Parchment paper used as a liner on your cookie sheets saves greasing your pans and saves washing cookie sheets. It can be reused from pan to pan and the sugars and decorations that might have fallen off of the cookie in the baking process will not be burned or stuck to the pan. Loose sugars, etc. can be easily shaken off.
Insulated pans (Air Bake and similar brands) are wonderful for baking. I have not known anyone that has burned cookies since they have started using insulated pans. Remember do not immerse them. They are diswasher safe and can be rinsed off using dishwater in your sink, but if they are immersed they will admit water into the insulated layer. If this happens, put the pan in a 225 degree oven and the warmth will dry it out.
Clean brown paper bags (grocery bags) can be torn open and the inside can be used to line baking pans for meringue cookies, etc. if you do not have parchment paper. These bags are also convenient to put cookies on to cool. When done, the crumbs are easy to discard along with the grease that has soaked into the paper. They are very low cost and an effective way to recycle clean bags.
Take cookies off of pans promptly after baking is completed, as they will continue to bake if left on the pans and they might also stick. The only time you do not do this is if the recipe indicates to allow them to rest on the pans (a very delicate cookie might need time to “set up” via the cooling process).
Most cookies are baked enough when touched gently with your finger on the top and do not leave an indent on the cookie or are slightly browned around the edge. Bar cookies usually come off of the sides of the pan slightly when done.
Cookies made with powdered (confectioners sugar) are a very tender (easily crumbled) cookie. This is also often true of cookies made with oil instead of shortening or margarine.
If cookies call for “butter” it does not mean margarine. Some recipes allow substituting with margarine, but the cookies are sometimes hard if made with margarine instead of butter.
Cool cookies thoroughly before sealing and it is best if you place a layer of waxed paper or plastic wrap in between layers to save them sticking together, especially soft or soft centered cookies.
If you do not have a “cookie dropper” I highly recommend them. They can often be found in the isle with measuring cups, etc. in general merchandise stores like Walmart, etc.
Roll out cookies typically need to be thoroughly chilled before rolling and the portion of the dough that is not being rolled needs to be kept in the refrigerator. Rechill the used (leftover) part of the dough before rerolling if possible. Use a minimum amount of flour when rolling. Powdered sugar can also be used which makes a more tender cookie.
Dipping the cookie cutters in sifted cocoa puts a pretty edge on your cut cookies and marks the indents from your special cookie cutters.
Fast decorating: sprinkle the raw cookies with decorating sugars before baking- saves frosting and decorating. For drop sugar cookies, dip the bottom of a glass in colored sugar and flatten the cookies. Cinnamon sugar also makes a pretty topping that is also tasty. A nut, chocolate chip, maraschino cherry, raisin, etc. can be used in the center (on top) of cookies for quick decorating.
I am available to teach cooking or food related subjects in your home or give presentations or classes for your organizations or groups. Contact me at the following e-mail address:
Cooking classes currently scheduled can be viewed by clicking on the “Calendar” icon.
Interactive questions, comments, suggestions, etc. can also be posted on this website.