Baking is one of the things that I really enjoy, especially during the holidays. Two of the most popular cookies are sugar cookies and gingerbread.
Now with gingerbread cookies molasses or honey are great for providing a tender bite to your cookie. So, when shopping for molasses there is unsulphered and regular. The unsulphered has a much more potent and bitter taste. If using this type you may need to reduce the molasses and/or increase your sugar content.
Okay so here are some tips for general cookie baking.
1. Make sure your items are room temperature so that they can incorporate well.
2.Aerate your batter so that you have a soft tender crumb. So in other words, “WHIP IT GOOD”. Also combining an acid with leavening agents help create a chemical reaction to allow your dough to “puff”.
3. To get the same results every time, weighing out your ingredients can make it easier.
4. Space your cookies evenly on a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. This allows room for cookie spread and the liner protects the bottom of your cookies. This gives insulation from the direct heat so you have a smoother more golden brown color.
5. When incorporating your eggs give it time to emulsify by introducing them one at a time. Your eggs act as a binder for your cookies and you want them evenly distributed.
6. When using a cookie cutter, press firmly without wiggling as to not distort your cookie. You can cut them on your parchment on the pan to prevent yourself from having to move the cookies
7. If you are minimizing cookie spread refrigerate dough for 30 minutes- 1 hour before baking. If you still have trouble try reducing the leavening agent in your recipe (baking soda).
8. When making drop cookies you can use a cookie or ice cream scoop to try to get your cookies around the same size.
9. Remember that your cookies will continue to bake a few minutes upon removal from the oven so don’t overbake them! They should seem slightly underbaked when you take them out.
10. Unless you have a convection oven you may need to bake 1 tray at a time or rotate your cookie sheets to make sure they bake evenly for optimal results.
*Bonus Tip: If making royal icing try to make it the day before you decorate so that you can reduce the bubbles in your icing.