EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 7, 2014

Cookies: Baking tips, two recipes to make

Have you ever wondered what makes cookies chewy, crisp, soft, flat, cake-y, moist, or crunchy?

Various ingredients and techniques can affect the taste, texture, and appearance of your cookies.

Baking powder: Using only baking powder will produce results that are cakier and puffed while baking.

Using baking powder and baking soda produces results that are crisp at the edges, soft in the middle, with a good amount of spread. If brown sugar is used in a recipe, it is considered an acid and requires baking soda as the leavening agent.

More flour produces cookies that are more crumbly with very little spread. The cookies remain small yet thick and relatively undercooked in the middle.

All granulated sugar: Cookies come out flat, light, chewy, and crunchy with a mild flavor.

All brown sugar produces cookies that are thick, brown, and soft with a slight butterscotch flavor. The best cookies are when an equal ratio of granulated and brown sugars are used.

Crunchy or soft: If you prefer your cookies flatter, chewier, or crisper, use more granulated sugar. If you prefer them softer and thicker, use more brown sugar.

Chilling the dough: Chilling dough before shaping and baking produces cookies that are a little thicker, chewier, darker, and with a more pronounced flavor. If you have time, try chilling your next cookie dough for at least 24 hours.

Drop cookies: Use a scoop instead of a spoon, quicker and more uniform. There are different sizes in the kitchen stores.

Now it’s time to simply enjoy baking. Try one or both of the very different cookie recipes below.

Let’s face it, cookies will never be a health food, but with flaxseed, wheat germ, oats, walnuts, dark chocolate and cranberries, we can enjoy a sweet that has upped the antioxidants “a bit.” Next time I make these oatmeal cookies I will try white whole wheat flour to replace the all-purpose and will definitely double the recipe.

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