Now I know the secret to the perfect cookies!

As Peas requested here are the tips I used from the Betty Crocker cookbook to make the cookies I wrote about. I am currently finishing off the last cookie, which was kept fresh and delectably chewy because I stored it in an airtight container with paper bags as liners between them. I think the paper bag picked up any greasiness or excess moisture so they taste almost better than the day I made them.

  1. If your chocolate chip cookies are too flat: The butter or margarine was too soft or partially melted. The butter should be soft enough that you can leave a fingerprint on the bar but shouldn’t look too soft. Leaving it out for about 45 minutes should do the trick. It might also be from too little flour added or because you put the dough on a warm cookie sheet, causing it to start spreading. 
  2. If your cookie looks the same as when you dropped it, except hard and baked: You over did it on the flour. Apparently the flour shouldn’t be too pressed either. I have no idea why this is a problem, but Betty says that it should be scooped by spoonfuls into the measuring cup and then lightly remove any excess with a knife. So, soft airy clouds of flour! And I thought all baking depended on careful and precise measurements. 
  3. Always bake cookies on the middle oven rack, one sheet at a time. If you do two at a time then switch them halfway through the baking to ensure they don’t burn your cookies.  They should bake for about 8-10 minutes but I also just watch them. I actually didn’t follow this one quite as closely as I should have. 2 of my cookie sheets were in the middle of the oven but 1 was below it and I have to confess this: their bottoms were a little burnt! Not totally, I could still eat them but they weren’t perfect, not like the other ones. 
  4. Cool cookies on a wire rack: this allows air to flow around and prevents them from getting soggy. If you bake brownies then cool them in the pan on a wire rack. I never knew this and it really does work! If you left them on the pan too long and they cooled on the pan they’ll stick. To get them off stick them back in the oven for a minute or two, to let them warm. They should come off easily after that. I have to say this answers my biggest problem with cookie baking. They always get stuck and I used to think it was because I didn’t grease the pan properly or the non-stick pan was lying to me. But I think this is the answer. I didn’t let air flow around them. Thanks Betty!