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Too much flour can mean the difference between a dry, bready cookies and a soft, chewy one. And if you use a kitchen measuring cup to weigh the flour, chances are you''re adding too much.That''s because measuring flour by volume is very uneven: it all depends on how much flour is pushed into the measuring cup. If the flour is more compressed, it can hold up to 160g of flour in the measuring cup. However, if you shake it before scooping, as we recommend, the scoop will hold about 120g.
Cookies recipes often instruct - 113 g unsalted butter at room temperature. Don''t ignore the last three words! The butter needs to be at the right temperature for whisking with the sugar (more on this below), which means it needs to be just right - not too hot and soft, and not too cold and hard. But what exactly does room temperature mean? You have to make a depression in the butter with one finger, as if you were pressing it into clay. The butter must not be so warm that it melts; it must still be just slightly cold enough to prevent the finger from sinking in completely. It is best to leave the butter on the counter for a few hours to come to room temperature before using.
Usually, one of the first steps in making cookies dough is to whisk the butter and sugar together. This process aerates the mixture - the hard sugar crystals cut through the room-temperature butter and create small air pockets that help the cookies to rise during baking. If you don't whisk the butter and sugar long enough, they will still be grainy and dense, so you can get grainy cookies that don''t puff up or spread out on the baking tray. However, if you whip the butter and sugar too long, you introduce too much air, which can cause the cookies to puff up too much during baking and become cakey.
Sugar is sugar, right? No! Brown sugar is white crystalline sugar to which molasses has been added - up to 10% molasses by weight.This makes several key differences when baking cookies.In addition to adding a caramelised flavour and golden colour, brown sugar is acidic and lowers the pH, which is important to activate baking soda, the leavening agent normally required in recipes using brown sugar (low pH brown sugar + high pH baking soda = leavening reaction.) If crystalline sugar were used instead, the acid and leavening agent levels would need to be changed to achieve the same reaction. If you use white sugar instead of brown sugar, the cookies may spread less (or more, depending on the other ingredients in the recipe) on the baking tray.
Chilling cookies dough can be annoying - do you really want to wait longer for freshly baked cookies? But as tempting as it is to skip this step, don''t. It''s crucial for several reasons: Chilling the cookies dough controls spreading, concentrates the flavour and creates cookies with a chewy/crisp (rather than soft/liquid) texture. Omitting or shortening the chilling time can result in thin cookies that are less baked and less tasty. So wait an extra 30 minutes - it''s worth it.
There are no secrets to making perfect cookies, it's all about knowledge and consistency. Following these tips will help you achieve the desired texture, taste and appearance of your cookies. Remember the importance of measuring the ingredients correctly, following the ingredients and following the instructions. With practice, and by following our tips, you will soon discover the secret to baking perfect cookies every time you make them.