I love to bake, so over the years I have picked up a few techniques that help me make professional-tasting cookies (like you would get from a good bakery). You can make good cookies without them, obviously, but I really do think they help improve the overall taste.
To demonstrate these tips, here is my favorite cookie recipe - macadamia nut!
Step 1: Watch the Video! Yay!
As always, I made a video to go along with this tutorial. Hopefully it helps!
Step 2: Gather Your Ingredients
You will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup of macadamia nuts
- 1/2 to 1 cup of white or milk (or dark) chocolate
- 325 grams of AP flour
Ok, so there are a lot of little factors with these ingredients that will effect how good your cookies will taste. You can ignore them all and still get pretty good cookies, but if you want amazing cookies, I suggest you do the following:
- Actually cut up the butter into small chunks and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Using your microwave will just melt the outside of the butter and leave the inside cold. Try actually leaving your butter out once, and see how much of a difference it makes. If you can't notice it then you don't have to do it again
- Also let your eggs come to room temp. Unlike the butter, there is a shortcut for the eggs. Put them in a bowl, put the bowl in your sink, and turn on the hot water tap to a trickle. Let the hot water fill the bowl with the eggs and leave the tap trickling for 5-10 minutes. Your eggs will be the right temperature afterwards.
- Almond extract! It's delicious, it is to baked goods what MSG is to asian food. Use it whenever you use vanilla extract (in the same amount) and you will find your baked goods will have a great nutty flavor.
- Make sure your baking soda hasn't expired. We need its magical leavening power!
- Weight your flour!!! This is by far the most important thing you can do to make good, consistent baked goods.
Step 3: Cream the Sugars and Butter
Place the room temp butter in a large mixing bowl, turn on your electric hand mixer, and slowly pour in the brown and white sugar.
Step 4: Add Rest of the Ingredients
Slowly add in the eggs in one by one. Make sure each one is completely mixed in before you add the next.
Add the salt, vanilla, and almond extract.
Add the flour and baking soda to a hand sifter. Sift into the wet ingredients in 2 or 3 installments, mixing by hand with a wooden spoon between each installment.
Add the macadamia nuts and chocolate chunks, stir. I like to buy solid bars of chocolate and break them up by hand into small bits because it adds more visual interest to the final cookie.
Step 5: Let Your Dough Rest
Here comes a really hard part. Wrap up your dough in saran wrap (or put a piece of saran over the bowl) and put it in the fridge for a full 24 hours. This will let the dough fully hydrate and the flavors of the extracts to mellow a bit.
Like I said before, try this just once. I think you'll find it makes the best cookies - if you disagree, you don't have to do it again!
Step 6: Portion and Bake
In order to ensure each cookie bakes the exact same amount, I like to portion my dough on a scale. About 25 grams is a good size for a cookie, given the density of this dough.
Place in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 8-12 minutes, or until the edges are brown.
Once out of the oven, let rest on the pan for 2 minutes then move to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.