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The Perfect World >> Domestic Sphere >> Baking

Baking

CalGal -- Thursday, July 04, 2002 -- 07:35:57 PM

How-tos, tips, recipes.

This thread is tagged: cooking, baking, cake
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J-Ro -- Wednesday, February 23, 2005 -- 08:12:22 PM -- 4835 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

I just realized there is one more flop in the kitchen (I just stopped home after a court appearance). I ate the topknot. Perfect. It's not really much work, either, especially if you skip the triple-folding step and one of the risings.

mollyT -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 02:00:30 AM -- 4836 of 13465

That's interesting about the honey making the cake more moist as it sits. I have it loosely wrapped in wax paper on the kitchen counter, and was worried it would dry out.

Alice CK -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 02:15:17 AM -- 4837 of 13465
the glass in the toilet is quite a pretty blue

I don't know how much honey is required to counteract the natural drying/hardening process known as "going stale." I just put forth that little honey factoid for what it's worth. I don't want to be the reason you decide not to wrap it up and then the outside gets all hard and crusty.

mollyT -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 02:21:31 AM -- 4838 of 13465

Nah, I just won't worry about it much. It's still good tonight, I brought a slice to work to tide me over until dinner.

Lorelei -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 05:58:11 PM -- 4839 of 13465
Trust the force and never keep receipts. -Kate D.

I want those sugar cookies you get at the cookie stand in the mall, with M&M's on top. What kind of cookie recipe should I use? The two sugar cookie recipes in Joy of Cooking both seem to be the hard ones that you decorate with icing, not the soft buttery ones. So I made some from Better Homes & Gardens which also turned out to be the hard kind (and particularly unimpressive specimens, to boot).

Also, once I find my cookie recipe, should I put the candies on before or after baking?

J-Ro -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 06:28:57 PM -- 4840 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

Lorelei, the mall stand may well add fructose to the cookies to make them stay soft. That's what Mrs. Fields does. This is a similar discussion to the ongoing one about chocolate chip cookies. Julia M's recipe, which she got from Cook's Illustrated, explicitly tries to duplicate the soft Mrs. Field's texture, and achieves it by increasing the amount of sugar in the cookie. There are a few other adjustments, but that is the main one. CI did the same with oatmeal cookies and found that increasing the sugar also made them softer and chewier. I think the moisture content is probably the issue.

I personally find the cookies too sweet when made this way, but it does improve their texture and make them more of what you are describing.

Thus, I would try adding more sugar to a drop sugar cookie recipe (not a rolled recipe) to see what happens. Maybe try adding a third of a cup more to begin with.

About the M&Ms, you usually add anything like that before baking because they won't stay on if they are added later. To get them not to burn, put a sheet of foil over the cookies during the last few minutes of baking.

Lorelei -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 07:42:55 PM -- 4841 of 13465
Trust the force and never keep receipts. -Kate D.

Ooh, kitchen chemistry experiment! I'm not sure whether to be excited or daunted, but it sounds like fun.

J-Ro -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 07:49:14 PM -- 4842 of 13465
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

You saw the part about using a *drop* cookie recipe, right? The best thing would be to use a little ice cream scoop as Julia recommends for the CC cookies, and then flatten the ball just a little when you apply the candy.

I don't know what the cookies at the mall taste like, but it occurs to me you should try a snickerdoodle recipe without rolling the dough in cinnamon-sugar.

devillishious -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 07:53:16 PM -- 4843 of 13465
tiny sugared crab

But wouldn't you have to use brown sugar specifically if you were going to increase sugar? I've increased with white sugar and found the results were crunchier.

I would guess that the addition of corn syrup would also assist the chewiness.

Alizarin -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 07:57:36 PM -- 4844 of 13465
Singles rule the world, feeding on fresh blood

Why drop, J-Ro? I get that drop cookies would be butterier than rolled, but how does that work with chewiness?

Agnes Day -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:09:20 PM -- 4845 of 13465
I'm in with the In Crowd, baby. I go where the In Crowd goes.

It's called laminate dough, and here's a link to Staebler's original recipe, note the indeterminate quantities and the little blurb at the end. Basically, yes, combine liquid sweetener and dry sugars to get the effect.

Agnes Day -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:09:57 PM -- 4846 of 13465
I'm in with the In Crowd, baby. I go where the In Crowd goes.

Forgot the link.

Agnes Day -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:13:30 PM -- 4847 of 13465
I'm in with the In Crowd, baby. I go where the In Crowd goes.

Here's an article originally produced for a website called Goldwing's Fun House - it sums it up nicely:

Cookie Tips: How To Make Cookies Flat, Crispy, Soft, Or Chewy

Recipe by:Margie Potts, Jungle Jim'sWeb produced by: Liz Foreman3/3/2004 11:40:11 AM

There seems to be much debate and even more speculation on why some chocolate chip cookies are flat and crispy and some are soft and chewy. Both cookies taste delicious, but everyone has a preference. However, if you're trying to bake a soft and chewy cookie and it comes out flat and crisp, it can be frustrating! Well, there certainly are reasons why cookies turn out one way or another.

It has to do with the amount and temperature of key ingredients:

1. Sugar: The moisture in sugar affects chewiness. The relative amount of white sugar to brown sugar has a great effect on the baked cookie, as the brown sugar has a much wetter moisture content (approximately 35% more moisture). Therefore, using more brown sugar will result in softer, chewier cookies, while using more white sugar will result in cookies that are flatter and crisper overall.

2. Butter and Eggs: The temperature of these key ingredients helps control how much the dough spreads. Cool ingredients will keep you dough cooler, which results in the cookies spreading more slowly in the oven allowing the oven's heat to "set" the cookie while it still thick and therefore producing a denser, chewier cookie. Warm dough spreads more quickly in the oven, which makes the cookies thinner and crisper. Also, keep this theory in mind if you have the habit of dropping cookies onto still-hot cookie sheets. If you don't want them spreading quickly, use cool sheets.

3. Flour: A high proportion of butter to flour in the dough will also allow it to spread quickly. Makes sure you are measuring your flour correctly. Adding more flour to a recipe to produce a thick chewy cookie won't work for you. Too much flour will make the cookie, firm, dry and tough - you need to control the amount and temperature of all the key ingredients together and that includes the butter, eggs, sugar and flour. To insure that you are accurately using the amount of flour called for in the recipe, use a kitchen scale to weigh it or measure properly: use a dry measuring cup, not a pyrex cup meant for liquid measurements. Fluff the flour with a fork to avoid densely packed flour. Then spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it with a knife. Never scoop right from the bag as that will compact too much flour into the cup and don't shale or tap the cup as you add the flour or this will pack the flour down as well.

4. One last tip: Bake cookies on light colored cookie sheets - dark cookie sheets will cause cookies to brown too quickly and cook too fast. If all you have is dark cookie sheets, try baking your cookies on parchment paper lining the cookie sheets. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes. Cookies also cook more evenly on cookie sheets that do not have sides as the heat flows over the cookies more evenly.

Agnes Day -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:17:30 PM -- 4848 of 13465
I'm in with the In Crowd, baby. I go where the In Crowd goes.

One of Mrs. Field's secrets is that her cookies are baked on slow heat for a longer time frame.

And that's all I have to say about cookies for today, class.

Lorelei -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:26:45 PM -- 4849 of 13465
Trust the force and never keep receipts. -Kate D.

Yup, I got the drop cookie part - it had occurred to me that rolled cookies were probably going to be too tough for what I wanted.

I'm not sure how much the soft vs. crispy dimension matters in the cookies I'm thinking of. I definitely don't want ones that are hard, like rolled frosted sugar cookies, but crispy is fine I think. The rolled cookies I made, more than being the wrong texture (though they were definitely too dense), just tasted completely wrong.

Actually, I think the Joy of Cooking chocolate chip cookies are the closest thing I've made to the taste I'm looking for, so maybe I should use that recipe (sans chips) as a starting point.

Julia M. -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:34:51 PM -- 4850 of 13465
Domo arigato Rob Halford!

I think a Snickerdoodles recipe would work well for those m&m cookies, Lorelei. Omitting the cinnamon and adding the candies, obviously.

Agnes Day -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 08:40:33 PM -- 4851 of 13465
I'm in with the In Crowd, baby. I go where the In Crowd goes.

I love the JoC CC cookie recipe. Increase the brown sugar content ratio. You can add a great dimension by melting some sugar to the point of mild caramelization, add the vanilla to that, and mmmmmmmincredible things happen to the flavour.

Lorelei -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 09:07:57 PM -- 4852 of 13465
Trust the force and never keep receipts. -Kate D.

I'm thinking about doing an afternoon of baking so I can try out drop sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, and JoC CC cookies. Mmm, sugar overdose.

Curie Tournesol -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 09:14:08 PM -- 4853 of 13465
They are better than stars or water/Better than voices of winds that sing/Better than any man's fair daughter/ Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

I just made a batch of Julia M's chocolate chip cookies. This is the third time I've made them, but the first time I've made them stirring by hand rather than using my mixer. The dough was very dry and crumbly, so much so that I had to add another egg. Has this happened to anyone else? I baked a test cookie first; it tasted delicious, but the rest were so hard to shape that I added the egg. Then it was a bit too wet. Arrrgggh. Still delicious though (and they're for one of my husband's clients, so Client should be suitably impressed).

stitchy woman -- Thursday, February 24, 2005 -- 09:30:36 PM -- 4854 of 13465

Jumping in to say that I have made M&M cookies using either an oatmeal cookie recipe or the Toll House cookie recipe on the side of the bag of chocolate chips, and they were pretty good. However, I'm not quite the scientist about the proportions as y'all are!

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