IngredientsWhy do my ingredients need to be at room temperature?
Butter and eggs must be at room temperature before creaming, this allows them to combine easier and makes for even cooking. The softer the butter, the softer the cookies will be and the flatter they will spread out.
What's the best sugar to use for cookies?
Use a light muscavado sugar, soft light brown sugar or golden caster sugar. This will give your cookies a richer fudgier flavour, a caramel colour, and a more gooey texture.
EquipmentWhat kind of baking trays should I use?
Ideally you want three good quality, flat, heavy, non-stick baking sheets. If they are good quality you shouldn't have to grease them. Alternatively use re-usable silicone baking paper.
Should I bake cookies in one batch?
It is best to bake your cookies in the centre of the oven. If you have a small oven and can't bake your cookies in one go, cool the trays down in between batches under cold water.
How do I keep my cookies soft?
To keep your cookies soft, make sure to store them in an airtight container. Cookies are nicest eaten when they are still a little warm. You can rewarm cookies in the oven for 5 minutes at 170°C. Or, make your cookie dough in advance and bake when you are ready to eat them.
How hot should my oven be?
Temperature is crucial to a desirable outcome. Pre-heat the oven to the temperature indicated in the recipe. If you're oven is unreliable or if you are not getting the desired cookie texture, invest in an oven thermometre.
MakingHow much do I need to mix cookie dough?
Don't overmix. Beating too much air into cookies will make them rise too much resulting in a more "cakey" texture. It's important to cream your butter, sugar & eggs well for an even texture but once you add the dry ingredients, beat as little as possible. If you do it by hand as opposed to using a mixer you shouldn't have any problems.
What is the best texture for cookie dough?
Cookie dough should be sticky and firm so it doesn't spread too thin when baked. If you refrigerate the cookie dough for a little before baking it will hold it's shape more, deflate less, resulting in a thicker and chewier cookie. The warmer the dough, the more it will spread out during baking, which will make them thinner. Thin is sometimes desirable, but be careful as they will cook faster and go crunchy quicker.
BakingHow much cookie dough do I need for each cookie?
You want to use a heaped tablespoon amount of dough, so roughly the size and volume of an egg. The best way is to use a small trigger-style icecream scoop to make sure that you get equal sized amounts of cookie dough for each cookie. You can then flatten the dough into nice round disc shapes using the back of a fork or your hands.
How far should I space my cookies apart?
You should leave at least a 10cm gap between each cookie to prevent them from running into each other and to allow enough heat to reach each cookie. Most cookies will double in diameter during baking.
The only answer here is, when it looks right. The best indicator is the edges. The edges should be light golden brown, yet the centre should still look slightly undercooked and puffy. This is a vital step to making gooey cookies. I like to give cookies the shine test; when the shininess from the butter has just disappeared from the centre of the cookie, I know they are done.
How long should I bake my cookies for?
Always set your timer to the lowest suggested time in the recipe. You can always add a few minutes if the cookies look too raw, but there is nothing you can do to save an overbaked cookie!
What do I do when I think they are done?
When you think they are ready, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes. The residual heat from the sheet will continue to cook them. You'll know when to transfer them onto a wire cooling rack when the centres of the cookies have fallen and they have a golden brown rim around them.
They're still not gooey. What can I do?
You can try using melted butter, or try using a little less flour.