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Learn how to bake perfect chocolate chip cookies! With these 6 tips you will baking perfect chocolate chip cookies in no time.
This is the year friend that I want you to be able to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookies. When I was a child I was fascinated by the fact that one classic cookie recipe could yield such different results.
As I got older I fell in love with baking, but more importantly the science of baking. Understanding the science behind how the ingredients worked made me finally understood how one recipe could end up with different chocolate chip cookies every single time. And since you all seem to love my post, 8 Reasons Your Cookies Spread Too Much I know you will love this post as well.
I’m going to show you all the tools I use and give you all the tips, tricks, and techniques so you end up with perfect chocolate chip cookies no matter the recipe you use.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Tip #1: Use Parchment Paper
First off, let’s talk about why you need to use parchment paper. If you are making lots of cookies, parchment paper will cut down on clean up time.
But parchment paper will soak up some of the grease resulting in those crispy edges that I think are important in creating the perfect chocolate chip cookies. And create more of a browner bottom, which I prefer for chocolate chip cookies.
So my vote is parchment paper! But you can use a silicone baking mat as well. Silicone baking mats can retain odors and grease over time. Be sure to clean your silicone baking mats after using them.
Something I don’t need to worry about with using parchment paper.
So to prepare my cookie sheets, I rely on my kitchen shears to quickly cut my parchment paper down to size for my cookie sheets. You could use pre-cut cookie baking parchment sheets, but these tend to be a little more expensive. So I prefer cutting my own and saving a few pennies. And I love using my kitchen shears for basically every purpose in the kitchen – like cutting thread to cut cinnamon rolls neatly and cleanly.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Tip #2: Measure Your Flour Correctly
One of the biggest mistakes I think I see people make when they are baking (cookies or anything) is how they measure they flour. For best accuracy, I always recommend measuring by weight (in grams) by using a kitchen scale and not by volume (cups).
To measure my flour, I use my stainless steel dry measuring cups to get the job done.
I highly recommend using stainless steel measuring cups over plastic. Plastic measuring cups over time will have their measurements rub off. Also, plastic can retain odors and grease. You will never be able to quite get them clean like you will with stainless steel. Same goes for my mixing bowls. I use metal mixing bowls and avoid plastic!
To make sure you measure your flour correctly you want to do the following:
- Fluff up your flour first. – Flour can get packed down into the container, which can cause you to overmeasure. So I always take my spoon and first fluff up the flour to aerate it a bit before I start measuring.
- Spoon into your dry measuring cup. – Once my flour has been fluffed up a bit, I then take a spoon and spoon the flour into my cup. If I simply dip the cup into the flour I will end up with too much. You can see what happens when I do this in my complete How To Measure Flour post.
- Do not tap the sides of the cup. – While you are spooning the flour into the cup, it’s important that you don’t tap the sides of the cup with the spoon or shake the cup. This will cause the flour to settle into the cup and you will end up with more than you need. Ideally, a cup of well measured flour should weigh 120 grams. By tapping, you will end up with too much.
- Level off with a flat edge. – Once you have a heaping cup of flour then you want to level off with a flat edge. Either a metal spatula, or the back of a butter knife will do the trick.
You can also read, Which Flour Is Best For Cookies? post to learn more.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Tip #3: Don’t Overmix Your Dough
So when making your cookie dough, you want to make sure to not over mix once your flour has been added.
Pro Tip: I always recommend stirring in the last of your dough with a silicone spatula.
Too much stirring can result in gluten forming. Gluten is the protein in your flour that forms when the flour comes in contact with a liquid. The more stirring that occurs means more gluten will form. Gluten is what makes your bread chewy. So more gluten is great for bread, but bad for cookies.
So use those silicone spatulas and stir in the flour by hand. Avoid overmixing.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Tip #4: Chill Your Cookie Dough
This is probably the biggest tip I can give you. Chill. Your. Dough. Warm cookie dough will cause your cookies to spread too much in the oven. Especially if you are one of those that scoop and then roll the cookie dough with your hands, your dough can warm up too much just from your hands. So even 10 minutes in the fridge will help.
Giving your cookie dough a chance to firm in the fridge will not only help them spread less, but also helps improve the flavor. Think of it like marinating a steak. Same goes for your cookie dough.
Read this post on more tips on how to prevent flat cookies.
I like to let my cookie dough chill for at least 1 hour, but 24 hours is best. You can chill your cookie dough up to 72 hours.
This silicone lid is the best way to cover your cookie dough bowl in the fridge. Just pop in and pop the bowl into your fridge. Even handier if you plan on making your cookie dough days ahead of time! It will keep your dough well covered and keep it free of taking on odors from other things in your fridge.
You can even freeze your cookie dough if you want, and then bake the cookies straight from the freezer (no need for thawing). Just add a few minutes of extra bake time.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Tip #5: Use A Cookie Scoop
Maybe this one is obvious. Maybe not. So let’s just say it. Even sized cookies will bake evenly. So the only way I can accomplish this is by using my cookie scoop.
I like this cookie scoop from OXO too because it has a soft grip handle so it doesn’t hurt my hands. Especially important when I’m making lots and lots of cookies. And this cookie scoop is the perfect size for cookies I think.
And it also makes quick work of scooping. So scoop and repeat.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Tip #6: Allow Your Cookies To Cool Properly
So once all that cookie making has been accomplished, you can still mess things up once your cookies come out of the oven. Your cookies can still spread and change shape (and therefore texture by over baking) if you leave them on the cookie sheets.
Pro Tip: If your cookies have spread too much in the oven, when you take them out of the oven take a spoon and gently press the edges inward.
The cookie sheet will remain warm for awhile even after you take your cookies out of the oven. So that means your cookies can continue to bake if you leave them on the cookie sheets due to carryover heating.
I let my cookie sit on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes to firm up. Then I use a sturdy metal cookie spatula to transfer the cookies to my cooling rack to allow them to cool properly. You want a cookie spatula that is thin enough to get underneath the cookie without damaging them.
Cookies Recipes To Try Baking:
So I hope I have learned a few things from this post! Now try out these new tips and bake up some fresh hot cookies! Here are a few of my favorites to try:
- New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
- M&M Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Mint Crinkle Kiss Cookies
- Best Ever Oatmeal Cookies
- Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate M&M Cookies
- Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies