Cookies 101



When you're getting ready to start mixing up a batch of cookies, there are a few things to remember. First, start by reading the entire recipe make sure that you have all the ingredients for the recipe. Also make sure you understand the cooking techniques.

Then, you'll want to preheat the oven for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Use an oven thermometer to verify the accuracy of your oven. If the set oven temperature and the oven thermometer do not agree, adjust the oven temperature accordingly.

Mixing It Up

  • Prepare the ingredients before you start mixing. Let the butter soften, toast the coconut, chop the nuts, etc. Measure the ingredients correctly, using the proper technique and measuring utensils. Prepare recipe according to directions.
  • Avoid overmixing the dough. If it's handled too much, the cookies will be tough. For even baking, make cookies the same size and thickness.
  • Use heavy-gauge dull aluminum baking sheets with one or two short sides for cookies. For brownies and bars, use dull aluminum baking pans or glass. It's best to use the size of pan called for in the recipe.
  • When a recipe calls for greased baking sheets or pans, grease them with shortening or nonstick cooking spray. For easy removal, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease the paper.
  • Unless the recipe states otherwise, place cookie dough 2 to 3 in. apart on a cool baking sheet. For brownies and bars, spread the batter evenly in the pan, otherwise they may bake unevenly.

While Baking

  • Leave at least 2 in. around the baking sheet or pan and the oven walls for good heat circulation. For best results, bake only one sheet of cookies at a time. If you need to bake two sheets at once, switch the position of the baking sheets halfway through the baking time.
  • Use a kitchen timer to accurately time the recipe. Unless otherwise directed, let cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack. Cool baked goods on a wire rack to allow air to circulate around the food and cool completely before storing.
  • Let baking sheets cool before placing the next batch of cookie dough on it. Otherwise, the heat from the baking sheet will soften the dough and cause it to spread.