June 02, 2018

Baking cookies has always been close to our hearts and we just can’t get enough of making them! Regardless of whatever occasion—a birthday party, anniversary, or family reunion—or just another ordinary day of joyful togetherness, cookies make everyone’s tummy happy.

As you go along with your journey as a cookie baker, you might have encountered issues you keep yourself from experiencing. Some might be easy to resolve on your own while some needs to be consulted with a baking expert. So to help you achieve the perfect cookies you have been aiming for, here are tips to improve your next batches of cookies:

1. Chill the Cookie Dough

Being the first one on the list means that this is the most important tip. Although not all cookie dough needs to be chilled, you need to resort to chilling if it appears wet, sticky, or greasy. The discretion depends on the dough's texture and appearance. This tip prevents spreading. The colder dough will less likely overspread into greasy puddles resulting to sturdier and thicker cookies. Aside from preventing the dough to overspread, it also makes the cookies more flavorful. This is why planning and chilling the dough overnight is highly recommended.

Before you roll and bake the dough into balls, set it aside to room temperature first as they might be as hard as a rock after chilling. You will have a hard time molding it to good shapes if you rolled it immediately after withdrawing from the fridge.

Want to have another tip? After making some cookie balls, place them on a paper plate and place them in the fridge for ten minutes. While waiting, preheat the oven. This would help in firming the balls more.

2. No to Overspreading

Everyone who had baking experiences has encountered this at least once in their cookie baking life. Have your dough turned into greasy puddles? Aside from tip number 1, here are the other ways on how to avoid it:

  • Putting cookie dough balls to hot baking sheets is a big NO NO. Let baking sheets cool at room temperature. 
  • Don’t coat the sheets with butter or nonstick spray because it leads to a greasy foundation. You could also use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to prevent the cookies from spreading by gripping onto the bottom of the cookie dough. They also promote even browning.
  • Less flour means lesser absorption of wet ingredients. Make sure to add the right amount of flour—not too excessive or less.


3. Aim For the Right Temperature

The temperature of the oven should be right. A cold cookie dough through tip number 1 is a big help too.

For oven temperature, make sure that it is calibrated to set the heat accurately. When you set it at a particular temperature, there are chances that it might not heat up right—it could be higher or lower. When the oven’s temperature is not accurate, it might cause some over- or under-baking, and uneven baking problems. So to save you from all the hassle, get yourself an oven thermometer. They are relatively cheap; It saves you time, money, and energy on cookies that taste frustrating.

4. Don’t Let Specific Baking Times Limit You

Recipes include specific minutes or hours on how long you should work on. Though they may serve as a guide, your cookies’ appearance should still be the best determinant whether to remove them from a hot oven or not. All ovens—whether convection or conventional-- are different especially if they are not regularly calibrated. It is all up to your discretion. You could say that a cookie is done once it is lightly brown or its edges are set. If you want soft cookies, you could leave the center top slightly under-baked. If you want a crunchier one, you could leave them a little longer--but remember that cookies will continue to bake for a few minutes even after removing from the oven for cooling.

5. Don’t Be Too Excited

Cook only one batch a time on the middle rack. This might sound too energy- and time-consuming. But the one-batch-at-a -time rule allows the oven’s heat to concentrate only to one which produces better results. But if you need more than one batch at a time especially during occasions, while baking, shift sheets from top to bottom racks and rotate them around to promote even browning. Take note that ovens have their hot spots too.

There is always room for improvement if you think your last cookie baking experience was only at a C+ rate. We will never stop until we have achieved the perfect appearance and texture of our cookies. May these tips help you produce those mouthwatering treats you would surely proudly share with your friends and family!

Happy Baking!

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