tips for baking the perfect chocolate chip cookies

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If there's one thing I love to bake the most, it's probably chocolate chip cookies. They're a classic, right? There's something so cozy about a plate of chocolate chip cookies and glasses of cold almond milk.

What's your idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Is it a thin, crispy cookie like the ones from Tate's or a giant, soft cookie from Levain Bakery? While chocolate chip cookies are a baking staple and are pretty easy to make and enjoy, there are a couple of tricks you can use to make them to your exact specifications.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit for thirty minutes in the fridge.
There are debates regarding just how long you should let your dough rest in the fridge, some saying 24-36 hours, but I think a good half-hour will suffice. Letting the dough chill solidifies the fat, which controls the spread when cooking. This means that your cookie will be more compact with a concentrated flavor, and a slightly crispier texture.

Find the recipe that suits your cookie preferences.
Are you a fan of thin, crispy cookies like Tate's Bake Shop or do you prefer soft, cake-like cookies? I'm a fan of soft in the middle, crispy around the edges. The Kitchn has an easy guide to choosing the right recipe to make cookies according to your personal standards.

For chewy cookies, find a recipe with a high moisture content. For crisp cookies, look for a recipe that is high in fat and sugar. For soft, cakey cookies, use a high-moisture recipe that is also low in fat and sugar. 

Shape the cookie dough by hand
I know it's common with drop cookies to just scoop with a spoon and plop the dough onto the baking sheet, but I recommend shaping the dough by hand. Roll it between your palms to create a perfect little sphere then place on the cookie sheet. If you want bigger, thinner cookies, press the dough down a bit with a spoon. Uniformity ensures a more even bake, so keep that in mind.

Press chocolate chips into the top of the cookie dough.
After you've folded chocolate chips into the dough and scooped it onto the baking sheet, press more chocolate chips onto the top of the cookie. This will help them to look better and also ensure that there's a chocolate chip in every bite.

Add powdered milk to your recipe.
Christina Tosi from Momofuku Milk Bar is known for adding two tablespoons of powdered milk to her cookie recipes to take it to the next level. She compares it to MSG in that it doesn't really taste like anything, it just makes everything taste better. No need to adjust your recipe, just add two tablespoons on top of everything else. 

Use chocolate chips and chunks.
To amp up a basic chocolate chip cookie, try using a combination of chips and chunks. There's no interesting science here, it's just the more chocolate the better.

Add a pinch of salt.
This can be said to improve just about any recipe if you ask me. You have a couple of options: add a pinch of salt on top of your dropped cookie dough before putting the sheet in the oven OR add a pinch just before you take them out of the oven.