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Three secrets to baking great cookies

There are three baking secrets that will take your cookies from good to exceptional.  Be forewarned that your cookies will be so good your family and friends will never let you go anywhere again without bringing a batch of cookies along.

1. Cream your butter, sugar and eggs properly

These creaming tips come from Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar.

 

Start with room temperature butter. Now what does room temperature mean? It means 65 - 70 degree butter.

 

If you live in Miami or Honolulu, it does not mean 80 degree butter. The butter should still be slightly cool and give a bit when you pinch it. Don't let the butter melt or get too hot or it will not cream, it will just get greasy. If you have a stand mixer use it. Creaming butter and sugar is what these mixers are made for. Use the paddle attachment and set the timer. You are looking to cream the butter, sugar and eggs together for a good 10 minutes. First cream the butter and sugars together on medium high for 3 minutes. Then add your eggs, one at a time. Turn the mixer speed up to high and continue creaming for another 7 minutes. You can use a hand mixer to cream your butter, but it is not as convenient or effective as a stand mixer.

 

You will know your butter is properly creamed when the volume of the butter, sugar and eggs has approximately doubled in volume and it has turned a pale yellow color.

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2. Age your cookie dough

The secret of professional bakers is that they age their cookie dough in the refrigerator 24 to 36 hours or more before baking. Resting the dough allows the liquids to meld with the dry ingredients. The benefit is the cookies cook more evenly, brown more deeply and the aging process brings out more complex flavors.

3. Bake on silpat

Silpats do wonders for cookies. They keep them from sticking and they brown more evenly than cookies baked directly on a cookie sheet or parchment paper.

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