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4 Tips for the Perfect Cookie

By Paula Deen

We all know there’s no such thing as a bad cookie. We’ve all baked a batch that wasn’t quite what we hoped for: too flat, too fat, too burnt. No matter which way the cookie crumbled, let Paula’s test kitchen help you solve that cookie crisis!

Under-Baked Cookie

Problem: Under-baked cookie in a too-cool oven: now this cookie has happened to even the best bakers of our bunch. Luckily, the pale-faced cookie is a problem easily solved.

Solution: Make sure to give your oven enough time to pre-heat before adding your tasty creations to the hot rack (20 minutes should suffice). To be truly safe, you should use an inexpensive oven thermometer to make sure the ovens are at the right temperature.

Over-Baked Cookie

Problem: Over-baked cookie in a too-hot oven: an over-baked cookie will be dry, dark brown, burnt on the bottom, and underdone on the inside, leaving an unpleasant texture and bitter aftertaste.

Solution: The best way to beat this problem is to use an oven thermometer for accurate temperature gauging and to set a timer a few minutes before the recipe states so you can closely monitor your cookies as they finish baking.

Over-Mixed Cookie

Problem: Over-mixed cookie (aka the mutant cookie): this cookie crinkles, spreads too far, bakes flat, and has a greasy appearance.

Solution: Be sure to only mix for 30 seconds after adding the last scoop of dry ingredients and just until you see no more white specks of flour in the batter.

Not-Enough-Flour Cookie

Problem: Not enough flour cookie: this cookie does not have enough structure to hold itself together so it spreads out on the sheet pan during baking and burns because of it’s thinness.

Solution: Make sure you accurately measure your ingredients when baking. Paula likes the scoop and level method when measuring her dry ingredients for an accurate result.

Perfect Cookie

Perfect cookie! The perfect cookie will be lightly browned on top and bottom with a pleasant, chewy texture.

Try your hand at cookie baking with one of Paula’s favorite cookie recipes.

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.