Cookie baking tips just in the nick of time

If you are an avid baker you probably have a list of all of the cookies and treats you will be making for the holidays. Even people who rarely bake will whip out a batch of decorated sugar cookies or family favorites this time of year. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, good baking advice is always handy and appreciated. The Washington Post’s Becky Krystal recently posted a handful of brilliant cookie making tips that she gleaned from several new cookbooks that came her way this year.

Butterscotch pecan pudding cookies from All About Cookies by Christina Tosi

The first example comes from All About Cookies by Christina Tosi of Milk Bar fame. Tosi’s trick is to place “a piece of painter’s tape next to the recipe so the ingredients can be checked off as they are added.” The only caveat would be to apply a test piece to your cookbook because even painter’s tape can harm some types of paper. I would probably use a sticky note instead, but it’s a great idea regardless.

Another great piece of advice involves how to successfully tweak recipes by reducing the sugar, swapping out different types of flour, or other ingredient substitutions. Krystal pulls her tips from The King Arthur Baking School which basically boils down to tread carefully when making changes to ingredients. Start with small changes, like a reduction of 10% of the sugar instead of cutting it by a large amount.

Although not a tip per se, my biggest cookie baking revelation came from Dorie’s Cookies. When she had her own cookie shop, she achieved the feat of making perfectly round cookies by baking them in muffin tins. This won’t work for every cookie type, of course. My favorite recipe from that book is the “Corked” Breton galettes.

For more cookie and holiday baking inspiration, see Jenny’s cookie roundup with links to recipes and more.

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