Master the art of making cookies
By Amy // Posted Oct 11, 2020 // Category Baking tips
So many people have a soft spot for cookies. Especially the ones you make yourself, they are incomparable to the ones you can get a the supermarket.
Even if you are a beginning baker, my tips can help you get closer to making the perfect cookie.
Before I get into the tips, let’s make sure we have our basics covered.
1. Make sure you preheat the oven in the right setting so your oven temperature is right.
2. Follow the steps in the recipes as closely as you can.
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1. Your ingredients should be at room temperature
Room temperature ingredients will make it so much easier for you to cream and beat your cookie batter. Your cookies will be fluffier and softer.
If your ingredients aren’t at room temperature when they should be, you’ll find that the baking time would be thrown off as well. You may need to bake your cookies for longer which increases the risk of scorching the top or bottom of the cookie.
Not all cookies need room temp ingredients, so please check your recipe first.
Check out my tips on bring butter to room temperature
2. Use an electric mixer or stand mixer
If your recipe calls for creaming butter and sugar together, you should definitely use an electric mixer or stand mixer. Creaming the butter and sugar incorporates air in the batter and also ensures that the sugar is evenly distributed in your mixture.
Start by beating the butter on its own first. This way you can get the butter well softened in time for the sugar. Then add the sugar and beat for a few minutes until it becomes pale/light in colour and appears fluffy. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula a few times while you beat.
3. Why are my cookies hard?
If you overwork your dough, this can result in tough cookies. Your dough has gluten, a protein, that gets harder the more it is worked.
To stop this from happening, sift your dry ingredients. I find sifted ingredients to be easier to mix. Also, fold your wet ingredients into your dry using a spatula. I gently scrape the sides in a circular motion, and then scrape the bottom. Do this until your ingredients are just mixed.
Sometimes, using excessive amounts of salt can also lead to a tough cookie.
Also, don’t be afraid to take out the cookies a little earlier. I love my cookies to be soft, I don’t mind if they look a little pale. In fact, once they look a little brown on the edges, they’re ready to come out.
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4. Crispy or chewy cookies?
The kind of sugar you use can alter the texture of your cookie. If you like having crispy cookies, you should use white sugar. If you like having chewy cookies, you should use brown sugar.
You can also use dark brown sugar for the chewiness and also for the deep molasses taste.
5. My cookies are spreading too much
One good way to stop this is to refrigerate your cookies for about an hour before shaping and baking. The fats get a chance to solidify in the fridge. This means that the butter will melt more slowly, leading to less spread.
You can also try to use half shortening and half butter instead. Shortening melts a lot slower than butter. Therefore, using half and half will help your cookies spread way less.
6. Use the middle rack
Using a rack too close to the top or bottom can scorch your beautiful creation. In the ideal world, you would be baking one cookie tray at a time. But, if you are strapped for time, and need to put in two trays at a time, try to be as close to the middle rack.
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