Great Bakes: Be A Smart Cookie

Chef Twinkle shares six sweet tips for cookie success.
Photography by Tony Valainis

1. Read the recipe.
I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but trust me—it’s a common bad habit. Many people skip over the finer details, then end up regretting it when their cookies come out too hard, too gummy, or too thin and spread across the pan. All recipes are not alike, so make sure to read the instructions before you start.

2. Mise en place: Everything in its place.
Mise en place is a French culinary phrase that refers to the setup required before cooking. After reading the recipe, set out all your ingredients. Having everything “in its place” keeps you from having to run to find things when time is of the essence.

3. Chill out.
Chilling the dough an hour before baking is the best way to contain the spread of your dough and enhance flavor. Cut or spoon your cookies out onto your pans, then chill them in the fridge. The cool air lets the gluten strands relax while also allowing the flour to hydrate, making a moister, chewier, and better cookie.

4. Don’t overdo it.
Mixing your ingredients together for too long can create dough filled with air pockets. This may be desirable in other recipes, but for cookies, you’ll end up having them rise too high, then sink. It also overworks the gluten if you are using wheat flour. Overdoing it will ensure a batch of tough, sad cookies.

5. Keep calm and eat (better) cookies.
Make sure your flour, sugar, butter, and eggs are room temperature by having a dab of patience. Let them sit on the counter for a while and the ingredients will blend together more easily, giving you a much smoother, well-mixed dough.

6. It’s cool, bro.
When you take your cookies out of the oven, make sure to move them from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack within 2 or 3 minutes, if possible. The longer your cookies stay on the pan, the longer they cook, and the harder they get.