1. Measure twice, bake once.
Depending on how you measure it, flour can trap a ton of air. If you scoop the flour with your measuring cup, you will have a cup with more flour in it (and later, a more cakey cookie) than if you use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup. Recipes are usually calibrated to the latter, so be careful not to accidentally add more flour.
2. Make chocolate flake cookies.
The only thing better than chocolate is more chocolate. The way to get the ideal chocolate-to-batter ratio is to chop up the chips before adding them. That way, rather than having a few pockets of chocolate throughout the cookie, each bite has a few flakes dispersed among the batter.
3. Give it a rest.
Wait at least 24 hours to bake your cookie dough. I know this sounds like a ploy to cheat you out of instant cookie satisfaction, but hear me out. In order for a cookie to brown, the proteins and starches need to be broken down and rearranged in a certain way. When cookie dough rests in the fridge, the molecules in the flour get a chance to break down so that when you finally do bake the cookie, it will be evenly textured and perfectly browned. Plus, refrigerating the dough allows the butter to cool again, which prevents cookies from running all over the tray (yeah, we’ve all been there). When it comes to cookies, good things do come to those who wait.
4. Bigger is better.
“Drop by rounded tablespoons?” Please. A great cookie should be at least three times that—about 1 ounce of dough. A bigger cookie is able to get crispy on the edges, but it won’t cook all the way through, so the middle will still be soft and chewy. It’s the very best of both cookie worlds.
5. These cookies will be sodium good.
Salted caramel candies. Salted caramel lattes. Salted caramel cheesecakes. How about salted caramel cookies? The cooked sugars in the dough should taste like caramel. However, this taste often hides behind the chocolate. Sprinkling the warm cookies with a little bit of sea salt causes the caramel flavor to jump back to center stage. Level two: Dip that chocolate chip cookie into your next salted caramel latte, and thank me later.