Everyone loves cookies, especially fresh home-baked cookies. Cookies are quick and easy to make and great to share with family and friends. As with all baking, it’s important to follow the recipe. Make sure you accurately measure all ingredients so that you can bake some delicious cookies. Ensure you have all ingredients and equipment ready before you start baking that you don’t have to drop everything and run to the store.
Follow the recipe closely the first time – you can make changes next time. Use high-quality ingredients such as pure vanilla extract, unsalted butter and real chocolate. Measure accurately, using stacking measuring cups for dry ingredients and clear measuring cups for liquids.
Bleached all-purpose flour is the best type of flour to use for cookies unless the recipe asks for another kind of flour. Cake flours have a lower protein content. Therefore if you use cake flour for your cookies, the result is tender cookies. If you want to instill a nutty flavor, use whole-wheat flour. Keep in mind that whole-wheat tends to make cookies dry.
Can I bake with light spreads to reduce calories?
When you are making cookies, it is best to use butter, margarine or shortening. Reduced-fat spreads contain more water, which makes the dough spread too much, and the cookies become flat, tough and often stick to the cookie sheet.
How can I tell if the baking powder from last year is still ok to use? If you want to test baking powder, mix one teaspoon in 1/3 cup warm water. If the water and baking powder mixture becomes fizzy, you can bake with it. But ff there is no reaction, it’s time to buy fresh baking powder.
Make sure that you use room temperature butter for your cookies. Butter that is too soft will result in cookies that spread too much before the oven heat sets them. Don’t use the microwave to soften butter. Instead, remove the butter from the refrigerator thirty minutes to one hour before you mix your cookies. If you must use margarine, read labels carefully and be sure it contains 70- 80% fat, similar to butter. You can also reduce spreading if you chill your dough before baking.
It is best to bake one cookie sheet at a time. Alternatively, you can rotate sheets halfway through baking.
To test the accuracy of your oven:
- Use a thermometer.
- Keep a 2-inch distance between the cookie sheet and the sides of your oven.
- Allow a few minutes for your cookie sheets to cool between batches.
The best way to prevent your cookies from being too dry is to measure ingredients properly and not over-bake. Many cookie recipes are developed by using cups and spoons for measuring. If you want consistent quality, you need to measure your ingredients by weight, ideally grams. If you overwork cookie dough scraps, you will have tough cookies in the end.
Does it matter if I grease my cookie sheet or not? It is best to follow the recipe directions. But because most cookies are high in fat, greasing is generally not critical. Due to the high fat content, most cookies won’t stick. If you still grease the cookie sheet when it’s not required, your cookies may spread too much. Use shortening for greasing.
Cookies look and taste best if they have lightly browned edges. Before you remove your cookies from the oven, make sure they are set in the middle. Your recipe will tell you how the cookies should look when done. It is best to check your cookies a couple of minutes before the baking time is up, especially if you are baking a recipe for the first time. One minute too long in the over can ruin your cookies.
I recommend using shiny aluminum cookie sheets. If you use insulated baking sheets, it might be hard to judge when your cookies are done. Cookies bake faster on cookie sheets, so keep your eyes on them.
It’s not unusual for cookie dough to be difficult to work with if it’s too soft. You could bake a couple of test cookies to test the cookie dough. That way you can adjust the dough if you need to before you bake the whole batch. I recommend that you chill all rolled cookie dough before baking. Keep the remaining dough refrigerated until needed.
Crisp cookies should be stored loosely covered to retain their crispness. Soft cookies should be stored tightly wrapped so that they don’t dry out. Don’t mix strong-flavored cookies in the same container, or the flavors will transfer. For more extended storage, freeze your cookies. Before freezing, wrap the cookies in airtight containers. Cookies thaw quickly at room temperature.
Dusting your work surface and rolling pin lightly with flour reduces sticking. Chilled cookie dough made with butter is unlikely to stick. If you use margarine, you will get a much softer dough, even if chilled. Cookie dough with margarine requires a light touch. It is best to use a long metal spatula to place the cookies on the cookie sheet.
Old Fashioned Cookie Recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2 – Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl
Step 3 – Mix in a large bowl, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla until well mixed
Step 4 – Mix in sugar and brown sugar
Step 5 – Mix in eggs and remaining ingredients until mixed and fluffy
Step 6 – Drop one big teaspoon of dough onto a cookie sheet 2 1/2 inches apart
Step 7 – Bake for about 15 minutes
The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2 – Take a medium bowl, cream together shortening, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in vanilla, milk and eggs. Step 3 – Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Step 4 – Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and serve.
Creamy Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2 – Whip the brown sugar, granulated sugar, shortening, and peanut butter in a bowl until fluffy.
Step 3 – Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whip again until fluffy and mixed.
Step 4 – In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the mixing bowl and whip until mixed well.
Step 5 – Prepare a cookie sheet with 2 tablespoons of shortening and drop 2 tablespoon size dough onto the sheet about 3 inches apart, pressing down gently to create a 2-inch circle.
Step 6 – Bake for about 20 minutes. If you want crispier cookies, bake for another 5 minutes.