Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cookie Making Tips

When my mom baked cookies or cakes from sratch she always baked a "test cookie" or "small test cake" in a pie tin to make sure the batter didn't spread too much. My sister and I thought this was a great idea! We loved sampling this special cookie or cake!

My mom was always prepared for guests who dropped in unexpectedly. Growing up in a rural area this happened often. She always had rolled cookie dough in the freezer. She would take out a roll and slice off cookies and bake. No one could pass up a fresh baked cookie!

Here are some cookie making tips. If you know of other special tips for all the cookie makers out there, please add them in the comments below.

  • Bake a "test cookie"; if it spreads more than desired, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour to the dough. If it's too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk. Liquid proportions are affected by egg size and dryness of flour. Flour stored in humid conditions will absorb less liquid.

  • When shaping dough for molded, drop, or regrigerator cookies, make each the same size and thickness to assure uniform baking.

  • Cookie dough can be frozen. Place in an airtight container or wrap in foil or plastic wrap. Thaw until just soft enough to spoon onto cookie sheet. Shape dough for refrigerator cookies in rolls; wrap and freeze. Thaw rolls just enough to slice easily.

  • Use a good cookie sheet. Do not grease unless called for in recipe. Always place dough on a cool cookie sheet. Dough spreads on a hot one.

  • Chill cookie dough made with butter before rolling, cutting with cookie cutter, and baking so dough will not stick to rolling pin and board. Chilling also keeps dough from spreading too much.

  • For evenly browned cookies, place one cookie sheet at a time on the center oven rack. Check at the end of the minimum time - a minute can make a difference. Don't overbake.

  • Unless otherwise directed, immediately remove cookies with wide spatula from sheet onto wire racks to cool. Cookies will stick if they are allowed to cool on cookie sheet. Return to oven briefly, if they cool and stick to the baking sheet.

  • If your cookie recipe makes more cookies than your family can eat before they go stale, freeze part of the baked cookies in freezer bags. Remove from freezer, take cookies out of bag and allow to thaw. Place in microwave for 30 seconds to freshen. Cookies taste just like fresh baked.

  • Store crip, thin cookies in a container or tin with a loose-fitting cover. If they soften, they can be crisped by placing in a 300 degree F oven for 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Store soft cookies in a tightly covered container or tin. A piece of bread or apple will help keep cookies soft.

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