Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bake Cookies Like a Pro

Few things are more delicious than a plate of warm cookies with a glass of milk. The holiday season is a prime time of year to make fresh-baked cookies to share and enjoy. Ensuring these cookies come out the best they can takes a little work and know-how.

Here are 10 tips for cookie-baking success.

1. Measure all ingredients accurately. Successful baking is often about careful measuring of ingredients to ensure the right ratio.

2. Use large-sized eggs and unsalted products, such as butter, unless directed otherwise.

3. Line baking sheets with parchment paper so cookies don't stick and cleanup of pans will be simple.

4. Use high-quality ingredients as much as possible.

5. Chill cookie dough if using cookie cutters. It will ensure better detail on the cuts.

6. Leave at least 2 inches of space between cookies to allow for spreading while baking.

7. Baking cookies longer produces crispier cookies. Taking them out sooner means chewier cookies.

8. Brownies and bar cookies should be beaten just enough to blend the ingredients well. Too much mixing will cause the cookies to rise quickly and then fall and crack when cooling.

9. Butter should be softened but slightly firm when added to make cookie batters. Too hard or too runny can affect cookie texture.

10. Cookies are best baked in the lower third of the oven.

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