Mmmmm... Cookies...

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

C is for Cookie! But whose recipe is good enough for you? Around my house, my chocolate chip cookies are in high demand at Christmas time. They're a little different every time — I prefer them puffy and pretty, as a baker, but my family loves the flat ones that get all crispy around the edges. I know I'll probably get the former with extra flour, and the latter with ten tons of butter, but there's actually a lot of science determining how my dozens turn out. So how do you like your cookies? Ashley's an extra-salt-easy-on-the-chips girl, and me, I have yet to meet one I didn't like. What's your secret for the perfect batch every time?

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I have two secrets for perfectly soft chocolate chip cookies. The first is to use a recipe that calls for vegetable shortening (in addition to butter). The second is to take the cookies out of the oven sooner -- a lot of people overcook them. When the cookies look done, it is too late. Take them out when they no longer look wet, but aren't brown yet. Loosen them so they come off the cookie sheet, but then leave them on the warm sheet for another 3 minutes so they continue cooking from the heat of the sheet. Then transfer them to a rack to cool all the way. It may take a few batches to get the timing right, but this results in soft chewy cookies, just the way I like them. My husband likes his cookies crispy, and I just leave a tray in the oven longer for him.

Sent by Megan in Las Vegas | 3:26 PM | 7-10-2008

Not all chocolate cookies have eggs. For a wonderful vegan perfect chocolate cookie I replace the eggs with a ground flax and water mixture. I also replace some of the sugar with a 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Of course with all cookies, you should always remove them from the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.

Sent by Meredith Richmond | 3:26 PM | 7-10-2008

My family really likes their brownies gooey and fudgy. In order to achieve this consistently, my grandmother taught me to add an extra tablespoon or teaspoon(depending on how gooey you like)to the batter before baking. You can also omit one egg for a similar outcome. My best friend jokes that you could leave these brownies in the sun for three days and they would not dry out.

Sent by Mariel Burns | 4:11 PM | 7-10-2008

I think the keys to a good cookie are: melted butter, extra egg yolks, and more brown sugar than white sugar. This creates a gooey, chewy cookie that is crispy on the outside. Cook them at a lower temp and of course, take them out of the oven before they are done.

Sent by Elizabeth Dansie | 5:22 PM | 7-10-2008

I cook cookies at a higher temp. 375 degrees to get the outsides crispy while keeping the insides soft...reduce the time cooked and chill on rack not pan...

Sent by m.rawlins | 3:58 PM | 7-11-2008

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