I learned a lot when I was in culinary school and this is one thing I learned that was some of the best information when it came to why cookies do what they do. Cookies come in an infinite variety of shapes, sizes, flavors, and textures, Characteristics that are desirable in some types aren’t desirable in others. We want a cookie to be crisp, others to be soft. We want some to hold their shape, others to spread during baking. In order to produce the right characteristics we want and to correct faults, it is useful to know what causes the basic traits of cookies.
Cookies are crisp if they are low in moisture. The flowing factors contribute to crispness:
- Low proportion of liquid in the mix. Most crisp cookies are made from stiff dough.
- High sugar and fat content. A large proportion of theses ingredients make it possible to mix workable dough with low moisture content.
- Baking long enough to evaporate most of the moisture.
- Small size or thin shape, so the cookie dries faster during baking.
- Proper storage. Crisp cookies can become soft if they absorb moisture.
Softness is the opposite of crispness, so it has the opposite causes as follows:
- High proportion of liquid in the mix.
- Low sugar or fat.
- Honey, molasses or corn syrup included in the formulas. These sugars are hygroscopic, which means they readily absorb moisture from the air or from their surroundings.
- Under baking.
- Large size or thick shapes, so they retain more moisture.
- Proper storage. Soft cookies can become stale and dry if not tightly covered or wrapped.
Moisture is necessary for chewiness, but other factors are also important. In other words, all chewy cookies are soft, but not all soft cookies are chewy. The following are factors contribute to chewiness:
- High sugar and liquid content, but low fat content.
- High proportion of eggs.
- Strong flour or gluten development during mixing.
Spread is desirable in some cookies, while other must hold their shape. Several factors contribute to spread or lack of it.
- High sugar content increases spread. Coarse granulated sugar increase spread while fine sugars or confectioners sugar reduces spread.
- High baking soda or baking ammonia content encourages spread.
- The creaming together of fat and sugar contributes to leavening by incorporating air. Creaming a mixture until light increases spread. Blending fat and sugar just paste (without creaming in a lot of air) reduces spread.
- Low oven temperature increases spread. High temperature decreases spread because the cookies set up before it has a chance to spread to much.
- A slack batter, that is one with a high liquid content spread more than stiff dough.
- Strong flour or activation of gluten decrease spread.
- Cookies spread more if baked on a heavily greased pan.
3 1/2 cups chopped Fresh Pineapple
1 cup Water
1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger
1 tablespoon Finely Ground Flaxseeds
1 Fresh Mint Leaves
- Combine pineapple, banana, water ginger, and flaxseeds in a blender and process until smooth.
- Add the mint leaves and blend briefly, only until the mint leaves are just incorporated.
- Serve immediately.
1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 ½ cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
- In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
- Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.
1 ¼ cup Peach Nectar
¾ cup Plain Yogurt
1 teaspoon minced fresh Ginger
3 cups Frozen Peaches or 3 cups Fresh Peaches, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon finely ground Flaxseeds
1 ½ teaspoons Maple Syrup
½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Freshly Squeezed lime juice
- Combine the peach nectar, yogurt, ginger and half of the peaches in a blender and process until smooth.
- Add the remaining peaches, the flaxseed, maple syrup, vanilla, and lime juice and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Serve immediately.
One evening I was craving something sweet and when I was in the store I came across this peanut butter bar. I thought they sounded so good so I bought then even though they were $6.00 and you only got 5. But when I got home and tried them it was mouth watering. I didn’t want to be spending that much money whenever I got a craving for them so I spent days looking for a recipe of something close to it and I found these and they are just as good as the other ones in the store.
|Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix
|creamy peanut butter
|semisweet chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
- In large bowl, stir all Cookie Base ingredients until soft dough forms.
- Press dough in bottom of pan using floured fingers.
- Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- In small bowl, beat all Filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Spread mixture evenly over cookie base.
- In microwavable bowl, microwave all Frosting ingredients on High 30 seconds; stir until smooth.
- Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling.
- Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.
- Cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.
After seeing blueberries on the cover of a magazine I had the biggest craving for them. So I found the article with the recipe and decided to make them one Moring for breakfast, they actually turned out to be one of the best muffins I have tasted. They are pretty simple to make and don’t take long at all it’s a good pick me up in the morning and they store well so if you decided to make enough to last you a week and store them in a container you will have a quick breakfast ready already for on the go.
||3/4 cups plus 5 teaspoons
- Heat oven to 375 Degrees F. Coat a standard size muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour ¾ cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Make a well in the center.
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, oil, and orange zest. Pour the milk mixture into well in the flour mixture, and then sit just until combined. Fold in blueberries.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, 1/3 cup of batter in each cup. If any of the slots are left empty fill then with water so all muffins bake evenly.
- Sprinkle each muffin with ½ teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes until crowned and lightly brown. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
These little tasty bites are perfect for a party or just to eat as a snack.
|Cream Cheese, softened
||1 package ( 8 Ounce)
|Dry Italian salad dressing mix
||1 package (.7 ounce)
|Dried dill weed
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and Italian dressing mix.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Spread the cream cheese blend onto slices of French bread.
- Top with a cucumber slice, and sprinkle with dill.
- The cream cheese mixture keeps for about a week in the refrigerator.