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Types of Cookies and How to Bake Them


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January 23, 2016 Recipe

Types of Cookies and How to Bake Them

An Overview
Did you know there are six different types of cookies? Each has its place. All are easy enough to make that the skills for success are easily learned. Here, we review the six types of cookies and provide tips for each.

Bar Cookies
When you are in a hurry, nothing is faster than a bar cookie. Mix, pour the batter in a pan, and bake. You don’t have to form individual cookies—the most time consuming task in many recipes.

If you would like a tender, cake-like cookie, use all-purpose or pastry flour. Don’t over mix–over mixing will develop the gluten and make for a tougher cookie. Instead of greasing the baking pan, consider lining the pan with foil or parchment paper. Lightly spray the foil with vegetable spray. Be sure and spread the dough evenly in the pan for uniformly baked cookies.

Cake-like bar cookies should be baked until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. When lightly pressed with a fingertip, the top should spring back. For brownie-type cookies, the tops should be dull—not glossy—and an imprint will remain when touched. After baking, holding the edges of the paper or foil, lift the loaf of cookies from the pan. Use a sharp, serrated knife and trim the edges. Then use a ruler to mark the cuts for uniform bars.

Bar cookies can be cooled in the pan or on a rack. They can be stored in the pan but we prefer to cut the cookies into bars as described, and wrap them individually in plastic.

Drop Cookies
These are the most common cookies and probably what we think of first when cookies come to mind. There are more recipes for drop cookies than for any other type.

Make each cookie of equal size and height for uniform baking. (An ice cream scoop with a release mechanism helps make uniform cookies.) Bake until the cookies are delicately browned and an imprint remains if lightly touched with a finger. Do not over bake the cookies. Over baked cookies are dry and hard. Remove them immediately to racks to cool. Let them cool completely before stacking.

Formed Cookies
These are formed into balls between the palms of your hands. Some are flattened with a fork or the bottom of a glass before baking. Some are left round—the oven mettles the butter and cookie softens to a flattened shape.

It’s easy to make uniform, round cookies. To make them the same size, use a kitchen scale and weigh each ball. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, use a ruler so that each cookie has the same diameter.

Bake these cookies until they are delicately browned and an imprint remains if lightly touched with a finger. Remove them immediately to racks to cool and let them cool completely before stacking.

Refrigerator Cookies
In some ways, refrigerator cookies are the most convenient cookies. You can mix the dough ahead of time and bake them when needed and bake only as many as are needed. Dough can be stored for a week in the refrigerator and much longer than that in the freezer.

After mixing, form the dough into a round or rectangular log and chill thoroughly. Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut cleanly especially if there are nuts in the dough. Use a ruler to get the cookies all the same thickness. When slicing round logs, roll the dough after each cut to keep the log uniform.

Bake the cookies until they are delicately browned and cool them on racks.

Rolled Cookies
Handle and chill the dough as for refrigerator cookies. Roll the dough out on a very lightly floured surface. Most recipes call for the dough to be about 1/4-inch thick. Use a toothpick to make sure that the dough is uniformly the right thickness. A thinner cookie will make for a crisper cookie. Cut the dough with cookie cutters. Get as many cookies from each rolling as possible, Successive rollings, with the flour from the counter incorporated into the dough and with more handling of the dough, will make for tougher cookies.

Bake the cookies until they are delicately browned and cool them on racks.

Pressed Cookies
These cookies take special equipment–a cookie press–but can be made into wonderfully attractive shapes. They are great to make with kids. Kids are fascinated with both the shapes and technique.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for forming cookies. The dough must be pliable. If the dough gets too soft, return it to the refrigerator and let it chill.

Bake the cookies until they are delicately browned and cool them on racks.

My favorite cookie mix from Prepard Pantry is the Buttery Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. The only problem I have had with this mix is it has real chocolate in the chocolate chips. I have been known to open the mix, steal the chips and eat them. It is necessary to order more of the chips from Dennis at the Prepared Pantry. The real chocolate chips are sooooo much better than the imitaton ones we generally find in the stores. When I reorder the chips I tell the the Prepared Pantry that if they didn't have such good chips in their mixes I wouldn't hear them calling my name from the package to open them up and eat them, LOL.
Prepared Pantry

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