8 Simple Baking Tips: Cookies, Bars & Small Cakes
It is often said that cooking is an art and baking is a science. There’s some overlap – you definitely need technical skills in cooking and artistry in baking. But in cooking, you create a dish as you would a painting, tasting and adjusting as you go while adding your own personal style. When baking, you need to be precise and follow the recipe, otherwise your cakes will fall, your cookies will spread, your pie crusts will be tough, and so on and so on. But with these baking tips, there’s no need to be intimated by baking! Most baking mistakes are easily averted by understanding the basics, avoiding substitutions, and following a few simple rules.
1. Let cookies set
It is tempting to eat home-baked cookies the moment they come out of the oven, but it is a better idea to wait. Let them settle on their sheets for a couple of minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. When they are hot, cookies are fragile and can break easily. Plus, if you let them cool, you will not burn your mouth when you eat them!
Time to rest
Letting cookies rest before moving them to a cooling rack allows them to set and makes them less likely to break.
2. Perfect Brownies
Some people enjoy brownies that are very moist in the center, while others prefer a firmer bake. This difference in consistency depends on the cooking time, so feel free to experiment until you achieve your preferred result.
Add 1 tbsp greek yogurt or sour cream to the mix for an even moister brownie.
3. Achieving even brownness
Some ovens are hotter on one side than the other. Test the temperature with an oven thermometer. If you find that this is the case with your oven, you can still ensure a perfectly even brownness on a batch of cookies by rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time.
4. Freezing Cookie Dough for Later Use
If you like your cookies freshly baked but do not always have time to prepare them, consider making twice as much dough and freezing it. Scoop the extra dough, separated slightly, onto a baking sheet, then open freeze it. Once frozen, transfer the dough portions to a freezer bag. When you need extra cookies, just place them on a baking sheet and bake for a couple of extra minutes, straight from frozen.
5. Heavy Baking Sheets at Hot Temperatures
Good-quality heavy baking sheets and pans are essential when baking at high temperatures. A good sheet distributes heat uniformly, ensuring an even cake, whereas a cheaper one may brown the outside of a cake before it is cooked through. The same is true with the undersides of cookies and cookies. In addition, a good-quality sheet will not warp in high heat.
6. Using A Lumpy Mix For Muffins
Muffins are among a small number of baked goods where less beating achieves better results. Muffin batter should be mixed together only until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. The mixture ought to look a little lumpy. if it is overworked and appears smooth, the muffins will have a dense, rubbery texture.
Hand mixing is best
Gentle mixing by hand will give you more control over the finished result and make it easier to avoid overmixing.
7. A Tip For Filling Liners For Cupcakes
Cupcakes should be beautifully uniform in size, risen perfectly just above the rims of the papers. To achieve this result, use an ice cream scoop or large cookie scoop to portion out the batter evenly, and do not fill the papers to the brim. This will also help you avoid dripping the batter on the edges of the papers.
8. Using Cooking Spray For Easy Portioning
Some cake batters and cookie doughs are sticky and difficult
to portion out neatly, even using an ice cream scoop. Try spraying the scoop lightly with baking spray first. This helps the batter slide out easily in one go. Wipe the scoop with a paper towel and spray again if needed.