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Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I have learned that experience is the best teacher...

Here are some of my tips and tricks I use when making chocolate chip cookies. I like my cookies to be thick, soft, and chewy. Please feel free to contribute your own cooking tips -- I'll post your ideas so everyone can see them. Don't worry, I'll be sure to to give you credit!

Tip # 1: Butter and Creaming

Use 100% butter, no substitutes. You could also use 1/2 butter and 1/2 butter flavored crisco. Do not get butter to room temperature. It is better to use the butter right out of the refrigerator. Chop the butter into cubes and then cream with the sugar. If you have the time chill that mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before going on and adding the eggs.

Tip # 2 - Eggs

Thoroughly mix your eggs. Use them straight from the refrigerator. Do not let them get to room temperature.

Tip # 3 - All-purpose Flour

Use All-Purpose Flour. And mix flour by hand not with the beaters. The beaters tend to beat the dough too much, it can make the dough tough. You can also add an extra tablespoon or two to your dough to make your cookies fluffy.

Tip # 4 - Chocolate Chips

Use the highest quality chocolate chips you can find, or use evenly chopped pieces of semisweet chocolate. Also most recipes call for way too many chocolate chips. Too many chocolate chips could be to blame for your flat cookies. Try using about 1/3 less than what the recipe calls for.

Tip # 5 - Temperature

The higher the temperature of the dough the higher possibility the cookies will spread. Keep the dough chilled, this allows the butter to reharden keeping a better shape while baking.

Tip # 6 - Use the right pan

When baking Chocolate Chip Cookies the right pans are especially important. NON-insulated, non-stick and light colored cookie sheets, without rims are the best to use. The cookies bake the best on them. The thicker the cookie sheet you use the better, or use two sheets stacked on top of each other. This allows the cookies to cook as evenly as possible without browning the bottoms too fast.

Tip # 7 - Do not grease

Greasing the cookie sheet will just help the cookies spread.

Tip # 8 - Pre-heat the oven

Always make sure the oven is at the right temperature. If the oven is too hot it will cause the cookies to spread and there is a higher chance the cookies will burn. If the temperature is not high enought the cookies will take a lot longer to bake.

Tip # 9 - Recommended and consistent size

For even cooking make sure the cookies are all the same size. And follow the directions from the recipe. If you make the cookies too big you might have troubles getting the cookie off of the cookie sheet. If you make the cookies too small you will have to watch them closely so they do not burn.

Tip # 10 - Slightly underbake

For chewier cookies take the cookies out a little early. Leave them on the pan to cool for 5-10 minutes. This will give you a crisper outer edge and a chewy center.

Tip # 11 - Cool completely

If the pan is not cooled completely before putting the next batch of cookies on it the cookies will immediately begin to spread.

More Tips and Tricks

For variety, add chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans.

Chilling the dough is an important step. It allows the flour to relax, the sugars to partially dissolve and the flavors to begin to come together. You can chill the dough for a day or two or freeze for several weeks.

If you really want your chocolate chips to retain their shape freeze the chips before you use them.

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