Portable, fun to make, easy to gift, and open to countless flavor variations, cookies are everyone’s favorite sweet treat. Our foremost mission is to provide you with foolproof results, so every kitchen-tested recipe - all 250 of them - will work every time. Our exclusive perfect cookie kit includes the test kitchen’s best cookie recipes and the actual equipment they use to create those recipes. You’ll be baking the perfect cookie in no time!
Included in your kit
KEY: GOOD ★★★ FAIR ★★ POOR ★
Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet
WINNER - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Published November 2016
RACK COMPATIBILITY ★★★
Everything prepared in this sturdy, warp-resistant sheet cooked appropriately and evenly. Best of all, our new favorite is a few bucks cheaper than our old winner.
Hand Wash Only Made in the USA
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
WINNER - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Published August 2016
EASE OF USE ★★★
Accurate and extremely durable, this set snaps together for compact storage. The handles are seamless with the cups themselves, making them easy to level off.
SET INCLUDES ¼ Cup, ⅓ Cup, ½ Cup and 1 Cup DISHWASHER SAFE? Yes
OXO Good Grips Large Cookie Scoop
WINNER - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Published January 2017
Featuring grippy rubberized handles and an inner spring with just the right amount of resistance, this portion scoop was very comfortable to hold and squeeze. It also dispensed dough with the neatest and most controlled motion.
CAPACITY 3 tbs DISHWASHER SAFE? Yes
The Perfect Cookie Cookbook
448 PAGES, HARDCOVER
FULL-COLOR PHOTOS THROUGHOUT
ITEM NUMBER: CF09
Bake better cookies. America’s Test Kitchen has almost 25 years of experience in the art and science of cookie baking, and now you can find all of that wisdom in one beautiful hardcover book.
Discover foolproof recipes for cookie jar classics (such as Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brown Sugar Cookies, and Jam Thumbprints), recipes for irresistible rich and chewy brownies (including S’mores Brownies, Butterscotch Meringue Bars, and Peanut Butter Blondies), fruit-and-crumble topped bars (like Lemon Bars, Blackberry Bliss Bars, and Apple Cobbler Bars), fancy treats (such as Florentine Lace Cookies, Tahini Cookies with Sesame Seeds, and Orange-Cardamom Twists) and no-bake cookies and candies (including seven flavors of Rice Crispy Treats!). We include full chapters on Christmas cookies and gluten-free cookies, too.
There are tips and tricks throughout, and insight on everything from what makes a cookie crunchy vs. chewy, to equipment and ingredients that set you up for success, and a troubleshooting guide that keeps you in control of every batch. The result?The perfect cookie, every time.
Cookie Making Tips
In the test kitchen, we've baked tens of thousands of cookies. Along the way we've come up with a few tips and techniques to keep the cookie-making process rolling along.
For easiest mixing, use room-temperature butter and eggs. Quickly warm up cold butter by cutting it into tablespoon-sized pieces, placing them flat on a plate, and microwaving on the lowest setting for 10 seconds at a time, until the butter is still waxy (not greasy) and bendable. Take the chill off eggs by placing them in a bowl of warm water for five minutes.
THE COOL DOWN
To keep cookies from spreading and to make shaping easier, chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using. If rerolling cut-out scraps of dough, cover the scraps with plastic wrap and rechill before using them one more time.
THE (EASY) BAKE OVEN
Baking cookies one sheet at a time is a good idea, but if you've got an army's worth of cookies to bake you can double up by using the upper-middle and lower-middle oven racks and rotating the sheets halfway through baking. When you switch the sheets between top and bottom you should also turn them from back to front to safeguard against oven hot spots.
THE OLD SOFTIE
Cookies continue to bake and firm up on the hot baking sheet even after they are removed from the oven. For softer cookies, try underbaking by a minute or two, taking them out of the oven just as they begin to color around the edges. For chewier cookies, let them cool on the baking sheet rather than on a rack (unless specified otherwise in the recipe).
THE LAYERED LOOK
Once cooled, most cookies can be stored in an airtight container for at least 3 days. When storing decorated cookies, slip sheets of waxed or parchment paper between layers of cookies to keep sticky glazes and fillings intact.
SHAPE NOW, EAT LATER
If you would prefer to freeze the dough and bake the cookies later, simply cut out or roll the dough into balls and freeze on a baking sheet. When the dough has set, transfer the cutouts or balls to an airtight container and return to the freezer. Because the dough has already been portioned, there's no need for thawing; just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.
PROBLEMThe last cookies always seem short on chips
Reserve some morsels to add later When chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins are in the mix, the last few cookies from a batch never seem to have as many of these goodies as the first few. To get around this, reserve some of the mix-ins and stir them into the dough after about half of it has been scooped out.
PROBLEMCookies don’t add up to the correct yield
When cookies are portioned out larger or smaller than the recipe directs, they may not produce the intended texture. To ensure consistent size and the proper yield, we use a portion scoop. (We keep many different sizes on hand for just this purpose. A typical cookie requires a #30 scoop.)
PROBLEMCookies keep burning on bottom
Use a light-colored baking sheet and line with parchment paper We typically don’t like light-colored bakeware since it doesn’t absorb heat as well as darker finishes, leading to spotty browning. But the cookie sheet is the exception. All of the dark nonstick cookie sheets we’ve tested consistently overbrown the bottoms of cookies. Light-colored sheets, on the other hand, prevent overbrowning but are prone to sticking. We get around this by baking cookies on parchment paper.
PROBLEMChewy cookies that aren’t chewy
Underbake. To ensure a chewy texture, take cookies out of the oven when they are still slightly underdone, which often means they will droop over the end of a spatula. Crevices should appear moist and edges on smooth cookies should be lightly browned.
PROBLEMCookies run together
Bake in staggered rows. When scoops of dough are placed too close together on the sheet, the cookies can fuse together. To ensure enough space between cookies, alternate the rows. For example, place three cookies in the first row, two in the second, three in the third, and so on.
PROBLEMUnevenly baked batches
Rotate during baking. The temperature in most ovens varies from front to back, top to bottom—even side to side. To prevent uneven baking, rotate the cookie sheet partway through baking so that the back side faces front.
PROBLEMIt’s hard to tell when dark chocolate cookies are done
Press the middle. Most cookies, irrespective of texture, are done when pressing them lightly with your finger leaves just a slight indentation.
PROBLEMCookies left in oven too long
Cool immediately on rack. If you become distracted and leave your cookies in the oven a minute or two too long, all is not lost. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, instead of allowing the cookies to set on the sheet, immediately transfer them to a wire rack, where they will cool more quickly.
PROBLEMOverly crisp edges
Briefly chill dough and don’t use a hot sheet. If your kitchen is particularly hot, the butter in the dough can start to melt, softening the dough and leading to overcooked edges. If the dough seems too soft, chill it for 10 to 15 minutes before portioning. Putting raw dough on cookie sheets still warm from the oven can cause them to begin spreading, leading to burnt edges. Always allow baking sheets to cool completely before adding more batches. To expedite cooling, rinse warm—but not hot— sheet under cold tap water.
PROBLEMChewy cookies dry out too quickly
Store with bread. To keep chewy cookies from turning dry and brittle, store them in a zipper-lock bag at room temperature with a small piece of bread (no more than half of a slice) placed inside.