Making cookies is one of my favorite things to do and something I do quite often. In honor of today being Valentine’s Day, it seemed like the perfect time for a cookie posting. Over the years, I have learned that making good cookies is a bit harder than it may seem. Following the recipe is important to make good cookies, but understanding a few of the basic cookie fundamentals can take your cookies from good to amazing.
If you ask people what their favorite type of cookie is you will surely get a variety of answers. My guess though is that many people will answer chocolate chip. That seems to be a very popular choice. I read not long ago that chocolate chip cookies are America’s 2nd favorite cookie (Oreo cookies are 1st). My goal in this posting is to give you a quick basic knowledge of how you can take a basic cookie recipe and create exactly the kind of cookie you like. For example, you can take a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and slightly modify it to create cookies that are thin and crispy, soft and cakey or chewy. You will be amazed how easily you can change the way your cookies turn out.
So without further ado let’s talk cookies. If you like cookies that are thin and crisp then he’s what you need to do. The easiest way to make your cookies thin and crispy is to increase the ratio of white to brown sugar. So instead of using equal amounts of white and brown sugar use say 1 cup of white sugar and a half cup of brown sugar. Also, add a little extra baking soda as this helps the cookies spread out. You can also replace one of the eggs with 1 ounce of milk. It is also important to use cold butter. Making these simple changes will lead to delicious thin and crisp cookies.
The next type is cookies that are soft and cakey. Here what you need to do to creat these types of cookies. The first change to make is instead of AP (all-purpose) flour use cake flour. The instead of using baking soda use baking powder as this will help the cookies rise and hold their shape. Next, instead of using butter use butter flavored shortening. Finally, chill the batter before scooping and keep it chilled when you are not scooping. Simple enough, right?
Ok the third and final type is my personal favorite, chewy. For this type of cookie, it is best to use bread flour instead of AP flour. Also, using melted butter helps the cookies spread more. Increase the ratio of brown to white sugar. So use 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white. Sometimes I even use all brown sugar…yummy. All the molasses in the brown sugar helps the cookies stay really moist and chewy. And finally use 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk. After all, egg whites help things to be light and fluffy and that is not what you are going for here.
I was so surprised when I first learned about these simple modifications. They really do make a big difference and take some of the guess work out of making cookies. I can’t even count how many times I have made a batch of cookies and thought hmmmm I wonder why these turned out different from the last time. Understanding the basic cookie fundamentals will help you waste less and eat more delicious cookies.
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If so, please “like” my page and spread the word about my blog. This is a brand new blog so I would love the support and of course your feedback. Please let me know what you think and how your cookies turn out. Happy Baking!