We used one recipe to troubleshoot common problems when baking cookies. Have you ever had cookies that spread too much? Maybe they're dry, or flat, or even too tough! We used our Double-Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies as the base for this cookie test.
The first thing we found, no matter what cookie you're baking up, is chilling the dough before baking. It leads to much better results! Chilled dough won't spread as much when it bakes, which yields thicker, cakier cookies for most recipes. It also helps cutout and sugar cookies hold their shape better. Refrigerating cookie dough also allows the flour to break down and the sugar to absorb more moisture, which will help the cookies caramelize and brown more evenly as they bake.
If that still doesn't solve your cookie woes, we've come up with 6 solutions so you can bake the best cookies.
Looking for more tricks for baking classic cookies, cakes, breads, and more? Check out the digital edition of Seasons Magazine!
Let pans cool before placing more dough on them or chill the dough 30 minutes before baking.
Bake cookies for a few extra minutes to help them set. Remove when the edges feel firm and don't move inward when poked.
Mix just until all the flour is incorporated into the dough. Overmixing flour with liquid causes gluten to form, creating toughness.
Dry and Crumbly
Excess flour causes dryness; if you've added more than the recipe calls for, add a little liquid (like milk) or fat (like butter) to the dough, and mix.
Different size-dough balls can lead to unevenly baked cookies. Use a cookie scoop for uniform sizes, and rotate the cookie sheet partway through baking.
Beat the butter with the sugar while it's soft, but not melted. Stop mixing once all the flour is incorporated.