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Cookies Monster: Thoughts on Science and Art of Making Cookies


tylers100
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I'm currently on a quest to buy some missing ingredients to make simple cookies, will probably happen sometime this week.

I already have recipes and directions to make simple sugar cookies. But I don't have much of have cooking and baking experience.

I know I just gotta watch cookies in oven bake to golden from time to time within mentioned 8-10 minutes (of course presumably dependent on amount of cookie made) or so instead of following the timing solely.

My goal is to make the best default cookies ever. 😜

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4 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Not a very complex science (butter, sugar, flour, heat) but you probably shouldn't expect to achieve "best ever" on your first try. 

Yeah, I'm probably being a bit too optimistic at this moment. At least I have a goal to direct my course of actions with cooking / baking.

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38 minutes ago, tylers100 said:

My goal is to make the best default cookies ever. 😜

Unless you prefer the simplest cookie over anything else, or think the baked color is the most important part of the cookie, I don't think this is possible. A default sugar cookie is only ever going to be satisfactory if you're looking for any other factors.

But perfecting a simple cookie is going to teach you some mad baking skills along the way. Someday you may want to go nuts, or spice things up, and you'll know how to think outside the oven because you learned the oven so well. Let us know how well they turn out. Yum!

We may need a whole other thread for what to have with them, milk or tea?

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31 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Not a very complex science (butter, sugar, flour, heat) but you probably shouldn't expect to achieve "best ever" on your first try. 

I mean, the chemistry behind is is somewhat complex as there is quite some interplay between the various chemicals. When it comes to chewyness, for example, the wheat proteins (gluten) play a major role. If allowed to interact with water, the glutenins and gliuadins form a strong network that can become rubbery and chewy. Adding fat, inhibits this interaction, making the resulting product more crumbly. The choice of fat also affects how the cookies expands with thinner cookies being perceived as more crisp. By playing around with the water content of the ingredients (e.g. shortening vs butter, granulated sugar vs brown sugar) and the temperature, texture of the cookies can also be changed.

I.e. there are a lot of factors to play around with, even if only few ingredients are used. 

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I think Tylers wants to learn elementary baking, rather than advanced  food chemistry. Cookies are an excellent choice for a beginner, btw, exactly because the ingredients are few and the proportions don't vary greatly - typically, 3 flour, 2 fat, 1 sugar. Even I can put an edible cookie together!

People who know all about it have written detailed recipes, with pictures and measurements and times and everything you need to get started. It's best not to play around with the quantities until one's had a little experience.

 

One caution: limit the size. If it's a rolled-out dough, the cutting form is your guide, but if it's dropped or balled cookies, beginners tend to make them too big. My first ever batch of Nutella chocolate chip drop cookies are very tasty and crisp, but each one is a meal.    

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An update: I didn't take a chance to go shopping for cookie ingredients most of this week so maybe on tomorrow (Friday) I might will be able to do so.

The innermost cookie monster in me is starving for some cookies; good sugar rush during some breaktimes during daytime or so. Of course, eat with moderation on mind (if recall my history with cookies, pfft... heh).

@Phi for All  Ya probably, dripping cookies into black coffee then eat. Hmm.

@Peterkin Yep, I do want to learn elementary baking and general cooking. I've been a bit of overwork person with misc things and neglecting my adulthood responsibilities with cooking. I tend to cook / make default or normal sandwiches and very basic things but not really medium or deep cooking experience.

@CharonY Intellectually speaking, I think just gotta balance and specify (i.e. making and baking cookies) to right mood (psychology) at at given time to enjoy a specified cookie. Experience speaking, I have zero xp with baking cookies so I honestly don't know the outcome of my actions with cooking / baking cookies. We will wait and see. Buying / shopping ingredients then baking cookies will put my intellectual to test.

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On 1/2/2022 at 1:41 PM, tylers100 said:

My goal is to make the best default cookies ever. 😜

Sadly, that depends on each one's taste and opinion...

Omitting/changing what in the recipe makes it not a cookie any more ?  That brings defining a cookie first...😋

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Once you get over the trepidation and the first two failures, both cooking and baking can be very good therapy. As well as making you self-reliant and confident. Any new skill does that, but food preparation is particularly satisfying, both for the social persona and the inner animal. 

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If you learn to be the best oatmeal raisin cookie baker ever, I'll place a monthly order. I loved the episode in the first season of Friends where Phoebe claims to make the world's best oatmeal raisin cookies in the world, and Rachel is amazed when it's true. Phoebe tells her "Oh, I don't make them very often. It's not fair to the other cookies."

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