Cookie Baking Tips
Do your cookies burn, or get too crisp or perhaps not quite crisp enough? Try these tips to make the perfect cookie every time!
Using the Right Cookie Sheet
A shiny, aluminum cookie sheet at least two inches narrower and shorter than the oven is best for evenly browned cookies. The sheet may be open on one, two, or three sides. Do not grease the cookie sheet unless the recipe states to do so. If a dark colored cookie sheet is used, watch carefully for browning. Always place cookie dough on cool cookie sheets.
Making Sugar Cookies Crisp
Using butter in your holiday cookie recipes makes cookies crisp and delicious. Use a shiny aluminum cookie sheet for baking. For cut-out sugar cookies, roll dough to 1/8 inch to 1/4-inch thickness. Baking time may vary depending on the thickness of the cookie. Bake cookies until lightly browned.
Making Your Cookies Soft and Chewy
- Do not over mix the dough or use too much flour.
- Bake cookies the minimum amount of time, even though the center may look slightly underbaked.
- Let cookies stand on baking sheet for one to three minutes to continue to bake, then remove to cooling rack.
- Store soft cookies in an airtight container.
- Do not store soft chewy cookies with crisp type cookies.
- Use shiny aluminum cookie sheets,not dark colored ones.
Keep Dough from Sticking to your Rolling Pin
Use a pastry cloth and stockinet-covered rolling pin to make rolling the dough easier and to help prevent dough from sticking. Rub flour evenly onto rolling pin cover and pastry cloth for easy handling. Or, if dough appears to be too soft, refrigerate for about one hour.
Why Cookies Spread
Cookies may spread for a variety of reasons. So before baking an entire batch, bake a test cookie to give a good indication of dough condition. If it spreads more than desired, the dough may be too soft. Try refrigerating dough until well chilled (one to two hours). If the dough is still too soft, stir in 1 to 2-tablespoons of flour. Also, do not over-soften the butter before making the dough. Be sure to cool and clean cookie sheets between batches.
Another factor to take into consideration is the fat source used. If a lowfat or nonfat spread with 60 percent or less fat is used, cookies may spread.
For consistent and flavorful results, real butter is the answer for the appearance and taste bakers come to expect.
Freezing or Refrigerating Cookie Dough
Most cookie dough freezes well up to three months. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator until it's just soft enough to use.
To have future batches of cookies ready in minutes, measure out dough for each cookie and drop dough onto cookie sheets; freeze until firm. When frozen, remove dough from cookie sheets, place in heavy-duty, resealable plastic food bags and freeze until you want to bake a batch of cookies. Then thaw the cookie dough and follow recipe directions for baking.
Over-baked and Cracked Cookies
Dry, Crumbly Cookie Dough
If your cookie dough is dry and crumbly, try adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk or cream. You may need to knead this liquid into dough rather than beating it in with a mixer
Shipping Cookies and Candy
Your home-baked cookies and candy
A sturdy cardboard box or empty coffee can
Aluminum foil or plastic food wrap
Paper towels or plastic bubble wrap
Tape: freezer, plastic or masking
Brown mailing paper
Bar, drop or fruit cookies can best withstand mailing; tender, fragile cookies are apt to crumble when mailed. Line a heavy cardboard box, cookie tin or empty coffee can with aluminum foil or plastic food wrap.
Wrap four to six cookies of the same size together in aluminum foil, plastic food wrap or plastic food bags and seal securely with tape; repeat until the container is full.
Place the heaviest cookies at the bottom of the container and layer the wrapped cookies with bubble wrap or crumpled paper towels. Use either of these to line the container. Seal the container with tape.
Put the container (tin, coffee can, etc.) into a sturdy cardboard box. Use bubble wrap or newspaper to protect the container.
Print the mailing address and return address on the package in waterproof ink; mark the package "PERISHABLE FOOD" to encourage quick and careful handling. Choose overnight shipping.
Do not package candies that absorb moisture (caramels, mints, hard candies, toffee) in the same container as those that lose moisture (fudge, fondant, meringues).
Wrap different candy varieties in plastic food wrap and divide layers with waxed paper. Use crumpled or shredded paper towels or plastic bubble wrap inside the container for padding. Seal the container with tape.