12 Days of Cookie-Making Tips

You know when you’ve bitten into a perfect cookie. It crunches and tastes buttery, sweet and salty all at the same time. Let the holiday cookie baking begin with 12 sweet secrets to perfect cookies.

First, pick your true love, your favorite cookie recipe, and read it carefully to be sure you have all the ingredients before starting. Remember, baking is a science and it requires accuracy.

Second, if you’re using nuts in your cookies, add them to the batter last, they’ll stay crunchier. And, if you’re chopping the nuts in a food processor, toss in a little flour and sugar from the recipe to absorb the nuts’ oil to avoid them clumping together.

Third, choose baking sheets wisely. Bake cookies on shiny, heavy aluminum baking sheets. These sheets with no sides are designed for easily sliding cookies onto a cooling rack. Dark sheets may absorb heat, causing cookies to brown too much on the bottom; nonstick baking sheets work well if not too dark. Insulated baking sheets require a slightly longer baking time, but ensure a golden bottom.

Fourth, split the dough in half. Work with half of the cookie dough at a time when rolling and cutting cookies. Keep the other half refrigerated; chilled dough is easier to handle. Use a Silicone Rolling Pin so you won’t need to use as much flour when rolling out the dough, to prevent the cookie from being tough.

Fifth golden rule, use a cooking spray or solid shortening to coat your baking sheet instead of butter or margarine which will burn between the cookies during baking. Even better, invest in the preferred choice of professional bakers, a reusable Silicone Baking Mat for an instant non-stick baking surface.

Sixth, lay one sheet of cookies at a time on the middle oven rack—don’t overload the oven. If you need to bake more than one at time, rotate the sheets from the top rack to the bottom rack halfway through baking to allow for even browning.

Seventh, cool those cookie sheets. Be sure to cool your baking sheets between baking batches of cookies. To cool your cookie pans quickly, run them under cold water and then wipe dry before using.

Eighth, cookies should be of a uniform thickness and size so they will bake in the same amount of time. Using a small cookie scoop will provide picture-perfect, uniform cookies.

Ninth, be careful with over baking. Check cookies for doneness at the minimum baking time.

Tenth, 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 accordingly.

Eleventh, piping hot cookies need to be removed from cookie sheets to wire cooling rack immediately to prevent further baking.

Twelfth, always cool cookies completely before storing them in airtight containers.

From our kitchen to yours…Cucina Felice!

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Michele at Chef's
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