Five top tips for baking cookies

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: everyone loves a delicious, chewy chocolate chip cookie. They’re easy to make, easy to adapt, easy to store and easy to share…if you’re feeling generous, that is.

They also make your house smell incredible. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be tempted by a warm, homemade cookie straight out of the oven.

Like most baked goods though, there are some specific tips and tricks you can apply to make the perfect batch of cookies every single time. 

Are you ready to take your cookies to the next level? Here are my five top tips:

  1. Use room temperature ingredients

If a recipe calls for room temperature ingredients, use room temperature ingredients. They’re in the recipe for a reason. 

Not only are room temperature ingredients – in this case butter and eggs – much easier to mix together, they also form an emulsion, which creates tiny little pockets of air. So when you pop them into the oven to bake, that trapped air will expand, producing a light and fluffy cookie with a much more even texture. 

  1. Choose the right sugar

There are a lot of different types of sugar out there that will affect the colour and overall taste of your cookies. 

Granulated sugar is more suited to a sugar cookie, adding a firm, more biscuit-like finish. Caster sugar is the classic sugar used in baking, with finer granules that mix perfectly with softened butter and create the perfect cookie dough base. 

Then you’ve got your brown sugars. Light brown sugar adds a caramelised flavour and soft texture, while dark brown sugar takes things a step further, adding a more intense, rich flavour. 

I will always use caster sugar in my Chocolate Chip Cookies, but have tried both dark and brown sugar. Obviously the darker sugar, the darker the cookie and the more intense the caramel flavour. I tend to lean towards the light brown sugar, but you should experiment to find your personal preference. 

  1. Be generous with your chocolate chips

How disappointing is it when you bite into a chocolate chip cookie and get zero chocolate chips? Such a bummer. So you’ve got to get even distribution of chocolate in there, which means adding a good amount of chips. 

I don’t think you need to buy special chocolate chips or discs – supermarket chocolate chopped into pieces will serve you well. But don’t be shy or stingy. You want to see lots of chocolate chips throughout the dough. And if you want to go a step further, you can even press more chocolate chips into your cookie dough balls once they’re portioned out on the baking tray. 

  1. Always chill your cookie dough

This is super important. Super duper important. If you remember just one tip from this blog post, remember this one. You’ve got to chill your cookie dough before baking. 

Chilling your cookie dough in the fridge or even the freezer will firm it up and solidify the butter, which will prevent your cookies from spreading too much in the oven. Not only that, but your cookie dough will be much easier to roll and shape. 

Once you’ve made your cookie dough, cover the bowl with cling film or a lid and pop it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

  1. Use the right equipment

So you don’t need a huge amount of equipment to make cookies, but there are a few tools you can use to make your life easier. 

The first is a mixer – either a hand-held or stand mixer. I always use my hand-held mixer when making cookies because it makes creaming together the butter and sugar so much quicker and easier. The next bit of kit I’d recommend is a good quality ice cream scoop, specifically with a trigger. This will guarantee that your cookies are all a consistent size and shape, and also stop you from getting your hands dirty rolling out cookie dough balls.

Finally, I’d recommend investing in some non-stick baking mats. I say investing, but you can pick some of these up on Amazon for less than £10. These mats will prevent you from using roll after roll of greaseproof paper. They’re also really easy to clean and they’ll come in handy for more than just cookies. 

Did you enjoy these tips? Craving cookies now? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered – check out my cookie recipes…

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Red Velvet Cookies
Shortbread

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