A quality cookie sheet in good condition can make all the difference when you make cookies.
When it comes to cookies, butter is king. It adds that delicious flavor, texture, and richness you expect. Only substitute another ingredient if the option is offered in the recipe instructions. Start with butter softened to room temperature. It should have lost its chill and be spreadable; 30 minutes should do the trick. Never use melted butter unless specifically called for.
Tip: To speed up softening butter, cut the cold stick into pieces.
Whether you're making drop cookies (such as chocolate chip or oatmeal), shaped cookies (such as peanut butter blossoms), or cutout cookies (such as rolled sugar cookies), you'll use the same general process to make cookie dough.