Make the Best Cookies

Hidden secrets for the best cookie recipe ever.

| February 6, 2012

  • Cookies
    Make perfect Valentine’s Day cookies for your loved ones. Stout

  • Cookies

For many, baking is a chemistry experiment gone horribly wrong, or just maybe, wonderfully correct. The variables of oven heat, local water properties, and each manufacturer’s subtle differences in oil and flour quality can turn the best recipe into a kitchen nightmare. The true secret is to never give up and to keep adjusting your recipe to your own taste.

One of the most common problems with cookie recipes is what to do with the butter. Butter has amazing properties and flavors that cannot be duplicated by other oils. It does, however, have one of the lowest melting temperatures of all of the baking oils and can cause your cookies to flatten into a gigantic mess. The solution is to integrate equal parts of shortening into your recipe. For every ounce of butter taken away, add an ounce of shortening. Also, ball and refrigerate your cookie dough before putting it onto a pan and into the oven. Lastly, double pan your cookies so the heat is more evenly distributed and not too hot on the bottom side. This will eliminate cookies that get burned on the bottom.

I have yet to see a cookie recipe made with all-purpose flour that could not be improved by substituting some cake flour into the recipe. Start with a one-third substitution and see if this makes your cookie a little lighter and easier to chew. For some super added flavor, use a premium cake mix. I use a spice cake mix in one of my recipes for the most amazing Christmas cookies you will ever taste. Chocolate and vanilla cake mixes do an amazing job as well. If you have a favorite cake mix, it would be a perfect candidate to try in a cookie recipe.

Thirty years ago it would have been very hard to find a chewy cookie. Famous Amos made a fortune selling a nice tasty chocolate chip cookie that was neither soft nor chewy. Today, chewy cookies are all the rage. If your recipe doesn’t have any brown sugar in it, try substituting a portion of brown sugar for granulated sugar. The key is to keep experimenting until you have the exact consistency you desire.

These three baking tips will help you make the perfect cookie. Everyone’s taste is different, so don’t be disappointed if someone does not care for your baking masterpiece. Remember, never give up, and keep experimenting until you have the perfect cookie.

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