Taking my new found time off to good use, Ive been a sweets baker for a long time, but never a from-scratch baker. I started last night, met sub par results. Found out my folly lies in how to measure flour.
Go figure its not as simple as just putting a cup into the flour bin to get a cup of flour. Nope!
Anyway, now I know how to do it properly. Todays batch is turning out MUCH better. Learned I need to let the dough rest in the cooler for 30 mins at least before handling/balling/sheeting.
I doubt anyone cares, and thats OK! I just wanted to share with someone. Ill post pics after they are done. Dough is chilling now.
On a yoyo related note, I got the G2 OC today and been throwing that in the down time. What a fantastic throw!!
Im glad you asked! Ive done a bit of reading about this recently. turns out:
Melted butter will make the cookies fall too thin and wide and cook too hard too fast. Cold butter won’t fluff with the sugar (i think they call it “creaming it”) but it gets like twice as big when its done right, and this is before you mix in the dry stuff, so you cant really make progress properly until it warms up some. otherwise youll end up with aresa of clumps of butter, and others areas with not enough.
Room temp sticks seem to be the best. Not liquidy, but a bit squishy. easily dentable with your fingertip.
My first folly was with not knowing how to measure flour.
My lesson learned with the second batch was “Butter Matters.” For reasons discussed above, we know where we should be, but I didnt have sticks. I had plenty of Tub (country crock) butter. Should be just fine, I thought.
Same problem as butter too melty. Even though it creamed properly (no electric mixer makes that a real work out!), the oil based nature melts too fast and we hit the same “too flat, too big” problem. But they tasted good so at least I know Im getting closer!
I slightly disagree on your view of melted butter. I think the spread is super useful for morsel type cookies. I’m a really big fan of adjusting cooking times and temps because I do agree that a standard 350-375 will destroy your cookies.
That having been said, the creaming method is totally the way to go for most cookies. It’s the standard for a reason.
Oatmeal cookies are great to experiment with because they usually taste good even if you don’t get the exact result you may have been trying for.
If you want to get really crazy, look into brownies from scratch. I would devote much more time and effort into experimenting with brownies it if it wasn’t such a fattening persuit.
I love baking cookies!!! Just made some Peanut Butter Blossoms last week for Thanksgiving day that always seem to come out amazing and were well loved.
You have inspired me to make some Chocolate Chip with Walnuts tonight…! :-X
I typically use room temp butter and don’t chill before baking. And with Chocolate Chip Cookies I typically do not ball them (I ball with Peanut Butter cookies…)… Any benefit other that a little prettier?!
So, I have never properly measured flour I guess… did a little research and should have fun tonight!
Flour is complicated! Measuring in grams seems to make the most sense and highest accuracy. But for sake of conversation, lets go into a less techy but more intensive way to measure flour.
In regards to flour measuring. Here is some important things I learned to avoid.
Do NOT put the cup into the container of flour to scoop it up into the measuring cup. By compacting it against the sides of the container or bag, Its possible to actually put up to nearly twice as much flour as you intend to. (this is exactly why my first round sugar cookies tasted like flour.)
Also, do NOT tamp, pack, shake, bump, etc your flour after you have measured it. This voids the process were about to go into.
OK so what I read, and found out, is that you only really need a whisk (or even large fork). You do not need a sifter but it can be needed for some recipes.
(note: “1 cup of flour, sifted” is not the same as “1 sifted cup flour.” The difference being the latter will ultimately be using alot less flour overall but catching the sifted only hyper fluff powder)
What I do is put my measuring cup in in a large bowl (but wax paper, paper plate, anything to catch the spilled/over flowed flour so you can easily collect it and put it back in the flour container. Try to get “dry measure” cups and use them, instead of a larger one. Like, if the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups flour, use a 1 cup and a 1/2 cup to measure it out.
While the flour is in the container, I whisk it for a few seconds to get it flowing like liquid. Once i get that I gently take a heaping fluffy scoop (serving spoon would be fine for this) of the whisked flour and slowly (not all at once, in one hard plop) pour the scoop into the measuring cup. Do this as many times as you need to have built a nice mound over the whole top of the measuring cup (spilling over is good here).
Now take the back side of a butter knife and scrape off the excess, gliding over the top rim making a perfect level. This is the perfect cup. Put this into the bowl of dry ingredients to be whisked one more time to mix in the other dry stuff (salt, baking soda/powder, etc) and break up any final clumps.
Here is a simpler but following the same lines way in video i just now found on youtube. Could have saved this wall of text, but look at me now, right here, thanking you for reading this.
As far as chilling the dough first, it actually does alot, and its all pretty good.
Store UN-covered in the fridge. 30 mins minimum.
By resting the dough, the flour has a change to change, breakdown, become sweeter.
Its also alot easier to handle, less sticky.
Its also makes the butter re-congeal making the cookies spread less, outside bakes and seals in the buttery goodness instead of thinning out. Its adds a softer texture but still chewy.
It allows all the sugar grains to liquify and absorb proper, less grit in the final product.
It also dries the dough out, makes the whole thing more concentrated. The same way the kool-aid or hot apple cider tastes batter with a little less water, its less diluted. The fridge is one of the driest places in the house, so it does a good job pulling moisture out of the dough (hence why its stored uncovered) The longer you let it rest, the sweeter the product will become. ( i read of a test of 30 mins, 1 hour, 2 hours, 6 hours etc up to 10 days!! that actually the 10day old ones turned out the best of the whole experiment)
I let my batch rest for about 2 hours. They still spread a little thinner than id like but i used country crock margarine spread, so im not surprised. Real butter is bet.
I enjoyed the read! VERY useful information. I’ve been putting off buying a food grade scale for sometime but its now on my Christmas list! ;D
I usually am fairly careful to not pack the flour into the measuring cup BUT I do scoop with the measuring cup directly from the container. Tonight (or maybe tomorrow night) when I make some chocolate chip cookies I am going to follow your suggestion and spoon it in after giving it a good fluff.
The other thing I am going to try is to make different batches. 1 right after mixing like I normally do… 1 about 30 minute after letting it marinate in the fridge uncovered and then the rest about an hour or so later out of the fridge and into the oven.
Thanks for the advice!! I will have to report back
They came out great as in texture, consistency and they were visually appealing… taste of the dough after baking was decent but I think has room for improvement. I think I need a better Vanilla than the McCormick brand… They were not bad by any means, just felt lacking :-X
Any favorite vanilla extract’s out there for chocolate chip cookies? Also, semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips?
Simple recipe. I double roll em in the powdered sugar though. ;D
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Beat oil, melted chocolate and and granulated sugar on medium speed. With the mixer running (you’ll need a stand mixer or a second set of hands for this), add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. (It’s okay if there’s small clumps of sugar in the bowl at this point.) Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, until just incorporated. The dough should still be sticky. Gather the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. (Overnight is best.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour powdered sugar into a bowl. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll into small, 1" balls. Roll cookie balls in powdered sugar, to coat entirely. (I do this part twice)
Place on baking sheet. (Dough balls should be about 2" apart.)
Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before transferring to wire racks. (Make sure you do transfer to a wire rack to cool. This gives a nice thin crunch outer layer to a soft chewy beneath)
THOSE look amazing double rolled and all! I love, love… LOVE! Chocolate Crinkles since I was a kid!! Those and Snickerdoodles are by far my favorites when done right. I’ve made them once years ago and they came out flat and not as soft on the inside as I was going for… lol
I’ve never had a double powdered sugar! They’re solid white compare to how my mom use to make them. I am drooling over here!!
Good post and thanks for the recipe, now I have to compare it to my mom’s recipe to see if there is a difference ;D
Ive made several other batches, tried oatmeal raisin and killed it! Best things ive made yet. Made a batch of mini chocolate chip and they fell super flat, but tasted great. Working through that batch now.
As far as the vanilla? Mccormick is pretty good imho, but I almost always add nearly double the suggestion. If it calls for 1 tsb, ill put 1 1/2 in there at least.
I guess thats my role, cause my wife has never made me cookies! Im happy to bake. I love the process and product. Its like alchemy!
beherenow- Ill try these after the holidays! Thanks for sharing! I thought this thread would fall doa. Thanks guys