Deck the halls! The holiday season is in full swing! When our culinary team thinks of the holidays, they think of baking. To be more specific, they think of baking holiday cookies! In this edition of the “Dorsey Dish,” we’ll dive into some tips on how to perfect your baking recipes for any holiday parties you may be having.
As you’ll learn during classes at the Dorsey Schools Culinary Arts program, baking requires precision, caution and most importantly – patience. There are a lot more ways to ruin a batch of cookies or baked goods than there is to perfect them. Everyone wants their holiday cookies to be perfectly crispy and chewy. We have a few tips for you bakers (aspiring and seasoned) to help you perfect your holiday-themed cookies that may not be mentioned in your recipes, and which will take your baking skills to the next level!
Many recipes call for butter – or more specifically, “softened butter.”(Butter you are mixing should be cooled off enough that is soft to the touch but doesn’t feel like it’s melting.) If the recipe calls for you to add butter and sugar together, be sure to continue to mix the two ingredients until the result is light and fluffy. (After about 3 to 5 minutes of mixing, you want to get rid of the grainy textures). When you are creaming butter, you are forcing air into the doughy mixture, which will later help your cookies and baked goods rise in the oven.
Flour will make or break your cookies
In the past, if you wound up with tough, dried-out cookies, chances are it is because you put in too much flour. Packing in as much flour as you possibly can into a measuring cup is not the best idea. Delicately add the flour into a dry measuring cup with a spoon in order to get the correct amount in your recipe. It is important to note that you should not pack the flour into the measuring cup. Too much flour will dry up whatever you are baking. It is also a good idea to add your flour in batches so that it will mix in your batter.
A majority of your baking batters can benefit from spending a few minutes cooling down in the fridge before you start shaping your cookie dough. The cool temperatures help the dough become more firm, which will allow you to easily roll out and slice your cookies into any shape you want. Some bakers even refrigerate their doughs from 24 to 36 hours before baking. This technique helps develop flavor and texture.
Parchment Paper or Silicone Mats
Parchment paper and silicone mats are great for baking. They help your cookies slide off the baking sheet without sticking and ensure an evenly golden brown bottom of your cookie. The paper or may act as a layer of insulation between the cookies and the direct heat of the baking sheet. Non-stick silicone baking sheets are a great gift for any baker or cooking enthusiast for the holidays.
Are you interested in the culinary arts? Would you like to take some of your culinary and baking skills to the next level for the opportunity for a rewarding career in the culinary arts? If so, learn more about the Dorsey Culinary Academy here. If you plan on baking a batch or two of holiday cookies, don’t forget to use the tips listed above. Make sure to share photos of your baking creations with us in the comments below or on social media using the hashtag #DorseySchools. We look forward to seeing your creations!
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