The 8 most important baking tips for perfect holiday cookies

By SSPDaily editionMar 8, 2024 10:05 AMFood Life hack
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The 8 most important baking tips
The 8 most important baking tips. Source: thekosherbaker.com

Holiday baking is a fun activity if you are satisfied with the result. Otherwise, when the cookies crumble in your hands, or vice versa, are too hard, and you don't understand why this happened, your mood can drop to a stressful state.

Fortunately, the ChateLaine website has made sure that your holidays are not ruined by culinary failures. Here are 8 useful tips to help you avoid disappointment and bake the most delicious cookies. This was reported by SSPDaily.

Soften the butter

The temperature of the butter is crucial for the dough.

If the butter is too cold or warm, it does not whip well and does not get the right amount of air. As a result, the cookies are very dense. How to avoid this?

Prepare the butter in advance and bring it to room temperature before you start baking (the butter should be soft and your finger should be able to easily press into it).

Here are 3 ways to prepare butter for baking:

  • Leave the butter out for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  • Cut the chilled butter into small pieces to increase the surface area and leave at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces of equal size and arrange them evenly on a plate. Microwave the pieces at low power for 15-second intervals, turning them over after each interval. (It should only take 2-3 intervals).

Aerate the dough

The butter and sugar create small air pockets that aerate the dough and help it rise in the oven. This is a key step for light cookies.

Be sure to use a hand beater or mixer. If you use a hand mixer, use the paddle attachment. Beat until the butter and sugar are pale yellow and fluffy. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes with the mixer on medium.

Scrape the sides of the bowl periodically to make sure all the butter is well beaten.

Measure the flour accurately

Baking requires precision - even a small change in the recipe can affect the final result.

Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and then use a straight edge (such as the handle of a spoon) to level the top. If you scoop the flour directly from the bag, you may add more than you need and end up with cookies that are too dry.

Alternatively, weigh the flour according to the amount specified in the recipe on a scale.

Check the oven temperature

All ovens are slightly different from each other, and often do not give the right temperature. A special thermometer will solve the problem. After checking the temperature with it, adjust it or change the baking time specified in the recipe.

Remember: Cookies are small and delicate, and a few degrees or minutes of baking can make the difference between an overbaked/underbaked product and one that is just right.

Always use parchment paper

Not only does it make cleaning easier (no need to wash the baking sheet!), but it also allows you to avoid greasing the sheet and the cookies do not stick.

The parchment acts as an insulator between the baking sheet and the cookies and prevents excessive browning. It also prevents the cookies from spreading too much and merging into a single cake.

Bake one sheet at a time

Many recipes don't mention it, but the default is to bake cookies one sheet at a time. This is very important because it allows the heat to circulate properly, resulting in even browning.

Unless otherwise specified, place the rack in the center of the oven. The cookies continue to cook on the hot sheet after they are removed from the oven, so keep this in mind and remove them when they are just starting to turn golden around the edges.

Use a cooling rack

We recommend letting the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes, until they are firm enough to transfer with a spatula to a cooling rack. Moving the cookies prevents them from overcooking from the residual heat of the cookie sheet, and the rack allows for faster cooling as air circulates from all sides.

In addition, the cookies are more crispy, as the condensation from the steam that appears during cooling is absorbed into the bottom of the cookie when it remains on the baking sheet. This results in softer cookies (which is why you should remove cakes, loaves, and muffins from the baking sheet to cool).

Store cookies separately

Cookies can be sensitive to air and humidity, so keep them in separate airtight containers to preserve their texture. And to prevent breakage, separate cookie layers with parchment. This is especially important during transportation.

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