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How to Bake the Perfect Cookie

By: Caitlin Lawler, Editor,

Softbatch Chocolate Chip CookieWhat is your idea of the perfect cookie? Small and crunchy, or large, soft, and chewy? Maybe you like your cookies best when they are a little gooey and raw in the center. Not everyone will agree on what the “perfect” cookie is, but no matter what type of cookie you favor, the editors of want to help you bake it! 

This guide to baking the Perfect Cookie will give you pointers on which recipe you should use in order to create a cookie that caters to your taste. We also have our top tips for baking cookies that you’ll want to keep in mind no matter what cookie you’re baking.



A Guide to the Perfect Cookie

Click here or on the image to download your free printable guide to the perfect cookie!


Tips for Baking Cookies


1. Work with only half the cookie dough at a time. While you are working on one half, put the other in the fridge. We recommended always chilling your cookie dough for at least 30 minutes because it makes your cookies thicker and brings out the flavor, but we know you’re sometimes in too much of a hurry to wait around for dough to chill. Keeping half the dough in the fridge for just 5-10 minutes while you are working with the first half of the dough, however, will make it easier to shape later.

2. Don’t combine wet and dry ingredients all at once. Instead, add the dry ingredients in about 4 small batches. This makes the dough easy to mix and prevents the resulting cookie from becoming too tough and dense. It also allows the dry ingredients to be evenly dispersed without over-mixing the dough. 

3. Use parchment paper. If you spread parchment paper over your cookie sheet, you won’t have to grease it, and your cookies will be evenly browned in the bottom. If you like soft or chewy cookies, parchment paper is a must. If you like your cookies to be crispy and caramelized on the bottom, however, stick with a light-colored, greased cookie sheet. 

4. Check cookies at the minimum baking time. To avoid over baking your cookies, always check them at the minimum baking time listed on the recipe. And remember, cookies will continue to cook for a short time after you remove them from the oven, so taking a slightly under-baked cookie out of the oven is almost always better than an over-baked cookie. 

5. Don’t use hot baking sheets. If you reuse baking sheets for a second batch of cookies, make sure the sheet is completely cooled and wiped clean. Putting cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet causes the butter in the dough to melt prematurely and results in thin, unevenly baked cookies. 

6. Remove cookies from the baking sheet after a few minutes. Cooling racks are essential for baking cookies because without them cookies can get soggy or over-bake while they are sitting on the cookie sheet for too long. If you run out of space on your cooling rack, here are a few clever substitutes you can use:


  • A broiler pan or grill rack covered in parchment paper
  • Mason jar lids (without the center insert) covered with parchment paper
  • a cool baking sheet turned upside down to allow air to flow underneath 
  • A plate with paper towels on top
  • A dish towel with wax paper on top


Do you have any tried-and-true baking tips for cookies? Let us know what they are in the comments!



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I love chemistry, and I love baking. This is a great reference to share with everyone, thank you. I am going to use this with my children. I will let them experiment with all of the different methods so they can learn how simple changes can make a big difference in the finished product. We will have a yummy science class at home!

Oh, My ...definitely the best cookie is soft and chewy. I also love chocolate chip cookies that are soft in the middle and just slightly crunchy on the outside.

My idea of the perfect cookie is soft and chewy. I always use parchment paper -- one less thing to wash! And real butter is best.

never be in a hurry.Take your time.My perfect cookie is one right out of the oven as long as there are no nuts.

The "perfect cookie" is soft and chewy ( has some degree of chocolate in it!) Use fresh eggs at room temperature and "soft" (not melted) butter if the recipe calls for it.

My "perfect cookie" is neither really crisp nor really gooey, but somewhere in between, fairly small and somewhat rich in taste so that I don't eat too many, lol!

I saved your tips though I have learned by the same ones. My mom also told me to the freshest ingredients I could find and to always follow the recipe for amounts.

I use really good ingredients and follow the recipe precisely and accurately. This includes using properly sizes sheets and pans.


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