I tried Hailey Bieber’s trick for perfect chocolate-chip cookies, and butter doesn’t make everything better

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Hailey Bieber has an interesting chocolate-chip cookie trick. Paige Bennett for Insider; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

The perfect chocolate-chip cookie is hard to come by, but Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) thinks she cracked the code with her out-of-the-box baking hack.

On a May episode of their Facebook Watch series, “The Biebers on Watch,” Hailey and her husband, Justin, shared a somewhat unconventional trick for “perfect” cookies.

“One thing I like to do with cookies — don’t critique me you people who are bakers — is I like to put butter on the tops so that the butter bakes into it,” she said.

I was curious about her simple hack, so I decided to test it out.

Read on to see how it went.

I started by whipping up my favourite cookie recipe

1 cookie dough
I decided to use my favourite recipe by Duff Goldman. Paige Bennett for Insider

The Biebers made gluten-free cookies on their show, but I’m not gluten intolerant, so I decided to use my favourite recipe from Duff Goldman. I figured if this was a true hack, it could work on any chocolate-chip cookie.

Once the dough was ready, I divided it in half and prepped the cookies on two separate trays.

From the start, I worried the buttered cookies would burn. When I watched Hailey pull the cookies from the oven on the Facebook video, I thought, “Wow, those cookies look overdone.”

But she explained that her cookies were “chewy in the middle, crunchy on the edges.”

3 buttered cookies in oven
I put a pat of butter on top of half of the cookies before baking. Paige Bennett for Insider

Butter has a low smoke point of 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the fat will start to break down and smoke at those temperatures.

I thought, with an oven set to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, the exposed butter on top would burn, leaving the cookies with an acrid, bitter taste.

If they didn’t burn, I predicted the baked cookies would have a moist, slightly greasy texture at best.

The buttered cookies baked faster than the classic ones

Hailey bieber butter cookies
I kept the non-buttered cookies in for an extra minute. Paige Bennett for Insider

The cookies without the extra butter on top took about a minute longer in the oven.

I noticed right away that the buttered cookies had crisp, lace-like edges where the butter melted over and started to sizzle along the sides.

I could also see where the butter had settled onto the tops of the cookies, making some of them look slightly underdone and sunken in the centre. However, they were nearing overdone along the edges.

The butter also made the cookies spread more, so they were larger and thinner than the others.

I was happy to see that neither cookie was burnt, but the extra butter definitely impacted the bake

Cookies with and without butter
I could see how the added butter impacted the bake. Paige Bennett for Insider

I flipped each cookie to make sure the bottoms weren’t burnt.

It was interesting to see that the original cookie had a uniform colour across the underside and appeared to have a tighter crumb. The texture had small dimples and ridges across the bottom.

But on the buttered cookies, the bottoms were light in the centre and gradually darker along the edges. Similarly, the crumb was tighter in the centre and looser along the edges, with several larger dips.

The buttered cookie nearly fell apart in my hands

11 original cookie middle
I’m a fan of the texture of the original cookies. Paige Bennett for Insider

I picked up the original cookie and split it in half to see the middle. Not even one crumb fell out when I broke it apart.

The centre looked soft but completely cooked, and the cookie left a slightly greasy feel on my fingers after I put it back down.

12 buttered cookie middle
The buttered cookies were far too greasy for my liking. Paige Bennett for Insider

It seemed like just looking at the second cookie caused it to cave inward more. When I grabbed it, a few large crumbs came loose, and the entire cookie almost fell apart when I tried to split it down the middle.

The centre looked quite wet and gooey, but the edges were crisp. I knew it wasn’t undercooked, but the extra butter definitely made it look that way.

After I set the cookie down, butter was actually dripping from my fingers, which I didn’t find very appealing.

The extra butter didn’t really change the flavour much

6 both cookies side by side
Taste-wise, the cookies weren’t all that different. Paige Bennett for Insider

Usually, I don’t care (too much) if my cookie is crumbling, I really just need it to taste good.

I ate one of the original cookies and welcomed the familiar, comforting flavour. The centre was soft, slightly chewy, and chocolaty, with a slight hint of salt.

The buttered cookie was much chewier — especially in the centre — and greasier. The centre was definitely richer from the extra butter, but the overall flavour was mostly the same as the first cookie.

I can’t see myself using this hack again

14 eating buttered cookie
I like my way of making cookies better. Paige Bennett for Insider

The cookies, for the most part, tasted the same, so it really came down to the texture.

The butter didn’t cause the cookies to burn as I predicted, but it did some interesting things to the structure of the cookies.

I didn’t like the super-chewy and drooping middles, and I really didn’t enjoy having grease drip from my fingers.

Although the Biebers seem to enjoy their extra butter, I think I’ll stick to my standard way of baking cookies.

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