1. The Peril of Over-Softened Butter
Almost every recipe calls for “room temperature butter,” and they mean it.
But if you’re like most people, you are too impatient to wait for your butter to soften and are quick to toss it in the microwave for the most efficient way to achieve that perfect room temperature. You’ll set the clock for 30 seconds and notice no difference. Then 15 seconds pass by and you are left with liquid butter (that you end up using anyways).
Do NOT make this mistake! Once they’re in the oven, your cookies will turn into sad, thin puddles made of nothing but sugar and tears (but if that’s what you’re going for, then mission accomplished!)
2. Know Your Mixing Machine
The Industrial Revolution brought us inventions like The Spinning Jenny, The Power Loom, and The Bessemer Process, all to increase our society’s productivity.
For the modern day baker, any mixing machine will do the trick. The days of mixing batter with nothing but a spoon are over.
However, this does not mean that your Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer is your friend. They’re more like your “cool aunt” who’s got your back, is super helpful, but also a little intimidating if you do something wrong. Their power is unmatched, and you must understand that.
Do not make the innocent mistake of switching to the highest speed when you add in your dry ingredients… otherwise you’ll end up looking like a freshly powdered doughnut. When you are adding in your dry ingredients to your wet mixture, start with a slower speed then gradually increase it as the batter thickens.
3. Rotten Eggs
We go along with our recipes, adding our eggs into our batter assuming that they’re okay (they all came in the same carton, right?).
But just like how there’s always a bad apple that spoils the bunch, there can also be a bad egg that spoils your batter. Don’t be fooled, as it is possible that there can be a rotten egg in your fresh carton that you do not want to be adding directly to your batter. Instead, crack your eggs in a separate bowl then add them to the mixture.
This prevents you from tossing your almost perfect batter straight into the trash bin. Not only does a separate bowl save you from a rotten egg, it also prevents unwanted pieces of eggshell from falling into your batter. It’s much easier to find lost pieces of eggshell in a bowl that only has eggs in it, rather than excavating each piece from your batter.
4. ABC’s and 123’s
It’s a simple life skill that we learn in our early years, that is often forgotten in our adult years. While you’re dancing in the kitchen or just chatting with someone while you’re cooking/baking, it’s SO easy to lose your train of thought and lose count of your measurements. You may often find yourself thinking: “The recipe calls for four cups of flour…. did I add three or did I already add four?” Yet, you add that extra cup of unneeded flour anyways. The result: puffy cookies. It sounds so simple and foolish, but it can make or break your recipe. Just make sure to pay attention!