Top Ten Baking Tips and Tricks
Over the years of spending endless hours in the test kitchen, Ginger Evans has compiled a list of top 10 baking tips and tricks to help you have a successful holiday baking season!
1. Try a silicone baking mat to prevent stuck-on disasters. ♥
Silicone baking mats are very beneficial when baking in the kitchen. ... Put on a tray to heat up food in the oven; Cover baked goods in the oven to make ... baking sheets will help protect the baking sheet from stuck-on messes or scratches.
2. Chill your cookie dough ♥
Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread.
3. Avoid over-mixing your dough when baking cookies. ♥
Over-mixing your dough will result in flatter, crispier cookies. If you over-mix the dough, you will end up aerating the dough (adding air) which causes the cookies to rise and then fall, leaving you with flat cookies.
4. Bring ingredients to room temperature before you begin. ♥
How to bring these ingredients to room temperature: no shortcuts here. Simply take these ingredients out of the refrigerator when you take out the butter to soften, about 1 hour before beginning the recipe.
5. Melted butter is not the same as softened butter.♥
Melted butter behaves very differently from softened butter because both the crystalline fats and the softer fats are completely liquid.
6. Try powdered sugar instead of flour when rolling your dough. ♥
This neatly avoids the whole problem of caked-on flour after rolling out cookie dough. No one’s going to complain if there’s a little extra powdered sugar on the bottom of their cookie.
7. Follow each step of the recipe to prevent mistakes. ♥
This may seem simple but it is the most important step when baking.
8. Use a cookie dough scooper for consistent size and even baking. ♥
Cookie scoops come in all sizes: teaspoon, tablespoon, and even ¼ cup. They look like an ice cream scoop, with a spring release that releases the dough out of the well and onto the baking sheet. Hands down, using a cookie scoop is the easiest and most tidy way to drop cookie dough.
9. Use a cooling rack to get your treats to the perfect temperature. ♥
These thin metal sheets cool very quickly on top of a cooling rack or even laid over the top of your sink — wherever you can get a little airflow underneath the baking sheet to help cool it down.
10. Get a good sifter because a recipe will ask for sifted ingredients. ♥
Sifted flour, which is much lighter than unsifted flour, is easier to mix into other ingredients when forming a cake batter or making dough.