This Valentines, whisper "I love you" with home-baked cookies baked with love. This recipe is written for new bakers who wonder, Why does a recipe say that? What do they mean by that?
This Valentine’s Day, whisper “I love you” with a plateful of just-baked cookies. If you’re an experienced cook, share your knowledge and a cookie-baking afternoon with a young cook. Or if you’re a new cook, let’s decode a simple but delicious cookie recipe step by step. Why this? Why that? The answers are here.
Cookie recipes call for butter warmed to room temperature so it will mix more evenly; just leave a stick on the counter for two to three hours. Unsalted butter allows control over how much salt is added; to use salted butter, no problem, just omit the added salt. Slightly warm eggs capture more air, resulting in lighter cookies. Always fluff flour before measuring; otherwise you’ll use more than needed and risk tough baked goods. Small grains of ‘table salt’ (every-day salt, not kosher or sea salt) distribute evenly throughout cookie dough.
Cookies baked in the middle of an oven benefit from even heat distribution. It takes an oven 10-15 minutes to ‘preheat’ and reach the optimal baking temperature. In this recipe, the ‘dry’ ingredients are flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and table salt. When dry ingredients are lightly mixed beforehand, it’s easier to not overmix the dough, which can cause toughness. Leaving space between the dough balls prevents the cookies from touching as they spread while baking. A time range, versus a specific number of minutes, allows for variations in oven temperatures and other conditions. Check the cookies after 8 minutes, if they’re done, proceed; if not, bake another minute or two til done.
CINNAMON SUGAR COOKIES
Time to table: about 4 hours
Makes about 30 cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature (why?)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, immersed in warm water for 5 minutes (why?)
- 1-1/2 cups flour, fluffed with a fork before measuring (why?)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon table (why?) salt
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Place oven rack in center slot (why?). Set oven to 350F and preheat (why?). While oven heats, in a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with electric mixer until thoroughly mixed. Add egg, beat til smooth. In a small bowl, stir together dry ingredients (what?) with a fork (why?). Mix into dough, stopping as soon as flour is incorporated. (Why?)
In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Break off piece of dough about size of a cherry tomato with fingertips, shape into a ball between your palms, roll in sugar mixture. Arrange balls in rows on a cookie sheet about two inches apart (why?). When sheet is full, place in hot oven to bake for 8 – 10 minutes (why?). Remove sheet, let cookies cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a paper towel on a counter to finish cooling. Repeat with the cooled tray til dough is gone (or use a second tray). Savor, share, be proud!
More Easy Cookie Recipes for the Ones We Love
More Romantic Recipes for Our Valentines
© Copyright 2008 Kitchen Parade