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Do You Feel Like A Rookie When Baking Cookies? 7 Tips to Bake Like A Pro

I know I felt like a rookie and my cookies made it clear! I have made many mistakes with Holiday baking. The recipe I tried didn’t turn out like the picture or the video!! One year, not too long ago I might add, I had a hankering for using peppermint. Why not? that is very Holidayish right? The problem was I stored them in containers that had other cookies in it such a chocolate chip, peanut butter, iced butter cookies, and pecan bars. So what I got was mint chocolate chip cookies, mint peanut butter, mint iced butter cookies and yes mint pecan bars!! No one would eat any of them. I can still hear it now, “Mom, why does ALL your cookies taste like mint?” Lesson learned. I won’t make that mistake again!!!

We are going to discuss 7 ways to help you get the cookies turning out like a bakery chef! The first tip comes from the kitchen of Better Homes and Gardens. I have included the link for the full post so you can check out all the details! We will talk about grease or not greased, how long should you let your cookies cool, why are they spreading into 1 big cookie! Oh boy, I can safely say been there done that and got that cookie t-shirt!

1. Make sure you do not substitute ingredients not listed on the recipe. Substituting ingredients can cause the cookies to crumble or spread out too much.

2. Don’t substitute shortening for butter or butter for shortening. Can cause your cookies or bars to become flat or stick to the pan. According to BH&G you can substitute margarine for stick butter if it is high fat margarine (100 calories per tablespoon) When mixing don’t over mix with the hand mixer. Use a hand and manually finish up stirring the batter just before you think it is mixed enough.

3. Should you grease or not grease? Some cookies call for an ungreased cookie sheet. This indicates that there is enough fat in the cookie that you do not need anymore to make the cookies slide off. Again, this tip comes from BH&G Kitchens for greasing your cookie sheet and it is what I remember most from both of my grandmas watching them bake. The used shortening, Crisco was their main shortening they used. They took a piece of wax paper and scooped out a bit of the Crisco and then spread it around on the cookie sheets. I remember it didn’t take a lot. This was one of my jobs as a kid was “greasing” the cookie sheets.

4. I am a huge fan of using parchment paper for all of my cookies to help from keeping them from sticking. It works very well! Another trick is to line the baking pan with tin foil if making brownies or bars. You can “lift out” the bars or brownies and then cut them up into squares. BH&G recommends a metal spatula you can get from Kohl’s to loosen up the edges around the baking pan or dish.

5. Don’t be inpatient! There was another baking flaw of mine. I wanted to put the cookies away too soon and didn’t let them cool enough. Cooling allows the cookie to “firm up”. Some cookies take longer that others to cool. Use wire cooling racks for best results.

6. Don’t use imitation ingredients such as vanilla or almond extract. Well we are all about saving money here, but we don’t want to cookies to taste “cheap” so we need to splurge on the good stuff here. The experts agree here that pure vanilla is definitely worth the price! They say that if you are going to use the cheap stuff use it in desserts that are going to be baked as a lot of the flavor gets burned off. Check out more what the experts say about Pure Vanilla vs Imitation. They do mention that pure vanilla is very hard to cultivate and that is why it is much more expensive.

7. Don’t let your cookies over cook. I have an electric oven that I have finally gotten used to. Whether you like them or not vs a gas stove and oven it does make a difference to us. I have learned to let my cookies cook a little longer than the recipe and I just watch them closely. My grandma taught me that if the cookie is not “shiny” anymore and still looks “puffy” that is when to take them out even if you don’t think they may be quite done. I now take my cookies out when they look done vs when the timer goes off according to the cook time in the recipe.

I found a great article that give you 30 more mistakes to correct to make great cookies! There are some great tips here!

Ok now that we have you baking up a storm with great tasting cookies, we want to share the exciting news!!

We are going to offer a Virtual Cookie Exchange Sunday December 13 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. CST. What will that look like? Click the link below to join us! Each participant will get a hand-made 2020 ornament from “Journey On” Boutique in Wilton, Wisconsin and some festive recipe cards to write down your favorite shared recipes. We will have more prizes given out during the Cookie Exchange as we virtually sip and sample with your favorite beverage! This will be a great time to get some new recipes. You will need to have at least 2 batches of your favorite cookies to show off during our virtual zoom exchange. We will collect the recipes and get them out to everyone!! We will share your favorite baking tips.

Get on the list to participate in the Cabin Creek Virtual Cookie Exchange Grab Your Seat


Hope to see you there!! As always, thanks for stopping by!!

As a bonus, enjoy our Holiday Baking Planner here

Download PDF • 587KB

Take care,


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