Avoid These Three Common Cookie Mistakes! by toriola1


									                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                                        Avoid These Three Common Cookie Mistakes!
                                                               By Sophia Tyler

   Making cookies seems like an easy task: mix a few ingredients, pop them into the oven, and presto!
Fresh, homemade cookies. But, if baking cookies are so easy, why do your cookies crumble with the
slightest touch, why are they so hard you could break a tooth, why are they always burnt on the
bottom? Despite how frustrating these problems are, they are actually easily prevented.

 One of the most common cookie complaints is dry dough, which usually leads to either crumbly
cookies or cookies that are hard and tough. To prevent this, avoid adding any more flour than the
recipe calls for. This means measuring out your flour carefully, by either the dipping or sifting methods.
I prefer the dipping method, since it negates the need for a sifter and usually gives you a better

 To measure by dipping, simply dip the proper sized measuring cup into your flour container. Level off
flour with a straight-edged knife or flat spatula. Do not tap the measuring cup or try to pack more flour
into the cup! You want to pack the brown sugar, not the flour.

 If you are making cookies with cookie cutters, you will need to roll out your dough before cutting.
Recipes usually call for a lightly floured surface to roll the dough out. However, this will add a little more
flour to your dough, which will only contribute to dry, crumbly or hard cookies. Instead of using flour,
use a light dusting of confectioners' sugar to coat the surface and your rolling pin. This will add a slight
sweetness to your cookie, rather than drying the dough further.

 Another common problem is cookies that bake unevenly. This problem is usually caused by one of two
things, both of which are easily fixed. The first step is to make sure you allow your oven to heat at least
20 minutes before putting in the first batch of cookies. Your oven may say it's heated to the correct
temperature, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the center of the oven has reached that
temperature. Make sure to also place your cookie sheets in the middle of the oven, not too close to any
of the sides. This will help the heat bake the cookies evenly across your sheets.

 To prevent browning or burning on the bottom of your cookies, do not use a dark-colored cookie
sheet. Instead use a heavy-gauge sheet with a dull finish. Aluminum is usually a very good choice.

 Do not allow the cookies to bake more than the time recommended by the recipe. Check the cookies
at the minimum bake time. If they are not done, then allow them to bake up to the high end of the
recommended time range. Do not allow the cookies to go beyond a lightly golden color. Also, don't

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                                               Presented by Daniel Toriola

leave small cookies cooling too long on a cookie sheet after they come out of the oven. The bottom of
cookies will continue to cook on the hot cookie sheet. Remove the cookies to a cooling cake as soon
as possible.

 If your cookies are still baking unevenly or burning despite these measures, place an oven
thermometer in the center of your oven while the oven if on. After 30 to 40 minutes, check that the
thermometer reads the same temperature that the oven dial does. If they are not in agreement, then
adjust your oven's temperature either up or down accordingly.

 These simple actions will help you bake the perfect cookie that not only tastes good, but also looks
good. Your friends and family will think a professional baked them!

Make sure to visit my blog, Christmas Cookie Recipes for helpful tips, advice, and recipes on making
perfect cookies, such as Christmas Bells, Candy Cane cookies and much more!

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                                                           Cookies And Kids
                                                           By Dana Goldberg

 I don’t know what it is but there are some smells that bring back fond memories and one of them is the
whiff of a freshly baked cookie. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth and can actually survive without
cakes or chocolates but once I am hit by that cookie smell I am taken to a warm and wonderful place. I
want to enjoy the cookie all on my own and find myself a quiet place with a cup of my favourite coffee
and prepare to be in heaven.

It isn’t just eating a freshly baked cookie that is enjoyable but making them can be very satisfying too.
Cookie baking can be great fun if you have young kids and that is probably where some of my earliest
cookie memories come from. I remember how much I loved helping my grandma mix all the cookie
ingredients together and then shape them on a baking tray before she put them in the oven. I felt so
special when she let me lick the mixing bowl clean of the cookie mixture too! Anyway, the first time I
suggested that my daughter could help me bake some cookies she was about four years old and her
little face lit up. We made quite a mess I must be honest but we really had a great time together and
the cookies didn’t turn out all that bad either.

If you have young kids in your family then why not give cookie baking a try? You don’t have to be a
wonderful cook; in fact you can buy cookie mixes that you just have to add water to so you have more
chance of baking great cookies. You could always buy some of the cookie dough that has become
popular but I think that the mixing process is the best bit! Making different shapes of cookies and then
decorating them afterwards is also something that most kids love to do. You might even think about
giving some of these homemade cookies as gifts, especially if your kids helped make them. A cookie
that was decorated by a grandchild for Christmas or any other special occasion is bound to be enjoyed
far more than a store bought one.

D. Goldberg is webmaster of Parenting Spirit. Get help and information to deal with common parenting
challenges and problems. http://www.parentingspirit.com

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                                               Presented by Daniel Toriola

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