Have you ever baked cookies in your oven? Is it possible to get fresh, warm nice, crunchy, crispy cookie or those melt-in-mouth nankhatai at home?
Yes, you can bake any type of cookie you want to in your domestic oven. You just have to follow the recipe correctly, measure ingredients carefully and most importantly… you should know your oven settings. When I started baking cookies, I had so many doubts.. but slowly by many trials and errors I got my answers.
Through this post I am trying to address few common issues people face before trying cookies. I hope this post will be helpful and you will be able to bake your cookies more easily.
In my next post I will be posting a recipe for nankhatai (a type of cookie) which is very popular in India and easy to bake.
Common doubts and solutions regarding baking cookies:
1. What is the ideal room temperature for butter?
2. Why my cookies are soft, not crispy?
3. After 2-3 days cookies turn soft.
4. What is the right temperature to bake cookies? Will my cookies remain soft or will they burn?
5. Is there any substitute for egg in cookies?
6. Cookie dough is sticky and I am not able to roll cookies.
7. Can I keep half of the cookie dough in the fridge and bake them later?
8. How much kneading is required for preparing the cookie dough?
9. How to store cookies?
- Room temperature butter should not be warm. While touching it with our finger, it should be cold but there should be an indent in the block of butter. But at the same time, our finger should not sink into it.
Now, how long it takes butter to reach this temperature after taking it out from the fridge? There is no fixed time for this. It completely depends upon the temperature of your kitchen. During summer, butter will soon become soft whereas during winter it will take more time.
(1) Whether cookies are soft, chewy, hard or crisp depends completely on your recipe.
(2) Generally, after baking time is over, while touching you will feel that cookies are soft and they are not completely baked. Cookies are soft because they are very hot. So carefully shift these cookies on cooling rack and you will notice that as cookie cools down completely, they become firm.
Don’t leave cookies inside the oven to cool down. Remember that after switching off also oven remains hot for quite some time. This heat will harden cookies.
But sometimes after cooling also you find that cookies are soft. In that case just switch on oven at 150/155 degrees and bake cookies once again for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes, during monsoon, cookies turn soft. You can turn them crisp again by the same method of baking them on less temperature for short duration.
3. Mostly recipes where milk cream, curd or fresh fruits are added, cookies turn soft after 2-3 days.
4. Temperature is alway given in the recipe, but never follow it blindly. All ovens have different temperature settings.
For baking, people use microwave, OTG or their kitchen range ovens. All these have different settings. And at the same time all these are available in different sizes. So, if you are baking cookies in 31 litres capacity of microwave at 180 degrees, you can’t bake at the same temperature in a small size microwave. Heat will reach faster in small oven, and cookies will burn. So, there is no fixed rule for temperature and time. With your oven, you have to do some frequent baking to know what settings are best for you. Though, the most common way to figure out if the cookies are done is to see their edges. When edges start turning brown, cookies are done.
5. Personally, if following some egg based cookie recipe, I have never substituted egg with anything else. I simply omit it and if dough is dry, I use milk. But flaxseed powder is supposed to be the best substitute for egg. Replace one egg with 3 tbsp of water mixed with 1 tbsp of flaxseed powder.
6. By mistake, we add slightly more milk to bind the dough and now we have sticky and loose dough. Don’t panic, just wrap it in the cling film and keep it in the fridge till it is firm. Take it out and roll your cookies comfortably.
7. Yes, you can cling wrap cookie dough with 3-4 layers to avoid it drying and can bake next day.
8. Cookie dough doesn’t need extensive kneading, otherwise cookies will turn hard. Cookie dough is just an assembly of all ingredients.
9. Once cookies cool down completely, store them in an air tight container.