A Crash Course in Cookie Baking

© John Kernick
The dos and don'ts of cookie baking. 

Who doesn't know how to bake cookies? They're definitely on the easier end of the baking spectrum, but there are still some rookie errors to avoid. Here, the do's and dont's of getting the best cookies possible this holiday season.

DON’T overmix your cookie dough. This creates tough cookies, especially if you use an electric mixer. Use a wooden spoon and some muscle to mix your dough.

DO form cookies of equal size and weight so they bake evenly. Use a ruler, or do what the pros do and use a scale.

DON'T assume your baking sheets all bake the same. Using dark sheet pans can cause cookies to burn if you’re not careful (they absorb more heat).

DO skip greasing your baking sheets by using parchment paper.

DON'T use thin, lightweight baking sheets. But if they’re all you have, double them up to prevent burning. This also works if you have to use the bottom third of your oven to bake cookies.

DO bake cookies in the upper third of the oven; it’s the sweet spot for baking cookies.

DON'T store soft cookies and crispy cookies in the same tin or your crispy cookies won’t be crispy for long.

DO make an instant glaze for cookies by topping them with chocolate chips right out of the hot oven (cover them for a bit to help the chocolate melt before spreading it).

DON'T throw away your cookie crumbs—gather them up and freeze them until you have enough for another use, like sprinkling them on ice cream or yogurt.

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