Cookie Baking Tips
Cookie baking tips that the pros use -- and how you can, too!
By Michael Paetzold
Making better cookies is a lot easier if you understand the difference between the average commercial bakery and the home kitchen. These tips should allow you to make better cookies at home whether it be for a special party or your annual Christmas cookie baking session.
There are 4 major things that are done commercially that are overlooked by the average home baker.
Number 1 is that the average home baker does not have a stone oven. Most commercial bakeries have stone shelves and that disperses the heat to the pan in a much more even manner. Obviously, buying a commercial oven for this alone is not feasible for most of us. (I have considered putting a commercial pizza oven in my laundry room but my better half vetoed that idea :-(. Thus I settled for going out and buying an oven stone for our regular electric oven. This serves the same purpose with no loss of space in our laundry room and at a huge savings versus the price of a commercial pizza oven (even the used one I wanted).
The second thing is the thickness and quality of the cookie sheet. The average commercial facility uses a sheet pan or half sheet pan which is probably 2 to 3 times as heavy as the ones used by the average home baker. This, like the oven stone, disperses the heat much better and makes it much easier for the cookies to bake evenly. I definitely recommend checking out your local restaurant supply house to get some half-sheet pans which will definitely be better than the cookie sheet available at your local supermarket or Walmart.
The third item I use when baking cookies is parchment paper. It is much easier to remove the cookies from the paper, your tray doesn't get all cruddy and need to be cleaned between batches, and you will have much less burning on the edges.
The fourth thing the average home baker misses is portion control. I have a variety of ice cream-type scoops that I use for portion control. This allows each cookie to be the same size and allows them to all bake consistently. When I used a spoon I always ended up with a variety of sizes no matter how careful I was and the cooking was never quite even.
Hope these tips allow you to make better cookies in your house. I know using these tips has improved mine.
Michael Paetzold is the owner of ILoveDesserts.com, your source for all things about desserts.