There is something so satisfying about homemade cookies. From the smell of cookies baking in the oven to the taste and texture of a just cool enough to eat morsel straight from the cooling rack, cookies engage our senses. If you’re a cookie lover and want to find out how to make your own delicious cookies, read on for a few tips!
Use Quality Ingredients Always
The quality of your ingredients will have a huge impact on the quality of your cookies. This is where homemade cookies generally beat out store-bought. Use real butter — it does make a difference. Any add-ins, like chocolate chips or nuts, should be able to stand on their own or you should consider omitting them from the recipe. Be sure to taste nuts before adding them to your dough to determine freshness. And be aware that higher quality is not necessarily more costly. Some store brands of chocolate chips are made with real vanilla as opposed to some national brands, which use the artificial ingredient vanillin.
Cookies are a form of pastry, so look for low-gluten or pastry flour. All-purpose flour will do but never use high-gluten or bread flour. This is because gluten forms long, elastic strands in baked goods — a plus in bread making but those gluten strands will make cookies tough.
While we’re on the subject of gluten, use a light hand when mixing the ingredients. The more you work the dough, the more gluten strands will form (even low-gluten flour has some gluten).
Correctly Measured Ingredients
It is important to measure ingredients correctly.
Stir up the flour in the bag before scooping it into the measuring cup or you’ll end up adding too much and your cookies will be heavy.
Pack brown sugar into the measuring cup instead of scooping it. Properly measured brown sugar should hold its shape after being turned out of the cup.
Baking powder and baking soda should be scooped from the container into a measuring spoon (don’t use regular tableware — it is not consistent) and levelled off with the back of a knife.
When a recipe calls for eggs, large eggs are implied. Eggs contribute to the overall moisture in a recipe so using extra-large or small eggs will throw off the balance of dry and moist ingredients.
Don’t skip this step!
A step that many are tempted to skip is chilling the dough. The mixing process warms and softens the dough. Chilling the dough in the refrigerator makes it firm enough to hold its shape on the baking sheet. This prevents tearing or over-spreading.
When placing the cookie dough on the baking sheet, it is important to have an idea of how far the dough will spread during baking. Cookies that are placed too close together may run together or cook unevenly.
Remove From Oven a Few Mins Sooner
It is a good idea to remove the cookies from the oven before they are quite done and place the baking sheet on a rack for a few minutes. The cookies will continue to cook from the residual heat of the baking sheet as it cools. When they are firm enough to remove with a spatula, place the cookies on a rack to cool.
Cool Completely Before Decorating
If you intend to decorate your cookies its important to let them cool completely. A hot cookie will melt frosting, creating a gooey mess and a soggy cookie rather than a cute decoration.
Cookie baking is easy if you know how. With these tips on perfecting your cookie baking technique, soon you’ll be producing cookies that will have your friends begging you for the recipe. And if you are in need of a few recipes, try my favorite christmas cookie recipes, you’ll sure to find one that tickles your tastebuds. Remember these simple tips on making your cookies great every time you bake treats!