Tuesday, December 16, 2008

kitchen tip Tuesday…handy holiday baking tips

It has been snowing like mad outside and I have been in my warm little kitchen baking Christmas cookies like mad for gift baskets.

In the spirit of the season of baking, I am giving a few simple baking tips that have helped me this week of intense baking.

I hope they serve you well as they have me over the past years. I will be posting cookies recipes and images of some my old favorites and some new concoctions I worked on this year.

Handy baking tips

~ Read a recipe all the way through BEFORE you begin.

~ Prep ingredients before you proceed. I always do a mise-en-place before I start to mix each recipe to stay organized.

~ Set an oven thermometer or add an addtional internal thermometer if your oven is older and you are unsure if the temperatures are accurate. A small $4.00 investment can save you from scads of burnt cookies.

~ Preheat the oven according to your recipe.

~ Measure flour using the dip and sweep method.

~ Always use unsalted butter.

~ Butter should be pliable.

~ Invest in the best ingredients and equipment.

Tips for baking cookies

~ When baked in the lower third of the oven, cookies tend to darken too much on the bottoms. If you are baking many batches at once and must use the lower third, insulate the bottoms from the heat by baking the cookies on two stacked baking sheets.

~ Many kinds of cookie dough can be frozen raw and baked later.

~ If you prefer soft cookies, slightly under-bake them.

~ Always rotate baking sheets, usually once about halfway through the baking time.

Above all, have fun...play with your food...!


A Brush with Color said...

Great advice, Terrie! OMG, I never rotate my baking sheets! LOL--learn something new every day.

I hope you don't mind, too--I've tagged you:
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Dedene said...

Terrie, I spent all weekend baking cookies! Where were you when I needed you? Just joking! Thanks so much for the tips. Excellent advice.

jeanette mistress of longears said...

I, too, am lax about rotating my sheets - do you just mean to turn them around or do you mean put the top one on the bottom and vice versa?
I used to be a dip and sweeper, but now I measure everything out on an electronic scale. It's so much faster and easier. Have you tried it? Of course, I had to make a table listing the equivalent weights for common products like flour and sugar.

Camera Crazy said...

Sadly I did no baking at all this year. I love those candy cane cookies--they look yum.