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Additional Tips in Baking Cookies

Several other key factors can affect how your cookie bakes.

(i) Mixing

The mixing process develops the gluten in the dough and gives cookies a chewy consistency. Be careful not to overmix as this may make the cookie to be tough instead of chewy, especially in dough with less than 50% fat. Fat hinders gluten development, therefore, a high-fat dough does not have a similar toughening problem.

(ii) Shaping

Round dough balls bake for a more extended period, and this makes the cookies thicker and softer. Flattening the balls result in crispier, thinner cookies.

(iii) Spacing

Cookies made at a low temperature and those made using high-fat dough spread more when baking and require around two inches between them. Cookies made for a shorter period or those made using high-flour only require one inch between them.

(iv) Time and temperature

Time and temperature work together very well in baking. Shorter baking time and a high temperature create thicker softer cookies; A longer baking time and low temperature create crispier, thicker cookies.

(v) Equipment

Ovens vary widely. It’s essential to check the temperature of your oven with a thermometer. Use heavy-gauge aluminum baking sheets to achieve even heating. Line the pans using the parchment to speed cleanup, prevent sticking, and minimize hotspots.

(vi) Oven position

To achieve the best outcome, make one sheet of cookies on the center rack. In case you want to bake more than a single sheet, set racks in the lower and upper third of the oven and then rotate the sheets back to front and top to bottom once when baking. This tip can also be used in conventional baking.

(vii) Cooling

Sometimes cookies may have trapped steam, which can make them a little soggy. That’s why it’s essential to cool your cookies before storing them.

This article is not meant to be exhaustive, but instead should be used as a guide to achieving better results when baking cookies. By following these simple tips, you will be able to avoid some of the common pitfalls that many people make. The result is that you will create something of excellent quality. Something that you love and can share with your friends and families. In your baking journey, if you would remember one thing, remember this–it’s all in the details.…

Cookies Main Ingredients

Fat

Butter and shortening make cookies tender. When fat is mixed with flour, it coats some of the flour thus protecting it from the liquids in some recipes. This ensures that gluten does not develop and makes the cookies less chewy and more tender.

Butter creates a great flavor, therefore substituting margarine or shortening for butter alters the taste and texture of the cookie. Since butter has a lower melting point than margarine and shortening, it spreads more when baking. This implies that a cookie baked using butter will be crispier and thinner than that made using margarine or shortening.

The type of butter you use also determines the flavor and texture of your cookie. For example, premium European-style butter has lower moisture and higher butter-fat than regular butter. As a result, cookies made using this type of butter are thinner, more butter-tasting, crumbly, and crispy. As for salt and unsalted butter, the amount of salt found in salted butter varies significantly. Therefore, it’s better to bake your cookies using unsalted butter since this gives you more control over the amount of salt.

Eggs

Eggs are a significant source of protein and moisture in the cooking dough. The protein in eggs makes the cookie chewier, and the liquid creates structure in the cookie by bonding with the protein and starch on the floor. Most cookie recipes use large eggs. If you prefer to use a different size, you should keep in mind that the difference between different sizes is around ΒΌ ounces. While this is a small amount, it could make a big difference if you are baking with more than six eggs. In most cases, it is safe to use egg sizes interchangeably.

Leavens

Baking soda is used in most baking products as a raising agent. However, in cookies, it is an essential ingredient that contributes to browning. It neutralizes acidic ingredients in the dough, such as butter, vanilla, honey, and brown sugar, which usually inhibit browning. In some instances, baking powder, which is a combination of an acidic ingredient and baking soda, is used as a substitute for baking soda to create a light, cake-like texture. When heartened and moistened, the acid and alkali in baking powder react and neutralize each other, releasing carbon dioxide. This aerates the dough and makes the end product puffier.

Salt

Salt is the ultimate flavor enhancer when it comes to baking cookies. Without it, sweetness dominates, and the secondary flavors fall flat. Salt also makes the protein in dough stronger, resulting in more chewy cookies. Table salt and kosher salt have an identical flavor, and the two can be used interchangeably. Table salt is fine, while Kosher salt is coarse. This implies that the same weight of table salt takes up less space and vice versa. If you would wish to replace table salt with kosher salt, use twice the volume so that the degree of saltiness is equivalent. Conversely, if you want to replace kosher salt with table salt, use half the volume.

Understanding the relationship between these ingredients can help improve your baking and give you an idea of how to fix a recipe in case something goes wrong.

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The Science of Baking Cookies

Many chefs can make a proper chicken breast, pasta, and many other dishes without a fuss. But when it comes to baking, it’s an entirely different story. That’s because more than being an art, baking is a science. Baking requires both keenness and precision. At its core, it is about mastering which mix of ingredients works and which one doesn’t. Ingredient amounts matter a lot because even the slightest addition or reduction of ingredients could mean the difference between the end product being a masterpiece or just average. The old saying “the devil is in the details” particularly rings true when it comes to the science of baking cookies. Every detail counts, whether it’s the proportion of sugar, salt, flour, fat, or eggs, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance.

In this article, we will explore the science of baking cookies. More specifically, we will explore how to mix different ingredients to create both structure and flavor in your cookies.

Flour

Flour can make dough crispy, crumbly, or chewy depending on it’s ratio to the rest of the ingredients in the dough. Like in shortbread, a high ratio of flour in the dry cooking dough to the little amount of liquid in butter creates a tender and crumbly texture. Cookies such as pinwheel or biscotti need to maintain shape while baking and should also have a high flour ratio. When baking fluid-batter cookies such as brownies, it is ideal to use a lower flour ratio to the amount of liquid to create a chewy or cake-like texture. The flour ratio you should use when making drop cookies falls somewhere in the middle of the two examples above. The exact ratio of flour you should use depends on whether you want your drop cookies to be crisp or soft, crumbly or chewy, or thin or thick.

Although bleached and unbleached flours are interchangeable cookie recipes, it is worth noting that the bleaching process changes protein structures. This results in less formation of gluten in batter and doughs made using bleached flour. Therefore, it is better to use unbleached flour when you want to create a more chewy texture, as in nut bars and drop cookies.

Using whole-grain flour like whole wheat is another baking alternative. It would be a good idea to substitute no more than 30% of the flour with a whole grain flour if you desire to create a nutty and hearty flavor. However, if you desire to make a slightly gritty, less chewy, and dense cookies, a higher ratio of whole-grain flour would be ideal.

Sugar

When it comes to baking cookies, granulated white sugar plays many roles. Not only does it add sweetness, but it also adds more brownness to the cookie and absorbs moisture in the dough, making it more crispy. Granulated white sugar also facilitates spreading as the sugar melts. The ratio of sugar used in most cookie dough recipes is very high, and only about 50% of the sugar used dissolves when mixing. More sugar dissolves in the baking phase causing the dough to soften and spread. If you would like an ideal outcome, use pure cane sugar since products with both cane and beet sugar are less consistent in quality.

On the other hand, Brown sugar makes cookies more chewy and moist. Dark brown sugar contains about 20% molasses, while light brown sugar contains about 10% molasses. Molasses add moisture, and since it is a bit acidic, it makes the proteins in the cooking dough to become firm more quickly, thus creating a more chewy texture.…