Mastering the Art of Cookie-Making
Cookie are a guilty pleasure that we have adored as kids and even now! What has changed is the kind of cookies we prefer. Cream filled cookies were part of our childhood but now, a soft, warm, gooey and fudge double chocolate chip is our one true love. But as much as we love them, baking the perfect cookie is a pain! Having said this, nothing can beat the pride of baking your first tray of perfectly un-perfect cookies and here is how you can master the art of cookie making –
1. Follow the recipe: No matter what people tell you, when it comes to baking measuring cups, spoons and even your digital weighing scale has to be your best friend. By-the-eye works if you have years of experience backing you, but if you’re an amateur following the recipe is important.
2. Preheating: Cookies rarely take a long time bake. But the first thing to do before measuring your ingredients is to get the oven started. Preheating – firstly reduces cook time and secondly ensure that your cookies come out in the correct texture.
3. Whisking: Cookies are gentle beings, overworking them will only spoil the texture. It is recommended to either use a wooden spatula of stand mixer that runs only for a few minutes.
4. Butter: In most cookie recipes that we see, butter is one of the main ingredient. But butter can be very temperamental. Ensure to bring your butter to room temperature before you start working. Melted butter is a big no-no! If you’re using butter, your cookies will be thinner and crispier when compared to margarine or shortening. Creaming your butter should be the first thing you before you start making your cookie batch!
5. Flour: Flour or Maida plays an important role in how your cookies turn out. More flour means crumbly cookies and less flour means chewy and cakey cookies.
6. Sugar: The invention of chocolate chip cookies has been a revelation. But sometimes, cookies turn out pale white with brown specks. To get the perfect golden brown chocolate chip cookies, substitute white castor sugar to brown sugar. It will not only give the cookie colour but also a nice caramel flavour.
7. Cooling: Yes! we know they smell and look heavenly but that doesn’t mean they are ready to eat. When cookies come out of the oven, they are still very unstable. Picking them off the baking sheet immediately is not advisable. Ensure that you let your cookies rest a while on cooling rack or in the tray for a while.
8. Get your hands dirty: Any kind of baking should be a relaxing time. So don’t hesitate to get in there with your hands. Working your cookie mixture with your hands will let know about the texture of the cookie.
9. Mistakes happen: No one can perfect baking without a few mistakes. If your cookies turn browner than expected don’t worry. Using a grater, grate off all the black bits. This is accepted as no one is looking.
10. Topping: Never shy away from decorating your cookies. You use either butter cream or royal icing or even sugar to top your cookies. Just ensure that you don’t lather it on. Keep the topping to a bare minimum.