1. Take your time when baking cookies. If I'm rushed when baking, I invariably omit an ingredient or make mistakes.

2. To prevent any eggshell from accidentally mixing into the cookie dough, break eggs into a separate bowl, then add them to the dough.

3. If a baking sheet is only partially filled with cookies, it usually takes less time to bake than a full baking sheet.

4. The only tricky part of making cookies is baking them properly. And that's simply a matter of watching them carefully, especially as they near the end of their baking time. Resist any temptation to answer the telephone or leave the kitchen.

5. Shiny heavyweight baking sheets that reflect heat are less likely to produce overbaked cookie bottoms than dark baking sheets that absorb heat.

6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, heavy aluminum foil or nonstick liners for easy cleanup. Liners seldom need to be buttered.

7. Two sheets of cookies in the oven may require a longer baking time than one sheet. One of the pans may be ready sooner than the other. Reverse the pans in the oven for evenly baked cookies.

8. Store differently flavored cookies in separate containers. A butter cookie could absorb the flavor from a spice cookie. Store soft and crisp cookies separately. If crisp cookies are packed with soft cookies or moist bars, they can absorb moisture from them and lose their crispness.

9. Small changes in a recipe can make big changes in the final cookie. Sifting flour for a brownie can change its final texture, and cooling a molasses mixture longer than directed can make a difference as well.

10. For arranging assortments of cookie, use platters that are 12 inches across or smaller. Small platters of cookies can be replenished often and look inviting rather than picked over.

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