Saturday, December 17, 2011

Secrets and Hints to Baking Great Cookies.

I have baked more cookies than I care to remember, and I have learned a lot of things the hard way. Here are some tips to make your baking experience easier.

Secrets and Hints to Baking Great Cookies.

Below are some purchases you will want to make as you can afford them, they are not a must but will make your baking experience much more pleasant:

·Buy the best quality pans you can afford. Cookie sheets are flat and should not have more than two sides. I personally do not like ”airbake” pans for cookies. Cookies bake best on a single layer pan.

·Invest in a good quality mixer if you are going to be making large or numerous batches. If you can’t afford a stand mixer, try a Kitchen Aid hand held mixer. Mine has been an excellent mixer, I have had it for about 10 years and use it often. I do drag out the stand mixer however if I am going to be batch after batch.

·A thin spatula, mine is metal, but I use regular not non-stick pans.

·Ok, one other must is good quality scoops. They make measuring and shaping a breeze, and all your cookies are the same size they cook evenly and look great. I will admit I make way more cookies than most, but I have to have my scoops.

Here are some things to make the whole experience easier:

·Purchase some really cheap white paper plates. Use them when measuring dry ingredients. Level the excess onto the plate, fold the plate and deposit the excess right back into the container.

·You can also use cheap paper plates as spoon and measuring cup rests and throw away when done.

·If you want chewy cookies take them out of the oven right before you think they are done.

·I like to add a few extra drops of vanilla.

·Make sure your dough and the baking sheets are cool. This keeps the dough from spreading.

·Buy two different sets of measuring cups and spoons in two different colors. Use one color for dry ingredients the other for wet.

·Always gather all your ingredients before you start.

·Completely read the recipe and all tips before starting. This way you can be sure you have the ingredients and utensils you will need.

·Be careful to not put too much dough down the drain. The last thing you want is a clogged drain.

·Be creative when giving your treats away. Go to the dollar store and purchase cute containers. But cellophane wrap, the kind you wrap baskets with to wrap your cookies in and tie with a bow.

·If you only have a couple of cookie sheet line them with parchment paper. You can just remove the cookies, cool the sheets, and re-use without washing.

·If you run out of containers to store the cookies in, buy paper plates that will fit inside a gallon size zip top bag, layer cookies between layers of wax paper, slide in bags and zip up.

·Place wax paper under your cooling racks. Simply roll up crumbs in wax paper and throw away.

·Another great use for wax paper is to wipe counter with a clean damp rag and immediately put down the wax paper. The moisture will hold it in place and when you are finished just roll up the paper and toss. DO NOT let the paper sit over night as it can stick and have to scraped up. Use it and remove it.

·Organize your baking supplies in plastic bins or containers. I keep chips and nuts in one, brown sugar, baking soda, and powdered sugar in another, and vanilla and flavorings in a third.

·When making bar cookies, brownies, and fudge. Turn the baking pan upside down and shape aluminum foil to the bottom of the pan leaving a few inches hang over each end. Turn the pan over and pop the foil into the pan. Follow the instructions as to greasing or not. When your recipe is done you can lift your goodies out, place on a cutting board, and cut into even pieces without scaring your pan.

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