Ready to take your baking to the next level? These baking hacks will give you the best chocolate chip cookies you have ever made! Keep reading!
Are you the type of person who would stay up at night only to binge on those midnight cookies you were eyeing? Trust me, we all are secretly guilt-ridden by that feeling.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely prefer fresh-baked cookies over store-bought. Keep reading and I’ll share the 10 baking hacks that will take your cookies from meh to AMAZING!
1. Softened Butter and Melted Butter are Not the Same Things
The difference between soft and melted butter is something that we all struggle to understand. When butter is at room temperature, it will leave tiny air pockets while mixing with sugar, making the cookies nice and fluffy. On the other hand, butter that’s too soft and oily on the surface does the opposite. So, make sure what your recipe wants, and bring your butter to the correct temperature accordingly.
Some bakers like to pop the butter in the microwave to soften it quickly, since waiting for that rock-solid butter to become soft is daunting.
If you are that person, make sure to stir the butter in five-second intervals to avoid melting. One way to check whether the butter is soft enough is by, pressing it with fingers without resistance. If your fingers become oily, it indicates that the butter has softened more than needed. In that case, pop it in the freezer for ten more minutes before use.
2. The Importance of Brown Sugar
Most of the recipes mention brown sugar as an option because it adds so much extra flavor to cookies. Along with the sweetness, brown sugar also adds that perfect caramel flavor when it melts in the cookies. It also makes them chewier on the inside. Granulated sugar is also a great optional ingredient. If you are still hesitant about this, check out Picky Eater Blog for the ultimate cookie recipe.
3. Size and Temperature of the Egg Matters
Almost all of us skip through the part where the recipe says “medium-sized” eggs or “extra-large” eggs. Using the wrong size of eggs can be dangerous for your cookie dough. A medium-sized egg is significantly smaller than an extra-large egg. If you use one instead of the other, it will make your dough runny and sticky, which will not scoop or spread well while baking. In simple words, the texture of your dough will not be cookie-like.
We all obsess over the correct temperature of the butter while completely forgetting about the eggs or the milk. All of your efforts will go in vain when you add a cold egg into your fluffy butter and sugar mixture.
Using room-temperature ingredients is extremely important for the perfect consistency of your batter. Adding an egg from the freezer right away will make the batter lumpy since it will not mix well with the dry ingredients. Hence, make sure to pull out some eggs too from the freezer with your butter beforehand.
4. A Little More Salt Will Not Ruin the Batter
We all had salt accidents. However, that shouldn’t strip away the flavors off of your cookies. Adding an adequate amount of salt is essential to bring out that rich chocolate and caramel flavors. Salt balances the sweetness of the sugars and accents the bitterness and richness of the chocolate that you are adding.
Kosher salt is the best to use while baking, since it melts and seasons the cookie dough evenly.
5. Chopped Chocolate Bars Will Take Your Cookies to the Next Level
Many of you think that chocolate chip cookies have to be made with chocolate chip cookies. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the whole point of chocolate chips is so that they don’t fully melt, which leaves you hanging for that blast of chocolate you want to taste whenever you have a bite.
The only way to have that is by chopping a chocolate bar into uneven pieces and adding that to your dough. Now, you will taste melted chocolate in every bite that will make even a horrible day worth it.
6. Freezing the Dough is Not Optional
Although that was painful to admit, it’s the unfortunate truth. Freezing your cookie dough gives it time to marinate and mix the ingredients properly. The more time you freeze your dough, the better the texture becomes.
If you freeze for a little time, the cookies will spread while baking. And it will not be chewy on the inside, the texture will be more like biscuits. In addition to that, the brown sugar will not caramelize, and you will not experience a blast of chocolate at every bite. If you don’t have time, freeze it for at least fifteen minutes.
7. Thumping the Tray Against the Counter Works When the Dough Does Not Spread Properly
If you make your cookie dough on the weekends for the upcoming week, your dough might not spread very well. In that case, we suggest bringing your tray out of the oven several times while baking and slam it against the counter with a moderate force. This famous trick will help flatten the cookies while creating a beautiful rippled pattern on top. You are advised to do this about five to seven times.
8. Invest in Different Types of Flour to See Which One You Love the Most
There is nothing wrong with using your good old all-purpose flour. However, using almond flour or bread flour is going to make your cookies chewy on the inside. In addition to that, if you are a fan of that exquisite golden color of the cookies, then almond flour is the way to go.
On the other hand, cake flour adds that extra delicacy to your cookies. If you are a cookie enthusiast like me, you might want to give a shot at using a mixture of different kinds of flour on a trial and error basis. Your taste buds will not know what hit them when you finally find the right combination for yourself.
Off the record, if you are guilty of having a sweet tooth and giving in to it every single night, you can also try gluten-free cookies. Just replace the butter with brown butter. You won’t be tasting any lack of flavors whatsoever!
9. Bake Your Cookies Five Minutes Less Than the Recipe You are Following
Cookies tend to stiffen over time after you are done baking them. So, don’t be fooled when you find out that your cookies are still soft after baking them for the stated amount of time in your following recipe. In fact, the best trick to make sure your cookies are as chewy as ever is not to overbake them.
Set the timer five minutes before the stated period in the recipe. To know if they are perfectly baked, check that the center is not wet. It should be half cooked, you should be able to press it, but the dough should not stick to your finger. The cookies should be slightly browned. If the observations match, then it’s time to take them out.
Before serving them on a plate, you should wait until the tray is completely cooled off. If you find it too difficult to lift them off the baking sheet, pop it in the oven for 30 more seconds. After that, use a flexible fish spatula to get under the cookies. The warmth will help release the cookies, and the flexible spatula will prevent the cookies from breaking.
10. Over mixing Your Dough is Better Than Under mixing
Every baker will advise you to avoid over or under mixing your dough. Well, let’s just say, only novices know the torment of deciding when to stop. Under mixing the cookie dough ends up leaving lumps of dry ingredients, resulting in an unpleasant end product. On the other hand, over mixing the cookie dough will end up trapping air molecules inside it, causing it to rise and flatten the cookies while baking, making it crispier and less chewy on the inside. You should stop mixing when there’s no trace of white flour on the bowl.
Well, that brings this article to an end. That’s our top ten suggestions for baking the ultimate cookies in your kitchen. Let us know how it helped you after implementing these ideas in your recipe because once you start using them, you can never stop doing that again and again!