Cookie Secrets 3.
Previously, I briefly mentioned that it's useful to make a single test cookie before committing a bunch of your dough. I'm going to explain that in greater detail here. If your test cookie doesn't come out right, here are some things you can do to try to make it right.
- Just a teesy-weenie bit overdone? Actually, that's probably OK. Remember that one cookie will bake somewhat faster than a sheet with a dozen cookies.
- Too flat? Your butter may have been too soft; or your baking soda / powder too old. Try chilling the dough in 10 minute increments. And remember to cool your cookie sheets to at least room temperature before putting a new batch on them.
- Not soft in the middle, but otherwise perfect? Bake the cookies for a shorter time, a slightly higher temperature. Try adjusting in 30 second and 25° increments.
- Taste really awful? One time a friend of mine put two cups of salt into his chocolate chip cookies instead of two cups of sugar. Blech. Try not to do that.
I prefer cookies that are a tad crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. I tend to bake my cookies about 90 seconds less than the recipe recommends, and maybe 25° cooler. Perhaps the Silpats that I use encourage quicker baking. Or the ovens I encounter just run a bit hot. You'll never know what you specifically need without that test cookie.