Moving towards summer, there are those, like me, who may start doing more baking as school ends and schedules free up. Something you probably have baked the most (I have) are COOKIES. They come in many shapes and forms, but largely conform to the same principles; Butter with the sugar, then the dry ingredients, the extra crunch, then baking.
As something you may have done many times routinely, what are some ways you can change up the process and result in cookies with more flavor, and possibly a more desirable texture?
Check out this post and other recipes also on my food blog: Michael's Test Kitchen
Step 1: Brown the Butter
Tip #1: Brown the butter.
You don't have to brown all of it; Half the amount of butter you'll use can go into a saucepan, while the other half simply stays softened. Melt the first half in your saucepan, and keep over heat until it acquires a stronger smell and browns a little. This will give your cookies a deeper richer flavor.
Step 2: Add Instant Coffee Grounds
Tip #2: Add instant coffee grounds.
Don't put too much in. The coffee grounds, like the browned butter, play a similar role to salt and brown sugar, and deepen and bring out a fuller or different flavor. This may not work well in some cookies, but can work swell in different sorts of chocolate cookies as coffee compliments chocolate magnificently. Use your judgement before adding coffee grounds to your cookie batter willy-nilly. And if you decide to use it, mix it with your dry ingredients before adding.
Step 3: Subtract an Egg White
Tip #3: Subtract an egg white.
This one is an idea from America's Test Kitchen. By leaving out an egg white (via egg separation), you are "bringing out the brown sugar" flavor. I use this method in my recipe "Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies" and it works amazingly.
Step 4: Increase Oven Temperature
Tip #4: Increase oven temperature.
This is another great idea from America's Test Kitchen. By increasing your oven temperature, you are effectively browning the edges and allowing the middle to stay nice and soft. Don't go crazy with this - keep your oven at around 375 F.
Step 5: Add More Vanilla
Tip #5: Add more vanilla.
A bit of advice from my aunt, and I use it as a general rule of thumb for any sugary baking project. If you are using a recipe, it will almost every time benefit if you add around an extra teaspoon than what is called for. Vanilla acts like salt and brings out the full potential of flavor.