It is no surprise that National Cookie Day is coming up; the shoppe is just bursting with cookies! Gingerbread, pfeffernüsse, spumoni, keto, chocolate chip, shortbreads, macarons, and more – whew!
Many of us remember childhood holidays making cookies under the supervision of a beloved family member. If you are revisiting that feeling or passing on the tradition this year, we have a few tips to make your cookies (and your memories!) that much more delicious.
Preheat the oven to the temperature in your recipe. You can even use an oven thermometer to make sure your temp is accurate.
Read the recipe a few times to familiarize yourself with the upcoming steps. Even if it’s a beloved recipe, it’s been a year, so you might be a little rusty! And review the recipe in advance; then you’ll remember that your butter should be room temperature, for example, and you’ll allow for that extra time to set it out.
Take the time to prepare. Every recipe video starts with an array of dishes ready to be dumped in the mixing bowl, so we never see how those ingredients get measured. Don’t skip on preparing the “mise en place,” French for “everything in place.”
Avoid making substitutions. There are plenty of ideas of ingredients that can swap in and out, such as applesauce for butter. If that’s what you want to do, find a recipe that calls for that ingredient originally. The baker who wrote that recipe has already given that substitution a try and found the proper amount for the expected result. Any recipe is just one Google search away!
Be exact. If cooking is an art, then baking is a science. Again, your recipe has those measurements for a reason, so respect them and you’ll get the result you are hoping for. Just like an oven thermometer helps with accurate temperature, a digital kitchen scale helps with accurate amounts. You’ll even see us using them in the shoppe in our behind the scenes videos on social media.
Use the right measuring tools if you don’t have a scale. That means measuring cups for dry ingredients, scooping each ingredient into the cup with a spoon and then using a knife to level off the top. For liquid ingredients, use clear cups specifically intended for liquids. Then, just like in high school chemistry class, set the container on the counter and squat down to look straight at the measurement line; don’t just hold it up to your eye level.
Dig out your ice cream scoop! Using an ice cream scoop to portion the dough out of your mixing bowl helps give your cookies a consistent size and shape. We have them in several sizes in the shoppe.
Save some mess by using parchment paper between your dough and the cookie sheet. The cookies will come right off and you won’t be fighting crust when you wash your dishes.
Wait! Before you pop those perfect dough balls in the oven, make them chill out. Chilling your dough reduces spread and gives a thick, soft, and chewy cookie. Speaking of the cold, you can even package some of your dough balls for the freezer to bake later; after all the guests have left, you can make just one or two cookies for the night, warm and fresh.
When it comes to baking cookies, the joy is in the journey as well as the destination. Taking your time and using the right tools will better your chances of a delicious result to your baking: the perfect holiday cookie to share over a smile and a glass of milk. Let us know how these tips worked for you, and feel free to share your go-to tricks as well!
Fresh from our oven to yours – happy baking!