Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lesson 1: Oatmeal Cookies

Cookies are probably one of our favorite things to eat. And oatmeal cookies (recipe is at the bottom of the post) are a pretty easy way to start if you're new to baking. Following the recipe and measurements is key to being successful at baking.

Starting with softened butter is a must. The key to good cookies is consistency & you'll get that easily by creaming the butter and then adding the sugar in after about 30 seconds.

Make sure to scrape down the sides, nothing worse than having a batter not mixed and getting a chunk of butter when you're forming the cookies.

No use crying over spilt baking soda, just get some more and move on. :-)

Christine did a great job at cracking the eggs by herself. From my favorite PBS chef, Jacque Pepin, never crack your eggs on the side of the bowl, as it can push the shell (which is where any bacteria would be found) into the egg and/or break the yolk. Always crack them on a flat surface.

And crack them into a small bowl first to avoid shell getting in your batter.

Remember to stir in the oats with a spatula instead of your mixer.

Sous Chef Gwendolyn is enjoying the best part of baking . . .

Using two spoons, drop a heaping spoonful on your cookie sheet. I highly recommend the silicone baking sheets. Cookies are the best when using a hot stone cookie sheet & I leave mine in the oven while it preheats. Then I transfer my silicone sheet onto the stone. Perfect non-stick cookies, every time!

Always set your timer for the lowest time range (for these cookies, 8 minutes). Check and add a minute or two until they're done, checking each time. It's tedious on the first batch, but then you know for the rest of the batches exactly the cooking time. Cookies are no good over baked. Soft & gooey is the only way to go!

Sweet Success!

I hope you enjoyed the first baking lesson. Keep coming back to learn with us & let me know of your cookie tips & recipes! Stay tuned for our next lesson: Secrets of a moist cake!

Recipe for

Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugare

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups rolled oats

1. Cream butter with sugars, baking powder, baking soda, & cinnamon.

2. Add eggs & vanilla.

3. Add flour.

4. Stir in oats.

5. Using 2 spoons drop cookies onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens