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Did you know that "cookie" comes from the Dutch word "koekje or koekie" and refers to a small cake. 'Cookies' in North America are defined as small, sweet, flat or slightly raised baked goods. In the U.K. they are called biscuits; in Spain they are called galletas; in Germany they are called kels; and in Italy they are called biscotti. Every country has its favorite. In the United States and Canada it is chocolate chip, in the U.K. its shortbread, in France its sablés and macaroons, and in Italy biscotti.

Cookies are one of the fastest and easiest things to make. Generally they are a simple combination of all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, granulated and/or brown sugar, large eggs, baking powder/soda and flavorings. They come in many different shapes, sizes, textures and flavors.

Bar - a soft batter is spread evenly into a shallow pan, baked, and cut into individual bars or pieces.

Drop - a firm batter is "dropped" onto a baking sheet using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Each cookie should be of equal size and spaced evenly on baking sheet.

Molded or Hand-Formed - a firm batter is shaped into balls, logs, etc. or pressed into a mold. The cookies are then placed on a baking sheet and baked.

Piped or Pressed - batter is either put in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip or placed into a cookie press. The batter is then piped onto a baking sheet or pushed through the cookie press into fancy shapes and baked.

Refrigerator or Icebox - batter is shaped into a log, refrigerated until firm, evenly sliced into rounds, placed on a baking sheet and baked.

Rolled - a firm batter is rolled into a thin layer, shapes are then cut out using a cookie cutter, cookies are placed on a baking sheet and baked.


Creaming - The fat and sugar are placed into a mixing bowl and creamed together. The eggs and any liquid are added. Finally, the flour and leavening agent are added and mixed just until combined.

One-Stage - All the ingredients are placed into a mixing bowl and blended together until a smooth batter is formed.


If cookies brown too quickly - check to see if your oven is calibrated properly and not reading too high. You can do this with a free standing oven thermometer. Another reason for over-browning is from using dark-colored baking pans or sheets which promote browning. Either reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees F (15 degrees C) or use aluminum pans or sheets.

If cookies brown too quickly on bottoms - the same reasons as above but also your oven rack may be too low or the batter has too much sugar in it.

If cookies brown too quickly on top and the bottoms are not cooked enough - the oven rack may be too high, the temperature is too high, or you are using dark-colored baking pans or sheets.

If cookies spread too much - dough may be too soft. This is remedied by placing the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up. Also, never place cookies on a warm baking sheet as the batter will start to soften and spread even before you place them in the oven. Cookies can also spread too much if placed on a greased baking sheet, when the recipe states using an ungreased baking sheet. Cookies made with butter have the tendency to spread more than cookies made with shortening.

If cookies are too dry and hard - it may simply be that the cookies were over baked. Also, if the oven was not hot enough, they will take too long to bake and this causes them to dry out. The batter could contain too much flour or not enough egg or liquid.


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September 23, 2017

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