Every day is a good day for cookies! I'm sharing tips and tricks to help improve your next batch - from making and baking to freezing and storing.
- Always follow the recipe's directions. Baking is a science and not following the steps will likely change the end result.
- Mix up several batches of dough one day, and freeze or bake the next day. This is an efficient way to make large quantities and a variety of cookies. Cookie dough will keep for 2-4 days in the refrigerator before baking.
- Use room temperature ingredients, such as butter and eggs. This ensures the ingredients blend smoothly together.
- Properly measure ingredients. For dry ingredients, use the spoon and level method. Spoon flour into the measuring cup and level using the flat edge of a knife. Scooping the measuring cup into the flour will compact the flour and will yield an incorrect amount. For wet ingredients, be sure to use a liquid measuring cup.
- Don't skimp on chill time. Chilling the dough helps to prevent spreading when baking the cookies. But it also helps the flavors enhance and blend.
- Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Lining your sheet pans prevents the cookies from sticking and helps reduce spreading. It also makes clean-up a breeze.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough. This ensures the cookies are all the same size so they bake evenly. Cookie scoops come in a variety of sizes depending on how large or small you want your cookies.
- Monitor baking time. Start checking the cookies for doneness 1-2 minutes before the stated baking time. All ovens are different and this will prevent over-baking.
- Let cookies cool on the baking sheet. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for approx. 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. This helps the cookies set up and prevents them from breaking.
- Not all cookie dough is alike. Dough for drop cookies, slice-and-bake cookies, and cut-out cookies freezes the best.
- Avoid freezing the dough for delicate cookies, such as pizzelles or florentines. These doughs are more batter-like and contain liquid that doesn't freeze well.
- For cookies decorated with granulated sugar, wait until just before baking to roll the dough in the sugar.
- Drop cookies: Using a cookie scoop, portion the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flash freeze until firm, approx. 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to a zipper-top freezer-safe bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Slice-and-bake cookies: Shape the dough into a log and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Store in a freezer-safe bag.
- Cut-out cookies: Shape the dough into disks and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Store in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw the disks before rolling them out.
- To bake: Place the dough on a prepared baking sheet and bake according to the recipe's directions, allowing 1-2 extra minutes of baking time if the dough is frozen.
- Cool the cookies completely.
- Use parchment paper between the layers and store in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag for up to two months. The parchment paper prevents the cookies from sticking together, so it's easy to thaw exactly how many cookies you need.
- For cookies with frosting or icing, freeze them before frosting. When ready to enjoy, thaw and frost the cookies.
- Cool cookies completely before storing them. Store cookies in an airtight container. Most cookies will last 3-5 days.
- For frosted cookies, allow time for the frosting to set before storing. Use parchment paper between layers so the cookies do not stick together.
- For soft and chewy cookies, store a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. The moisture in the bread will keep the cookies soft. The bread will dry out and can be discarded after use.
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