decent silicone baking mat from Target for under $10 and it’s totally worth it. It will also help your cookies brown more evenly.
Use a Cooling Rack
Yes, it matters! If you leave your cookies to cool on the cookie sheet, they’re likely to overcook because metal retains heat. Transfer your cookies to a cooling rack and you’ll get perfect crisp edges and a chewy center.
Watch Your Cookies
Oven temperatures vary, which means cookies that took 15 minutes to bake in a food blogger’s oven might take 12 minutes in yours—and those 3 extra minutes could turn chewy cookies into hockey pucks. Look for signs of doneness, rather than relying on the clock. Are the edges golden brown? Is the center puffy? Most recipes will list some visual cues to look for.
Let Your Baking Sheets Cool Between Batches
Try These Cookie Recipes
Now that you know my favorite tips for how to make cookies, try some of these reader-favorite recipes: