To give a fruit flavor to your brownies, use flavored soda pop instead of water in the mix.
When mailing cookies, pack in unbuttered and unsalted popcorn to help keep them from crumbling.
Foil-line pans for baking bars. Once bars have cooled, you can lift the foil right out and cut the bars cleanly. The pans will need only a quick rinse and dry.
If you run out of cookie sheets while baking, spoon the remaining cookie dough on large sheets of lightly greased aluminum foil. When a cookie sheet becomes free, rinse it with cold water to cool, shake off excess water and lay the foil with the cookie dough right on the sheet.
Always bake bars on the middle rack in the oven and cookies on the top rack. If baking more than one pan at a time, place them at different angles on different racks to allow maximum circulation of heat. Alternate their placement on the racks halfway through the baking time.
Always cool cookie sheets between batches to keep unbaked cookies from melting and thinning at the edges before they can be set by the heat of the oven.
To keep cookie dough from sticking to cookie cutters, chill the dough thoroughly before you roll it out. Dip each cookie cutter in oil before pressing into the dough and the cookies will cut cleanly. This treatment is wonderful when using cutters with intricate designs or cutters made of plastic. You can also spray the cutters with oil spray.
Bake a batch of gingerbread cookies in assorted shapes. Decorate with each guest’s name and use as table place markers.
Cookies will spread if your dough is too pliable by allowing butter to get too soft. If your cookies are spreading too much, try refrigerating the dough for a couple of hours before baking.
Cookie dough can be frozen up to three months in an airtight container or refrigerated three to four days.
Check cookies at minimum baking time.
Let cookies cool completely before storing. Store different types of cookies in separate containers so they’ll keep their original flavor and texture.
For a quick glaze for sugar cookies, beat an egg white until just frothy and brush over the unbaked cookies. Sprinkle with sugar and bake. This will give your cookies a shiny, sweet crust.
When cookie dough is soft and difficult to handle, place it between pieces of wax paper that have been floured. Roll to desired thickness, remove the top paper, and cut cookies.
Natural cereals ground in the blender or food processor can be substituted for all or part of the flour in most cookie recipes. Or use very fine unseasoned bread crumbs.
When you re-roll dough scraps, dust the pastry cloth with a mixture of half flour and half confectioners sugar. This makes the cookies more tender than if they were rolled on a surface dusted with flour only.
To keep homemade cookies just-baked fresh, put a slice of white bread in the jar or container.
If you flour a cookie sheet after greasing it, cookies made from thin batters will be less likely to spread during baking.
Pack cookie dough in clean empty frozen juice cans and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Remove one end to insert dough and tightly cover the can with foil. When ready to use, remove the other end and push the dough out. Slice and bake! Use a coffee can for jumbo cookies!
Before making oatmeal cookies, toast the oatmeal by spreading it on a cookie and baking it in a preheated 300 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes until it has colored lightly. Cool oatmeal before folding it into the other ingredients.
When rolling out cookie dough to cut, use a thin dusting of confectioners’ sugar instead of flour on the board. The flour tends to make the dough thicker and heavier, while the dusting of sugar will help the cookie to brown evenly.
For a just-baked taste for store-bought cookies, wrap two to four cookies in a paper towel. Microwave on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds. Cookies come out tasty.
If you are in a hurry, instead of chilling, simply drop dough from a spoon and bake as you would drop cookies.
If dough is soft and difficult to work with, put bowl in refrigerator or freezer until firm enough to shape.
For square cookies, take an empty wax paper or plastic wrap carton, line with foil and pack dough in firmly. Then chill.
For an extra touch, roll chilled dough in colored or cinnamon sugar, ground nuts or flaked coconut before slicing and baking.
When slicing, use your sharpest knife. Give dough a quarter turn occasionally so the bottom doesn’t flatten.