Friday, March 6, 2009

Ten Troubleshooting Tips {Cookies}

photo found here

Couple years ago, I had taken some cookies to a get-together, and a girl picked one up examined it and asked, "hmmm... forget an ingredient, Katie?". I wanted to respond, "hmmm.. did you forget kindness today?".. but (sigh) bless my self-control, she was right. I've had some flat, overcooked, stiff, hockey-puck-shaped cookies in my day but hallelujah, have also learned some valuable tips on baking cookies that {usually} result in picture perfect ones. Hope these help you like it has me.

{Tip One}
Make sure your butter is at room temperature, meaning it's soft, but not melted. At this stage, it will cream easily with the sugars. If you use melted butter, I've found my cookies always turn out flat as Kansas.. or whatever.

{Tip Two}
Make sure that you measure all ingredients TO THE TEE! Your flour should be leveled off the cup's edge with a knife or finger, your leveners and salt should be measured out with your tsp/tbsp set. If you mis-measure in baking, it's a lot harder to redeem yourself than it is in cooking.

{Tip Three.. are we having fun yet!}
Start preheating the oven right as you begin the baking process. If your oven is like mine at least, it requires at least 20 minutes of warm-up time. You want the oven nice and ready to pop them babies in!

{Tip Four} If the recipe instructs you to chill the dough, do as your told, sister! It means the dough needs to rest and relax.

{Tip Five}
For uniformly shaped cookies, use a mini ice-cream scoop to place the dough on the cookie sheets.

{Tip Six}
Once the cookies have been brought out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack. Let the cookie sheet cool down before placing a new batch of dough balls on it- they might begin to "melt" and result in an unevenly cooked cookie.

{Tip Seven}
Butter is always better (over margarine or other fakes) and if you are using brown sugar, make sure it's clump-free (you can do this by storing a bread slice or whole apple in with your brown sugar).

{Tip Eight}
It's good to have your eggs at room temp. when baking anything- that way, all your ingredients, including the butter, will have the same internal temperatures. Butter can sit out though, through the night. I'd only let your eggs sit out for an hour max.

{Tip Nine}
Sift your dry ingredients and once your dry and wet ingredients are combined, don't over mix or the gluten in the flour will start working and make your cookies stiff!

{Final Tip}
Spread your cookie-dough out at reasonable spaces on the cookie sheet so you don't end up with a lovely sheet blobs.

Now go make some cookies, woman!

1 comment:

Erika Hanks said...

So mean, I can't eat cookies and now my mouth is watering!!!!!!!!!!! Hey, give me a call this week!