Monday, June 13, 2011

This is why your friend's mom's cookies don't kick ass anymore

Dear Tricia, My friend's mom bakes awesome oatmeal cookies but, recently they have been coming out thinner than usual.  Why?

3 reasons, and I'll make this quick because I need you to fix that problem, make a new batch, and send them to me pronto.  Words can't describe my love of oatmeal cookies.  I can get seriously ugly on a batch of those suckers.

First, you know how when you bake, you always read to cream the sugar and butter until its light and fluffy, and the butter turns from yellow to almost white?  Well that's a prime example of what you don't want to do with cookies.  Cakes- yes.  Cookies- no.  Over creaming the butter and sugar just makes the cookies spread out more, and they get thinner and flat.  Picture the sugar granules punching little air pockets into the butter- its like watching one of the Kardashians, or Toddlers and Tiaras on TV, and slowly, your brain just gets filled with air.  This is great for cakes, because it makes the cake rise up, but with cookies, it just makes them spread out.  So keep those Kardashians and mini drag queen-looking lady babies away from your cookies. 

Second, make sure your oven is fully pre heated.  Get that oven entirely up to temperature before you even start making the cookies.  If you put a tray of cookie dough into an oven that's not hot enough, the butter just starts to slowly melt out and the texture of your cookies will suck.  If you put your oven into a primed and hot oven, the water inside of the butter evaporates and the steam helps the cookie rise.  Pair that with the baking soda, and your cookies are doing the job they were meant to do.  So give them a nice office to do their job in.  Cookies like heat.  They're like those iguanas, laying out on a scorching hot rock Mexico, soaking it all up, the crazy bastards.

Third, baking soda is what makes cookies spread.  This is important- you need your cookies to spread out a little.  But make sure you're measuring correctly, because extra baking soda means extra spreadage.  And double check that you're using baking soda, not baking powder.  Don't get those 2 confused because they do things totally different.  Read this blog from a billion years ago to find out why.

Ok, suggest those things to your friends mom.  Tactfully, I hope.  You don't want to be all "Your cookies aren't awesome anymore and Tricia said this is why."  And let me know how it turns out!  (After you send me a batch, of course.  Thank you.)


Donn and Katherine Carroll said...

Tricia; This was incredibly enlightening to me...and I've been cooking forever. I am wondering, as several of us transition into using coconut or olive oil for the butter, and honey or maple syrup for the sugar- do the same concepts apply basically?

Theresa said...

Um, just found your blog and I am already a HUGE fan! So thrilled to read you from top to bottom - sounds dirty, doesn't it? Well, apologies for that.