8 Rules for Baking Perfect Cookies ...

How to Bake Cookies perfectly is a task that has foiled even the best bakers. If you want to try, don't make the mistake of thinking that there's nothing you can do to make your cookies even more yummy and irresistible. There are rules for baking perfect cookies, and I'm about to share some of them with you! If you are asking how to bake cookies the gourmet way, I don't have the answer for that. But I do know how to bake cookies the perfect way! Soft, warm, chewy and just the way everybody likes them! These tips will get you delish cookies-whether it's for your child's birthday party, your neighbor's backyard grill-out, or just because you wanted fresh cookies! It doesn't matter whether you're baking chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, or butterscotch cookies. These 8 rules for baking perfect cookies have got you covered!

1. Get Your Flour Power on

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This is the most important tip when it comes to knowing how to bake cookies. You MUST measure the flour correctly. Adding too much flour will make your cookies tough and dry. In fact, you should reduce the flour by 1/4 cup! It won't affect the flavor of your baked goods, but it will improve the texture and softness. And never over-mix your dough! Simply mix until the flour disappears.

2. Chill the Dough

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One of the least known and not very widely utilized tips for baking perfect cookies is that you should chill the dough before you bake it! Chilling the dough helps softer doughs keep their shape and makes the dough easier to work with. I have found that chilling the dough improves the flavor and allows the dough to relax a bit. Many of us are just too impatient to wait for the dough to chill, but all you need to do is pop it in the fridge while you clean up your mess. It will be chilled in 10-15 minutes. That's just enough time to get your dishes washed and ingredients put away!

3. Soften Butter the Right Way

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It's very difficult to soften butter the right way in a microwave oven. Too often part of the butter melts, which will change the structure of the cookies. Did you know that butter and sugar form the basic structure of the cookies? The sugar cuts small air pockets into the butter, which are stabilized by the flour and filled with C02 from the baking powder! Cool! So soften butter by letting it stand at room temperature for a couple of hours. You can also grate the butter into a bowl, then it will soften in a few minutes.

4. Make Sure Your Ingredients Are Fresh

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If you want to know the best tip for how to bake cookies, listen closely. Make sure that all of your ingredients are fresh! Buy new baking powder and baking soda, vanilla and spices, flour and sugar. Most of us don't bake often during the year, and it's a good bet that your ingredients are more than a year old! Fresh ingredients will get you the best tasting cookies. You're putting a lot of effort and heart into these cookies so start with the best ingredients!

5. Under-Bake Your Cookies

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I actually discovered this tip for how to bake cookies perfectly while baking cookies for my then-fiance, now-husband when he was serving in Iraq last year. I set the timer for 2-3 minutes less than the cooking time called for in the recipe, then I took the cookies out of the oven just as they were beginning to look done. The result was fresher, softer cookies! This is because the residual heat from the cookie sheet continues to bake the cookies. Also, slightly under-baked cookies are more tender and moist. Give it a try and be surprised at your tasty, chewy cookies!

6. Use the Right Pan

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Forget your old dark cookie sheets you picked up at Wal-mart 3 years ago. Buy yourself some insulated cookie sheets. A bit more pricey, but worth it when it comes to achieving those soft and moist cookies, right? One of the biggest problems with delicate doughs is they can get too brown on the bottom. Insulated sheets prevent that so your cookies turn out perfectly every time. Now that's incentive to buy the right cookie sheets!

7. Use Extra Vanilla

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When baking cookies, don't forget to add vanilla! And don't forget to triple the recommended amount of vanilla! Adding extra vanilla will enhance the flavor and taste of your cookies more than you could imagine! Trust me, I've tried it before and gotten raves over my cookies. It won't overpower your cookies, it will just add an extra punch. Even if you are baking peanut butter cookies, or some other flavor besides sugar cookies, add the vanilla. Your taste buds will approve!

8. Add Milk

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This tip on how to bake cookies may sound a little crazy, but always add a tablespoon or two of milk to your cookie dough. This helps make the dough a little less stiff and the cookies will turn out a little less crunchy and more soft. If you do this though, make sure your cookie sheet is room temperature or cooler when you drop the dough on. You don't want the dough to melt around the edges before it starts baking. This will result in cookies with burnt edges! Not yummy.

It's not hard discovering how to bake cookies the right way! These 8 rules for baking perfect cookies will have you on the right track right away! Do you know how to bake cookies? Let us know about your experiences-and if you have some more tips on how to bake cookies, please share! Well, I hope this article has given you some great tips to get you started! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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