Cookie Monsters Respond!

Fan Mail from some flounder....? No! These are FRIENDLY spirits.

I thought it would be fun to post some of the wonderful email, tips, tricks and suggestions I've been getting from visitors to the cookie page.


Subject: A Cookie Postscript

Hi Stephanie!

Combining your tips with techniques I have found helpful over the years, I just made the best Toll House cookies ever! I started with the Toll House recipe, used 2 tablespoons less white sugar, half the salt and double the vanilla extract, used the electric mixer on medium-low up to the point of adding the flour mixture, then chilled the dough for 2 hours before baking. Heaven!!! I also remembered a tip I have used in the past to make softer cookies that don't spread too much while baking: add a tablespoon or two of powdered fructose to the batter. The result is more soft all over rather than crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, but some people like a softer cookie. Thanks for all the info. I can hear that damned Nordic Track calling me now, after all these great cookies!


Subject: thanks for the tips

Dear Stephanie,

I came home this evening feeling a little lonely. I don't know why. I decided that the best thing to do was to make choclate cookies. I am always looking for ways to improve my techniques, so a search on the web, came up with your "hints Page". I tried the extra vanilla, and the addition of milk.

Thanks, I got really good cookies and I feel much better.

Here is a comment on your use of honey on your "choclate chip cookies hints page"; Make sure you use a very light tasting honey like clover. I find that even medium character honeys will overwhelm the cookies.

Here is my little tip; Try adding a touch of maple syrup in place of some brown sugar.

Brian Baker

Montreal, Quebec


Subject: Chocolate Chip cookies

Dear Stephanie,

I have read your home page on chocolate. I am a hopeless chocolic too. I read about your recipes for improvising with Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. I use the same recipe but I add extra. I usually make double batch of the recipe with one bag of regular Tollhouse chocolate chips along with a small bag of Tollhouse chocolate mint chips. Everyone loves my recipe so you may mention this in your homepage to share with others. You can experiment with this and let me know what you think. Enjoy!


Cathy Burge


Subject: cookies

Dear Stephanie,

How are you? Things are fine out here. I'm not really following baseball much yet this year, but musical life is good (if still very un-lucrative).

I was just re-perusing your choc chip cookies page. I've been running a Wednesday night new music series ( and making cookies many of those weeks to sell to music-lovers. Here is my big discovery:

Blood-pressure consciousness has caused some bakers to reduce the amount of salt in cookies, and many people cut the salt further. This is a big mistake! Nothing sets off the taste of chocolate better than salt! This is one reason that nuts work so well with chocolate. I always add a little extra salt (maybe 50% over the recipe on the back of bags). More salt in pie crusts too.

I sometimes use half the chips, and then press M&Ms onto the cookies when they come out of the oven. It gives you the opportunity to sort the M&Ms into their constituent colors (I hadn't realized that they got rid of the tan ones to make way for the blues! I don't think enough people stood up for the tans, which were always under-represented). I like to restrict my pallette to just three colors (saving the rest for next time). Don't put M&Ms into the batter; they just get buried, and the paint bleeds off them a bit!

Also, because I'm sometimes pressed for time, I make a quadruple batch and then freeze half, rolling the dough into logs of cookie diameter. I wrap them in waxed paper, and then put the wrapped logs into a plastic bag. When you take them out, you can break or cut off cookie-sized bits and then knead them a little.

Oh - and I think I forgot this last tip:

I recommend using hands as the primary mixing tools. It feels good, it's quicker, easier on the wrists, and makes sampling the dough a necessity. (Don't forget to wash after licking fingers, of course!)

Now I have to go eat!


Hi Stephanie:

Great tips. Here is one I found works great if you want a little softer, higher cookie...with the chocolate melted inside.

Add a little bit more baking powder,approx.1/2 tsp.more...voila!! chocolate chip..chocolate filled too...melt in your mouth cookies!!

Lee Ann


Dear Stephanie:

Thank you for your tips and recipes. I just moved, my cook books are in boxes -- somewhere -- and my little girl is asking for cookies. So, I searched the net and found your site.

Another unsolicited tip... I read somewhere that it is best to bake cookies on a completely flat sheet (no sides). Last year I purchased a fancy-dancy insulated flat cookie sheet and, incredibly, I have not had a single burned-bottom cookie since I started using it.

Keep up the good work! I have to go and bake cookies now.


Veronica Willoughby

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