The ever-full cookie jar makes the kitchen the most popular room in the house. Here is a basic guide to baking perfect cookies. If you follow these little hints and tips, you’ll achieve professional, party-proud results!
How to Make Perfect Drop Cookies
Mix dough as directed. If the dough is soft, chill for at least an hour. Spoon up the dough as the recipe directs. Push dough onto baking sheet with another spoon, peaking up the dough. Bake for the minimum time in a preheated oven. Test the cookies by touching the center lightly with a finger. If almost no imprint remains and cookies are golden brown, they are done.
Perfect drop cookies have:
- fairly uniform mound shape
- delicately browned exterior
- good flavor
How to Make Perfect Bar Cookies
Mix bar cookie dough as the recipe directs. With a spatula, spread the dough evenly in a greased square or oblong pan. Bake for the minimum time in a preheated oven. To test for doneness; bake fudgy-type bars until the top has a dull crust; bake cake-like bars until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean; bake meringue-topped bars until delicately browned.
Perfect bar cookies have:
- uniform well-cut shape
- rich, moist eating quality
- thin delicate crust
- appealing flavor
How to Make Perfect Refrigerator Cookies
Mix dough as directed. With clean hands, shape dough into a long, smooth roll of the diameter the recipe suggests. If desired, add a festive touch by rolling in finely chopped nuts, colored sugar or chocolate chips. Wrap the roll in waxed paper, twisting the ends. Chill in the refrigerator until the dough is firm enough to slice easily. The dough can be refrigerated up to a week. When ready to bake, slice desired thickness using a thin, sharp knife.
Perfect refrigerator cookies have:
- uniform, thin slices
- lightly browned surface
- crisp, crunch texture
- rich flavor
How to Make Perfect Rolled Cookies
Mix dough as directed. Using part of the dough and keeping the rest chilled, lightly roll dough to desired thickness; the thinner your roll, the crisper the cookies. Rub flour onto the rolling pin and onto rolling surface to prevent sticking. To cut: dip cookie cutter in flour, shake or tap off excess, cut with steady pressure. Cut as many cookies from each rolling as possible. Cut diamond or square shapes with a knife. Carefully lift cut-out cookies to a baking sheet with a spatula. Bake.
Perfect rolled cookies have:
- uniform shape of the cutter
- lightly browned surface
- crisp or soft texture, depending on thickness
- rich, delicate flavor
How to Make Perfect Pressed Cookies
Mix dough as directed – dough for pressed cookies are high in shortening. The dough must be pliable. If it is warm, chill a short time. If too cold, the dough crumbles. Using ¼ at a time, place dough in the cookie press. Force dough through the cookie press, following manufactures’ directions. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Warning: if the sheet is too warm, fat in the dough will melt and the cookies will pull away from the sheet when the press is lifted. Bake until set.
Perfect pressed cookies have:
- well-defined pattern and shape
- tender, yet crisp eating quality
- rich, buttery flavor
How to Make Perfect Molded Cookies
Mix dough as directed. Richer, softer dough needs chilling before shaping. Roll into balls between palms of hands. Bake as balls or flatten with the bottom of a glass or by crisscrossing with a fork. For attractive crescents, fruits, candy canes, etc., take your time and mold cookies carefully. As you become more skillful, molding will go more quickly.
Perfect molded cookies have:
- uniform shape
- delicate brown exterior
- crisp, tender eating quality
- pleasing flavor
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