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Ask Betty: Cookie Cheat Sheet

Cookie Cheat Sheet
Here are the answers to your most frequently asked (and Googled!) questions when planning and baking Christmas cookies. MORE+ LESS-

Basics

How to Freeze Dough & Cookies

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Dough

Freeze individual unbaked cookies on cookie sheets. Once frozen, place in plastic freezer bags for up to 6 months. Bake frozen cookies a little longer than the bake time when you’re ready to use them.

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Cookies

To freeze delicate cookies, place in single layers in freezer containers and cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap before adding another layer. Thaw most cookies, covered, in the container at room temp for 1-2 hours. For crisp cookies, remove from the container to thaw.

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Trouble-Shooting

How to Keep Cookies from...

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Flattening: The biggest culprit behind flat cookies is butter that’s melted or too soft. Also make sure to let baking sheets cool completely between batches, otherwise hot pans can make cookies fall flat.

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Spreading: Just like us, cookies need a little breathing room, so make sure to space cookie dough about 2 inches apart. You should be able to comfortably fit a dozen cookies on most baking sheets.

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Burning: A few things can cause your cookies to burn: using a dark cookie sheet, adding too much sugar, baking at too high a heat, or simply over-baking.

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Baking unevenly: Use a cookie scoop to ensure a uniform size of cookies. They’ll bake consistently and you won’t have larger cookies being underdone while smaller ones are tough.

How to Bake Cookies to the Perfect Doneness

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All cookie recipes have a baking time range—check the cookies first at the low end of the range. Look for edges that are golden brown; once you see that, remove the cookies from the oven. From left to right, these cookies are underdone, just right, slightly overdone and burnt.

3 Common Cookie Problems, Solved!

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Cookies too stiff? Spoon flour into measuring cups instead of scooping directly from a package or canister, which can pack the flour in too much.

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Cookies different shapes? Use a cookie scoop for perfectly uniform cookies that bake evenly and consistently.

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Cookies doughy or burnt? Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temperature is accurate and consistent (most cookies bake at 350 degrees F).

Decorating + Sharing

How to Build the Perfect Cookie Tray

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Decorations 101

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1. Coarse Sanding Sugar: Adds crunch, sparkle and color

2. Rock Sugar: Eye-catching and easy for little fingers

3. & 6. Candies: Introduces color, decadence and creativity

4. Nonpareils: Festive, fun and colorful

5. Fine Sugar Crystals: Adds shimmer, texture and a subtle pop of color

7. Large Shaped Sprinkles: Fun, crunchy and easy to handle

8. Edible Glitter: Eye-catching sparkle, a little goes a long way

9. Sprinkles: A colorful classic, stir into batter for a festive dough

Techniques + Shortcuts

Mastering the Art of the Cookie Cutout

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Easy Kitchen Conversions

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How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon? We’ve got the essential measurement conversions right here: Betty's Guide to Kitchen Conversions

How Do You Like Your Cookies?

how to you like your cookies

Love your chocolate chip cookies extra crispy, chewy or cakey? The Betty Crocker Test Kitchens has tips on baking the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, so cookies turn out just the way you like.

How to Make Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like your cookie thinner and with maximum crunch, here’s how to make them crispy.

  • Instead of using ¾ cups granulated sugar and ¾ cups brown sugar, use 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, which contains less moisture and will help your cookies spread as they bake.
  • After taking them out of the oven, let cookies cool on cookie sheet for five minutes. This will allow cookies to keep baking, which will crisp them up further and help moisture evaporate.

How to Make Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like your cookies slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside—what many people consider the perfect texture for a chocolate chipper—simply follow the standard instructions for our Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies—they’re called “ultimate” for a reason.

How to Make Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like your cookie airy and soft with a cake-like crumb, follow these instructions for making them cakey.

  • Add an extra egg to give your cookie additional moisture and structure.
  • Increase flour amount from 2 ¼ cups to 3 cups to help the cookies rise, instead of spread. Cookies will end up dome-shaped.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of milk to help soften the dough as it bakes and gives the cookie a cakey crumb.

 

A Genius Dipping Hack from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

Remove two middle tines of two plastic forks (more if you have kitchen helpers!).

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Roll cookies—shown are our Double Chocolate Nutella Cookie Truffles—in the chocolate with forks, lift up and let excess chocolate drip off.

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Place cookies on waxed paper to set the chocolate.

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Sugar Cookie M&M Bars



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