What To Know When Baking Cookies

What To Know When Baking Cookies

Cookies are often one of the first desserts we’re taught to make as children, and they’re always the first to disappear at a picnic, brunch or bake sale.

Cookies are very popular and easy to make. They are also a great treat to enjoy with family and friends.

Surprisingly, the cookie has a very long history and is loved by millions. The word cookie is Dutch in origin and is related to the word cake.

Cookies though are not of Dutch origin. The exact origins of cookies can be traced to Persia in the 7th century who were cultivators of sugar.

The cultivation of sugar led to the creation of pastries, cakes, and cookies of all sorts, which Persia quickly became known for.

At that time, Muslims had conquered parts of Europe, bringing cookies with them. This staple dessert spread all across Europe.

Cookies could even be found both with street vendors and royal cuisine in 14th century Europe as they were very common and popular.

Sizes & Shapes Of Cookies

Cookies are broadly classified according to how they are formed or made, including at least these categories:

Bar Cookies

The bar cookie is batter that is poured into a single pan and cut into cookie-sized pieces after baking.

Examples of bar cookies include fudgey and cakey brownies, lemon bars, blondies, oatmeal bars, fruit bars, nut bars, and date bars.

Bar cookie recipes tend to be moister, as there are extra eggs or shortening added that are lacking in traditional cookie recipes.

Pecan Praline Bar Cookies

Bar cookies can bear similarity to tarts and pastries, featuring layers for different textures.

Many of these start with a shortbread base, like the Pecan Praline Bar Cookies featured above (follow link in image to find recipe).

Sandwich Cookies

A sandwich cookie is made from two thin cookies of small to large is circular size with a filling between them.

Many types of fillings are used and can include, cream, ganache, buttercream, chocolate, cream cheese, jam, peanut butter, lemon curd, and even ice cream.

Drop Cookies

Drop cookies are made from a relatively soft dough that is dropped by spoonfuls (typically 1-2 ounces of cookie dough) onto the baking sheet. During baking, the mounds of dough spread and flatten.

Drop Cookies Made With Pecans & Chocolate Toffee Bits

Drop cookies include chocolate chip, peanut butter or oatmeal cookies among many others.

The Cookie Scoop

To make cookies is to mix, scoop, bake and serve. But are all your cookies evenly sized? If not, then you may need a cookie scoop.

A cookie scoop is a handheld kitchen tool that is spring-loaded. It scoops uniform sizes of dough that helps maintain size consistency and even baking of cookies.

How To Scoop The Perfect Cookie

All cookie dough recipes are not the same, as each recipe has its own ingredient ratio.

Some cookie dough recipes have a higher butter content and lower flour content, which makes the dough spread out more.

Where as a recipe with lower butter content and higher flour content, the dough doesn’t spread out as far.

So it’s a good idea to remember not to treat your cookie scoop sizes the same for every recipe.

First bake a practice round of cookies, just two scoops of dough dropped onto a cookie sheet and baked to see how much they spread and if you like the size of the finished cookies.

Cookie Scoops

Depending on the size cookie you want will determine what size scoop to use.

As an example. If you are making cookies for ice cream sandwiches, then you will need a large cookie scoop. A large scoop holds about 4 – 5 tablespoons of dough or about 2-3 ounces.

Top Right Cookies Used A Large Scoop To Make Ice Cream Sandwiches – Bottom Right Cookies Used A Small Scoop For Average Size Drop Cookies

If you want to make drop cookies than a small (1.5 tbsp.) or medium (2.8 tbsp.) scoop will work. These two sizes make the typical size or average size cookie.

Using a cookie scoop will give you a uniformed size cookie that you want every time.

Cookie Baking Tips

Here are a few tips to follow when baking cookies.

  1. Use only the freshest ingredients whenever possible.
  2. Unless the recipe specifies, large eggs are the standard eggs to use in a cookie recipe.
  3. It’s best not to use substitute fats. If the recipe calls for butter, then use butter.
  4. Make sure you measure your ingredients properly.
  5. Keep the dough chilled in between baking batches of cookies.
  6. Use parchment paper to prevent your cookie baking pan from becoming greasy between batches.

More cookie information.


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Baking Cookies Everyone Will Enjoy

Closeup of a tray of fresh baked cookies, Chocolate Chip, oatmeal raisin Chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies on baking sheet and parchment paper -Baking Cookies Everyone Will EnjoyMost everyone enjoys a good cookie. But if you were to take a poll, and ask people what is a good baked cookie for them? Some might say, a cookie that is thin and crispy, another may say, soft and chewy, and yet another, light and cakey.

Crisp and Thin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Image Credit: Thin & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies by: Handle The Heat

Do you have cookie lovers in your home who may prefer a cookie that is made the way they like it, that is crispy, or chewy, and possibly light and cake like? We have the solution to please all cookie lovers in your life.

To get a Thin & CrispySoft & ChewyLight & Cakey cookie, you need to make slight modifications to the ingredients in the cookie recipe.

Let’s use a basic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. The following ingredients do not include the butter and sugar, as these ingredients are what determines what your cookies out come will be.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, room temperature

12 ounces chocolate baking chips

soft and chewy whole grain peanut butter cookie

Image Credit: Soft & Chewy Whole Grain Peanut Butter Cookies – by: An Oregon Cottage

If you want a Thin & Crispy cookie, you add the following amounts of butter and sugar, with the addition of brown sugar.

2 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

If you want a Soft & Chewy cookie, you add this amount of butter, and sugar, with the addition of brown sugar.

2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

soft and chewy whole grain peanut butter cookie

Image Credit: Soft & Chewy Whole Grain Peanut Butter Cookies – by: An Oregon Cottage

If you want a Light & Cakey cookie, you add this amount of butter, and sugar, with the addition of brown sugar.

Take note, that in this adjustment you use unsalted butter.

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

Baking Cookies 101

How does sugar effect cookies? To answer, we will share a little Cookie 101.  

All sugars, either granulated, brown, powder or confectioners, have the ability to attract water.

By doing so, sugars attraction of moisture helps keep it away from structure builders of the cookie, like the starch and proteins that are present in the flour and eggs.

The adjustment in the amount of sugar you do or do not put will determine the structure or substance of your baked cookies.

Another suggestion that will help to please your cookie lovers is using room temperature ingredients, particularly the butter and eggs.

How many recipes have you seen that call for room-temperature butter and eggs? Quite a few.

Bon Appetit says that it’s a step you should not ignore, as many baked goods start by creaming together butter and sugar, which is made infinitely easier with gently warmed ingredients.

Is creaming the butter and sugar a big deal? Yes it is.

Again, Bon Appetit says, “Creaming together butter and sugar with a handheld or stand mixer, for example, should be done before the addition of wetter ingredients, like eggs. Why?

The fat in butter holds air, and when whipped, expands. In the creaming process, sharp sugar granules slice through the butter, creating air pockets that ultimately give the pastry lift. 

Skip that step (or do it half-heartedly) and your end result will be dense and heavy (BonAppetit).

Now you know how to make a cookie, that all cookie lovers in your life will go for. And you may just become, the Master Baker At Baking The Perfect Cookie.

Treat your Sweet Tooth to these fancy cookie recipes:

•  Coconut Pecan Sugar Cookies

• Sweet Milk Sandwich Cookies

Make the perfect cookies, and transform them into Chocolate English Toffee Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.

 


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