Do’s and Don’ts of Baking Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies might be the first thing you ever baked. These timeless sweet treats with their approachable instructions have become almost a staple for every event/treat/potluck, you name it. However, everyone has a different idea of what the perfect cookie should be; soft, chewy, thin, crispy, cakey… But what I have found that regardless of what your preference is,  a cookie recipe can go wrong in so many different ways. And achieving that beautiful, perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie, requires a few basic tips to know before even getting your ingredients out of the cupboards.

dsc_0169_e

So, based on my experience, here are some basic Do’s and Don’ts that will hopefully give you a smooth sail!

Don’ts:

  1. Underbeating /Overbeating the butter and sugar. The butter mixture should be pale yellow in color and fluffy, Stop once the butter is pale yellow and fluffy, otherwise the butter starts to break down and release all those air bubbles you’ve just created.
  2. Skipping the salt: a little kosher salt brings out all the sweet flavors in your cookies
  3. Overcrowding the baking sheet: dough will spread after it hits the oven. Give the cookies enough space to spread.
  4. not cooling baking sheets between batches: Allowing your baking sheets to cool between cookie batches allows for even-temperature baking. If you place dough on a warmed cookie sheet, your next batch will be browner than the previous one.
  5. don’t Use Chocolate Chips, chocolate chips are a little waxy because they have other ingredients like vanilla and soy in them,” says Roman. “I like to chop high-quality chocolate bars into chunks.” The flavor and texture of chocolate chunks are superior. Adding a few more chocolate chips to each mound of dough before baking is the secret!
  6. don’t transfer the cookies before they cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet: You should wait at least 2 minutes before transferring them, because they continue to bake from the heat of the sheet without being over-baked in the oven. They’ll also hold together better and be less likely to fall in the middle if you wait.

dsc_0164_e

Do’s:

  1. Chill your dough: Chilling cookie dough allows the cookies to create a smooth flavor, with crispy brown edges and a chewy interior. Although not all recipes require that, but I found that the best results are when the dough is chilled for at least 30 minutes, so that the fat (usually the butter) is brought back to its solid state and absorbs some of the sugar.
  2. Use Room temperature ingredients: These air pockets allow the baking powder or baking soda you later add to the mix to expand and create a light texture. If the butter is too cold, the sugar can’t create those pockets as easily, which can affect the fluffiness of the end result.
  3. scrape the sides of your bowl while beating: The bowl scrape is important for evenly mixing your ingredients, If you don’t, you’ll get pockets of flour and pockets of egg, sugar, and butter. That will cause some cookies to flatten out.
  4. use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure to shape evenly sized balls of dough. your cookies will bake at different speeds. Smaller balls of dough may overbake or burn, while larger ones might end up raw in the center.
  5. Measure Your Flour Properly; flour is one of the ingredients that you should NOT measure solely by volume (cups). Use a kitchen scale to measure out the exact amount to be used.
  6. Remove from the Oven When Slightly Under-Cooked. Check the cookies at the minimum baking time and remove them when they’re lightly golden on the top and bottom, and firm around the edges.

dsc_0177_e

But most importantly, pick your recipe and stick to it. And once you perfect that, kick your cookie game up a notch, experiment and go crazy with add-ins. Stuff it with ganache, add Dutch-process cocoa to the dough, sprinkle peppermint candy for a festive twist. Mix dark and white chocolate chips, who knows, maybe even some coconut flakes.

We all have our own idea of what makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie —  But my preference combines all those together. What I search for in CCC is a chewy, delectable, melt-in-your-mouth center, with crisp edges. None of that Tollhouse version that’s boring as hell. This is where these Brown Butter cookies come in. And for the time being, this is my go-to recipe.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields: 24-30 cookies (if scooped into 1 tablespoon balls)

Ingredients:

  • 280 grams (2 1/4 cup)  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 200 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100 grams of at least 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips, to put on top before baking
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes or until cool enough to touch.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the brown butter and sugars until well combined, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
  3. Chill your dough for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator, or up to 12-24 hours. Do not try to speed up this process. The dough needs to chill!
  4. Once dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. You might need to take out the dough and thaw it out a bit before measuring the dough if it is super hard. This should take about 20 minutes. Once ready to bake, measure 1 heaping tablespoon of the dough or use a medium cookie scoop. It doesn’t have to be perfectly rolled.  Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 4 cms apart and add a few chocolate chips on top of each scoop.
  5. Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Check them at the 9th minute, and judge how far they’re gone. They should look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven! Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes to allow them to set up, then sprinkle each cookie with sea salt. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Advertisements

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Great tips ! Thank you for sharing them.

  2. Yup, correct. They were the first thing I ever baked (following a VERY simple recipe my friend’s mom gave me). Reading this and all of a sudden it makes a lot of sense, why my cookies never came out quite the way I had hoped they would. I’m so glad you included a recipe at the end. I need to give this another try for sure. Fantastic website by the way, lots of inspiration.

    Would you by any chance be interested in having some of your work shared/featured on Creators.co? I’d love to see more of this kind of content on the platform. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail (you can find my contact details on my blog) for more information. I’d love to expand on that. Hope to hear from you.

    1. Rouaw says:

      I’m so glad you found it useful, and please let me know whenever you try it, and if the curse broke! I would love to share my work on your platform, will send you an email shortly 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s