Friday, April 9, 2010

Pondering the deeper things of life ... like COOKIES!!

I have a question. Or two.
Well, several, actually, but most of those I'll save for a different day. You're welcome ;).

I have issues with cookies. Many issues. Like, investing all that hard work of pouring everything into my mixer, shaping them into perfect little balls with my cookie scooper and then watching them F.L.A.T.T.E.N.  before my very eyes.
It. is. frustrating.

So. I'm doin' some research. Maybe you can help me out a little.
1. To flatten or not to flatten - how does one know? Now, ahem, I'm only referring to rolled cookies here. I strongly suspect that rolled out cookies cut into shapes do NOT need to be flattened with a fork. But some recipes seem to work better with a fork stamp, others not so much. How do I know!?

2. 350 vs. 375. Is it better to go slow and steady or bake quickly?

I've had a lot more success using my food processor to mix the dough (using that pulse button sparingly to avoid over mixing!!) and adding a little extra flour to make the cookies firmer. But this is one reason why baking is not my friend. I get so frustrated when things don't turn out. Even when I've taken the energy to follow the directions!!!

What cookie-making tips have you learned along the way!?


Chantelle - ThousandSquareFeet said...

3 suggestions for you (some of which you already know):
1. Don't overwork the dough.
2. Add more flour if they seem a tad too sticky.
3. Don't grease your pans.
4. Okay, so maybe four suggestions. If you don't like how they turn out, try a new recipe! That's what I always do!

Funny thing: I've learned that no matter what the cookies LOOK like, they always get eaten. Oh, and I only ever fork-stamp peanut butter cookies - all the rest stay as a ball - no preflattening them as they all flatten anyway!
Agh, now I want to make cookies . . . and eat them, too! :)

a very sweet life! said...

Hmmm. Don't grease your pans? I didn't know that one :). I will give it a try!! And I DO have a new recipe - just waiting for a "quiet"-er :) morning to give it a whirl :). Note to self - resist flattening unless they are pb cookies :). Thanks for the tips!!!

Ben & Ange said...

I am no expert by any means my friend but one thing that I do is chill my cookie dough. I make the cookies as usual and then I chill the dough for 20-30 mins. I find that it keeps it shape better. I have also found that using a Silpat liner on my cookie sheet has worked WONDERS! I bought my Silpat at a local kitchen supply store. I wouldn't buy the cheap fakes I would spend the $15-$20 and buy the real "SILPAT" made in France. I know it sounds expensive but this is an investment and plus it saves your cookie sheet from turning that nice black burned look (which I used to have several of). My sheet looks like it is brand new still after several years of use. You can use the liner for other things too not just cookies. You can use it for anything that is cooked on a cookie sheet. It helps the edges of the cookie not to get over brown. Okay that is my two cents, good luck!

Ange said...

a very sweet life! said...

Thanks Ange :). Good to hear from you! I often forget to chill the dough :). I'll have to try that too next time!

Robin Fehr said...

I agree with chilling the dough, although, I don't always have time. And also, no need to flatten cookies. I do use a tad less margerine/ butter then called for (it keeps them firmer and less likely to spread). Also, I bake my cookies on darker pans with wax paper lining them. Bake them at the full temp, but NOT too long! Actually a little 'soft' is better.
Yup, now I want cookies...


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