Tips for Baking the Perfect Cookie

Who doesn’t love a delicious cookie? Baking cookies can be a disappointment when they end up burnt, hard, or crumbly. Baking takes a little practice, but you also need the right tools and knowledge.

Know how to read the recipe – Reading a recipe isn’t too difficult, but it is always helpful to understand certain terms. You may come across words such as “fold” or “beat”. Make sure you know and follow the proper way to combine your ingredients. Follow the recipe suggestions for use of small, medium, or large sized mixing bowls.

Ingredient Substitution – Be very careful when attempting to change an ingredient. You can get away with switching chocolate chips with peanut butter chips. But when a recipe specifies butter, don’t replace it with margarine or a butter substitute. Unless you’re positive about what you are changing, don’t attempt replacing ingredients.

Use fresh ingredients – Old or stale ingredients can ruin a cookie. If your cookie calls for baking soda, baking powder or cream of tartar, be sure these ingredients are not old. Stale ingredients can cause a cookie not to rise or cook properly. If you are in doubt, pick up a fresh package.
Recommended reading: Best Cookie Scoops

Use the right measuring tools – When measuring wet and dry ingredients, be sure to use the proper measuring cups. Use a liquid measuring cup for liquids. These are the clear measuring cups with a pour spout. For dry ingredients, use a measuring cup that will allow you to pack your ingredients as well as to measure the ingredient right up to the top. You can then smooth off the excess with a knife.

When the recipe calls for something in tablespoons or teaspoons, never use a tablespoon, as these are typically not an accurate measurement. Especially when measuring salt or spices, incorrect measurements can lead to a bad tasting cookie. Always use measuring spoons.

Don’t pour over the mixing bowl – Pouring an ingredient into a measuring spoon over the mixing bowl can be risky. You may accidentally pour too much and run the risk of spilling too much into the bowl. Again, accidentally pouring too much salt or spice can ruin a cookie.

Baking mats – Your baking sheet can be the cause of a burnt cookie. Silicone baking sheets are terrific for ensuring even cooking and cookies that will lift right off the cookie sheet. To use, simply place the silicone baking mats on any cookie sheet.

Make your cookies the same size – If the cookie dough placed onto the cookie sheet is all approximately the same size, the cookies will cook at the same rate. Don’t use two tablespoons to push the dough onto the baking sheets. The best thing to do this is to use a cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the cookie sheet.

Follow these guidelines and hopefully, your next batch of cookies will be a success!