Want to know the secret to make the best cookies from scratch? Learn how to make the perfect from-scratch cookie in this post.
Baking is a science, and it takes a perfectionistic mindset to make the best cookies from scratch. Allow me to demystify some of the science behind when and why to use certain ingredients, as well as all the other tricks to making cookies from scratch.
Related: Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies
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- 7 Basic Ingredients in Cookies From Scratch
- 22 Tips for the Best Cookies From Scratch
- Tools You'll Need for Cookies From Scratch
- More Sweet Treats
- Pin it For Later – Cookies From Scratch
- Print the Chocolate Chip Cookies From Scratch Recipe
- Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies
- how to store maple chocolate chip cookies
- bakers Tips
- About Me
7 Basic Ingredients in Cookies From Scratch
These are the basic ingredients used in cookies from scratch. Read the notes below each ingredient to learn how to use them to your advantage when baking your cookies.
Butter adds rich flavor to your cookies from scratch.
Tip 1: Use grass-fed butter. Butter should be bright yellow, not almost white – if it’s not bright yellow, it’s poor quality butter and will have less flavor.
Tip 2: Use room-temperature butter. This ensures it whips nicely when you cream the butter and sugars together.
Tip 3: Salted or unsalted? That is the question! Many professional bakers say to use unsalted in all baking so the baker can control the salt content. However, as a home baker, one of my favorite tricks is to use salted butter in my from-scratch cookies – they always come out with more flavor.
The main types of sugar used in cookies from scratch are white and brown sugar. Both contribute to the taste, texture, and spread of the cookies.
Eggs act as your binding agent for your cookies.
Tip 1: Use room-temperature eggs in your baking for a fluffier texture.
Tip 2: Adding extra egg yolks to your cookie dough will give your cookies a chewy texture.
A very underestimated ingredient in cookies from scratch! Extracts, or pastes, add flavor to your cookies from scratch.
Tip 1: Use pure vanilla extract instead of artificially flavored vanilla for the best-tasting cookies.
Tip 2: Better yet, use pure vanilla bean paste.
The texture of your cookies from scratch largely depends on the type of flour you use. All-purpose flour is the most common type of flour used in cookie dough.
Tip 1: Use a mixture of all-purpose flour and bread flour to give your cookies the best texture.
Your leavening agent options are baking powder, baking soda, even sourdough starter, or any combination of the three.
Salt adds flavor and texture to your cookies from scratch. Be sure to adjust the salt content depending on whether or not you’re using salted or unsalted butter.
Tip 1: Always sprinkle flakey sea salt on top of your chocolate chip cookies directly after baking.
22 Tips for the Best Cookies From Scratch
Want to know the secret to good cookies from scratch? These are all the best tips for making the perfect cookies from scratch compiled into one place. They are in no particular order.
1. Bake cookies on the middle oven rack
Always bake your cookies on the middle rack for even baking.
2. Use shiny cookie sheets with no sides
For best results, bake your cookies on a shiny, stainless steel cookie sheet with no rim. This controls the airflow around the cookies as well as reflects the heat properly to control the spread of the cookies.
3. Measure ingredients properly
Cookies from scratch require a perfectionist mindset. Measure, or weigh, the ingredients properly for the perfect execution of your cookies. If using measuring cups, always spoon the flour from the bag into the measuring cup until overflowing, then level off the top with the flat side of a knife.
4. Mix ingredients in the right order
Most recipes have a specific mixing order for ingredients (for good reason). Mixing the ingredients in the right order (and for the right amount of time) is important for optimal results.
5. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
Not only does this make for easy cleanup, but using parchment paper beats greasing your pan which results in greasy cookies.
6. Space your cookies properly
Be sure to give the dough plenty of air space so the cookies won’t bump into each other as they spread and the oven can circulate the air around them. For large cookies you’ll want to leave 3 full inches of space between each one.
7. Use a cookie scoop or measuring cup
8. Mix chocolate chips and be generous with them
For chocolate chip cookies from scratch, use a good quality chocolate chip (like Ghirardelli), mix the types you use (half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet or dark), and be very generous with your measuring of the chocolate chips.
9. Mix flour
Mixing bread flour and all-purpose flour make for the best-textured cookies.
10. Plenty of brown sugar
Use more brown sugar than white sugar for a rich flavor.
11. Use quality flour
Flour matters, especially when baking cookies. Be sure to use the good stuff (I like King Arthur Unbleached).
12. Whipped butter and sugar
Beat the butter for a full minute before adding sugars, then beat butter and sugars together for a few minutes until fluffy.
13. Let your cookie dough sit out at room temperature overnight
I know, it sounds weird, but it makes the most wonderful cookies. Since you’re baking the cookie dough, it is safe to eat after it’s been sitting out – but don’t ever eat raw cookie dough that’s been left out.
14. Scrape the sides of the bowl
Do be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each ingredient is mixed in.
15. Flakey sea salt
Always sprinkle flakey sea salt on top of your chocolate chip cookies right after baking.
16. Bake on convection
Bake your cookies on convection. This circulates the air in the oven to get perfectly even cookies. If the recipe calls to bake in a conventional oven, then decrease the temperature listed in the recipe by 25 degrees and bake on convection.
17. Chill the cookie dough (sometimes)
Chilled cookie dough controls the spread of the cookies in the oven. However, some recipes, like the one below, do not require chilling. Typically cookies that are meant to be large should not be chilled.
18. Only use room-temperature cookie sheets
This ensures you control the spread of the cookies; adding cookie dough to a warm cookie sheet makes them start spreading before even entering the oven.
19. Melted butter = chilled dough
Some cookie recipes call for melted butter, in which case the dough will need to be chilled prior to baking to control the spread.
20. Use an oven thermometer.
Many ovens aren’t calibrated to the temperature setting. To be sure you’re at the correct temperature, use an oven thermometer and adjust the temperature setting as needed.
21. Know what a “perfectly baked” cookie looks like
Cookies are done when the edges are slightly brown. The middle of the cookie may look underbaked on top which is perfect for soft cookies. However, if you want a crispy cookie, then bake until the middle looks slightly browned too. Either way, know that cookies continue to cook for a couple of minutes as they cool on the baking sheet.
22. One batch at a time
Baking cookies one batch at a time ensures the oven creates fewer hot/cool spots.
Tools You’ll Need for Cookies From Scratch
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More Sweet Treats
Pin it For Later – Cookies From Scratch
Print the Chocolate Chip Cookies From Scratch Recipe
Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp flake sea salt Maldon's is a great option
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 1 cup organic brown sugar
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp maple extract
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or pretzels
- 2 cups chocolate chips I like to use a mix of dark and milk chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup toffee bits
- flake sea salt to top the cookies again, Maldon's is great
- Preheat oven on convection to 350 degrees f (if you don’t have convection bake is fine).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk flours, baking powder and salt.
- In a stand mixer, whisk the sugars and butter until combined. Then add your egg and maple extract.
- Add your dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Fold in the nuts, chocolate chips, and toffee.
- Scoop dough a little larger than golf balls and roll into a ball, then slightly flatten and put on baking sheet. Do this until you fill up the baking sheet with dough evenly spaced.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes until browned on the edges.
- Immediately after pulling out of oven, sprinkle with flakey sea salt and let cool on the baking sheet until set then transfer to a cooling rack.
how to store maple chocolate chip cookies
Room temperatureStore your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
TipPut a piece of white bread in the container with your cookies so the bread will absorb the moisture from the bread and stay softer longer.
FreezerFreeze your cookies in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature.
- Bake on convection – You know that button on your oven that says convection? Probably the one you never use? We’re using it now! Convection uses a fan to rotate the heat in the oven so whatever you’re baking gets evenly crispy. This is what we want for these cookies!
- Don’t chill dough – This cookie dough does not need to be chilled! I know, I know – most delicious cookie recipes call to chill the dough prior to baking. This is meant to control the spread. Since these are meant to be large cookies, they end up spreading perfectly without chilling.
- One batch at a time – Baking cookies one batch at a time ensures the oven creates fewer hot/cool spots.
- Cookies are done when the edges are slightly brown. The middle of the cookie may look underbaked on top which is perfect for soft cookies.
- Scrape the bowl – Do be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each ingredient is mixed in.
- Beat the butter for a full minute before adding sugars, then beat butter and sugars together for a few minutes until fluffy.
- Middle rack – Always bake your cookies on the middle rack for even baking.