Over the holidays this past December, I baked a large variety of cookies and brought a huge tin to my office. To fill some space in the tin I threw in some plain old chocolate chip cookies. I was surprised when those were the first types of cookies that got eaten by my co-workers since I had spent a lot of time baking what I thought was an impressive assortment. The standard response was “ooh… chocolate chip cookies” and then inquiries into the other types of cookies. I kind of wish I kept track of the consumption rate for all the different cookies that I had baked.  So from this unintentional experiment I learned that you can’t go wrong with a classic chocolate chip cookie.

This year I donated another 6 months of my cookie-of-the-month club to my company’s charity auction. The winning bidder has requested a batch of chocolate chip cookies each month. Pretty easy. I estimate that I’ve baked thousands of chocolate chip cookies in my baking life and I’ve learned a few tips along the way for a better chocolate chip cookie. My favorite recipe is the one on the back of the Nestle Toll-house Chocolate Chips but these tips will work with any recipe.

Three Easy Steps to a Better Chocolate Chip Cookie

1. Use a cookie scoop: When you have consistently sized dough balls on your baking sheet, the cookies bake more evenly. If you don’t have a cookie scoop use a teaspoon to scoop the dough and another one to scrape it onto your baking sheet.

2. Don’t mix in all the chocolate chips: Save about a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to place on top of the dough balls. When the cookies are baked you’ll have the classic looking cookies with a few chocolate chips peeking through the dough. The rest of the chocolate chips get mixed into the dough and are hidden once baked.

3. Chill your dough: Unless you’ve got a commercial kitchen you probably can’t bake your entire batch of cookies at once. While you have a tray baking in the oven, place the bowl of dough in the fridge to chill. This ensures that the cookies don’t spread too much when baking.

Here’s a bonus tip… if you like coconut, mix some into a batch of cookies and thank me later. The coconut adds an interesting texture and great flavor.