13 Tips for Baking the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Tired of looking for the chocolate chip cookie of your dreams?

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Confession: 

I’ve met my share of chocolate chip cookies. Okay, since I’m confessing, I’ve met way more than my fair share. The problem is that the majority of them are just okay.

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They always seem to have an issue.

Boring,

Crummy,

Dense,

Or, just not sweet enough.

So even though I’ve enjoyed a lot of cookies, I’m always searching for that perfect one that has all the right stuff. And guess what? I’ve made a list- of that stuff.

 

In honor of Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, we’re counting down the top thirteen tips to baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

13 Tips for a better Chocolate Chip Cookie

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13. Accuracy. It’s really important to measure ingredients carefully, preferably with a digital scale. You may be saying-Uh Agatha, this isn’t rocket science here. They’re just cookies.  

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Fact is, there’s a lot of science going on in every little cookie. Get it wrong, and…  

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12.  Fresh Ingredients. This one seems obvious, but sometimes we don’t realize how long things have been sitting in the pantry. When’s the last time you checked the date on baking powder? Also, keep in mind that once you open the package, most ingredients will lose their freshness faster. Stale expired products, will produce stale expired flavor.

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11.  Encourage an Even Bake. Avoid dark, non-stick pans that can cause cookies to burn on the bottom. Unless using a convection oven, bake one tray at a time in the middle of the oven and rotate once during baking.

10.  Butter is betterUse butter, not margarine. Margarine makes a denser cookie, and more importantly, butter has flavor. (Of course, just my opinion).

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9.   Better Butter is butter at room temperature. When butter is too cold, it will not mix evenly. Too hot, and cookies will spread.

If you need to warm it quickly, don’t be tempted to soften it in the microwave.

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Instead, slice or grate the butter and let it soften naturally while you preheat your oven and gather materials. 

8.  Don’t bake blindlyKnow your ingredient capabilities. 

For chewy cookies: Add 1 Tablespoon of corn syrup and use a higher ratio of brown sugar. I prefer dark brown sugar for that extra kick of toffee-like flavor.

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For cake-like cookies: Add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and use cake flour.

For crispy cookies: Use only granulated sugar.

7.   Whip it, whip it good.

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As a general rule of thumb, cream sugar and butter first. Gradually add in wet ingredients and eggs one at a time. Then, incorporate the dry ingredients. If the ingredients are not uniformly combined, you may end up with a crumbly cookie.

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6.   But…dont whip it too good. See, I told you it’s a science. You want to stir well enough to get an even mixture, but you don’t want to overwork the dough. Overmix the ingredients and the cookies will get tough.

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5.   Lay it, dont spray it. I highly recommend lining pans with parchment paper or silicone mats. If you prefer non-stick spray, don’t over do it.

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Too much spray can cause cookies to spread and will cause a greasy build-up on your pans. Furthermore, if spraying, be sure to wash pans in between bakes. There’s nothing worse than burnt chocolate or sugar stuck on your trays.

4.   Be cautious of soggy bottoms. To ensure the cookies are done, check that the bottoms are lightly brown. Even when cookies are fully baked, they will bend and break apart right out of the oven. Let them rest for just a couple of minutes and then carefully transfer to a cooling rack, single-layer.   

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3.   Keep it cool. Cool pans. Cool dough.

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Always bake on cool pans. If refilling a pan just from the oven, rinse with cold water. Hot pans will cause over-spreading. It’s also helpful to chill your dough in the refrigerator in between bakes.

2.   Accessorize. We eat with our eyes first, especially when it comes to dessert.

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After rolling the cookie balls, top them with a few chocolate chips and any other candy mix-ins you are using. Cookies will look more appetizing and nobody will feel short changed. (Am I the only one who has been disappointed by the pitiful two-chip cookie?)

Official Baker Rule: A cookie should never disappoint.😉

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1.   And the number one tip…eat those chocolate wonders while they’re fresh out of the oven.

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The key is to bake in small batches. Refrigerate dough (up to 3 days) or freeze the dough up to six weeks (in an airtight container), until ready to bake. You’ll just have to add a couple minutes of cook time. 

Fresh, warm cookies every time.

 

Have any other tips? Please share in the comment section below.

*gifs by Giphy

 

5 Binge-Worthy Whodunit Television Series

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I’m always on the lookout for a captivating mystery television series. I’ve certainly watched my fair share of Thrillers, Police Procedural, Detective mystery, and Crime Investigation shows.

But, my all time favorite mystery genre:  A-keep-you-guessing-till-the-last-moment Whodunnit.

If you’re a fan of mystery television, then you know that many shows are formula based. Although entertaining, you know what to expect. But, the following whodunnits, break the mold. They draw you in, and won’t let you go until you’ve watched every single episode. And even then, you’re left wanting more.


 

And Then There Were None 

(2-part series)

A remake made for television, based on Agatha Christie’s novel. You can’t beat the classic!

As the world teeters on the brink of World War II, 10 strangers are invited to isolated Soldier Island. Among them are young secretary Vera Claythorne (Maeve Dermody, Serangoon Road), soldier Philip Lombard (Aidan Turner, Poldark), General John MacArther (Sam Neill, Jurassic Park), spinster Emily Brent (Miranda Richardson, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and Justice Lawrence Wargrave. ~Amazon 

 

Broadchurch

Two detectives – the strong yet compassionate Detective Sergeant, Ellie Miller, and the by-the-book Detective Inspector, Alec Hardy – are brought together to solve the murder of an eleven year-old boy on a picturesque beach in a small coastal town. Under the glare of the media spotlight, the two race to find the killer, while the clock ticks and the mystery deepens. As seen on BBC America, this critically acclaimed crime series stars David Tennant (“Doctor Who,” Harry Potter) and Olivia Colman (The Iron Lady, Cuban Fury). ~Amazon


Harper’s Island

This one gets a bit more gruesome then the others on the list, but oh so suspenseful!

A small group of family and friends gathers on a secluded island to attend a weeklong wedding celebration…but the island’s history as the location of a mass killing threatens the joyous event and sets the stage for a new mystery. ~Amazon

 

Secrets and Lies

 The role of the relentless detective, (Juliette Lewis), keeps suspects on their toes.

A taut psychological thriller; a nerve wracking plunge behind the curtains of suburbia. Ben is an everyday family man who find the body of a four year old boy, and quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. As his world splits apart, Ben finds himself with no choice but to clear his name.~Amazon 

 


American Gothic 

A modern whodunnit. Everyone is a victim. Everyone is a suspect. Love it!

American Gothic centers on a prominent Boston family reeling in the wake of the chilling discovery that someone in their midst is linked to an infamous string of murders.~Amazon 


 

Have you watched any of these shows? If so, I’d enjoy your feedback.

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Have a Whodunnit Mystery show to add to the list?

I’d love to hear from you! ❤️