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Friday, January 8, 2010

Customize your Cookies

Everyone likes a little something special, something made just the way they like it, and who doesn't love cookies?! Although most people think baking is a science not to be messed with, we'd like to encourage you to experiment with any old fashioned recipe to get the cookie results that suit your kids' (or your own) taste buds!

Here are a few tricks that can help you take an old cookie recipe in a new direction and bake experimentally with confidence!

For Flat, Crispy Cookies:

  • Use butter
  • Replace 1 egg with 3 Tbs milk
  • Use a high ratio of white to brown sugar (i.e., for a combined total of 1 1/2 cups sugar, use 1 1/4 cups white sugar and 1/4 brown sugar)

For Cakey, Puffy, Fluffy Cookies:

  • Use margerine/shortening
  • Use cake flour instead of all purpose. (If you don't have cake flour, use my grandma's substitution: measure 1 cup all purpose flour, then remove 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon and replace with 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of corn starch. Viola, you have makeshift cake flour.)
  • Use baking powder in place of baking soda
  • Chill dough before scooping to minimize spreading

For Moist, Chewy Cookies:

  • Melt the butter
  • Replace 1 egg white with 2 Tbs milk
  • Use a high ratio of brown to white sugar (i.e., for a combined total of 1 1/2 cups sugar, use 1/4 cups white sugar and 1 1/4 brown sugar)
  • *Note: If you're baking any cookie recipe a day or two in advance, using a larger proportion of brown sugar to white will encourage moisture to stay in the cookie, making the cookies seem fresher longer (delaying the staling process).

So, next time you're making cookies with the kids, it'll be easy to satisfy whatever texture suits their day!

References: Alton Brown

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