December 15, 2011 05:00 ET

Cookies 101: Bake Your Way to Perfection

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Dec 15, 2011) - (Family Features) From Snickerdoodles to classic chocolate chip, cookies are the go-to dessert for all occasions. Following are simple tips and tricks to make the perfect batch of cookies every time!

  • Build a great foundation of basics. That means using high quality butter, large eggs and pure extracts. This will help make runny or lumpy batter a thing of the past. As for bake ware essentials, rimless light-colored baking sheets produce golden cookie bottoms and cookie scoops make picture perfect batches.

  • Go nutty. To add extra crunch to nuts, try toasting them first to bring out their natural flavor and aroma. Stir small amounts over medium heat until fragrant, or for larger quantities place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Cool, chop, enjoy!

  • Gift and share the love. Send travel-ready bar cookies, tea cakes and biscotti to loved ones who live afar. Wrap cookies with plastic wrap or wax paper before placing in resealable baggies to secure contents during shipping. Use a sturdy box packed with cushion filler and wait for that excited "thank you" phone call!

  • Bake your own chocolate chip cookies. America's favorite - Nestlé Toll House - comes in all shapes and textures. For soft and cakey cookies, use 3/4 cup butter and reduce brown sugar to 1/2 cup. For thinner, crispy cookies, increase butter to 1 1/4 cups and sugar to 1 1/4 cups. For a richer taste, try substituting Nestlé Toll House Dark Chocolate Morsels made with 53% Cacao real dark chocolate for the traditional semi-sweet morsels. And for extra-chocolatey cookies, add the following recipe to your collection:

For more baking inspiration, and to become a Very Best Baker, visit

Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Makes 48 cookies)
4 cups (two 12-oz. pkgs.) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

oven to 375°F.

MELT 2 cups morsels in small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from heat.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in remaining 2 cups morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 8 to 9 minutes or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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