When you're baking cookies, taking a few moments to prepare and make sure you have everything you need will insure that your cookies will turn out the best. Here are some tips to help you bake the perfect cookie:
There are hundreds of different cookies, and thousands of variations. You'll want to make sure you have selected a good recipe, first and foremost. If you don't have much time, consider no bake cookies. If you don't have a lot of ingredients, consider cookie recipes with fewer ingredients like a shortbread cookie or a simple sugar cookie. If you want to bake with kids, consider a cookie that takes fewer steps to complete and doesn't require an electric mixer.
Baking Tools and Utensils
For the baking tools and utensils, there are a few must haves. First, a good mixing bowl is crucial. From stainless steel to plastic to glass, you have a lot of choices in this area. There's also utensils that are important. To make great cookies, you need a strong mixing spoon, wood is best. You will also need a spatula for removing the cookies from the cookie sheets. Don't forget the cookie sheets either. You can use standard square pans with a lip going all the way around the edge or a flat sheet with only one lip on one edge. You may also consider using a silicone baking pad, which eliminates the need to grease your cookie sheets.
One great tip is to leave your butter out for at least an hour before you start to make the cookies. Many people forget this step and have to wait for the butter to soften before they can proceed. Also, take a few minutes to prepare all your ingredients, cooking show style. This way you have much less risk of using the wrong ingredient or too much or too little of an ingredient. Having your ingredients already prepared and measured will not only make your baking faster and easier, but cleanup will be much easier. Once you have your ingredients prepared, get out your mixing bowls and spoons, cookie sheets, spatula and wire racks. Make sure everything is clean and ready to use.
Freshness of ingredients is key with cookies. If the recipe calls for butter or eggs, as many cookie recipes do, make sure to check the expiration date for each item. Also, use your sense of smell to detect butter or eggs or another ingredient that just isn't fresh enough or is downright old. Don't use any ingredient that isn't reasonably fresh. Try not to use baking soda that has not been sealed properly either, as it may contain smells or flavors from other foods or spices it was stored with. Always properly seal and store your pantry food items. For butter, chocolate, frosting, raisins, etc., make sure to taste these items before you use them to make sure they taste ok and haven't soured or changed in flavor.
Last but not least, don't forget to enjoy the process and the finished product!