I’ve been baking cookies and other goodies for a number of years now, since I was young. Like many people, I do most of my baking at Christmas time. Humbly, I must say I always get rave reviews for my cookies, whether they’re from an age-old, tried-and-true recipe, or from a newer recipe I’m trying out. My church holds an annual holiday bake sale, and my cookies always sell well. There are no real “secrets” to my success. But I will share five baking cookies tips that will guarantee your cookies are the best ever.
1. Decide What Cookies You’re Going to Bake and Gather Ingredients
Organization and planning play a big part in the success of any project, including baking cookies. So, the first thing to do is decide what types of cookies you’re going to bake. Retrieve the recipes and read them completely. Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. Then, check the list against the ingredients you have on hand. Make sure the baking ingredients in your cupboard and refrigerator are fresh, and their expiration dates are not past.
2. Use the Best Ingredients and Don’t Substitute
Another tip that will guarantee your cookies are the best ever, is to use the best ingredients. That means, use large-size, Grade A eggs, real or “pure” extracts and not imitations, and quality ingredients.
As for substitutes- you can often use store-brand chocolate morsels, for example, if you’ve used them before and know they are good. But be careful in trying to save money by buying lower-priced, inferior ingredients to make your cookies with. And, be careful! If a recipe calls for “all-purpose” flour, make sure you don’t accidentally use “self-rising” flour.” That kind of substitute simply won’t work.
3. Put the Cat and Dog Out- And Everyone Else, As Well!
I’ve baked cookies in my kitchen when my household was in total confusion, and I’ve baked cookies when everything was quiet, with just the radio playing quietly in the background. I’m here to tell you, if you want to bake delicious cookies, all distractions must go! Multi-tasking is a highly-praised talent to have nowadays, but when it comes to following a recipe, one goof can louse up the entire batch of dough. That’s why you need to be able to concentrate on what you’re doing.
4. Make Sure Your Kitchen Is Clean and Sanitary
Another good reason for putting the pets out before you’re going to bake cookies is to get rid of pet hair and dander. Even if you follow the other four baking tips that will guarantee your cookies are the best ever, finding a pet hair in a baked good can turn the stomach of the heartiest cookie lover.
Sweep the floor, wash your counters, make sure your oven is clean and ready to go, and check to see all of your baking pans, utensils, and other equipment is clean and ready for baking. And, of course, practice personal hygiene by washing your hands before you begin.
5. Measure All the Ingredients Accurately and Follow the Recipes
My friend Jan has a recipe she got from her late mother called “Not Quite Cookies.” The ingredients call for, “not quite X-amount of flour”, “not quite a teaspoon of this or that”, and so on. Jan says her mother baked those cookies for years, and they always came out tasting delicious. Most other recipes, however, call for specific amounts of ingredients. To guarantee your cookies are the best ever, you need to measure the ingredients accurately and follow the recipes exactly.
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