Hello world. I'm Jesse from BuzzFeed's food team and I love to bake cookies. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com I pretty much bake them every week and have an Instagram dedicated almost entirely to them — so it's safe to say I love making them. After baking countless recipes, I've compiled a list of tips I've learned along the way to get them just right. Here are 12 of those helpful tips: 1. If your recipe calls for softened butter, make sure it's actually room temperature — but don't soften it too much. Natalya Vilman / Getty Images When a cookie recipe calls for using softened butter, it's for a good reason. Room temperature butter allows small pockets of air to get trapped when creaming it with sugar. This leavens the cookies and makes them fluffy — but if you use butter that's too soft (aka on the verge of melting), it can do the opposite and actually prevent air from getting trapped. The ideal softness level is when you're able to press your finger into the butter without any resistance.Learn more: Butter Temperature 101 2. Make sure you're using the right size eggs for your recipe — and bring those to room temperature, too. Little_honey / Getty Images Another important detail when baking cookies is to make sure you're using the right sized eggs that your recipe calls for. A medium egg is much smaller than an extra-large egg, and mixing up the two can significantly alter your recipe, so just double check that you're buying the right sized eggs and you should be OK.Learn more about how egg size can affect baked goods. 3. Don't be shy about seasoning your cookie dough with salt. Sleddogtwo / Getty Images Salt is one of the major components that gives cookies their flavor, so it's important that you generously season the dough. Most quality cookie recipes will have at least a half teaspoon of salt in them — which might seem like a lot, but is necessary. If you're making up your own cookie recipe, don't be afraid to be a bit heavy handed. Both the dough and the chocolate is sweet, so it's important you use salt to balance them out.Note: Kosher salt is a great salt for baking with. The small crystals dissolve easily and evenly season the dough.Learn more about the importance of salt in baked goods. 4. Invest in nonstick baking mats so you don't go through endless roles of parchment paper. amazon.com While parchment paper is helpful, it's not 100% nonstick — so invest in some nonstick silicon baking mats you can use over and over again. Even the stickiest of doughs will easily release from these mats, and you won't have to oil or grease them before you bake with them.Get a set of two nonstick baking mats on Amazon for $8.99. 5. Upgrade from chocolate chips to either chopped chocolate or special chocolate baking discs. amazon.com, Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed Chocolate chips are fine, but they're nothing special — and they're actually created so they don't fully melt, so you never get that perfectly gooey texture you're after. A simple upgrade is to use chopped chocolate or large chocolate discs. Both of these create large pockets of melted chocolate and take your cookies from good to great.Get a two-pound bag of chocolate baking discs on Amazon for $11. 6. If your cookies are spreading too much as they bake, try popping them in the freezer or fridge for 15 minutes... Getty Images Chilling cookie dough in the fridge or freezer helps solidify the butter so they spread less when baking, so give them a quick 15 minutes and they should spread slower while baking. 7. But if your cookies aren't spreading enough, try banging the sheet trays against the counter as they bake to promote spreading — it'll also give them a nice wavy texture, too. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com If your cookies aren't spreading enough, you can try banging them against the counter a few times as they bake to help deflate them and promote spreading. You basically just take the cookies out of the oven several times during the baking process and bang the sheet tray on the counter — about five to seven times. The technique, popularized by Sarah Kieffer, also creates a beautiful rippled pattern that gives them a unique texture.Get a recipe for Sarah Kieffer's viral pan-banging chocolate chip cookies. 8. Play around with different types of flour to make your cookies. Milkos / Getty Images, Seandnad / Getty Images While all-purpose flour is the standard flour used to bake cookies, other varieties can give you interesting results. Bread flour makes cookies chewier, and cake flour makes them a bit more delicate. Some recipes use a combination of various flours, so play around until you find a formula you love.Get Alton Brown's chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe made with bread flour. 9. Set your oven timer for five minutes earlier than your recipe states. Valeriya / Getty Images, Carterdayne / Getty Images The biggest trick for getting chewy chocolate chip cookies? Not over baking them. One way to make sure they always turn out perfectly baked is to set your timer for five minutes less than the recipe states. You want your cookies to be barely browned and not look wet in the center. When you press on them, you should be able to make an indent but it should not feel raw. As soon as they reach this point, take them out. 10. If your cookies end up sticking to the sheet tray, pop them back in the oven for 30 seconds and try prying them off with a fish spatula. Yinyang / Getty Images, amazon.com If your cookies end up stuck to the pan and you're unable to lift them off, try placing the sheet pan back in the oven for 30 seconds to warm up and use a thin, flexible fish spatula to get underneath them. The warmth helps release them while the delicate spatula is the best bet for getting underneath them.Get a fish spatula on Amazon for $8.99. 11. Try ripening your cookie dough in the fridge or 24 hours before baking. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com The term ripening is just a fancy word for letting your cookie dough rest for an extended amount of time. This long resting time allows the flour to fully absorb the liquid and gives the sugar time to dissolve. This helps the cookies brown better and bake up more evenly, and some people say it gives the cookies a better flavor, too.Learn more about ripening cookie dough. 12. Make sure to let your sheet trays completely cool before baking another batch on them. Getty Images If you can't fit all of your cookies on your sheet tray and need to bake them in multiple batches, make sure to let your sheet tray completely cool before scooping your next batch of dough onto it. If you were to scoop them onto a tray that's still hot, the bottoms may burn and your cookies may spread too quickly. Now that you know all of the tips, check out our ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipes and get baking! Lauren Zaser / Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed You can read our entire post of tips, tricks, and recipes for every type of chocolate chip cookie imaginable. And if you're looking for even more helpful baking tips, check out these posts: • 33 Genius Baking Tips Every Beginner Needs To Know• 19 Life-Changing Baking Tips From Professional Bakers• 11 Baking Tips That'll Make You Go, "Huh."