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Baking Cookies - Tips and Tricks

Category Cookies
When making cookies there are things to keep in mind so they turn out perfectly. This guide is about making cookies.
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By 1 found this helpful
March 9, 2007

Ever wonder how bakeries get such round cookies? I know they use molds but they can be costly when you have to buy so many. Here is a useful tip that I do when baking cookies.

I save all my jar tops (the metal ones such as spaghetti jar tops). I grease them thoroughly and put my cookie dough in each one, then flatten it down with a spoon. I then place them on a cookie sheet and bake. When slightly cooled, I then pop them out and they are all the same shape and size. No need to purchase cookie molds when you can use your imagination. Just remember to grease the jar tops well and remove the rubber ring if jar top has it.

I also bake in tin cans. Tuna Cans make perfect cupcakes. Clean them well in lemon juice first.

By Carolyn from E Northport, NY

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By 3 found this helpful
June 3, 2010

Everyone likes to bake cookies, children as well as experienced bakers. Recipes will most often guide you through whatever cookie you're making, however these tips might add to a cookie baker's success with every different kind of cookie.

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  1. Read the recipe from beginning to end FIRST thing. Make sure you have all the ingredients and equipment you will need. Do NOT substitute or change the ingredients called for until you have tried the recipe once. Then you can vary the ingredients or cooking method to suit yourself and your family. Be sure to check the expiration dates on baking powder, baking soda, spices, and herbs. Experienced bakers can do as they please. :)
  2. Clean off your counter or table where you intend to work. You will need room for all the ingredients and utensils including cookie sheets. Go ahead and tear your parchment paper if that's what you're using or lightly grease the sheets if greasing is called for. Place all the ingredients and utensils you will need right there so that you can easily reach them. I like to measure everything like spices, sugar, shortening, flour, etc. before I ever begin. That way, I never forget to add anything. Watch the way the TV cooks do, and you'll understand.
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  4. Always use the appropriate liquid or dry measuring cups and spoons. It never hurts to have a couple sets of each, especially when preparing several cookie recipes at one time.
  5. Having some type of scoop that allows you to make cookies all the same size will keep them uniform for baking times and will insure a higher rate of success. If you don't have a scoop, try to roll or shape them by hand as best you can for uniformity in browning too. If making shaped cookies, just try to keep them rolled out to the same thickness.
  6. When flour is added to the "wet" ingredients, mix only until the flour is fully incorporated. Over-mixing will make tough cookies.
  7. Oven temperatures vary. We can't help that, but we can be aware of it and compensate for it. Use an oven thermometer to determine if your oven is baking at the right temperature. If if it isn't, you will know that you need to adjust the baking time for your cookies or raise or lower temperature.
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  9. Many bakers will bake several pans of cookies at the same time and rotate them midway through the baking times. If possible, avoid having to do that. Place one pan at the time in the center of the middle rack of your oven for the most even baking and accuracy.
  10. Use a minute timer if you have one, otherwise, stay close to the kitchen and watch a clock. To prevent over-baking or burning, be sure to check the cookies 2-5 minutes before the suggested baking time is up. You will have a better idea of just how long it'll take the next pan to bake.
  11. Over-baking dries out cookies more than anything, so if your first pan of cookies seems dry, then adjust your baking time from then on for those particular cookies. Keep a record of what you've done right on the recipe. The cookbooks my children and I used when they were learning to cook and bake are filled with their hand-written notes. We all treasure those more than almost any of the other material things I've handed over to them now that they're all grown, married, and teaching their own children.
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  13. Allow time for your cookie sheets to cool between baking if possible. It's sometimes just not possible so I like using parchment paper for that very reason. I can slide one loaded parchment sheet of cookies right off onto the counter top, and let them sit for a few minutes on their sheet of parchment while I load up another sheet of parchment. This gives the pan a few minutes to cool at least. Hot baking sheets will cause your raw cookie dough to begin melting and will create changes in the shape and texture of your cookies. I once thought I could hurry up the cooling time of my cookie sheet, so I ran cold water over it. It promptly warped, so I've not done that again. It's still warped.
  14. As a general rule, do unload the cookie sheets as soon as possible as the hot pan will continue to "bake" and might cause the cookies to be overdone. Always refer to your recipe for more instructions about this. Some cookies are quite fragile, and need to remain on the cookie pan or sheet for an extended period of time (another reason for using parchment paper). Bar cookies are always left in the pan to cool prior to removing them unless your recipe specifically says not to.
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  16. Store crisp cookies in containers with loose-fitting lids or covers. This helps to keep them crisp. Store soft cookies in containers with tight-fitting lids or covers as air-tight as possible to keep them nice and soft. To help keep them nice and soft, keep a small slice of fresh apple in the container with the cookies.
  17. There are specific rules for shipping and/or freezing cookies, but for now, we just want to make and eat them. OK? Enjoy and Good Luck!

By Julia from Boca Raton, FL

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February 7, 19990 found this helpful

When making cookies and squares, I never find that I need as many chocolate chips or nuts that the recipe calls for. Manufacturers are trying to sell their product.

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By 1 found this helpful
January 14, 2010

When a particular baking item, such as chocolate chips, is on sale, I buy it and make a large batch of cookies. We enjoy half right away, and I freeze the other half for when friends drop by or we just feel like a home baked treat!

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By 0 found this helpful
November 30, 2005

I never know when the urge to bake cookies will hit me these days, so I leave the box with the sticks of margarine out of the fridge on the counter so it is soft when I'm ready to use it.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 4, 2007

Baking time short? Find 1 or 2 friends to swap cookies with you. Do a double or triple batch of your fav and she does the same, and you swap. Great when you don't have time to do a lot of variety or go to a big cookie swap party!

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January 12, 20050 found this helpful

When making homemade cookies always add 1/2 cup dry oatmeal. Your cookies will not spread all over the pan and they will be delicious! By carol

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December 18, 20040 found this helpful

While one batch of cookies is baking, I prepare the next batch on parchment paper or foil. As soon as a batch is removed from a cookie sheet, the next batch, on the paper, is slid onto the sheet and goes right in the oven. Speeds up things a lot!

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November 3, 20040 found this helpful

I bake all of my cookies on a stoneware pizza pan. Any stoneware oven piece is perfectly good. I spread a very thin layer of oil on. Just enough to coat it but not enough to fry the cookies.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
December 10, 2004

Every Christmas I like to bake an assortment of cookies for friends, but it is such a struggle. I live in Hawaii and am convinced the humidity is ruining my cookie baking but I don't know how to counteract the effects. Cookies are either burned, not baked enough, soft, too hard .... something! Can anyone give me a general idea of what I am up against? I see corrections in recipes for high altitudes but nothing for high humidity.

Mahalo,

Elaine

Answers

By (Guest Post)
December 10, 20040 found this helpful

I grew up in New Orleans, and I have two thoughts:
1: Borrow an oven thermometer and make sure your oven is the temperature you think it is. It may not be the humidity.
2: Ask your neighbors and friends in the area for their cookie recipes.
3: (Sorry, this one costs money): Look for insulated baking sheets if your cookies are only burned on the bottom.

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By (Guest Post)
December 11, 20040 found this helpful

Sometimes it can be your cookie sheets if they are coated with the older "black" teflon popular several years ago. They required that you turn your oven down 5 degrees lower. Also, if you use glass bakeware for anything, you may need to lower the temperature 5 degrees. I also agree that it may be that your oven is off in its temperature--you may be needing a new thermostat. Check it with an oven thermometer.

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By christina (Guest Post)
March 24, 20060 found this helpful

Definitely is the humidity... i live in Singapore and cookies are fine when I cook in an air conditioned kitchen (a rarity), but I've just moved to a place without air conditioning in the kitchen and my cookies don't rise any more at all.

would love to find a solution.

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By 1 found this helpful
December 20, 2010

Does any one line their cookie sheets with parchment paper before baking?

By waitress

Answers

December 20, 20100 found this helpful

I've used parchment to line my baking sheets for years.

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December 20, 20100 found this helpful

I use parchment paper for several reasons. First, don't have to wash the cookie sheet. Second, can have the next batch ready to bake. Third, I pull off the entire sheet with cookies still on it onto the cooling rack. It can also be used in cake pans esp. if making an upside coffee; it will come out cleanly without using extra shortening.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Always!

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December 25, 20100 found this helpful

I have used parchment paper for baking cookies, cooling fudge etc for years. The cookies seem to bake better and more evenly. You can use the same sheets of paper for several batches and you never have to wash cookie sheets again. I would be lost without parchment paper when I make my Christmas cookies each year. Love the stuff.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 24, 2010

How would I calculate the cost of baking cookies?

By donna from Orlando, FL

Answers

September 24, 20100 found this helpful

You have to know how many cups are in the bags of flour, sugar, etc. that you use. Then you need to know the cost of those bags, then take the number of dozens of cookies the recipe makes into the total cost of the ingredients. I did that many years ago, when I was married, to compare the cost of homemade cookies, with the cost of bakery cookies. There might be an easier way to do it, but this is the only way I could figure out. I only used the cost of the larger ingredients. Seasonings, etc, you don't use that much of in a recipe.

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September 27, 20100 found this helpful

Doing the math on ingredients is the simple part. Donna said "baking" cookies so I'm thinking she might mean the actual cost of the baking process in her oven. I would be interested in knowing that as well. Is it worth trying to figure that into the cost? If one were baking all day long, I imagine it would be worth adding into the cost of the cookie ingredients, especially if you're trying to recoup and make a profit at a bake sale or other enterprise.

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September 27, 20100 found this helpful

1st you need to calculate the cost of raw product by ounce. There are good sources online for measurements such as how many ounces in a pound ect. Keep your list! You must also use an accurate scoop to measure cookie dough, as in 1 ounce scoop per cookie, how many cookie's per baking pan. So make a small normal batch see what your yield is. So when you know what 1 batch will yield, you take the total cost of raw product divided by the number of cookies you made, that yields the cost of 1 cookie. For the spices that go into the dough you can estimate that cost, probably .35 cents per batch, if you are using more expensive spice up that cost a bit. If you are wanting to resale these cookie's take the cost of the individual cookie and divide this by .45% the total will give you a resale amount that allows for a modest profit. hope this helps.
Widetrack, Livingston, TX

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June 14, 20050 found this helpful

Tips and recipes for freezing cookies and cookie dough. Post your ideas.

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By Linne Dodds (Guest Post)
June 16, 20040 found this helpful

We recently found out how well Brownies Freeze.
We always wasted some & finally decided to stick half of them in a freezer bag.It worked Great!
The second half of the batch actually seemed to last longer than the first half did when we defrosted them.

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June 14, 20050 found this helpful

To have fresh baked cookies instantly, freeze cookie "balls" on sheets, then bag them and write directions on bag for baking so that family members will also be able to bake "fresh cookies" Yum

By Sonya

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December 5, 20050 found this helpful

When making cookies for the holiday I make double batches of the dough, roll into a log shape, wrap in plastic then in foil, put in freezer. When you have unexpectedly forgot a gift you just needs to slice and bake.

By Beachers from West Covina, CA

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By 0 found this helpful
December 25, 2014

What is the best way to care for Rycraft ceramic cookie stamps?

By Nancy F.

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

Why do my chocolate chip cookies turn two tone?

By Robbyn from Davenport

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By 0 found this helpful
December 24, 2014

What is the best way to care for Rycraft ceramic cookie stamps?

By Nancy Fallert from Leavenworth, WA

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December 20, 20100 found this helpful

When baking cookies that tend to stick to the pan, use parchment paper made for baking. That way you don't have to use a chisel or throw away your pan, or worse yet; have to soak the pan for a week!

Source: The source is from my own cookbook, "The Duchess and The Cowboy"

By Leea R. from Grants Pass, Oregon

Answers:

Use Parchment Paper For Baking Cookies

You are so right. I don't know why I had not used parchment paper before (other than the cost). The cookies come out better and do not tend to spread as much and you don't even have to wash the cookie sheets. I use it when baking scones too.

If I am only making a few cookies at a time from my frozen dough I wipe off the crumbs with a small piece of paper towel and fold up and roll up the paper with a rubber band and stick it in the freezer to reuse.

I figured out the cost once and it was less than 10 cents per sheet. I don't remember if that was before coupons or not. Reynolds has $1 off coupons for it quite often especially during the holidays when it tends to go on sale too.
http://www.reynoldspkg.com/reynoldskitchens/en/promotions.asp (02/05/2010)

By KL

Use Parchment Paper For Baking Cookies

I just started doing this, too. I also line my bread pan with parchment paper when I make my "Extreme Banana Nut Bread". (02/06/2010)

By Maryeileen

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September 24, 20100 found this helpful

I am going to make cookies to give as birthday gifts. I don't know how to figure the cost into my overall budget. How much does it cost to make 1 dozen chocolate chip cookies? How about oatmeal raisin? Peanut butter?

By Penny from Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Answers:

Calculating the Cost of Baking Cookies

All depends if you are making from scratch or buying the pastry rolls you cut up and bake. (01/19/2010)

By Suntydt

Calculating the Cost of Baking Cookies

Like Suntydt said it depends on if you bake from scratch, what part of the country you live in or what store you shop, what you already have in your pantry, if you buy on sale or with coupons or in the bulk section, etc.

Around here chocolate chips don't ever go very cheap unless you just stocked up at Christmas time. Spices can be costly if you don't already have them in your kitchen, although cinnamon is one of the least expensive ones. I always thought PB cookies were pretty inexpensive to make and most homes already have PB in their pantry. (Hopefully the recipient does not have peanut allergies.)

Here is a simple as can be PB cookie recipe that most people love that only uses 3 ingredients: PB, sugar, and one egg. You can also vary the recipe by adding chocolate chips or crunchy style PB, etc. Read the comments there for more suggestions.
allrecipes.com

The ingredients used for that recipe come under a dollar, more like 50 cents for the whole batch.

This ThriftyFun article talks a bit about calculating the cost of cookies:
thriftyfun.com (01/19/2010)

By KL

Calculating the Cost of Baking Cookies

I think the best way to do this is to just break down the cost of ingredients and do the math.

I think it's a great idea to make cookies for gifts. This year for my husband's birthday, I am making him a batch of cookies of his choice every month.

Some of my husband's favorites are: chocolate chips (there is a great recipe in the Cook's Illustrated The Best cookbook), oatmeal, Portuguese biscuits, Italian cookies (with vanilla instead of anise), cranberry orange cookies, snickerdoodles, and Congo bars. He does not like peanut butter, so those are out.

Look for older cookie cookbooks at yardsales and used book stores. I find the older recipes have cheaper ingredients and tend to use staples that everyone has in their homes. (01/20/2010)

By Linda

Calculating the Cost of Baking Cookies

I've costed out recipes for years at my job and it does take a little math. You must take each ingredient and cost it out individually. For example, if your recipe needs 1 cup of flour and you buy flour in a 5 lb bag for $5.00 then the cost of 1 cup (8 oz) of flour will be 50 cents. You have to take the 5 lb bag of flour and figure out how many cups are in 5 lbs (or 80 oz). So there is 10 cups of flour in 5 lbs. Then the 1 cup costs you 50 cents. Then just do this with every ingredient. If you are planning on doing a lot of baking, then start buying ingredients in larger sizes since the price per oz will be cheaper.

(01/20/2010)

By Dorothy

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June 3, 20100 found this helpful

Tips for making cookies. Post your ideas!

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

If you have a lot of holiday baking to do, use parchment paper on your baking sheets.

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January 14, 20100 found this helpful

When you are baking cookies, try to bake only 1/2 a batch and freeze the rest for later.

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