Few things are as soul-satisfying as homemade cookies. And even though most people turn to a package of chocolate chips or a premade cookie dough for that inspiration, there are thousands of different ways people create cookies from scratch. At The Sweetest Booth, we have our own at home recipe we've cultivated over years of trial and error to make what we feel is the best possible cookie with the perfect balance of sweet and salty, crispy, and gooey. How should you think about your own personal recipe? Here are some simple tips to get you started creating that simple, perfect cookie.
Ingredients are super important in the process, with butter being one of the most important. While any butter will do, we recommend you try something a little outside of the traditional value-brand stick. Different kinds of butter can be creamier, saltier, smoother, and richer. One we love is grass-fed, salted butter. It’s a little salty, which balances with the sweetness of the cookie incredibly well.
The next two ingredients you’ll need are flour and sugar. This recipe can also include additional candidates to adapt our cookies to include other flavors, like vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, chocolate chips, or even sprinkles. Never under-estimate the power of a sprinkle to make any cookie feel more in season for a party.
And even though your grandmother probably never used a measuring cup, accurate measurements are critical for a perfect cookie. Too much flour and you have a dry cookie or too much butter and you end up with a paper-thin cookie. To get it right, gently scoop or fill the measuring cup with flour, but never pack it down. Instead, take the back of a butter knife and run it across the top to gently level the top. Repeat with the sugar.
For that perfectly textured cookie, make sure the flour doesn’t have any large lumps before adding it to the creamed butter and sugar. You can use a flour sifter, whisk (this is the only thing a whisk is good for when making cookies), or even a simple fork to break up the coarse flour.
But make certain you remember this: when adding the sifted flour make sure the mixer is OFF. And when mixing resumes the speed is on LOW! This very easy step will save you from an extra hour of cleaning up a flour explosion!
After everything is good and mixed together, these cookies are best if chilled in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. However, life doesn’t always allow for chill time! And that’s ok. Just allow the dough to refrigerate for as long as you can before placing them in the oven. Trust us, they are kid-approved either way! Pro-tip: while the cookies are chilling, start cleaning. By the time the cookies are done, you’ll be ready to relax and enjoy.
At The Sweetest Booth, we are super passionate about presentation. Simply put, visual expression helps tell the story of your cookie, and some of the best ways of doing this are by decorating with icing, sprinkles, or even a drizzle of melty salted caramel. Always think outside of the box and have fun with your cookie decorations!
If you plan to decorate the cookies with icing after baking, you’re going to need to let them rest and come to room temperature. This period of time ensures the frosting doesn’t melt on contact with a hot cookie.
Step one, get mise en place (MEEZ ahn plahs), it’s French for “everything in its place.” When the workstation is ready and stocked with the measured ingredients at the ready, the cooking process is more enjoyable, the finished product is perfection, and clean up becomes much easier.
Now we’re ready to start rolling – or better yet, mixing. When all is said and done this recipe yields around a dozen cookies.
- 2 bowls
- Baking sheet
- Measuring cups
- Scoop (spoon, tablespoon, or small melon scoop)
- Stand or handheld mixer
- 1 cup or 2 sticks of salted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ tablespoon of water
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Sprinkles (optional, but encouraged!)
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and prepare your baking sheet with either parchment paper or non-stick spray and set aside.
- Using a fork, whisk flour to remove any large lumps.
- Cream softened butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl using a stand or handheld mixer. Never a whisk! (Side note, a blog on why I hate whisks is in the lineup!)
- Add vanilla (if using) and water, mix on low until incorporated.
- Turn the mixer OFF and add flour. CRITICAL: Instruct your helpers prior NOT to turn the mixer straight to the highest speed. Trust us.
- Mix on LOW until the flour is incorporated. It may be crumbly at this point.
- Remove from the bowl and knead gently by hand, if needed.
- Scoop into 1” balls & roll in sprinkles (the more the merrier).
- Flatten slightly on the prepared baking sheet.
- Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes until golden brown and the tops no longer appear wet.
When you reach the end of making your cookies, and it’s time to enjoy them, we recommend pouring yourself a glass of milk and dunk as desired!
We hope you and your little helpers enjoyed making these as much as we did! Parent to Parent, I hope you avoided the flour explosion and cleanup was a breeze! We’d love to see how your cookies turned out, so be sure to tag us at @thesweetestbooth.