Marla Harding is a social worker by profession. In her free time, Marla Harding enjoys baking cookies and other homemade treats.
To bake the best possible batch of cookies, adherence to the recipe is key. This means using the measurements, tools, and ingredients specified, as these can change the character of the cookie if altered. Similarly, if the recipe indicates a particular type or quality of an ingredient, the cook should take care to abide by this specification.
Butter is an excellent example, as its consistency changes significantly with temperature. Butter softens as it warms, and softer butter mixes differently with sugar. If the recipe calls for softened butter and the cook melts the butter, or mixes it in when the butter is too cold, the structure of the cookie will suffer.
Similarly, because the chemistry of cookie dough determines results, any incorrect measurements may change the final product significantly. Too much flour, for instance, can harden a cookie, while too much baking soda can threaten a cookie’s ability to hold its shape. Experts recommend spooning dry ingredients into dry measuring cups and pouring liquids into liquid measuring cups, so as to ensure precision.
Cooks must also attend to precision in the baking process itself. Cookies come out softer at shorter baking times and brown more with additional baking, so each baker must take care to pull the baking sheet out of the oven when the consistency is right. The process ends by removing the cookies form the sheet immediately, so that the cookies do not over-bake or stick to the baking surface.