Are you tired of your chocolate chip cookies turning out flat as pancakes, hard as bricks or so well done even the dog turns his nose up at them? Well after years of experimenting and trying out different recipes, I have found a few helpful hints along the way that all add up to the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It doesn't matter what recipe you use. I have tried my methods out on many and they have always worked.
First you want to preheat your oven with the normal baking temperature of 350 degrees. If you are baking several dozen cookies and your oven is going to be on for awhile, turn the temperature down to 325 degrees instead of 350. If you have an electric oven, start at 325 because electric ovens tend to burn more quickly.
Always keep good baking sheets. They should be replaced about every year. Bakers secret sheets are good but the sturdy aluminum ones from your local bakery or cake shop are better and will last longer. Air bake cookie sheets are okay but they have a very short life span. They should never be completely submerged in water. When water gets on the inside of your pan your cookies will almost always burn.
Use butter flavored Crisco sticks. This is my best kept secret. Most chocolate chip cookie recipes call for butter. Butter by itself will usually make a flat, crispy cookie. Shortening by itself will usually make small thick cookies. Butter flavored Crisco sticks provide the best of both by combing the two, not to mention they are already premeasured.
Use your hands. I never use a mixer or a spoon. Your hands can be your most useful utensils. Wash your hands thoroughly of course and then don't be afraid to dive in. Mixing your dough with your hands allows you to mix evenly. You can feel for brown sugar lumps and its easier to knead the dough with your hands.
When putting your dough on a pan try your best to make a ball. Its okay to add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky. The more perfect the ball, the more perfect your cookie will be.
Well those are a few of my baking secrets and tips. I hope you find some of these ideas useful. I know I have. Happy baking!