Trial and Error: Common Cookie Baking Mistakes
Experimenting with baked goods will definitely result in some disasters. Common cookie baking mistakes can lead to a whole array of possible outcomes. Sometimes to get the perfect cookie though, one must go through the process of trial and error.
Baking is fun and so is experimentation. I encourage you to combine the two and see what delicious discoveries you come across! However, I thought I’d help you avoid the most common mistakes sure to lead to undesirable results.
I experimented with this Nestlé Toll House chocolate-chip cookie recipe. Here’s what I found.
1. Be careful of how much you mix the batter
Over mixing of the butter and sugar specifically (or over creaming, in baking-speak) resulted in a runnier batter. As a result, the cookies came out light and airy, and I was able to taste the butter more prominently in this batch than in others. They turned out nice and evenly browned.
Over creaming occurs when you combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Over mixing, on the other hand, is when you mix too much after adding flour. This can lead to a tough textured cookie.
2. Make sure you’re using the right leavening agent in the right amounts
Using too much baking powder resulted in a too chewy too sticky cookie — the kind of chewy that causes your teeth to stick together a little when you chomp down.
The cookies made with too much baking soda had a dark ring around the outside and a lighter tan colored inside. These cookies had a chemical-like artificial flavor.
Whether you use one or the other depends on the specific cookie recipe, so make sure you double-check and figure out your preference!
3. Too much flour and your cookie batter won’t spread
This is baking 1010. Be careful when measuring out your flour. Packing the flour—tapping the measuring cup on the counter or pushing the powder down with a spoon—will result in too much flour.
If you make this error, your cookies will likely have a solid cookie flavor but will be fluffier than any cookie ought to be. They are likely to be dry inside, but not dense.
4. Too little flour will make your cookies crisp and thin
5. Mixing all the ingredients at once may save time, but it compromises the texture of the cookies
8. Bready cookies need more sugar
9. Too much butter makes cookies turn out too oily
This batch of cookies was cakey in the middle, but also airy throughout, with crispy edges. They were yellow and slightly puffy in the middle, and brown and super thin around the perimeter.
Using too much butter obviously makes the cookie’s buttery. The cookies melt apart in your mouth very quickly.
10. Using too little butter leads to a dry puffy cookie
By making slight alterations to a cookie recipe, you can make tons of different cookies
It is interesting how even slightly changing the amount of flour you use can drastically change your cookie outcomes. If you find you have made one of these mistakes while trying to make the perfect batch, don’t sweat it. Baking is a learning process. And learning from your mistakes means that baking your next batch of cookies will be… a piece of cake.
Looking for gluten-free cookie options? Check this link to Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe.