Tips for making a perfect cookie
I love to bake cookies but sometimes they do not bake correctly and I needed to know why and did some re-search and found this information that I personally found so helpful and useful to me. I hope it helps you as well when you decide to bake some cookies.
- white or brown sugar
- other cookie ingredients-baking chips, peanut butter, coconut, variety of nuts
- sweet condensed milk, whole milk
Be sure you have all the ingredients called for and that you understand the recipe clearly.
Remember - If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right! Cultivate the do-it-right attitude and habit. Baking demands accuracy and care. Unlike other kinds of cooking, such as soups or stews, you cannot improvise or substitute ingredients. Never carry on another activity while you are mixing a recipe. Distractions, no matter how small, lead to mistakes. Let the telephone ring!
Assemble all the bowls, pans, and utensils you will need on your counter or worktable before starting. Use standard measuring cups and spoons.
Use the type of pan specified in the recipe. Recipes are carefully calculated as to yield and changing the pan size also alters the baking temperature and time.
Larger, shallower pans need increased heat; smaller, deeper pans need decreased heat.
The size of a baking pan or dish is measured across the top of the container from the inside edge to inside edge. The depth also is measured on the inside of the pan or dish from the bottom to the top of the rim.
Prepare the pan carefully according to the recipe. Place pans as near the center of the oven as possible. Do not place pans directly over another and do not crowd the oven (this makes for uneven baking).
You can't expect a first-rate product using second-rate ingredients. Be sure your ingredients are fresh and of the finest quality. If your recipe says the ingredient must be room temperature, then make sure they are at room temperature before proceeding.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Check expiration dates of baking powder and baking soda, replacing if necessary. For testing purposes:
Baking soda should bubble when added to vinegar
Baking powder should bubble when added to hot water.
Be sure to mix baking powder and/or baking soda into the flour before adding to the wet ingredients, as this distributes everything evenly so your cookies will not end up with large holes.
This is a baking must! Follow your cookie recipe to the tee (you can always experiment with later batches, testing how alterations affect the final product). One common cause of cooking failures is inaccurate measurement of ingredients. You can use the best ingredients in the world, but if you do not measure correctly, the recipe will not come out properly. Also always use level measurements (all measurements in a recipe are level).
Preheat the oven 10 to 15 minutes before you begin baking cookies. This is usually consistent unless a recipe specifically calls for you to start with a cold oven.
Purchase an Oven Thermometer to make sure your oven is operating at the right temperature. An oven that is too hot or too cold not only throws off the cooking times but can throw off the texture and appearance of the finished cookies.
Type of Cookie Sheets To Use: Cookie Sheets with little or no sides will allow the cookies to bake quickly and evenly.
Greasing Cookie Sheets: Grease cookie sheets with either vegetable shortening or unsalted butter. Do not use vegetable oil for greasing the cookie sheets, as the oil between the cookies will burn during baking - this is very difficult to clean.
Cookies should be of a uniform thickness and size so they will bake in the same amount of time. Using a small cookie scoop or ice cream scoop will provide picture-perfect, uniform size cookies. To get uniform cookies, weigh the cookie dough. Using your kitchen scale, weigh 1-ounce dough for each medium-size cookie and 1/2-ounces for each smaller cookie.
Leave room between cookies on the cookie sheet. Rule of thumb is 2 inches between cookies. If the cookies are extremely large cookies or the recipe calls for more space, adjust the space.
Watch the baking time and use an accurate timer. Always check the cookies at the minimum baking time listed in your recipe. Even one minute can mean the difference between a cookie that is done and one that is ruined.
Unless the recipe directs otherwise, remove baked cookies from cookie sheet to wire rack immediately to prevent further baking. Use a thin pancake turner to remove and move cookies from baking sheets. If cookies are left on the sheet to cool, they will be very difficult to remove (this will keep cookies from tearing or breaking).
Bars and squares are a softer type of cookie. They are more like a cake. Always bake bars and square cookies in greased pans that are at least 1 1/2-inches deep and that have sides.
Do not over beat this type of cookie. Beat just enough to mix the ingredients together. Over beating will cause them to rise too much, and as they cook, they will then fall with a cracked surface and a ridge around the outside edge. Bars and squares are done when the sides shrink from the sides of the pan or the top springs back when lightly touched with your finger.
Cutting Bar Cookies: To prevent jagged edges that often occur when cutting bars and squares, use a sharp knife to score the bars as soon as the pan comes out of the oven. Cool completely before cutting - then cut the cooled bars along the scored lines.