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Archive for the ‘Notes and Hints’ Category

Butter: If the recipe calls for butter, and it does not say “sweet” or “unsalted” you can use either salted or unsalted butter. If the recipe also calls for salt, be aware and don’t over salt your cookies.

I will usually note if it can be butter or margarine, but use your own judgment, taste, and budget. Also, brand name v. store brand.

Also some recipes call for Crisco – it can be either scooped from a can or cut from a Crisco stick. To measure Crisco from the can, use a larger than called for glass or plastic measuring cup. Fill a portion with water, and then scoop the Crisco in to the measuring cup, until the level of the water reaches the amount of the water + Crisco. Then, pour off the water, and go ahead with the Crisco in the recipe.

Now, Crisco comes in baking sticks, in either unflavored or “butter” flavored.

The use of butter, margarine, and Crisco, can or stick, all might make a difference in the texture of the cookies. Unless one is specifically referenced, they can be alternated to try on your own. Look on the box, tub, etc to see if the ingredient can be used for baking. Some types are not recommended for baking.

And, of course, there is “organic”.

Use the best ingredients that you can, but be aware that sometimes it does matter, and sometimes it doesn’t.

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Notes and Hints:
Double the batch: most of the cookie recipes can be doubled, if desired. That teaches mathematics skills. But do NOT double unless you are skilled at making adjustments. The same goes for making a batch and a half or dividing a batch. Great if you have decent math skills, or for a lesson…but be very aware of what you are doing. Cooking and baking is chemistry…delicious chemistry, but there is definitely math and science to how much adjustment that you can make regarding the baking powder or baking soda, etc.

Egg – break in to a separate bowl. I hate cooking shows where the chef breaks the eggs directly in to the batter. What about a spoilt egg? What about pieces of shell in the bowl? Do yourself a favor and break each egg in to a small bowl prior to adding to the batter.

Mixer: Mixing by hand is certainly possible – either stirring or with a manual egg beater. Preferably: use a stand mixer or a portable hand held mixer.

Plan: Have an idea of which cookies that you will be making, even if you do not do them all, and make sure that you have purchased the ingredients and identified the bowls, pans, and such that you will utilize.

Sifting – I usually do not bother. Flour is fresher and ground smoother than in old times. If grinding your own flour or using small batch milled flour, consider sifting.
If the recipe calls for sifting the dry ingredients together, just add the dry ingredients to each other in a separate measuring cup or bowl and lightly stir to combine.

Sugar:
granulated = regular table sugar
confectioner’s = powdered “candy” sugar
cinnamon sugar = mix ground cinnamon to granulated sugar. Can make the combination as strong or light as desired, and as much or as little. Lasts stored in an airtight container. Can be used to top cookies, and on pancakes or French toast, or on buttered toast.

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