From the popular chocolate chip cookie to the rougher texture of oatmeal based chippers, there’s a cookie type out there for nearly every taste and preference. The main aspects of any cookie can be tweaked depending on what qualities the end product should have. Each step in a recipe can either be followed to a “T” or changed slightly to improve the recipe. Listed below are the basic steps with some suggestions of how simple tweaks can change the end product.
1. Choose a recipe
There are a lot of recipes out there, but everyone who sets out to bake cookies already has a set idea of what they want. Narrow down the type of cookie, then go in search for a recipe that not only matches that cookie type, but includes the desired characteristics of the end product. Some common characteristics are density, texture, flavor additives, sweetness, and various dietary or health concerns such as gluten free. If the base recipe is designed for or similar to the desired characteristics, fewer changes need to be made, making the whole process much easier.
2. Gather ingredients and tools
For simplicity and ease for later steps in the process, gather all the ingredients and set them in a clean area. Ingredients and tools vary depending on the recipe. Must have tools include a mixing utensil (whether a simple fork, wooden spoon, electric mixer, or spatula depends on individual preference), at least two bowls large enough to hold the ingredients while mixing, and a baking sheet. A cooling rack is not necessary, but can be very helpful. Some cookie recipes call for rolling and cutting, in which case a rolling pin is a good idea.
Ingredients are determined by the recipe. Always ensure there is enough of each ingredient before starting. Plan ahead if any changes to the recipe ingredients are made and gather accordingly.
3. Set the oven temperature
Sett the oven temperature before mixing the ingredients. Here, tweaking the temperature up or down affects baking time, thickness, and crispiness. Adjusting the temperature up leads to lower cook times (watch them carefully the first batch to determine the appropriate time without burning) and a thicker, chewier cookie. Adjusting down leads to longer cook times and a thinner, crispier cookie. Keep in mind the crisp cookies, when not over-cooked, will still be soft when they first come out. Crispiness sets in after they cool. A crisp cookie straight out of the oven is a burnt cookie.
Place the baking sheet (if not using foil) in the oven while it warms. Following batches after the first will be on a heated sheet, so having a preheated sheet will give consistent results.
4. Mix the ingredients
Always mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Dry ingredients first (not counting preferred flavors like chips, fruit, nuts, etc.), then wet in a separate bowl. Unless the recipe specifically states otherwise, cream the butter and sugar together.
Butter can be substituted with other fats such as margarine which affects texture and flavor. Butter gives more flavor and provides a thinner, crispier cookie. Butter temperature when beginning also affects texture as melted butter provides a flatter and greasier cookie that is more likely to be either undercooked in the middle or over-cooked. Sugars can also be substituted for dietary or health needs. Do research on the effects to your cookie recipe before substituting for better results.
After creaming, add in other wet ingredients one at a time (including eggs one at a time), mixing well in between. The longer you mix these items before adding dry ingredients, the fluffier your cookies will be. It is also possible to beat the eggs before adding them to the mixture to maximize fluffiness.
Add dry ingredient mixture a little at a time. Once the dough is a consistent texture throughout, fold in the flavor extras, folding and pressing the dough around and through them until they’re evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
5. Prepare the cookies
Follow recipe instructions concerning whether to spoon-drop or roll and cut cookie dough. Once prepared, remove the heated sheet from the oven and place on a heat-resistant surface. Carefully place the cookie mixture as prescribed by the recipe, using directed spacing. Most cookie recipes will require multiple batches. Cover the cookie dough while it waits. Avoid using paper or cloth if it’s going to actually touch the dough.
Place the sheet in the preheated oven. The center rack is ideal, though if multiple sheets are being used, setting the racks in third positions is good, as well. Keep a close eye on the first batch of cookies to avoid burning. The cookies are done when they are still slightly soft in the middle and a light golden color. The center may also be a lighter color than the edges. If previous steps have been done well, baking according to the edge color will work.
7. Cool and enjoy!
Carefully remove the sheet from the oven and let the cookies set for a minute or two before attempting to remove them to a cooling rack or other location. Allow the cookies to cool for approximately five more minutes, then enjoy. Using the time noted from the first batch, following batches should use similar time to bake. You can put unique text sms alerts on baked goods by using some very easy methods. Obviously, there is the usual of just using icing. However, these days they have items that are almost like those stick on tattoos we used to get as kids. You simply take the paper with the design or group text message add some water to the back of it, then place it on the cookie. Like magic your message or decoration appears on the baked good. Neat-o.