Lesson 6 of 10
In Progress

Cookies ๐Ÿช

Ready to learn about baking yet?

Fabulous- me too! Or, rather, I’m ready to teach you about baking. And the first category of dessert that I want to tackle is cookies!

But before I get elbow deep in cookie-specific advice, I want to tell you about my number one golden rule of baking. ๐Ÿ“ And I don’t care what “category” your dessert falls under. This rule applies to every single dessert under the sun. โ˜€

So- what is the golden rule of baking?

FOLLOW THE RECIPE!

Nine times out of ten, when something goes wrong in my kitchen, it’s because I didn’t follow the recipe. Some how I missed a step, forgot an ingredient, or mixed things together out of order. And then it all came crashing down on my head and ruins my day. ๐Ÿ˜ญ And I don’t want that for you. I want you to succeed right out of the gate. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿคž

I also think it’s kind of disrespectful to think that you “know better” than the recipe creator.

They’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen perfecting their dessert. โฑ They had to figure out the proportions of ingredients and the ratios of ingredient A to ingredient B. Solve for chemical reactions, ๐Ÿงช texture, and cook time… โฒ So it’s simply not true that you know their recipe better than they do.

Later, after you’ve made that recipe a whole bunch of times, you can make alterations. Try substituting different ingredients or changes the recipe to personalize it better to your own taste buds. ๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ˜œ

But in the beginning, please just follow the recipe!

Now that I’ve given my lecture (slash rant) on the “Golden Rule of Baking,” ๐Ÿฅ‡ let’s talk cookies!

Cookies are pretty easy to throw together, because they’re not as delicate as pie crust or cake batter. ๐ŸฅŠ

That said, you don’t want to over mix the dough, or you could make your cookies tough and chewy. ๐Ÿ’ช Not adjectives want you want in a cookie. I also highly recommend that you err on the side of under baking your cookie instead of overbaking. An under baked cookie will be softer and a little doughier. โ˜ But an overbaked cookie will be crisp, crunchy, and brittle.

Of course, this depends on personal preference as well as the specific recipe you’re baking. But that’s my general rule of thumb. ๐Ÿ‘

In order to do this, I recommend setting the timer for less time than the recipe recommends. That way, you can check on your dessert before it gets overcooked. Because you can always add more time to the timer if it’s undercooked. But there is no cure for an overbaked cookie. ๐Ÿค•โšฐ

Some cookies are harder than others- like meringue and macarons. These cookies use egg whites to rise and are super duper light and fluffy. But as a beginner, you do NOT want to start with these cookies. ๐Ÿšซ Eggs can be a fussy ingredient to work with. ๐Ÿฅš

And fussy is no good when you’re just trying to learn the ropes.

Instead, you want to start with butter based cookies, ๐Ÿงˆ such as chocolate chip or shortbread cookies.

Butter based cookies are the easiest to make because they’re really stable. Especially compared to those fancy, hard-to-make egg white based cookies. ๐ŸŽฉ๐Ÿง

My go-to beginner cookie recipe is a shortbread cookie with raspberry jam in the center. It only uses a handful of ingreidents and is great for new bakers for two reasons. One, it’s a great, basic recipe to get your hands dirty in the kitchen. ๐Ÿ‘ And two, you can successful bake a cookie- from scratch!

What is a shortbread cookie?

Shortbread cookies are a dense, buttery cookie. Additionally, shortbread cookies typically only use a few ingredients (my favorite recipe only uses 5 ingredients total). And they’re are really tasty and satisfying thanks to all that butter.

Fat, like butter or oil, is a key ingredient that makes your dessert taste good.

While fat has been demonized in the media as “the enemy to good health,” it’s actually a key factor in making your dessert a mouthwatering one. ๐Ÿคค Fat adds richness and moisture to your dessert. This means your treat tastes luxurious and doesn’t get super dried out and crumbly. ๐Ÿคฎ A cool fact about butter is that it literally melts in your mouth when you bite into it because it’s melting temperature is lower than your normal body temperature! ๐ŸŒก

I know, I know. You came here to learn about cookies, not science. ๐Ÿฅผ๐Ÿงช But baking is a form of science. And the more you know, the better baker you’ll become. ๐Ÿง โšก๐Ÿ’ก

(Psst! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿคซ IDK if you’re interested, but just in case you are, here’s a link to my fav shortbread cookies: Raspberry Thumbprints.)

The another great beginner cookie is a chocolate chip cookie. ๐Ÿซ

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic choice that is universally beloved. Chocolate chip cookies use all the basic staples of the kitchen. Butter, sugar, and flour- just like my favorite shortbread recipe.

However, unlike my shortbread recipe, chocolate chip cookies also use leavening agents. Leavening agents, like baking powder or baking soda, are added to the cookie dough to make the cookies rise (AKA grow) in the oven. ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒณ When you add leavening to a dessert, you make it lighter and fluffier. โ˜

And I don’t know about you, but I love me a light and fluffy cookie! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿช

But the undisputed best part about any chocolate chip cookie is the chocolate chips! Obviously.

So let’s talk about chocolate chips! ๐Ÿซ

There are four main types of different chocolate chips. The regular, most common type of chocolate chip is a semi-sweet chocolate chip. But there are also: milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips.

Milk chocolate is the sweetest. ๐Ÿ˜‹ Then semi-sweet. And lastly dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has the least amount of sugar added to it, so it’s the most bitter tasting of all the chocolates. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ‹ White chocolate technically isn’t chocolate at all. But I’ll still include it because some people (like my brother ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜”) don’t like the taste of chocolate.

And I want to make chocolate chip cookies inclusive, so everyone can enjoy them! ๐Ÿค๐Ÿ’•

Plus, it’s just a fact that there are tons of different chocolate chip cookie recipes out there. So I’m willing to bet that you can find a recipe with any number of different chip combos, too. ๐ŸŽฒ๐Ÿƒ I’d recommend finding a recipe that uses the type of chocolate you’re interested in using. If you can’t find one, you can personalize the recipe to your specific taste buds. ๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ˜›

How?

I’d look at the amount of chocolate chips the recipe recommends. Then, add that amount of chocolate chip in the flavor of your choosing. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and mix and match different chips! It’s actually super important that you stick to the proportion of the chips listed in the recipe. ๐Ÿ“‹ Because if you add more chips than originally called for, you might have more chips than cookie dough.

I know- that sounds like an amazing problem to have. More chocolate? ๐Ÿซ Yes, please! ๐Ÿ˜

But, in reality, it will ruin your cookie. Because if you don’t have enough batter to hold your cookies together, you will end up with a soupy mess when your cookies come out of the oven. Think of it like this: without enough glue to hold things together, everything falls apart. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ˜ญ

You also need to be aware that, if you alter the recipe, it will taste different than the creator intended. ๐Ÿค”

So, for instance, say you add milk chocolate chips to a batter that originally uses a less sweet chip. It’s possible that your cookie will be extra sweet. This is because, sometimes, recipe creators customize their cookie dough for a better all-around cookie. Meaning they might extra sugar to their cookie dough in order to offset their choice of a bitter chip.

Or the reverse might be true. ๐Ÿ”„

If you add dark chocolate chips to a recipe intended to have sweet milk chocolate chips, you might have a cookie that’s under-sweetened. These are all things to consider when it comes to altering a recipe… Which is why I don’t suggest it to beginners. ๐Ÿšซ

But I saw that twinkle of mischief in your eye. ๐Ÿ‘โœจ So I wanted to tell you how to do it the right way.

Just in case my warnings didn’t sink in. ๐Ÿชจ

Ok, that’s enough of a broad overview on cookies. ๐Ÿ˜… Did you get all that?

Now that you’re full to bursting with knowledge, it’s time to move on to a new topic: cake! ๐ŸŽ‚ (IDK about you, but I’m super excited about this next lesson. Who doesn’t love cake? ๐Ÿ’—)