Cookies are categorized by seven types of cookies making methods. Cookies come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common - they're delicious!
There are all sorts of different cookies, from chocolate chip to sugar cookies, and they can be made with all sorts of different flavors. Some cookies are soft and chewy, while others are crispy and crunchy.
Cookies are small cakes that are made from a dough that is soft to very stiff. The word cookies literally means "small cake". The main difference between cookies and cakes is the moisture content; cookie doughs have less liquid than cake batters. This difference in moisture content means there are differences in mixing methods, although the basic procedures are very similar to making cakes.
The most apparent difference between cookies and cakes is in the makeup; because most cookies are individually formed or shaped, there is a great deal of hand labor involved.
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Cookie Characteristics and Their Causes
The characteristics of cookies can vary depending on the ingredients and methods used. By understanding what causes certain qualities, bakers can adjust their recipes to create the perfect cookie for their needs. For example, they can make sure that the cookies are crisp by using flour with a high starch content, or make them soft by adding more sugar.
By understanding how the ingredients work together, bakers can create any type of cookie they desire.
Learning correct methods and then practicing diligently are essential for efficiency.
Cookies are crispy if they have low moisture. The following factors make cookies crispy:
1. A low proportion of liquid in the mix. This is because a stiff dough will make cookies that are less chewy and crisper.
2. High sugar and fat content. When there is more sugar and fat in a cookie, it will be crisper than one with lower amounts of those ingredients.
3. The evaporation of moisture during baking due to high temperatures and/or long baking times.
4. Small size or thin shape, so the cookies dry quickly during baking.
5. Proper storage - if crisp cookies are stored in an environment where they can absorb moisture, they will become.
The opposite of crispness is softness. Soft cookies can be caused by:
1. High amount of liquid.
2. Using low amounts of sugar and fats, like butter.
3. If using Hygroscopic sugars like molasses that pick up moisture in the air. Added moisture equaling softer cookies.
4. Underbaking the cookies. This will make them moister and softer compared to being baked to completion.
5. Their large size or thick shape – these cookies retain more moisture than smaller, thinner cookies would.
6. Proper storage – if soft cookies are not tightly covered or wrapped, they may become stale and dryover.
There are several factors that contribute to how much a cookie spreads when it is baked. The amount of sugar in the cookie, the size, and the shape of the sugar crystals. The presence of leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder, and the temperature of the oven all play a role in the finished texture of the cookie.
Generally speaking, cookies with more sugar require attention.
- more sugar = more spreading. This is a good rule to follow
- coarse granulated sugar spreads more than fine sugar
- cookies leavened with baking soda or baking powder. Spreads more than without
- cookies baked at a low temperature will spread more than those baked at a high-temperature
- more liquid = more cookie spread / less liquid = less cookie spread
- Butter or grease on the cookie sheet affects the spread
- Type of flour matters due to the different kinds of gluten structures in different kinds of flour
- ➡️ 45 Types of Flour | A to Z | Defined | Photos Guide to types of flour, 45 types
Spread is desirable in some cookies, while others must hold their shape. Several factors contribute to spreading or lack of spread.
Sugar with a larger particle size will increase spread, whereas a smaller particle size will decrease it. Sugar can be used to decrease or increase the spread of frosting.
High temperature decreases cookie spread, low oven temperatures increase it.
The liquid in cookies makes them spread more than a stiff dough. With this in mind, when you're mixing the cookie dough, if the recipe doesn't follow this rule, you'll be able to correct course.
- Flour Type
The more "strong" the flour or gluten, the less spread there will be. Learn more about all the flours of the world? ➡️ Types of Flour | A to Z | Photos
- Pan Grease
To help cookies spread more, lightly grease the cookie sheet before baking. To slow the spread, use a non-stick sheet, ungreased.
Cookie Mixing Methods
One-Stage Mixing Method
This method involves mixing all of the ingredients together at once and then scooping the dough onto the baking sheet. This method is quicker than the other methods, but it can sometimes result in cookies that are not as uniform in shape and denser.
Procedure for One-Stage Method:
To mix cookies using the one-stage method:
- Preheat the oven.
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until combined.
- Drop dough by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
The 'sponge method' is a technique used in baking that results in a light and fluffy cake. The egg whites get beaten with sugar until air is incorporated, then folded in with the rest of the ingredients. The whipped egg whites allow the flour to absorb moisture, creating a lighter and fluffy cookie or cake.
The 'sponge method' is often used in angel food cake, as well as Victoria sponge and Madeira cake.
Procedure for Sponge Method:
1. Measure out all of the ingredients for the cookie dough and have them at room temperature.
2. Whip the eggs and sugar together until they form a thick foam.
3. Fold in the remaining ingredients, being careful not to overmix them.
This method results in a cookie dough that is light and airy, with a perfect consistency for baking.
The creaming method is a technique used in baking that results in a richer and more flavorful cake. The butter is creamed with the sugar until light and fluffy; then the eggs are beaten into the mixture one at a time, then the dry ingredients are mixed in with the wet ingredients. This method often results in cookies that are moist and chewy.
The 'creaming method' is often used in chocolate cake, as well as carrot cake and red velvet cake.
Procedure for Creaming Method:
- Add softened butter and sugar to a bowl.
- Mix butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
- Pastry chefs encourage creaming longer verse shorter. Sometimes exceeding 5 minutes.
Creaming also helps to create a smooth texture in your cookies. If you do not cream the butter and sugar long enough, your cookies may be dense and heavy. This is due to large sugar crystals that have not been broken down during the creaming process.
Types of Cookies and Makeup Methods
Cookies are classified by the types by makeup method and mixing method. There are seven primary methods by which cookies can be made, each having a set of rules to follow.
Makeup method procedures types:
The best way to ensure even baking is by making sure your cookies are uniform in size and thickness. This will help guarantee that all of them cook at the same rate, which means you won't end up with some undercooked while others are overcooked!
Dropped cookies are a popular and easy-to-make type of cookie. To make them, you simply drop spoonfuls of batter onto a baking sheet and bake them. Drop cookies are convenient because they do not require any shaping or rolling. They are also ideal for cookies that have a lot of texture or chunks, such as oatmeal raisin cookies.
Something to consider with dropped cookies is that they spread while baking, so make sure to leave enough space between each cookie. Another tip is to use a cookie scoop to drop the batter onto the baking sheet, which will help ensure uniform cookies.
Select the proper size scoop for accurate portioning. Information on scoop sizes.
Bagged cookies are a popular technique for making cookies. This technique involves putting the dough in a bag and then cutting off the corner to pipe it onto the baking sheet. This technique is quick and easy, resulting in evenly shaped cookies.
Rolled cookies are a type of cookie made by rolling the dough out into a sheet and then cutting it into shapes. Rolled cookies are often cut with a cookie-cutter. Make sure to use a stiff/firm dough with this technique.
Molded cookies are a type of cookie that is made by pressing dough into a mold to create the desired shape.
Then, take your dough and press it into the mold. Be sure to press it evenly so that all of the cookie dough is touching the mold. If there are any air pockets, the cookies will not come out as nicely.
Once the dough is in the mold, use a knife to cut around the edge of each cookie.
Icebox cookies are a technique where the dough is prepared and then chilled until you're ready.
This technique was developed in the early 1900s as a way to keep food fresh. The dough is refrigerated for at least 2 hours. Slices of the dough are then placed on a greased baking sheet and baked.
Bar cookies are a popular type of cookie that is made by pressing the dough into a bar shape before baking. This technique is often used for cookies that require a lot of ingredients or that are difficult to roll and cut out. By pressing the dough into a bar shape, it is easier to spread the ingredients evenly and ensure that the cookies are of uniform size and thickness.
Sheet cookies are a popular type of cookie that is made by pressing dough into a large sheet and then cutting it into smaller squares or rectangles. The dough is usually rolled out on a floured surface and then transferred to a greased baking sheet.
Once the dough is on the baking sheet, you can use a fork to make indentations/designs on the top of the sheet. After baking, the cookies can be frosted or left plain.
The value of sheet cookies is it is easy to create a large volume of cookies all on one baking sheet.
Pans, Baking and Cooling
The Baking Pans
The best way to prepare your baking pans is by using clean, unwarped sheets. You can line your pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats which eliminates the need for greasing the pans. If you choose to grease the pans, use high-quality cooking oil. A heavily greased pan will cause the cookie dough to spread more, while a greased and floured pan will decrease the amount of spreading. Some high-fat cookies can be baked on ungreased pans.
Types of Baking Pans:
- Baking Sheets
- Bundt Pan
- Half-Sheet Pan
- Muffin Pan
- Pizza Pan
- Springform Pan
- Square Pan
- Tube Pan
- Tart Pan
- Pie Dish
Baking cookies is a science, and it is important to follow the correct temperature and time guidelines in order to produce the perfect cookie. Most cookies are baked at a high temperature for a short amount of time to achieve the desired results.
If the temperature is too low, the cookies may spread more and be harder and paler in color. However, if the temperature is too high, the cookies may burn at the edges or bottom.
In addition, it is important to keep a close watch on your cookies, as even one minute of overbaking can cause them to burn. You can tell when your cookies are done based on their color - they should just be starting to turn a light golden color around the edges and bottom.
When removing the cookies from the pans, it is important that they are still warm in order to avoid sticking. However, if the cookies are too soft, they may not be able to be removed until cooled, making them easier to handle. This is because the cookies will be soft when hot but become firm or crispier when cooled.
It is also important not to cool the cookies too rapidly as this can cause cracking. To store your cooled cookies, make sure they are completely cool before placing them in an airtight container.
So there you have it – a comprehensive guide to all things cookies. We hope this has answered any questions you may have had about the different types of cookies, how they are made and what makes them unique.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like some help in creating your next masterpiece cookie recipe, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.
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