Follow these 5 easy steps to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie

(Flickr / Mike Weinhold)

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We think the best chocolate chip cookies are chewy, but we acknowledge that some people prefer crunchier ones. To each his own.

No matter your preference, there’s a way to get your homemade cookies exactly the way you like them. There’s no magic involved — just remember a couple of simple baking tricks.

These techniques from CheatSheet will help you make the perfect chocolate chip cookie every time. You can use them with pretty much any recipe, but don’t forget to add the secret ingredient behind the best cookies ever.

1. Butter me up

Put away the margarine — real butter is the only acceptable ingredient for your cookies. (There’s no need to make them “healthier” — it’s dessert.)

A cookie’s consistency can be determined by the amount of butter used in the recipe:

  • Cakey: Less butter
  • Chewy: More butter

Either way, Serious Eats recommends browning the butter beforehand, as that “gives the cookies a more intensely nutty, butterscotch flavor.”

2. Add a little sweetness

The type and amount of sugar you choose to use is even more important. Brown sugar contains molasses, which leads to that chewiness we know and love.

But since many cookie recipes call for two types of sugar:

  • Cakey: More granulated sugar
  • Chewy: More brown sugar

And if you want your cookies to be really soft, throw in a little corn syrup. Like molasses, it retains moisture better than plain old sugar, which helps make cookies chewy.

3. Chop chop

Instead of adding a handful (or half a bag — we don’t judge) of chocolate chips to the dough, professional chefs recommend using a chopped-up chocolate bar.

RELATED: Chocoholics, rejoice — your favorite treat may be the perfect cure for a cough

In addition to customizing the cookies’ flavor, bar chocolate melts differently than chips, which are engineered to keep their shape while baking.

4. Cool down

We know you’ll want to bake your cookies right away, but patience pays off. Allowing the cookie dough to refrigerate for at least eight hours gives those rich flavors a chance to develop. It can also make the cookies chewier, and that’s A-OK in our book!

But please don’t eat any of the raw cookie dough; it could lead to serious health consequences.

5. One at a time

Bakers recommend resisting the urge to cram several trays of cookies in the oven at once. That makes them cook unevenly.

For chocolate chip cookies that are browned on the edges and gooey in the middle, bake just one tray at a time. We know it’s difficult, but you can do it! The tastier cookie is well worth the wait!

(H/T: CheatSheet)

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