My Recipe To Avoid The Most Common Baking Mistakes
STEP 1: MEASURING INGREDIENTS & PREPARING YOUR DOUGH
Can’t remember if you already added the baking powder to your flour?
When I bake my cookies, I first throw the eggs, vanilla, butter, and sugar into my mixing bowl. Then, once those are mixed, I add in the baking powder and flour. The problem I have encountered is that the baking powder looks almost identical to the flour and I forget if I added the baking powder already or not.
Let’s's walk through this
1. I weigh and measure all the ingredients
2. Add the first four to the mixing bowl (the soft ingredients)
3. Combine the baking powder and flour in a separate bowl
I start mixing the soft ingredients, then comes time to start adding the flour mixture. Did I already add the baking powder? I can't remember. Do I add more? But that could disrupt the final shape of my cut-out cookies.
The solution: Always put the baking powder on top of the flour and don’t mix it in until you are ready to start adding it to the mixing bowl. The baking powder looks very slightly different from the flour, and therefore you can still see it sitting right on top. Now I always do this, and I know that if I can't see the baking powder on top of the flour haven't added it yet.
Forgot to put your butter out at room temperature?
I am always forgetting to take the butter out of the fridge several hours before I start making cookies. Gosh dang it! I just could not ever seem to remember no matter how hard I tried. So I don't even try anymore and always microwave my butter.
The problem was my butter always melted, especially on the bottom. Melted butter is great for popcorn, terrible for cookie dough.
Here's my fool-proof method: Unwrap 2 sticks of butter and put on a safe microwave plate. Microwave for 30 seconds at HALF POWER. Then use tongs to flip the butter over a quarter-turn. Microwave again for 30 seconds at half power. Depending on your microwave, you will need to repeat this once more for another 15-30 seconds.
Voila“ “Room temperature” butter!
STEP 2: ROLLING OUT YOUR DOUGH
Flour making a mess all over your counters and your clothes?
For the longest time, I used a layer of flour to coat my countertop when rolling out my cookie dough. It does a great job of keeping the cookies from sticking to the counter, but boy is it messy!
Instead, try using a piece of parchment paper. Done!
This is an excellent alternative to flour. It is just as effective, but less messy and reduces the waste of flour. Also, it protects your cookie dough from any chemicals, germs, or food particles that may be remaining on the countertop. Finally, you can rotate it, making it easier to roll in all directions and allowing for a more even piece of dough!
You will have to make a slight modification as parchment paper does slide easily, making it difficult to roll your dough. What I do is pin one of the corners between my hip and the countertop. You may even find your own method to keep that paper from sliding.
Rolling pin sticking to your cookies?
Use more parchment paper. Now you will have a piece of parchment paper under your dough, and another on top of your dough. You’ll have a cookie dough sandwich! Again, pin the corners of the parchment between your hip and counter and roll away.
This helps prevent your rolling pin from sticking to the dough, protects your dough from any contamination, and results in a super-smooth piece of dough. It’s truly magical!
STEP 3: PREPARING COOKIE SHEETS & BAKING
Non-stick pan sticking to your cookies, or are the bottoms of cookies getting overcooked?
This is a super-simple fix. You guessed it! Use parchment paper! Haha. Obviously, I am a huge fan and should buy stock!
Line your cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. The bottoms of your cookies will be perfect every single time. They won’t be burnt and won’t stick to the cookie sheet. Bonus - you won’t have to wash the cookie sheet when you are done, it will still be clean! Well, you may want to wash it after a few uses, just to make sure.
Cut-out cookies look more like blobs than your intended shape?
You’ve made it through the whole process. You measured all the ingredients, mixed it all, rolled it out, cut out your shapes, and then your cookies get ruined at the finish line. It is common for your cookies to lose their defined shapes while in the oven.
One secret to overcoming this is to cut out your cookies, put them on your lined baking sheet, then stick them in the freezer. Leave them in the freezer for 5 minutes before putting them in the oven. You will see that the dough is much stiffer upon removal from the freezer. This helps the dough maintain its shape during the baking process. You do not need to extend your baking time when utilizing this extra step.
If this does not help, it’s possible that your recipe needs some adjusting. I recommend using another recipe. You can try mine for free!
Baking is a process that brings enjoyment to myself and many people across the world. Along the way, there may be challenges we all come across. I hope all these tips and tricks help you master your sugar cookies. Do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. Just click on the “contact ” tab on my website or message me on my Facebook and Instagram. Until next time, Happy Baking!