A lot of us grow up baking chocolate chip cookies—often following instructions found on a bright yellow Tollhouse bag. But despite decades spent dropping those chip-flecked butterballs on to a pan, most of us still experience an occasional fail. They burn on the bottom, say, but retain a raw-ish liquid center. Or spread out to form greasy flying saucers. Or wind up crumbly and dry. Or, heaven help us, morph together in the oven to form one big amoebic mass—a cookie monster far less lovable than that cobalt-furred hedonist who lives on Sesame Street.