You’ve Been Overbaking Cookies Your Whole Life

Photo: iStock
Baking extraordinaire Duff Goldman dished on how he makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

If you're like us, you spend countless hours watching Food Network, attempting to copy the master baking techniques on shows like Cupcake Wars and Barefoot Contessa with no prevail—until now. Food Network Star, executive chef at Charm City Cakes and all around cool guy, Duff Goldman, teamed up with Bounty to share his expert tips on making best chocolate chip cookies you've ever tasted. Master these simple steps and you'll be a cookie connoisseur in no time.

Measure carefully. The worst thing you can do is approach baking like it's cooking. While you might just toss in a little of this and a little of that when you're making dinner, doing so when baking throws everything off. “There's a lot of physical and chemical reactions and you need to have proper ratios," Goldman says. Measure everything precisely and you'll have great results.

Follow the recipe EXACTLY. “Baking isn't hard and it shouldn't be scary, but you just have to pay attention," Goldman says. A recipe is written the way it is because the chef or baker learned through trial and error that that technique and those measurements yielded the best results. If you want a great tasting product, make sure you follow the recipe correctly. If the recipe says to mix all of your dry ingredients together before adding the wet ingredients, actually do it.

Clean as you go. For a better baking experience (and for your overall sanity), Duff suggests keeping things tidy as you go—Bounty paper towels are key for him. If you clean measuring cups, bowls and countertop as soon as they're dirty, the second those cookies go into the oven, you won't have to clean a single thing.

Practice makes perfect. “Pick a recipe that's relatively simple and make it 10 times," Goldman says. Try making his Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on your own or with your kids for good practice. “When you're doing the same recipe over and over you start to notice some of the ancillary things you need to be doing right and those things will translate to every other recipe," Goldman explains.

Don't overbake. Knowing when to pull your cookies, cake, brownies or pie out of the oven makes all the difference. Even after you pull cookies out of the oven, they're still baking on the sheet. “If there's one thing that will ruin a cookie fast is over baking it," Goldman says. Even just 20-30 seconds can change your cookie, so don't be afraid to pull them out underdone.

When it comes to cookies, perfection is subjective. “I think that the perfect chocolate chip cookie is a very personal choice. Some people like chewy, some people like fat but dried out and some people like thin but I happen to like really thin and crispy," Goldman says. How can you achieve this at home? Add lots of butter and a little flour to hold the dough together, bake them until they are dark, caramelized and thin like Florentines and take them out of the oven just a little underdone.