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For the Love of Cookies: Tips to Whip Up the Perfect Batch

April 20, 2020 by University District

Master the Ultimate Comfort Food and Satisfy Your Inner Cookie Monster

 

Time to pull out the flour, sugar and butter and fire up the oven. Make the most of your time at home with good times and the ultimate comfort food – cookies!

 

Whether you’re a budding baker taking your baking sheets on an inaugural run or a bake sale pro, University District has you covered with bite-sized tips to take your cookie game from good to great, along with some recipes from our very own team to get inspiration rolling.

 

From avoiding flat messes and greasy puddles to making them extra tender, we guarantee these tips and suggestions will satisfy your inner cookie monster. Tie up those apron strings and get ready to turn out perfectly crispy, chewy, sweet cookies.

 

We can’t think of a better way to battle the boredom blues and enjoy quality time together! 

 

With Mother’s Day and all the warm weekends on the horizon, why not seek some table dressing inspiration to decorate and celebrate for memorable occasions ahead?  Get inspired with these expert tablescape styling tips and tricks here, along with some do-it-yourself centrepiece projects the whole family can enjoy. 

 

 

Sweet Success: Tips for Baking Better Cookies

 

Too hard, too crumbly, too dark, too flat! Mastering the perfect cookie is an art, but luckily University District is here to help. Whether you’re looking to perfect a classic biscuit, impress your friends at a baking exchange, or simply up your game in the kitchen, these handy cookie-centric tips and tricks will have you baking like a pro, no matter what recipe is followed.

 

Start simple

 

Sometimes you just need a cookie – but not the kind you have to spend all day making. 

 

Baking can be a bit intimidating for beginners but of all the desserts you can master, these bite-sized confections can be easiest and the most fun! If you’re a novice baker, try a basic recipe before working your way to complex confections. 

 

Tip: Try these simple fudge crinkle cookies from U/D grocery retailer, Save-on-Foods. They are a practically fool-proof favourite. Master this batch and you will be warmed up for your complete cookie spread!

 

 

Measure, measure, measure

 

This is a baking must! 

 

Don’t haphazardly measure ingredients and toss them in a bowl. Follow your recipe to a tee and measure sugar, flour and other mix-ins as carefully as possible. The slightest difference in measurement can throw off an entire recipe. Remember, baking is a precise art. Really, it makes a difference! 

 

Tip: Who wants dense, flat cookies? No one! When baking, always use room temperature ingredients unless otherwise noted, especially if your recipe calls for creaming butter and sugar.  If the butter is too cold it won’t cream properly. If it’s too hot, you’ll have a greasy mess on your hands and your biscuits won’t rise to that puffed-up perfection we all long for.

 

Need more space in your kitchen pantry for all your baking ingredients? Create a streamlined space for your food with some tips and tricks from the pros with The Space Reclaimers. Take a look here

 


Stop! Don’t overmix

 

Whipping too much air into your dough can cause cookies to collapse during bake time, which means hard, tough biscuits. No one wants that! Overworking can happen with all types of cookie dough. A good rule of thumb is to stop mixing before you think you should and for best results, chill your dough once mixed.

 

Tip: Lining your pans isn’t just to help make clean up a breeze. It’s also a great way to ensure you’re getting the perfect batch! Instead of using non-stick sprays and butter to coat your baking sheets, opt for parchment paper or silicone baking mats. They give an extra little layer of insulation, helping your cookies from spreading too much and reducing those greasy puddles we are all too familiar with.

 

 

Chill out

 

We know, we know, there’s nothing better than a cookie that’s fresh out of the oven. But giving your baked goodies a few extra minutes (one to two minutes should do!) on the pan will help them firm up before transferring to a cooling rack. 

 

Psst! Remember to let biscuits cool completely before decorating or storing them.

 

Tip: Don’t rush a hot pan! Before starting on a second lot of cookies, always let baking sheets cool to room temperature.

 

 

From Our Home to Yours: Our Cookie Recipe Picks!

 

In the mood for something sweet? Fill up the cookie jar this weekend with these must-bake recipes from our own team’s recipe box. From tried-and-true classics like gingersnaps to the nostalgic chocolate chip, we guarantee you’ll want to bake a batch after scrolling through this list.  First let’s meet the makers:

 

  • Maureen Henderson, Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Lisa Solomon-Blasetti, Office Administrator & Accounting Support
  • Annadelle St. Louis, Administrative Assistant
  • Josh Delannoy, Development Coordinator

 

Now taste their treats!

 

Video credit: Sugar Spun Run

 

Lisa’s Pick: Classic Thumbprint Cookie

 

Baking thumbprint confections to share with loved ones doesn’t get much easier than this! These buttery little rounds with endless filling options are unmistakable in the world of baked goods and are as fun to make, as they are to eat. It’s no wonder they are always hit with Lisa’s family, especially when her daughter bakes them and adds that extra sprinkle of love! 

 

Get the recipe, here

 

Number of ingredients: 8

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: Two dozen 

 

 

Annadelle’s Pick: Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

One bite of these soft chocolate chip cookies will take you right back to childhood. Chewy in the centre and crisp at the edges, flooded with gooey pockets of chocolate. Scrumptious! 

 

A great chocolate chip biscuit can be life affirming. Whether you choose to switch things up by adding different types of chocolate chips or a pinch of fresh coarse salt for that extra burst of flavour, this timeless recipe will be a fan favourite. It already is with Annadelle’s boys! After a quick bake, the only thing you’ll need is a glass of cold milk or frothy coffee.

 

Get the recipe, here. 

 

Number of ingredients: 9

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: Three dozen

 

Has baking cookies inspired your inner chef? Try this simple and easy couscous salad recipe from the team at Freshii. It’s packed with texture, flavour and is deliciously addictive! We can’t wait to welcome this beloved brand to U/D later this year! 

 

 

Gluten-free White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies!

 

Soft, buttery, tender and loaded with white chocolate and macadamia nuts! What’s not to love? White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies are a classic and for good reason. So indulgent and totally addictive, this gluten-free version of everyone’s favourite confection is guaranteed to be your new favourite!  

 

Get the recipe, here

 

Number of ingredients: 10

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: Two dozen

 


Photo credit: Heather Kirk

 

Maureen’s Pick: Gingersnaps!

 

These smashingly delicious, make-your-mouth-say-thank-you cookies have stood the test of time for a reason. Spiced to perfection, crispy, chewy, perfect gingersnaps are a must during the holiday season, but Maureen recommends eating them all year-round and we have to agree!  Perfect for dunking into a glass of milk, let’s bake the best gingersnaps you will ever eat!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of margarine
  • 1/2 cups of molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon clove
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

 

 

Step 1: Combine dry ingredients

 

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients until well combined. This includes sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove.

 

Step 2: Mix wet ingredients

 

In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients, which includes margarine, molasses and eggs. Using an electric beater, mix wet ingredients on a low speed, gradually adding the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Once well blended, chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

 

Step 3: Get rolling

 

Once chilled, roll dough into small balls and if desired, roll the dough balls in sugar.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2” apart and bake for 8 to 12 minutes at 350 F. 

 

Tip:  For a chewy and oh so yummy texture, bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or 12 minutes for crunchy gingersnaps! 

 

Number of ingredients: 11

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 10 dozen 

 

Our team just loves to bake! If you’re seeking even more inspiration, try your hand at Josh’s highly sought after Gaulettes! Get the recipe here.

 

Be they gingerbread, sugar, or oatmeal, we hope these tips and tricks will make your cookie baking adventures a sweet success. Happy baking everyone!

 

Have a baking tip of your own to share, or how about a tried, tested and true cookie recipe? Share your suggestions with us and the community on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


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