“Number one, I absolutely love making chocolate chip cookies. I mean, it’s fun. It’s exciting. Beyond the fact that I love making them, I love eating them.” — Debbi Fields
Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1930. She and her husband, Kenneth, were the Whitman, Massachusetts-based Toll House Inn proprietors.
“In 1930, Wakefield was mixing a batch of cookies for her roadside inn guests when she discovered that she was out of baker’s chocolate. She substituted broken pieces of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies. That didn’t happen, but the surprising result helped to make Ruth Wakefield one of the 20th century’s most famous women inventors. When she removed the pan from the oven, Wakefield realized that she had accidentally invented chocolate chip cookies.”
Nestle approached Wakefield in 1939 about using her recipe on the wrappers of their chocolate bars. Ruth agreed to sell her recipe to the chocolate company for $1 in exchange for Nestle printing her cookie recipe on their packages and providing her with chocolate for life.
Ruth was also hired as a recipe consultant. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe is still printed on the bag of Nestle Toll House chocolate chips today.
Nestle sells approximately 90 billion chocolate chips per year, making the chocolate chip cookie the most popular cookie of all time. Ruth and Kenneth sold the Toll House Inn in 1967, and Ruth passed away a decade later.
National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is observed on August 4 to honor America’s favorite cookie.
In honor of this special day, I have gathered some of my favorite tips from the internet for baking the best chocolate chip cookies. These are the tips that work for me. I’d like to share them with my readers so that your cookies turn out perfectly every time as well.
Tips for Great Cookies
- Preheat the oven. When cookies come into contact with heat, they begin to bake. If you set the temperature too low, your cookies will sit in the oven for much longer, drying out.
- Use parchment paper to get an even bake and easy release.
- Carefully measure ingredients. Baking is a science, and recipes must be followed precisely.
- Use ingredients that are at room temperature. Leave the butter and eggs on the counter for 15 minutes to get to room temperature. When all of your ingredients are at the same temperature, the dough will come together smoothly, and the ingredients will emulsify.
- Using the spoon and level method to measure the flour.
- Cream together the butter and sugars. Creaming the butter adds air to the mix, which helps your cookies puff up and rise in the oven. Cut the butter into chunks, then beat with the white and brown sugars for about 3 to 5 minutes until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
- Because of the molasses, brown sugar makes the cookies soft and chewy with a good caramel flavor, while white sugar makes them crispy around the edges.
- While all-purpose flour is the most commonly used flour for baking cookies, other varieties can produce interesting results. Cookies with bread flour are chewier, while cookies with cake flour are more delicate. Some recipes call for a combination of different flours, so experiment until you find a formula you like.
- Don’t overmix the dough, which can lead to chewier cookies.
- If you want to reduce the amount of spread on your cookies, chill them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before baking. Chill the dough for up to 48 hours.
- Use an ice cream cookie scoop to ensure that each cookie is the same exact size.
- Make sure to leave enough space between your cookies for them to spread.
- Before baking, sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of each cookie.
- Take the cookies out a little earlier. When the edges of the cookies are golden brown, but the center appears underdone, remove them from the oven.
What are some of your favorite cookie baking tips? Please share in the comments.
A version of this article originally appeared on Medium.