An ooey, gooey center with perfectly crisp edges? Sounds like the perfect bake to us!
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Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Credit: Carolyn Hodges, M.S., RDN

It's like Ina Garten once said: "You can be miserable before you have a cookie and you can be miserable after you eat a cookie but you can't be miserable while you are eating a cookie." And this trick for baking the best cookies is perfect for when you're just serving one or two.

Zoë Kanan, a New York City-based baker, just shared her secret for gourmet-level single-serve cookies: baking them in an air fryer. In a blog for King Arthur Baking, Kanan writes that the air fryer is basically like a tiny, powerful convection oven, so it bakes cookies to a perfect consistency. The outside of the cookies crisp into sweet, crunchy edges, while the inside of the cookies stays fudgy and indulgent. 

The first part of Kanan's trick is lining the bottom of the air-fryer basket with a small piece of foil, large enough to cover whatever surface the cookies might touch but small enough not to be blown around by your air-fryer fan. If you're using room temperature cookie dough, Kanan recommends air frying four cookies or fewer at 350°F for around 10 minutes. If you're using cookie dough from your fridge or freezer, you'll want to lower the temperature to 270°F and air fry the cookies for 11-13 minutes. And don't worry about preheating—these cookies can go right into your air fryer whenever you're ready.

The most important step, Kanan writes, is giving the cookies five minutes to sit after baking. While the cookies may look totally delicious while piping hot, they need time to crisp up at room temperature so they don't fall apart. They'll still be warm and gooey when the five minutes is up—just a little safer to eat.

While Kanan uses the King Arthur Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in her explanation, she also says it will work with just about any cookie that you want to stay soft in the middle—including brownie cookies, oatmeal cookies and even our favorite Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Any air fryer should be able to handle your cookie cravings, but we love the looks of Drew Barrymore's glamorous, well-reviewed touchscreen air fryer (buy it: $89, Walmart). Trusted brand Ninja (buy it: $180, Bed Bath & Beyond) has its own version of the appliance that reviewers say "you have to buy." And if you already have an Instant Pot at home, this extra accessory (buy it: $90, Bed Bath & Beyond) can transform it into an air fryer with the touch of a few buttons.