These tips and tricks focus more on baking cookies, but can apply for any pastry that you are making.  So since I have been baking for longer than I can remember,  I wanted to share ten simple baking tips I’ve picked up over the years that may help with your next batch of cookies.

Buy quality flour- Believe it or not, there’s a big difference in results from the less expensive flour and the more expensive name-brand kind. The less expensive flour tends to be higher in ash, which comes from the bran part of wheat. A lower ash content generally means the flour is more “pure” and higher in quality and will produce a higher quality baked good.

Stir up your flour before measuring- To help avoid over packing flour when you measure it, you want to make sure your flour is light and fluffy. Take a scoop or spoon and fluff it up, then measure it.

Use the “scoop and sweep” method- Scoop the flour lightly into the measuring cup, preferably with another container or spoon, then sweep it level with a knife. Never pack down the flour. You’ll end up with more flour than you need.

Use unsalted butter- The amount of salt used in salted butter is unpredictable, varying from brand to brand. Some brands may actually contain too much salt for certain recipes and some brands may not have enough. You’re better off using unsalted and letting the recipe’s intended flavors shine.

Don’t leave out the salt- Don’t try to avoid the salt in a recipe, even if it calls for just a pinch. Salt serves an important purpose. It helps enhance many other flavors in a recipe and gives baked goods a deeper, less “floury” flavor.

Keep baking pans in the center of the oven- Heat radiates off of oven walls, which can cause anything near them to bake faster. When possible, place your baking pans in the center of your oven away from the walls. That way you don’t end of with half burnt cookies!

Check your baking sheets- If you’re having trouble with uneven baking, it could be your pans. Old stained pans with blackened baked-on stuff will radiate heat unevenly and cause your cookies to all cook differently.

Use a silicone mat- If your cookies brown too quickly on the bottom, place a silicone mat or piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet. Both will act as insulators, slowing heat conduction. This also makes removal of the cookies and clean up much easier.

Don’t wait for cookies to be perfect in the over- Remove your cookies or baked goods from the oven just before they look perfectly done. When anything is taken out of the oven, it will continue to cook until they reach room temperature.

Chill cookie dough- Do your cookies always spread flat or having a hard time rolling out dough?  When you chill your dough, it helps prevent cookies from spreading and makes it much easier to work with.  And be sure your baking sheets are cool to the touch and not hot out of the oven.

 

Hope these tips help you in your baking journey!  As always happy Baking! 

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