Cookie Baking Tips and a Spiced Cookie Recipe

Craftsy

This time of year always puts me in the baking mood.  I especially love to make cookies!  There are so many types of cookies to choose from and it’s a great way to test out new flavor combinations.  I’ve developed some cookie baking tips over the years that help me get the perfect cookie almost every time.  There’s always days that things just don’t work out – that’s just life!  Hopefully these tips will help you have more “perfect cookie” days!

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Ingredients

The star ingredients of this spiced cookie is the molasses and garam masala.  This gives the cookie great warmth and flavor.  I found these half gallon mason jars several years ago at Target.  They are perfect for keeping flour and such nearby and they look great too.  I keep the extra in the freezer in it’s bag to keep out the weevils!

molasses and garam masala

My first tip is to gather all the ingredients and measure out what you need before beginning.  This will make things go much more smoothly and keep the work space less cluttered.  I also go ahead and turn the oven on so it will be ready when I am!

Combining Ingredients

If you’re new to baking, some directions can seem ambiguous.  Not everyone grew up around a baker!  A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say (who is they?).  I’m going to show you what “creaming the butter and sugar” and “fully incorporated” looks like.

  • Creaming butter and sugar
    • Make sure your butter is softened before doing this.
    • Lay out the butter first on top of the stove while it’s heating up to help it soften.
    • If you’re like me, and forget this step every time, use the microwave!  Just pop it in, with the wrapper on, for no more than 7 seconds.  Flip it and do it again if it’s not soft enough.
    • Chopping it up first also helps!

The first photo shows the butter and sugar after its mixed a little.  The second photo is what it should look like when it’s “creamed”.

After the butter and sugar are creamed, most recipes call for adding the other liquid ingredients.  Usually it says to “combine until well mixed” or “until fully incorporated”.  Seems fairly straight forward, but what does that really look like?

  • You shouldn’t be able to see individual ingredients.
  • There shouldn’t be any lumps or clumps of ingredients.
  • Add flour a little at a time on a lower speed to keep the mess down.  Some will fly out, but we don’t want to look like the ghost of Christmas past!

My pictures got a little mixed up, so the one on the right is after adding the egg and molasses and the one on the left is in the process of adding flour.

adding ingredients

Once everything is well combined it should look something like this.  Smooth and uniform.  Does anyone else see Jabba the Hut in my dough?

I like to put my dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  This is not something you have to do, it just makes it easier to scoop the cookies.  I usually clean up my mess while it’s cooling.  Sometimes I wait until this step to turn on the oven.

Ready to Cook

I have a few secret weapons that have made a world of difference in the way my cookies turn out.  These are items that I will not cook cookies without!

  • cookie scoop – Get a good one!  The cheap ones never last and break easily.
  • parchment paper – Keeps the pan clean and the cookies from sticking.
  • cooling racks – Don’t leave cookies on the pan to cool!  They will keep cooking and get hard.  Nobody wants that!

I go ahead and line my cookie sheet with parchment and set out the cooling racks before I start scooping.  A cookie scoop helps get more uniformed cookies.  Not because I’m creating a cookie army, but because they will cook more evenly.  Just scoop up some dough and press it against the bowl to get rid of excess.

This dough needs to be rolled in cinnamon sugar.  I like to keep cinnamon sugar in a container with a tight fitting lid.  This way, I can scoop out several at a time, add them to the cinnamon sugar, close the lid, and give it a good shake.

Once everything is coated well, I add them to the cookie sheet.  Most recipes say something like “space them 2″ apart”.  Who’s measuring cookie spacing?  Not this chick!  I space mine 4 to a row and 4 rows – 16 per sheet.

This is even enough for me!  I bake my cookies until they look slightly browned.  If I touch the top, it should feel crusty, but have a little give to it.  Here’s the first batch.

I cooked these for 13 minutes because that’s the best time for my oven.  These were a little on the crisper side, so I cooked the next batch for 10 minutes.  The cookies have a crisp exterior and a soft interior, which is my perfect cookie!  The photo on the right is the first batch and the left is the second.

You can see one is a little darker.  They are both good cookies, it just depends on what your perfect cookie is!  Spend some time with your oven to figure out which time works best.  Most cookies need at least 10 minutes to be done.  Now I have cookies ready for Santa!

cookie baking tips and a cookie recipe

I hope my cookie tips help and y’all enjoy the recipe!

 

Spiced Cookie Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 40 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
    Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda. salt, garam masala, and ginger in a bowl. Run everything through a sifter to combine and set aside.
  3. Add butter, white sugar, and brown sugar to mixing bowl. Mix until creamy.
  4. Add egg, then molasses, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add flour mix a little at a time, keeping the mixer on a lower speed. Mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. (optional)
  7. Combine ingredients for the Cinnamon Sugar in a deep container with a tight fitting lid.
  8. Using a cookie scoop or teaspoon, scoop up 4-5 cookies and put them in the container. Shake until cookies are completely covered.
  9. Add the cookies to a parchment lined cookie sheet. 4 cookies to a row and 4 rows will keep them evenly space.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 10-13 minutes.
  11. Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack when done.
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