Saturday, December 11, 2010

6 Tips for Cookie Success

Have you started your holiday cookies? Perhaps you are already making your second or third batch of the season! Once upon a time, my baking skills were limited to the slice and bake variety. While I was living in Mexico, where chocolate chips were a hot commodity at $8 a bag and slice and bake didn't exist, I perfected my baking skills in an effort to cure my homesick stomach that craved comfort food.

Over time and many international long distance calls to my mother, I slowly learned some wonderful secrets. Here are some tips for both novices and pros to ensure the best tasting cookies.

1. Measure flour correctly. I observed (and corrected) many children in a cooking class I taught who did not know how to measure flour. Scooping, heaping measuring cups, and packing flour as if it were brown sugar were some of the minor offenses I saw. Improper measurements can result in dry, crumbly cookies, and no one wants that.

2. Slowly melt butter. Although the microwave is a quick fix, in my opinion, it's much better to let butter soften at room temperature. This will help the butter and sugar blend properly.

3. Mix dough, but don't over work it! My mother gave me this tip when I was making pie crusts for the first time and she was 100% correct.

4. Chill dough. If you have the time, it is worth it to chill the dough before baking. The ingredients make the dough easier to use and I honestly believe that it improves the flavor, too!

5. Use a cookie scoop. When my friend Leesa and her son were making many dozen cookies for charity, she used a cookie scoop to ensure that all of the cookies were the same size. Same size cookies will all bake evenly, too.

6. Less time is more! Another tip from my mother is to set the timer for just 1 or 2 minutes less than the recipe indicates. Take the cookies out of the oven a minute or two early and let them finish cooking on the sheet on top of the oven.

Happy Baking!




  1. Great tips. I haven't started my backing yet. I am still trying to figure out what I want to make.

  2. Great tips!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Wonderful tips... I need ro buy a cookie scoop now!

  4. Bethany, how do you keep everything fresh if you start this early? I'm freaking out because Christmas is on a Saturday, and I work through Thursday, so I don't know when I'm going to have time to bake! Help!

  5. I agree with you about melting butter. Microwaving the butter totally wrecks it! Thanks for the tips- xo

  6. What super tips!! I must admit I am not the most successful cookie maker (much to the disappointment of my children-LOL!) but maybe I can change all that with your great suggestions!



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