If you’re looking for some useful tips on making and baking the best cookies you and your family has ever tasted then these basics will get you on the right path for cookie success.
It’s true that nothing is better for the flavor, richness, texture, and color of cookies than butter. If you have a dairy allergy then margarine can be substituted for butter if it contains enough fat. For best results, choose a stick margarine with at least 80 percent vegetable oil or one that contains at least 100 calories per tablespoon. Substituting shortening for butter will give cookies a softer, more cakelike texture and a different flavor.
If your cookie sheets are thin, warped, or dark from years of baked-on grease, it’s time to go shopping. Purchase shiny, heavy-gauge cookie sheets that have low or no sides. Use jelly-roll pans (15x10x1 inch baking pans) only for bar cookies since their 1-inch sides prevent other cookie types from browning properly. Let hot cookie sheets cool between batches. Using a nonstick baking mat prevents cookies from sticking to cookie sheets by lining the sheets with this reusable mat. Parchment paper works well, too.
To The Freezer
Are you concerned you’ll have no time for last-minute holiday cooking baking? Get a head start by freezing baked and cooled cookies. Most cookies can be frozen for month, ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice. Use airtight plastic bags and containers specifically labeled for freezer storage. Separate layers of cookies with sheets of waxed paper. Tightly seal filled bags and containers and freeze for up to three months. For best results, don’t frost or glaze cookies before freezing. Instead, freeze unfrosted cookies, thaw, then frost before serving. Most cookie dough (except bar batters and meringue or macaroon mixtures) can be frozen in an airtight freezer container for up to six months. Thaw dough in its container in the refrigerator. Shape and bake as directed.
Sending cookies, not crumbs, to loved ones through the mail is possible – with a little care. For best results, send crisp or firm varieties (including most slice & bake) and avoid frosted moist, thin, or filled types. Wrap baked and cooled cookies individually, in back to back pairs, or in stacks in plastic wrap. Line a sturdy box with bubble wrap and pack cookies in layers of packing, peanuts or tissue paper so they won’t have room to shift. Write “perishable” on the box and ship early in the week so your package won’t be delayed over the weekend.
“Work With What You Got!”
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