This is my favourite tip. Cookies are addictive. You'll eat too many without even feeling guilty. So, I alway bake ½ or ⅓ batch. And freeze the remaining. Those 10-12 cookies are for kids. And that works best and I don't gain any extra inches around waist. Those remaining cookie are amazing to greet my nephew and nieces when they visit. They make a quick lunchbox fix in school for my boys. Freshly baked cookies make the best gift when you visit friends or family. And at those time, I'm too busy to plan anything ahead. These cookies save the day. It takes 30 minutes to de freeze and bake cookies, 20 minute extra for cooling.( Just keep extra cookie boxes and ribbons for gifts.)
Scoop them or roll them and keep in freezer for 30 minute or until they firm up. Then put them in a large box. You may separate layers of cookie scoop with plastic sheets. You can also freeze the dough directly but then you need to thaw it then scoop it on baking tray. I used both methods.
These tips are crazy but I know many people who never bake cookies at home. And they would not invest a dime until they know they can do it easily. So for those beginners, you need a baking sheet or cookie tray for baking cookies. If you don't have one you can use your pizza pan, Swiss Roll tin, or something similar. Just line it with baking paper. Obviously, you never grease or dust the baking sheet with flour for cookies. If don't have wire rack to cool cookies. You can't cool cookies on any flat surface. You can use oven rack if it stays above the flat surface. Or any clean, steel / iron rack that does the job. Hope you took a tips or two. Please give me a thumbs up in comment if you like this post. I plan to update this page again and as I learn more tips. Please share your amazing tips too.
If your cookies go flat, first try chilling them. You can also add extra spoon or spoons of flour so it hold the structure of cookie. Lastly, baking paper helps them stay in the place and doesn't let em spread to much. If your Cookies burns from bottom while it is still runny in the middle. Reduce oven temperature or/and bake cookies on top shelf. You need to judge here what works best for you. If you want soft cookies, take out cookie as soon as sides turn brown and center is just set. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Yes! Don't forget to chill dough for soft centres. For chewy crispy cookie use more brown sugar and butter in a recipe. Brown sugar caramelise and make em crispy. Extra butter helps them spread more.
Concentrate on one batch at one time. Cookie burn quickly, ovens have hot spot so baking one batch at a time gives best results. If you have to bake lots of cookies and try than rotating trays can help you achieve even browning of all cookies.
Always follow the recipe temperature and timing precisely and bake on middle shelf of oven. Usually 325-400 F is recommended. I prefer 355 F. Now, you can't trust oven temperatures. It's always less or more than what you set. So, for best results use a thermometer. If you really care about cookies and baking invest in an oven thermometer. It's worth every penny and very cheap for the job it does.
If you want to turn a plain flour cookie into cocoa cookie just reduce flour and add equal amount of cocoa. For an instance, if you wish to change 3 cup flour cookies recipe to chocolate cookies. So will add ¾ cup cocoa powder and use 2 ¼ cup flour. You might need to make more adjustment but this is a good place to start and develop a new recipe.
This is another important ingredient , if your butter is warm or too cold, it will not be creamy when you mix it with sugars. So your butter needs to be at room temperature so it can be whisked easily. But not to warm that it turns into greasy mixture when mixed with sugar. It should be creamy. The butter at cold room temperature will also rise well. So, If you keep butter on the counter around 30-45 minutes in advance. It works best. In other case, just heat butter in microwave for 15 seconds. And rest it for few minutes before you begin. You can replace butter for margarine. (I've tried it so I know you can make cookies with margarine but use butter for best taste and texture.)