Living Well: 8 Secrets to The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

October 16, 2012

This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!

Chocolate chip cookies. Could there be a more perfect cookie in the world? And in my book, knowing how to bake them — and get a consistent outcome every time — is a basic life skill every bit as important as knowing how to properly iron a shirt.

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie
tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

Baking chocolate chip cookies is a satisfying task, but baking them with your kids is pretty much heaven! There are lots of steps kids can help with. They’ll enjoy cracking the eggs, spooning the flour, balling the dough. But most of all, they’ll love sneaking chocolate chips to snack on while the first batch bakes, and waiting (impatiently) for the cookies to cool just enough to handle without burning their tongue.

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie
tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

There are variations. Thin and crispy with loads of butterscotch flavor. Soft and cake-y, dotted with a few chocolate chips. Or my favorite, irresistibly chewy and chock-full of dark, gooey chocolate.

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie
tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

For this tutorial, we’ll go with chewy chocolate chip cookies. But I’ll also share tips for creating different kinds of cookies (like I mentioned above) and include my troubleshooting advice as well. In no time at all you’ll be confidently playing around with your own recipe to make The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie.

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

All chocolate chip cookie recipes call for the same 8-10 ingredients: butter, sugar (white and brown), eggs, vanilla (or another flavoring), flour, leavening (usually baking soda), salt and chocolate chips. At the bottom of the post, you’ll find the recipe I work with, but first, let’s talk about ingredients and processes.

As I mentioned with my pie crust tutorial, butter = flavor. Shortening is fine for baking and the cookies will come out looking pretty, but they won’t taste as great. I stopped using shortening because it just can’t compare to straight-up butter.

I prefer to use unsalted butter when baking because I can control the amount of salt in a recipe. But that’s just preference.

Secret #1: Butter should be at (cool) room temperature. This means it’s pliable and you can press your finger into it. If you use butter that is too soft, your cookies can end up greasy and oily. It also won’t cream as well with the sugar.

Microwaving butter to soften results in unevenly softened butter — usually a very melted center. The best way to bring your butter to proper temperature is to cut it into pieces and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes while the oven is preheating and you’re gathering all of your ingredients.

Creaming is the process of beating butter and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. This is important for chewy, delicious cookies. The sharp edges of the sugar help aerate the butter. (We’ll save the science lesson for another day, just trust me, you don’t want to skip this step.)

Secret #2: I start by creaming my butter by itself with an electric mixer, then adding the brown and white sugars.

While we’re on the subject, an electric hand mixer or stand mixer is the way to go for creaming. The stand mixer is a little quicker, but more people have a hand mixer, so that’s what I’m using in these pictures.

The picture on the left shows the creaming at the halfway point. The picture on the right shows properly creamed butter and sugar. It’s lighter in color and very fluffy.

Most recipes call for a combination of white and brown sugars.

White sugar will help give cookies a nice crisp edge. The brown sugar, because of its higher moisture content, will lend chewiness. Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added back into it. There is also dark brown sugar which has more molasses and will give an even stronger butterscotch flavor to the cookies.

Secret #3: Using all white sugar will give you hard, crunchy cookies. All brown sugar will give you tender, chewy cookies. Play around with the ratio until you get the cookie how you like it. I tend to use almost all brown sugar, with just a little bit of white.

Eggs should also be room temperature. When you add eggs to the creamed mixture and they are cold, the mixture will curdle. This can affect the way the cookies bake and lead to uneven results. If this happens, let the mixture sit for a few minutes until it warms up and then continue beating. It should eventually come back together.

A quick way to get an egg to room temperature is to place it in a bowl of warm tap water for about 10 minutes before using it.

Secret #4: Eggs should be added one at at time and beaten well between additions to keep the mixture nice and emulsified.

Vanilla is the traditional flavoring for chocolate chip cookies. You can also add a little of another extract for a variation — almond is one of my favorites. The debate between pure vs. artificial vanilla can get heated. Use what you like. I like a good tablespoon for plenty of vanilla flavor.

I like to use unbleached all-purpose flour for most of my baking needs.

Secret #5: How you measure your flour is more important than what kind you use. I prefer to spoon the flour into my measuring cup and scrape off the mound with a butter knife. I find that when I dip the measuring cup into the flour and drag is up along the side of my flour bin, I get too much flour in the cup.

Another great way is to weigh out your ingredients. One cup of unsifted all-purpose flour weighs 4.5 oz. or 125 grams.

And that brings me to sifting. I don’t usually sift the flour for cookies. A quick whisk is all the flour usually needs. (This is not the case for making cakes, however.) Sifted flour will weigh less than unsifted flour. I whisk after I measure the flour.

Salt is a huge flavor enhancer in sweets. Because I tend to use unsalted butter, I have more control over the amount of salt. Start with what the recipe says and taste it. If you like, add more until it tastes just right to you. If it’s too salty, make note of it on the recipe and use less the next time. Unfortunately there’s no way to take the salt back out. If you use salted butter, you might want to use about 1/4 tsp. less salt than the recipe calls for. Whisk the salt and the baking soda in with the flour so it’s evenly distributed in the dough.

If you should decide to use whole wheat flour in your cookies, use a little less than you would if it was regular flour. The whole wheat flour will absorb more of the liquid from the other ingredients.


Secret #6: You don’t have to follow your recipe word for word when it comes to the flour. That’s not always the case with other baked goods. But with cookies, there is a little room for experimenting to find what works best. Factors like humidity, climate, altitude, and brand of flour can affect how much flour a cookie dough needs. (So can slight variations in the water content of the butter or eggs you use.)

And now for the best part…the chocolate chips.

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

As I said, I like a generous amount of chocolate chips in my cookies. I like dark chocolate chips. My kids really love white chocolate. My husband likes milk. As long as there are plenty of them, everything is fine. :)

Now let’s talk about the baking process — this includes baking sheets, temperature, and time.

Cookie sheets come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I’ve tried many, many different kinds and always come back to a basic, stainless steel rimmed baking sheet. In my experience, dark non-stick sheets often burn the bottoms of the cookies.


I prefer to line my baking sheets with parchment (NOT waxed) paper or silicone baking mats. Baking cookies on silicone baking mats or parchment paper will give you evenly baked cookies. You’ll be less likely to get cookies with burned bottoms and raw middles. Bonus: parchment makes clean-up a snap! If you don’t have access to either of these, greasing the cookie sheet works too.

Secret #7: To make the cookies uniformly sized (for even baking), I like to use a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop to spoon out the dough.

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

Once you’ve got your cookie dough onto the baking sheets, it’s time to close that door and set the timer.

Some people prefer to bake cookies one sheet at a time. If I have extra time, I will do this. Rotating your baking sheets back to front, top to bottom halfway through baking time will also produce evenly baked cookies. Most cookies only need to bake between 8-12 minutes, depending on the size of the dough balls and the temperature of your oven. (Invest in an oven thermometer if your oven is inconsistent and adapt it accordingly.)

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

Let cookies rest on cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

Secret #8: Let cookie sheets cool completely before baking the next batch of dough.

TROUBLESHOOTING & VARIATIONS

Now for those variations I promised, as well as a few helpful hints for troubleshooting.

FLOUR: The cookies on the left were made with the exact amount of flour called for in the recipe, the cookies in the middle had a little more flour, and the ones on the right had about 3/4 cup more flour. All were baked for the same amount of time on the same cookie sheet.

With practice you’ll learn how much flour to add. A good thing to do is to always bake one or two test cookies to see how the cookies spread in the oven. If they spread too much, you can add more flour.

If you go overboard and add too much flour, add a little milk or water until the dough comes back to where you want it.

TEMPERATURE: These cookies spread too much. I already mentioned adding more flour to the dough. But you can also lower the baking temperature.

The cookies in the picture were baked at 375 degrees F (right), 350 degrees F (middle), and 325 degrees F (left) for about the same amount of time — give or take 60 seconds.

You can also chill the cookie dough which will help inhibit the dough from spreading.

MELTED BUTTER: The cookies on the top were made with melted butter and a higher ratio of white sugar. The cookies didn’t brown very well. The cookies on the bottom had more brown sugar. They are both chewy because of the melted butter.

There are recipes that call for melted butter. If you go this route (and I do sometimes), use 2 Tbsp. less per 1/2 cup of butter so your cookies aren’t greasy. Skip the creaming process.

WHITE SUGAR: The cookies above were made with equal amounts of white and brown sugar and more flour. They were firm and not chewy or crisp.

tutorial for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

BROWN SUGAR: These cookies were made with all brown sugar. They are very chewy and very soft.

CAKE-Y: These are super soft, cake-y chocolate chip cookies. For these cookies, use an extra egg, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup less sugar, more flour, and a tablespoon of milk. (These were a hit with my kids and husband.)

DARK BOTTOMS: The cookies in this picture were baked on parchment (left) and a greased baking sheet (right). If you prefer darker bottomed cookies, skip the parchment.

My Version of the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ingredients:
1 cup (8 oz.) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for 5 minutes on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for another minute after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in two or three additions, mixing on low speed just until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips using a silicone spatula or the mixer on low speed.

Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving a few inches of room between them. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

——

This was a lot of information. If you made it to the end, congratulations! I think we can say you are now officially a cookie pro. : )

P.S. — Do you like living well? Here are all the secrets.

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{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole October 16, 2012 at 9:00 am

Another secret – size! I’ve had very different results using different size cookie scoops from the same batch of dough. I seem to get better results in texture from my bigger scoop for whatever reason…

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2 Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) October 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

Interesting. I just ran into my kitchen to see what size mine is. It holds one tablespoon. I know there are some that are smaller and some larger. What size is yours? I’m interested in picking one up to see how it compares. :)

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3 nicole February 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

i also use a 1 tablespoon scoop. then i get a lot of small cookies. my husband likes it best when i make 2 tablespoon cookies. crunch on the edge, but still soft in the center. of course i have to roll two scoops together to do this, but often he is willing to roll for me.

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4 Angeerah October 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

I cannot help it but everytime I see Nestle Toll House, I think of Phoebe from Friends insisting that her chocolate chip cookie recipe was from her French grandmother (said in a French accent) Nestle Tolhouse!

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5 Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) October 16, 2012 at 9:51 am

I loved that episode! Very funny.

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6 Amber, theAmberShow October 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

Lindsay, I don’t understand how sifted flour weighs more than non. If I put 125 gm of flour into a bowl and then run a whisk through it, it should still be the same amount of flour and weigh the same 125 gm, yes?

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7 Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) October 16, 2012 at 9:49 am

You’re correct, Amber. It will weigh the same. What I’m saying is that if you pre-sift your flour and then measure it, and then weigh it, it will weigh a different amount (less) than if you measure out flour first, then sift it. It will weigh more. Sorry–I should have clarified that. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

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8 Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) October 16, 2012 at 9:50 am

And actually, this really matters more with cakes than it does cookies. Some cookie recipes are really dependent on the correct amount of flour, but there is a little “fudge” room with most chocolate chip cookie recipes. But measuring incorrectly is one of the biggest reasons for baking failures, so I included it here for newbies.

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9 Paige October 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

Beautiful photgraphs–makes my mouth water just looking at them. Great use of the natural light and a yummy way to start off this Tuesday. xo

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10 Ann October 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

These look promising! My friend’s mom has a secret recipe and somehow her chocolate chips are continually melty. Any ideas how that’s achieved?

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11 shelby rice October 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

One “secret” I have found to make a huge difference in flavor and texture is browning a portion of the butter. I usually double a recipe (to scoop and freeze at least half of the dough for a rainy day!), and brown half of the called for butter. Then I cream the rest and fold in the cooled, browned butter. I do find that chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes then yields the best cookie. Yum!

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12 Tasha October 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I’ve also heard about the chilling of dough:)

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13 bdaiss October 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

I used to make beautiful chocolate chip cookies. Then I moved to a high altitude location. Darned if that doesn’t screw me up every time. Any “no fail” high altitude tips/tricks? I already up the flour, reduce the sugar, add water, and reduce the cook time. I swear. I have two engineering degrees. Baking cookies up here shouldn’t be so dang frustrating! : )

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14 Konna January 5, 2013 at 10:20 am

I used to live at 10,000 ft and I found that if I put the temperature of the oven down 25 degrees, that helped things. I also found that increasing liquids just a little and puting scant dry ingredients in all of my recipes made them easier to deal with. If there is a lot of sugar/sweetener in a recipe, and it contains baking soda, make the soda less than half and that will make it not overflow….like a honey cake did….I cried. Very few things browned at such a high altitude.

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15 ARoggen July 5, 2013 at 6:45 am

Have you figured this out yet? I just moved to 7500 ft. The CSU (Colorado State University) Extension office has a pamphlet on high altitude baking. It suggested half the baking soda and half the fat. I have a teenaged daughter of a friend staying, and we are baking a batch every night and perfecting the recipe the next night.

So far, reducing the baking soda and the fat by half was great. I did have over cooked bottoms. I was thinking of reducing the temp, but everything always says increase the temp for high altitude. The next poster said that she reduces by 25 degrees. I will try that tonight.

I also chill the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes. That helps so much with spreading. I even do that when I live lower at 5280 feet.

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16 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity October 16, 2012 at 11:22 am

It’s funny, but I just posted my Mom’s chocolate chip recipe. They are my favourite and contain the surprise ingredient of sunflower seeds. You can find the recipe here: http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.ca/2012/10/moms-chocolate-chip-cookies.html.

Great photos in this post – very inspiring. I need to work on my food photography.

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17 Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) October 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Your mom’s cookies look great! I love the additions. And thanks for the nice compliment about the pictures. :)

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18 Monica Guzman October 16, 2012 at 11:28 am

OMG! This is PERFECT now with Fall and the cooler nights. I always make cookies with my children and no matter how many recipes I try, I could never get them chewy enough! So appreciate the GREAT photographs and the visual differences. I felt like a took a crash course in baking and now I’m ready to run home and try them myself! Thank you and I’m sure my children will thank you later!

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19 Christine October 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Great post. I can’t wait to try it. I’ve been looking for a tried & true choc chip cookie recipe for a LONG time.

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20 DM October 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm

This is FANTASTIC! It answered so many of my questions and addressed so many of my “how did that happen?” moments!

(One note – are the cookies in the temperature photo in the same order as the caption, or L-M-R 375/350/325?)

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21 Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) October 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm

You’re right! Left to right in decreasing temperature.

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22 bettijo @ PagingSupermom.com October 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I LOVE this post. Planning to share on our blog if that’s OK? XOXO –b

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23 Becca October 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Thanks so much for the troubleshooting tips and photos! It’s the most helpful baking-related info I’ve heard since learning that whole wheat bread does better in smaller loaf pans. Hooray for food blogging!

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24 Tasha October 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Love your tips, thanks! I was in the mood this weekend to bake these cookies too:) I have to say I am “known” for my cookies, but I follow the recipe on the bag of chocolate morsels LOL! My SECRET has been to always cut all sugar (white and brown) IN HALF! Perfect! A little cakey as well as cookie…I also add tons of choc chips and walnuts…and make them HUGE! They are like little mountains, as my husband says, a “dinner” in your palm:) I have recently begun using crisco on the sheet to give a nice golden-browned bottom too…ode to my Bapci (grandmother) ♥ I need cookies now lol

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25 clarity October 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm

It’s ironic that a corporation (Nestle) that uses child labor is sponsoring a post on a blog about kids.

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26 Lindsey October 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm

What about chilling the dough? This article here suggests that chilling the dough overnight is the secret to the perfect cookie. Any truth to this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/09chip.html?pagewanted=all

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27 Tara October 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

So many tips I’ve never heard of! Can’t wait to try a few soon!

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28 lilcg October 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

salt! you have to sprinkle sea salt on top–it makes all the difference. a couple of years ago the nytimes did a whole spread on chocolate chip cookies–sticking the dough in the fridge overnight, using those thin chocolate discs, sprinkling sea salt…

I tried all their variations and honestly the sea salt makes the cookies! the overnight in the fridge did help the taste somewhat, but then you lose the smell of freshly baked cookies and the slight improvement in the taste wasn’t worth the loss of the smell of freshly baked cookies

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29 Martha October 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

i read this post, and i went forth and baked! a very interesting recipe – i usually use nestle’s with a couple tweaks (more flour), but these have turned out well, too. i added a lot of salt because i like them salty … i think it was a bit much. but still, yum! thanks for all this info. i love when other people do all my baking research for me.

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30 Christa the BabbyMama October 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Raise your hand if you love using a mini ice cream scooper to make perfectly uniform cookies every time!

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31 Christine October 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

Hello Lindsey,
I would L O V E to make these cookies, but I live in Italy and don’t have measuring cups. Could you tell me the quantities in grams?
Thanks,
Christine

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32 Natasha Rodricks-Naidu March 15, 2013 at 1:29 am

Christine, hello from India where we still use the metric system.
Butter-225 g, Sugar-400g and Flour-330 g
The rest is easy to follow.
Good luck.

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33 Jen October 18, 2012 at 8:19 am

This is incredible. I’m not a great baker (due to the exactness/measuring needs, I love to cook because I do whatever I want), and I’m always discouraged when my cookies spread, are greasy, get crispy. There is nothing more depressing than a crunchy cookie. I am excited to try for the perfect batch based on all this amazing info!

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34 jennifer October 21, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I love this! THanks!

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35 Lana October 22, 2012 at 8:59 am

The absolutely BEST and MOST HELPFUL cookie tutorial EVER! I so needed this! Thank you.

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36 Nicole October 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I made these today and my 6 year old loved them. Thank you for the great tips, I will be experimenting with the recipe again soon!

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37 join utility warehouse October 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website
so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

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38 Becky November 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm

This was wonderful. Thank you for the great step by step.

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39 Kate November 5, 2012 at 9:58 pm

So much fantastic information! Thank you! I’m going to go fool around with my lactation cookie recipe now.

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40 Anonymous November 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Just made these and they didn’t turn out at all like yours. I ended up throwing out half the dough. They were very floury and cakey… Not moist or chewy at all :(

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41 Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) November 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Oh dear! I’m so sorry. Feel free to e-mail me, if you need to. I can help troubleshoot that way. (cafejohnsonia (at) gmail (dot) com)

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42 Helen Lebrett November 8, 2012 at 12:27 am

Great tutorial and instructions. I’ve pinned this post and will come back to it next time I make cookies. I appreciate all the different pictures of the different times for cooking, the different temps, and the different results with the flour and butter and sugars: if I tried out all those variations I’d be as big as a house, because I’d be the one eating most of the cookies!! :-) So my waistline thanks you! :-P Thanks so much!!! H in Healdsburg, Ca

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43 Jayne November 8, 2012 at 5:10 am

Thank you for those wonderful tips. I already wrote them down so I don’t forget the next time I bake. I have a question, though. You didn’t use baking powder, why? Sometimes I don’t use baking soda when I bake cookies, just baking powder.

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44 Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke Photography November 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm

wow, wow, wow, I read the entire thing, and it was very informative!! I love the science behind it all, really helps me visualize the best methods. I have had trouble making the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and someone once told me to refridgerate the dough for a bit then cook, and that has helps, but tips on not putting the butter in the microwave (I always forget to set it out) and adding a bit more flour and using parchment paper were very helpful–thank you!

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45 Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke Photography November 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm

wow, wow, wow, I read the entire thing, and it was very informative!! I love the science behind it all, really helps me visualize the best methods. I have had trouble making the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and someone once told me to refrigerate the dough for a bit then cook, and that has helps, but tips on not putting the butter in the microwave (I always forget to set it out) and adding a bit more flour and using parchment paper were very helpful–thank you! I also have to add that the pictures are GORGEOUS, and so nicely set up. I know this was a time consuming post, and your efforts are appreciated;)
~Kristen in Texas (who would love to move to France someday)

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46 Gei November 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Amei esta receita,vou fazer estes biscoitos para meus filhos….Parabéns pelo site.

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47 Joan November 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Hi Lindsey,
When I was in college a couple of my roommates were constantly experimenting with chocolate chip cookies, trying to come up with the perfect recipe. This reminded me of them, and of eating all their delicious experiments!
Thank you for explaining it all so well. I love to bake, and it is interesting to have a science lesson. It all makes perfect sense. Well done!
Joan

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48 Elaria November 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Made these tonight and they were wonderful!! Thank you for such a great recipe :) the only thing i changed was the baking time (7 instead of 10) and they came out perfect. Thanks again for the recipe and great tips!

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49 Kim of The Made Thing December 3, 2012 at 9:05 am

I linked to this post on my blog today as part of a “What cookie Am I?” quiz. Thanks!

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50 Charla Welch December 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

I was thinking of trying the “cornstarch” addition to cookies, but found this page first. Your cookies sound and look tastier, so I’m going to try these instead!

I’ve always loved chocolate chip cookies. They are my favorite. Especially with dark chocolate chips. I usually just do the original Nestle recipe, but my last attempt didn’t turn out so hot. This afternoon I will try your recipe and see how it goes!

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51 Audra December 6, 2012 at 11:28 am

I made these yesterday to give as a gift. I was told they were amazing! Thank you for giving me my new favorite recipe.

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52 Amanda December 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I followed your recipe to a T but they turned out flat! I don’t know what I did wrong! The flavor is great and they are still soft, but they spread out a lot in the oven so they are really thin :’(

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53 savanna December 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I think you forgot to say when to add the white sugar

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54 Lindsey December 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm

You’re so right! Thanks for catching that. Just add it with the brown sugar. I’ll go in and make the change. Thanks!

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55 Angela December 20, 2012 at 12:33 am

Thanks they turned out great…a new staple recipe

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56 theanghv December 28, 2012 at 8:40 am

What about adding oil to the cookie? Binding the flour and making the cookie more chewy

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57 Scott Carlson January 14, 2013 at 11:22 pm

This is beyond fantastic. I’ve been going through various methods for baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie and brilliant write-up (and great pictures) helped to clear up some of the confusion. There were several techniques I was already doing (thankfully), but others (such as the room temperature eggs) I was not. Reading this has also helped me to figure out why a couple other recipes weren’t turning out quite as good.

Thank you so much! I think this weekend is going to be a cookie weekend!

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58 Regina January 19, 2013 at 7:35 am

This cookie recipe is definitely a keeper! I added oats and they tasted gorgeous! Don’t miss out every little bit of advice and you will be ok.

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59 Hilary January 19, 2013 at 7:29 pm

This recipe is amazing! Ive already made it twice this weekend and I really appreciate you providing all the different tips and tricks for all the different ingredient. I love you. And i’m pretty sure my boyfriend would marry you if he had a choice. I wish you were a member of my family.

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60 Malyly January 23, 2013 at 10:17 am

Thanks for posting this, especially the comparisons. You just answered all of my questions with just one extremely informative post:)

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61 Tori January 27, 2013 at 8:16 am

I made your recipe last night (and yes, I did read all of your post before plunging ahead) and they are DELICIOUS! My husband likes cookies to be chewy and I like mine to be crunchy – these came out with a bit of both attributes PLUS they actually looked good. These came out good enough to give as gifts to others. Thank you so much for sharing!

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62 Siti January 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm

The chocolate chip cookies really held up to its name. They really ARE perfect! They were gone in just 2 days and I had to bake some more – not that I’m complaining ;)

The only couple of things that I changed was lessening the amount of salt and baking them for just 8 minutes. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you so much for the insightful post.

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63 Lauren January 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Awesome recipe and tips. I just made a batch and they turned out perfectly!

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64 TKT January 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

Just wanted to say that I found your blog via pintrest and your 12 secrets to meal planning and the secrets to making the perfect chocolate chip cookie were EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for. Thank you for taking the time to do this and SHARE with the world. I live in a very rural community, I work in the office of our repair shop, and I don’t see a lot of people – most of whom are men. I can’t really tie up the phone lines talking to girl friends, so I browse pintrest and I can feel connected with amazing talented women from all over the world. Thank you! Tammy – Radisson, Saskatchewan, Canada

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65 Julie February 1, 2013 at 1:19 am

There really is a lot of science behind making a perfect cookie, isn’t there? So interesting.

I just noticed the last couple of times I baked chocolate chip cookies that they were so evenly golden in color, instead of darker bottoms. I used parchment for the first time but hadn’t given that any thought to the connection until now. Won’t be going back to greasing the sheets. Thank you!

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66 Julie February 1, 2013 at 1:22 am

Thought I’d mention that I never cool mine on cooling racks anymore. I either transfer them to a plate, or now that I use parchment paper I just let them cool on the paper placed on the counter. Seems to keep them a little more moist and chewy after cooling.

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67 Alexa February 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I made these tonight for my family and they couldn’t get enough of them. I’ve been searching for a great cookie recipe and we all agreed that this is the one. And all of the tips and explanations and pictures are incredibly helpful as well.
Thank you! These cookies are delish! Just the way I like them!

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68 Nicole L February 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

These cookies were the most beautiful and delicious cookies I’ve made! Love all your tips I followed most of them! I didn’t have a hand beater so I just used a whisk and a wooden spoon, they turned out so great!! :)

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69 astria February 25, 2013 at 6:02 am

omg…just made these cookies and they are soooooooo good. I made some giant cookies, want gacc cookies but we are in s.korea, so i made these instead! Delish!!!! Thank u for the step by step and the additional info! Wish i could submit pics…yumm-Oh…

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70 Kam March 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

These cookie tips are excellent!!!! My cookies were turning out flat and inconsistent. I followed your tips and made a perfect batch. Hooray!

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71 Alison March 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm

So thankful to have found your tutorial. This is my second attempt at making chocolate chip cookies. The first recipe I tried gave me cookies that were flat and crispy. I used yours using mostly brown sugar and following your tips about the mixing and the variations in ingredients. What a difference! Cookies are not flat and the taste delicious! And proud to say that I made them myself. Thanks for sharing. ;)

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72 blob March 7, 2013 at 1:47 am

Thank you so much for experimenting this and sharing with us!
Now i know exactly why my cookies turned out like cake, why they were getting so flat and not always chewy or with crispy edges at all.
Now i’ve reached my perfect recipe and am baking several batches every week and eating them by myself, lol. I would eat them 24/7.
I grew up in a shit country where there were no chocolate chip cookies available on the market until the 2000′s and still, very expensive imported ones. Even now they are not popular, therefore expensive. Worst part from my childhood was that i had to watch on and on all those british commercials from Cartoon Network UK with happy children eating those delicious cookies.
Now I will eat them until i die!

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73 vicky March 9, 2013 at 1:28 pm

thank you sooooo much!!! my cookies would come out cakey and never flatten, I had not though that I had to use less of whole wheat flour. Now they come out perfectly delicious. Also, my cookies are very chewy and that’s how I like them but what can I do to make the edges a bit crispier without altering the chewiness? I use 1 & 1/8 cup brown sugar and 3/8 cup white sugar and once they have slightly cooled I put them in an airtight container.
Thanks!

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74 Kristel March 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Your cookie recipe is so very close to my mother in laws recipe. I have been told they are the best chocolate chip cookies anyone has ever eaten – when I take them to an event. I never knew why before but it is because of the brown suger (we use all brown sugar) and a low temperature (325) which I always thought was weird, 350 seems to be the standard temp.
I am pinning this post, thanks so much. I didn’t know my eggs were to be room temp. I will do that now, making my weekly batch of cookies tomorrow.

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75 Catfeathers68 March 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I just tried this recipe and I’m really happy I did. I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies for 50 years or better and these are the best I’ve ever made. I followed the directions exactly and baked them one sheet at a time. I am really impressed, thank you.

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76 Beth hobson March 27, 2013 at 10:12 pm

I don’t know what happened but this didn’t turn out to be the “perfect” cookie. My husband equated them to man hole covers. I like making the big cookies so it was a 4 oz scoop, but followed the recipe to the “t” . They spread so bad that it just covered the baking sheet. When I could scrape the pancake like cookies off the sheet all I could taste was way too much brown sugar. I was hoping to perfect a chocolate chip cookie but got a mess and my hubby begged me never to try another recipe other than my standard again.

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77 teressa April 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Beth,
I wasn’t happy with the results that I got the first 2 times either – I already had the perfect c.c. recipe :) but the second time I wrapped up 1/2 the dough & refrigerated it overnight (my family just didn’t want to wait overnight for the first 2 batches) & I just put in a batch & oh. my. gosh!!!! This changes everything. They look different & taste completely different. At least you could take your own recipe & store the dough in the fridge overnight before you bake.

Thank you for the awesome post – I’m glad that I kept at it – I always appreciate making improvements to our favorite cookie!!!

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78 jessica April 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I’m constantly trying to find a great cookie recipe. This one is this best one I’ve made yet!

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79 Jessica April 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I think I would have to agree with you on that recipe, perfect! THANKS! I’ve got about 30 elementary schoolers to scarf them down tonight at church.

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80 Aara May 14, 2013 at 10:16 am

If I want to use honey and brown sugar instead of white sugar and brown sugar, what is your suggested measurements for that combination?

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81 Darcie May 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Im looking forward to trying your hints. I am also extremely happy to learn that I am not the only failure of chocolate chip cookie baking!!
My daughters favorite is making and eating ccc’s but is always disappointed when they (always) end up thin/flat and all spread out.
I’m printing the entire article so we can try this weekend.
Thank you for your tutorial! Like another mentioned; I feel like I took a crash-course in cookie baking.

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82 Sandra May 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm

I’m struggling. I used to be able to make such good chocolate chip cookies! But, I haven’t really made them the past couple years. Lately my kids have been requesting them again….but using the same recipe they keep rising and are cake-like. What am I doing wrong? I’m not very good at baking, but chocolate chip cookies were the one thing I could make that everyone truly liked. I am a super busy Mom and don’t have time to experiment. Could you please make a suggestion? I quickly read your tips above, but my cookies are nothing like any of the pictures I saw, mine have a round smooth top…like a half moon cookie would have. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated~
Sandra

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83 liz May 22, 2013 at 3:16 am

thank you, this is so helpful!! do you think you could do the same with brownies??

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84 Annie June 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I love your instructions, thanks. I’m a long time baker and love chocolate chip cookies and am always in search of recipes.

Changed the recipe a bit, had to make allowances when I used (whole) brown organic sugar and smaller organic chips. The whole brown sugar has larger crystals which means more sugar, so I reduced it by 1/8th per cup of brown sugar. Smaller chips or mini chips I reduced the 2 cup measure to 1 and 1/4C.

They turned out perfectly. Kudos to you for all that time spent, its helpful.

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86 Meg June 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

Thank you so much for the tups and explaini how I can get my chocolate chip coookies the way I want them.

I have a few questions:

1. If I were to go the melted butter route for a recipe that requires room temp creamed butter, do I use the same amount?

2. I’m having problems with the way my cookies are spreading, overall taste and softness is good but they won’t spread like I want them too. They end up looking like crinkles or small halves of whoopie pies (doom-like shape). Is a particular ingredient responsible for this?

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88 Moji June 29, 2013 at 11:16 am

Thank you! thank you! thank you!!!!!! I’ve made cookies a handful of times before and they all looked like mini cup cakes all puffy and cakey. I’m half way done and I see in oven that they sprrrreeeeeaaaad! Oh! They spread like a glorious butterfly.

I halved the recipe because I wasn’t sure of the result seeing that I have been forced to eat ‘semi cakes’ in the past. I did change my brand of butter to the ‘good stuff’ though. I’m a bit more confident now, so I’ll try it again with my cheaper brand and hope for the same results. I also left out the baking soda I was determined to get them flat! Thanks again.

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90 Shannon July 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Hi I was wondering if you combine the brown and white sugar with the butter to cream or do you add the white sugar with the dry ingredients? Thanks for the great photos and information… I am inspired!

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91 Ciji September 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

Shannon, I personally mixed the brown and white sugar together then added it to the cream, I wasn’t sure about this either BUT mine came out amazing!

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93 Zoe August 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Whenever i have followed these recipes my cookies always turned out all fluffy and cake-like. I got so frustrated with it once that i took the cookies out half way through baking when they were beginning to stiffen, took a spoon and gently squashed them down, they instantly resembled perfect cookies! Then i put them back in for a few more minutes and voila! They were just right. Thin and crispy but chewy in the center. I know it sounds silly but i have noticed a lot of people have had the same problem and this is the only thing that worked for me. :)

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95 Ariane August 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Well….the dough looks great. I tasted a little and it’s a winner.
I will bake the cookies in the morning after a night in the refrigerator.
Looks like you could use a new cookie sheet and a new silpat.
Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

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96 Ralph Hensley August 26, 2013 at 10:23 am

I read the whole article and gathered some good info. Thanks

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97 Betty August 29, 2013 at 2:14 am

Hi my Mum would like to know how you cook your white chocolate cookies. Every time she does it the white chocolate goes a brown colour. Fantastic recipe by the way.
Cheers

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98 Angeli September 20, 2013 at 7:26 am

I baked my first batch of cookies today. I am a 28 year old mom. Can you imagine that? Haha.

I wish I found your blog before I baked today!

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101 Ciji September 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

You have MASTERED the chocolate chip cookie recipe! This is the ONlybrecipe I’ll ever use now, thank you so much!!

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102 Kate September 30, 2013 at 9:54 am

Excellent post! I love the troubleshooting area and all the pictures showing different cooking methods and ingredients used; really fabulous.

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103 Christine October 7, 2013 at 1:13 am

Hi!

I tried your recipe just yesterday and I loved it, even my family and friends say it’s delicious. :)
I just had a problem with the salt I used because I tasted a few specks of it in the cookies I made. You see, I used 1/2 tsp rock salt as it’s the one available in my mom’s pantry. Actually there’s iodized salt, the fine one but I don’t know whether 1/2 tsp of salt in your recipe is the same as 1/2 tsp of iodized salt. I was afraid it might turn out too salty.

Thanks for your advice in advance. :)

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104 ang October 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Hello. I just made some of your cookies- I have to say, they are the best that I have ever made!! my cookies are usually pretty nasty. These were awesome. Followed your instructions to a T… Thank You!!

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105 Linn October 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm

TEMPERATURE: These cookies spread too much. I already mentioned adding more flour to the dough. But you can also lower the baking temperature.

The cookies in the picture were baked at 375 degrees F (right), 350 degrees F (middle), and 325 degrees F (left) for about the same amount of time — give or take 60 seconds.
_.._did the baking temps get flipped for this?…I am good at flipping things etc._.._
just found your site via pinterest…am enjoying very much…ideas for projects to do with grandchildren :)…Thank you, Linn

You can also chill the cookie dough which will help inhibit the dough from spreading.

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108 Luba November 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I just made these cookies and I think I’m writing from heaven. Delicious and easy to make especially with the helpful tips! I think you’ve mastered the perfect chocolate chip cookie!

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109 Neil Gottlieb December 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Great recipe. I thought the increase in brown sugar vs white and the bit more flour than I typically use (2.5 cups) made a difference. The tablespoon of vanilla was also different for me. Amazing flavor. Also, decided to add a tablespoon of milk as I was mixing in eggs and chilled dough for an hour. Wonderful recipe. Well done

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110 Holly December 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

HELP!! I just made up this recipe using brown sugar only…BUT i thought it was 1 STICK not 1 CUP of butter! :( do I try to remedy it or bake and see? I hope you see this but I doubt in time but I had to try!!
Thanks..Holly

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112 wendy January 28, 2014 at 4:06 pm

You said a crispy version, which is our fav, but did not find it in your variations…could you please add, Thanks

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113 Katie K February 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Thank you SO much for all these great tips! I’ve never been able to make good cookies and after following your guide I finally made some to be proud of! Thank you thank you thank you!

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114 nicole February 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Hey i keep getting puffy cookies. I made this recipe exact even read about common mustakes what did i do wrong?

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