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Prepare For A Cookie Baking Christmas Season
Cookie baking is one of the holiday season's most fun traditions. To get the most out of your cookie baking, here's a few tips:
You'll need some basic supplies to bake cookies. Make sure that you have the following on hand:
* Cookie sheets - You'll want to have at least 2 so you can be baking one batch while you are preparing another batch on another sheet.
* Measuring devices - You'll want a Pyrex glass cup for wet ingredients such as oil and water. You'll also want to have a set of plastic measuring cups for dry ingredients such as flour, sugar and chocolate chips and a set of measuring spoons ranging for things like baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla.
* Mixing bowls - You'll want a set of sturdy mixing bowls. Metal or plastic will work fine. Have at least one small, one medium and a couple larger sized bowls.
* Mixing devices - Make sure you have several sizes of spoons on hand. You'll want a couple large wood spoons as well as some smaller mixing spoons.
* Cookie cutters - You should have a set of Christmas themed cookie cutters. Made of metal or plastic, you can find them at any grocery store or even dollar stores.
* Spatula - To remove the cookies from the sheet, you'll need a spatula. A plastic one will work best and won't scratch your nonstick surface like a metal spatula would.
* Cooling rack - To cool your cookies properly, you'll need a cookie rack. Usually made of metal, you might need several depending on how many batches of cookies you will be making.
* Frosting tools - If you will be decorating your cookies, you might want to pick up a pastry bag as well as several pastry tips so you can make great looking designs with your frosting.
Some basic ingredients you should have:
* Flour - Pick up a bag of all purpose flour.
* Sugars - You'll want to have at least 1 bag each of white sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar.
* Eggs & Butter - A dozen large eggs and a pound or two of salted butter.
* Oils - Some recipes call for vegetable oil, canola oil works great.
* Flavorings & Colorings - Many cookie recipes use vanilla extract, get the real kind, not artificially flavored for best taste. For coloring, you'll want this to color your frosting too. You can usually get a set of coloring bottles around the holidays on sale.
* Decorations - Sprinkles, nonpareils, candies, kisses, hard candies, cinnamon candies etc. Whatever your recipe calls for or whatever you like, get a bag or two.
Cookie Baking Tips
Always preheat your oven, it should be one of the first things you do. Also, doublecheck that you have set the right temperature. When placing the dough on the cookie sheets, try to make every cookie a uniform size. You can even use a measuring cup, spoon or ice cream scoop so you can get the same size cookie, this is important for proper and even baking. Keep a close eye on the first batch to test the doneness and adjust the temperature and baking time if needed, as every oven tends to be different. During baking, try and rotate the cookie sheets, turn them around and switch racks for more even cooking. Once one batch of cookies is done and you have removed the cookies from it, let the cookie sheet cool for a minute or two before placing the next batch of dough on it, this keeps the dough from spreading too much due to the heat from the last batch. You'll want to leave the cookies on the baking sheet for a minute or so before removing them to lessen the chance of breakage when you remove them.
Lastly, store your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
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