5 Tips for Baking the Perfect Cookie


Cool Down and Store Tight

Store your perfect cookies in an airtight container.
Store your perfect cookies in an airtight container.
Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images

In the words of Wally Amos, "You have to watch your cookies." You can't just pop them in the oven and then go clean your bathtub. Knowing just when to pull those suckers out of the heat can be a tough call to make. Amos prefers his cookies golden brown, so he reaches for the oven mitt when they heat up to that tone. But perfect cookie doneness is a subjective matter. Some cookbooks and magazines advise bakers to take cookies out of the oven when only the edges are brown. Others advise people to take the cookies out well before they look done and allow them to cook on the sheet outside the oven for 10 minutes [source: America's Test Kitchen]. If you don't trust the hot cookie sheet to continue baking your cookies post-oven, then you should do what Amos does and remove your cookies from the sheet to a cooling rack after about two to three minutes.

A perfect cookie is most perfect hot out of the oven, of course. But if you store your cookies right, you can hang onto that goodness for days. Follow these cookie storage tips:

  • Store them in an airtight container.
  • Don't put them into storage before they cool. Otherwise, condensation will collect and the cookies will become soggy.
  • Don't combine different kinds of cookies in one container. The chewier cookies will steal moisture from the crispier ones.
  • Stick an apple wedge in the container with your chewy cookies to keep them soft.

[source: Cooking Light]

Before you get your dough chilling and your oven heating up, get more sweet tips and tricks below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • "America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook." Cooks Illustrated. 2006.
  • Amos, Wally. Founder of Chip and Cookie. Interview.
  • "Baking Tips." Bon Appetit. (June 19, 2009)http://www.bonappetit.com/tipstools/tips/2008/04/baking_time_tip
  • "Chemist Divulges How to Bake the Perfect Cookie." All Things Considered. National Public Radio. (June 19, 2009)http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98275947
  • "Cookie-baking Tips." Better Homes and Gardens. (June 19, 2009)http://www.bhg.com/recipes/desserts/cookies/cookie-baking-tips/
  • "Cookie Storage Strategies." Cooking Light. (June 19, 2009)http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/resources/cookie-storage-strategies-00400000034370/
  • "Cooking Tips: Cookies." Crisco.com. (June 19, 2009)http://www.crisco.com/Articles_Tips/Cooking_Tips/Tips_Cookies.aspx
  • Corriher, Shirley O. "Bakewise." Confident Cooking Inc. 2008
  • "Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies." MarthaStewart.com. (June 19, 2009)http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/soft-baked-chocolate-chip-cookies?autonomy_kw=soft%20bake%20chocolate%20chip%20cookies&rsc=header_3


Great British Baking Terms: Know Your Scones From Your Biscuits

Great British Baking Terms: Know Your Scones From Your Biscuits

HowStuffWorks looks at some great British Baking terms — and some American ones as well.