All right, class, sharpen your pencils and open your notebooks--the lecture begins now. By show of hands, who here has attempted to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, only to be left rocking quietly in the corner, sucking your thumb and surrounded by sheets of inedible cookie mistakes?Wow. All of you? I thought this was a class, not an intervention. Well, whatever this is, I have good news for you: your cookies can change. Help me help your cookies. We're in this together now. OK? OK. Let's begin with a simple but most important tip--use quality ingredients. This is the very foundation of your cookies; so don't underestimate the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients. Let me break this down for you: Good Foundation = Success Bad Foundation = Disaster It's the same for houses and chocolate chip cookies. (And cosmetics too, but that's another lecture.) So what do you need? I'm talking real butter, fresh eggs, real vanilla, and excellent chocolate. Your cookies will improve exponentially the moment you begin using ingredients that are magnificent on their own. Sure, they might cost a little more than lesser quality items; but think of them as an investment--an investment in your baking skills and your mental health. (Because we all know how happy a delicious cookie can make you feel, right?) Plus, it costs an awful lot to throw away batch after batch of awful cookie mistakes. That's money down the drain! Speaking of all these quality ingredients, let's focus for a moment on the butter. Here is an excellent tip--use cold butter. The key to nice height and texture in your cookies is starting with cold butter. Softened butter leads to flat, sad cookies. You'll get a workout if you're using a hand-mixer on cold butter, but it will be worth it when your cookies come out perfectly puffed. Another important tip is to use room temperature eggs. Why? A room temperature egg will help your sugar dissolve more thoroughly and, again, give your cookies better texture. Our time is up, so let me give you a homework assignment: 1. Use quality ingredients. 2. Take your eggs out of the fridge early. 3. Leave your butter inside the fridge where it's chilly! One more thing before you go-if you're thinking about cheating and buying my fresh, premium, gourmet cookies instead of baking your own, I have one thing to say to you--go for it! Who can blame you? Class dismissed. Until next time, of course.