Cracking the Cookie Code

Fans of my blog know that I make a lot of
cookies.  It has taken me a while to figure out that cookies are a science.  Cookies have a formula that if followed can make home-made cookies easy. The magician is about to reveal his secret.  If you follow these basic rules, you can produce cookies easily and deliciously.  Here’s the scientific formula.
Dries + leavening + wet + fat + flavor + extra = cookie
Dries: usually 2 cups of flour and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt (but if you use cocoa powder, reduce the amount of flour; for example, for every half cup of cocoa, reduce the flour by 1/4 cup)
Leavening: you need 1 1/2 teaspoons of combination of baking soda, baking powder, or cream of tartar
Tip 1: If you have flat cookies, you may have old leavening
Tip 2: If you want plumper cookies like snickerdoodles, use cream of tartar and baking soda
Tip 3: If using a package cookie mix,  add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder (you don’t know how long that package has been sitting on the shelf)
Wets: sugar is a wet and you need 1 1/2 cups of sugar in any combination of brown and white sugar
Wets 2: eggs!  Eggs are glue that hold the cookie together; more eggs means a cake-like, softer cookie.
Fat: butter or oil (3/4 to 1 cup of butter gives the most flavor)
Butter adds more flavor, but nut butters add the most flavor
Flavoring 1: spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice.  Fresh ground spices add the most flavor, but if a ground spice is more than 3 yeas old, it may not be worth using
Flavoring 2: extracts like vanilla, bourbon, almond, orange, cocoa powder, ginger (whatever you want). You can make your own extracts with vodka and a cinnamon stick in a glass jar for a week with the lid on.  Cut up a banana and add to vodka and let sit in a jar for 3 days.
Extras: chips, nuts, dried fruit – anything  you like. Except meat — never meat

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