It’s that time of year again… the days when everyone and their grandmother (literally!) are preheating the oven and busting out the recipe boxes! COOKIE SEASON IS UPON US! And whether it’s your first year or your fiftieth, we’ve got tips – via the Washington Post – to help you bake a better batch!

Mixing Matters!

One of the first instructions on many cookie recipes is “cream the butter and sugar(s)”. But be careful…

A mixture of butter and sugar that is overbeaten can result in cookie dough that spreads, says cookbook author and Paris food blogger David Lebovitz.

Mix until your ingredients are thoroughly blended, and then stop.

Buy Better Butter!

You’ve no doubt seen the wide variety of butter available at the grocery store. Have you ever wondered why, and whether it makes a difference? Well, it does.

Good grocery store packaged brands (in sticks) typically have a fat content of at least 80 percent. Premium, European-style butter brands have a higher fat content, up to 86 percent.

The higher-fat-content butter is simply superior for baking. And if you want to try a little something different…?

When the recipe calls for melting butter, think about infusing it with a bay leaf as the butter cools. This will add a nice flavor.

Scoop the Goop!

OK. We probably shouldn’t go around calling cookie dough “goop”. But the sentiment is correct anyway. For nice, uniform cookies, you’re going to want to invest in a #40 disher scoop.

This cookie scoop is popular with bakers because it yields consistent, 1 ½ tablespoons-size mounds of dough.

And at less than $10 retail, it’s an inexpensive way to bake a better batch!

Can you think of any more tips and tricks to bake a better batch of cookies that we – and the Washington Post – missed? Let us know in the comments!