Cookie baking seems like it should be simple. You just have to take the cookie dough out of the freezer and plop it on a baking sheet, right?
Baking cookies from scratch is not quite so simple. Here are some cookie baking tips from the cookie research that I did this morning before my sugar cookie baking bonanza.
Cookie Baking Tips
1. When making rolled cookies be careful not to overflour or overwork the dough. Roll the dough out between wax or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
2. Cool cookie sheets completely between batches to prevent the pan from warming the dough to much. A warm cookie sheet can cause the cookies to flatten and spread. Use several cookie sheets so that you can rotate through them as you bake batches of cookies.
3. Do not bake partial sheets of cookies. If you only have a little bit of cookie dough left for the last batch, bake them on an inverted metal pie pan or a smaller cookie sheet. Baking partial sheets or not using the correct spacing of the cookie dough can affect spreading, browning, crisping, and baking time.
4. Don’t substitute white sugar for brown sugar in cookie recipes that call for baking soda. Baking soda will not activate unless there is an acidic ingredient in the dough, and for many cookies the acidic ingredient is baking soda.
5. Don’t substitute tub margarine or “spread” for the butter in a recipe. The products contain much more water than butter which could greatly affect the appearance of the cookies. If you’re looking for a healthier or less expensive butter substitute, stick with margarine sticks.
If you have more questions about cookie baking or anything else related to the holidays, please join us for an online chat Saturday, December 18th from 8 – 10 PM CST. Go here for more details.