The Best Cookie

Every year, we search the wide spaces of the internet, we talk to family about “secret” ingredients, and on and on the search continues for the BEST cookies.  What makes one specific recipe “the best cookie”? To me, there are only a few ways to truly place first in any cookie contest.  Number 1, personal preference.  The best oatmeal cookie can only be “the best” if the person eating it likes oatmeal cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies tend to rate the most popular with people all over the world. There is something magical about a rich and buttery dough packed with perfect chocolate morsels. Not only does it taste amazing, but it often takes us back to the wonderful memories of childhood.  We all know that “take me back to my childhood smell of a house baking chocolate chip cookies.  You can probably conjure that smell without even being near it.

Now, I know that some people like a crispy cookie and some prefer a chewy cookie and some folks just want to enjoy a cookie that reminds them of childhood but that adheres to their current dietary needs. Whatever your preference, the list below should hit on it.  Check out this list of top 20 homemade cookie recipes!

Top 20 Homemade Cookie Recipes

Snickerdoodles

Pecan Sandies

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Caramel Apple Walnut Cookies

 

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookie

 

Soft Batch Cream Cheese Double Chocolate Cookies

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip 

 

No-Chill Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe {Copycat Swig Cookie}

 

Amish Sugar Cookies 

 

Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Recipe

 

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Giant Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Oreo Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles

 

Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossoms

 

Coconut Pineapple Cookies

 

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Buttermilk Cookies

Cookie Basics

Most traditional cookies call for a standard mix of ingredients: sugar, butter, leavening, and gluten. Keeping a few basic ingredients on hand, and using them correctly, will ensure that your cookies are perfect every time!

Sugars

Lots of cookie recipes contain both brown and white sugars and there is a good reason for this. White sugar makes a crispier and browner cookie while recipes with brown sugar will absorb moisture after baking which helps to ensure that they stay chewy. It’s a dynamic-due of crispy chewy deliciousness!

Have you ever noticed that the ratios of sugar in most cookie dough recipes are higher than other baked goods? That is because not all of the sugar dissolves during mixing, which is good! The dough will soften and spread while baking as more sugar dissolves ensuring the classic cookie shape and texture. If you happen to use less sugar than the recipe calls for your final cookie could puff up more and the texture could be less chewy.

Fats

Fats contribute not only to what a cookie tastes like but to whether the cookie keeps its shape or flattens as the fats are baked. In general, more fat in the recipe produces flat, crispy cookies, while less fat produces puffier, cake-like cookies. The kind of fat you use also makes a difference. Butter (made from churning cream) adds amazing flavor, so substituting shortening for butter (or vice versa) changes the taste. It can also affect the texture of a cookie. Butter has a lower melting point than shortening so a cookie made with butter only can be thinner and crispier than the same cookie made with shortening. Because shortening has a much higher melting point than butter it will help cookies keep their original shape. Try substituting shortening for 1/2 the amount of butter a recipe calls for and see how it changes the flavor, texture, and shape of your cookie.

As for salted vs. unsalted butter, I recommend baking with unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt.

Flour

The main difference in flours found in the grocery store is the amount of protein they contain. All-purpose flour, or plain flour, is an all-around good flour to use for baking. All-purpose has a protein content of 10-13% and it consistently performs well. Cake flour is best for cakes and bakes very tender layers. It has 8-9% protein, one of the lowest in protein content. If you are looking for a softer, more delicate cookie you could substitute cake flour for all-purpose, but it might affect the structure of the cookie. When substituting flours it is best to use a scale, just be sure to sift flours prior to weighing.

Most cookie recipes call for all-purpose flour. Bleached and unbleached flours are basically interchangeable in cookie recipes and unbleached flour is usually a better choice when you want a slightly chewier cookie.

A common equation for cookie doughs is = 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat, 1 part sugar.

Salt

Without a doubt, this is one ingredient I use in all my baking. Salt enhances flavor and without it, the cookie could just taste like a sugar overload. Without this flavor enhancer, the secondary flavors in a cookie fall flat as the sweetness takes over. Salt can also act as a protein strengthener, helping to achieve the perfect chewy cookie.

Once you have all the basics covered, creating the perfect cookie is easy no matter what the recipe.

My list of cookie recipes is always expanding and I love being able to add tried & true recipes. If there is a cookie that you love that you don’t see here, please feel free to comment below! And as always, if you make any of these recipes tag @iamhomesteader on Instagram and use the hashtag #iamhomesteader. Happy Baking!

Originally published on iambaker

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Reader Comments

  1. Hermits; jam medallion centres; Christmas sugar cookie (when do you add the sugar sprinkles /sugar decorations – after baking; half way during baking?) There is no icing planned

    Thank you

  2. Thank You for making my Christmas Cookie List. They ALL sound good and can be modified for Christmas. Love You ALl. And again. Thanks. Patricia

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