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Author Notes: Some people bake cookies that look just like those in a bakery. Why does that happen? The truth is that baking the perfect cookies is a combination of tools, technique and the right ingredients. If you want to bake the best possible cookies at home, here are some great tips that will help you out.
Most of the recipes are going to use pastry flour or all-purpose flour. When you use high gluten protein bread flour or you add cake flour the cookies are going to spread a lot less as they are baked. Shortbread cookie recipes or those that have a crumbly texture require a higher ratio for flour to liquid.
These are needed as baked cookies will puff up. Two really common leaveners at the moment are baking powder and baking soda. Baking soda is going to neutralize dough acidity so cookies can brown. Baking powder is different as it also includes tarter cream, which is an acidic ingredient. Cookies end up lighter and puffier.
Contrary to popular belief, there are numerous healthy fats that you can consider. However, when cooking cookies, you need to be really careful about fat kind used. Most recipes will call for margarine, shortening or butter. Whipped spreads should never be used in baking. If you use butter you will have cookies that will spread out. Simply reduce how much baking soda, sugar or butter you use in the event that you have cookies that spread too much. Shortening makes cookies maintain the original shape and margarine comes with a melting point that is just a little higher than that of butter.
Sugars liquefy when heated so how much sugar you add will highly influence the cookie you bake. Crisper cookies are made with white sugar while the opposite happens with honey or brown sugar. Moisture is absorbed by brown sugar so chewy content remains a reality. When lowering sugar content you end up with a baked cookie that is much puffier.
Although you do not have to be really delicate as with cakes, you do want to properly mix the cookie dough. In some recipes you need to beat sugars and fat together while in others fat is cut right into flower for sandier texture. You want to be sure that you never over-mix as this adds too much air to the dough. If you have instructions about how to mix the dough, respect it to the letter as it counts.
Unless the cookie recipe specifically says otherwise, be sure that all the ingredients will be at room temperature before dough is mixed. Different ingredient kinds manage to evenly come together when this happens. After mixing dough, chill it when you want it to have a better shape while baking. Drop cookies can stay at a room temperature.
Remember that the thin sheets will allow cookie bottoms to brown much faster. The insulated baking sheet will allow air movement and the special cookie baking sheet makes the cookie easily slide. The semi-thick baking sheets are normally preferred when you have no idea what the cookie should be like. —Boris Dzhingarov
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