Dorie Greenspan, co-owner of Beurre and Sel and author of "Around My French Table," offers her tips on how to bake the perfect cookies. Follow these steps and you'll have cookies that look like the photos in a cookbook.
Don't have the time to bake? Purchase these cute cookies from Beurre and Sel and let Dorie do the work for you.
|Room Temp Rules|
"Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature: Take your eggs and butter out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you're ready to start mixing. Ingredients blend more easily at room temperature and you get a better dough when all of the ingredients are at approximately the same temperature."
"Unless the recipe instructs you to whip like mad, cookie dough, especially dough for shortbread-type cookies, benefits from a light hand. Don't overbeat the butter, sugar and eggs (most of the time you don't want air in a cookie batter) and mix in the flour only until it disappears into the dough. Tender cookies are restraint's reward."
|Keep it Cold|
"After you've rolled out cookie dough, slide it into the refrigerator to chill – a little rest after a good roll-out makes it easier to cut neat, straight edges. And you'll keep those edges straight if you chill the cut-out dough again before you bake it."
|Portion the Dough|
"It's fine if drop cookies are shaped every which way -- haphazardness is part of their charm -- but to ensure even baking, it's best if all of the cookies are the same size. A cookie scoop (think scaled-down ice-cream scoop) makes child's play of portioning out dough."
|Check the Oven|
"Make sure the oven is at the correct temperature before the first batch of cookies goes in."
|A Little Space, Please!|
"Most cookies spread as they bake, so don't crowd the baking sheet."
"As good as warm cookies are, most cookies need a cool-down period for their texture to set and their flavors to meld. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer cookies from the baking sheet to a cooling rack ... and then be patient."
|Keep 'em Separate|
"If you haven't eaten all your cookies straight off the cooling rack, you should tuck them into a cookie jar or an airtight container to store them. Just remember: Keep the crisp, crunchy cookies in one place and the soft, chewy ones in another. Mix them and they'll all end up soft."