Friday, March 11, 2011

Cookies


COOKIES

Cookies are popular the world round.  As a matter of fact, they have a very national character.  We in this country have made use of many of the recipes brought to us by settlers, early and late.  Our repertoire of cookies is, therefore, rich and varied.

There are dropped cookies, rolled cookies, refrigerator cookies and molded cookies, bar cookies – all easy to make – all keep well in a jar or a covered tin.

Making Cookies

1.                  Our cookie recipes were tested using sifted all-purpose flour.  If the unsifted type of flour is substituted, just follow manufacturer’s directions on the package.

2.                  The back of any large baking pan may be substituted for a cookies sheet.  Use greased or ungreased, as recipe directs.

3.                  If you are baking one sheet of cookies at a time, place oven rack in center of oven.  If you are baking two sheets, place racks to divide oven into thirds.  If tops of cookies do not brown properly, move to a higher rack the last few minutes of baking.

4.                  Bright, shiny baking sheets ensure delicately browned cookies.  They should be at least an inch shorter and narrower than the oven, to allow for circulation of heat.

5.                  Check cookies when minimum baking time is up.  To cool, remove with wide spatula to wire racks.  Do not overlap.

Storing Cookies

Line bottom of container with waxed paper, place a sheet of waxed paper between each two layers of cookies.  Store different types of cookies in separate containers.

Soft Cookies:  Store in container with tight-fitting lid.  Slices of apples or orange in container help keep cookies moist.  Change fruit often.

Crisp Cookies:  Store in container with loose-fitting lid.  If cookies lose their crispness, heat at 300F about 5 minutes before serving. 

Bar Cookies:  Store in pan.  Cover tightly. 

Freezing Cookies

Drop- or rolled-cookie dough:  Pack in freezer containers; label, and freeze.  To use, thaw dough in refrigerator until it is easy to handle.  Prepare and bake as recipe directs. 

Refrigerator-cookie dough:  Form dough into a roll.  Wrap in foil or saran; seal label, and freeze.  To use, cut frozen dough into slices, and bake as recipe directs.

Baked cookies:  All types of cookie may be frozen.  Wrap cooled cookies in foil or saran; seal; label, and freeze.  Fragile cookies should be packed in freezer containers; label, and freeze.  To thaw:  Let stand, unwrapped, at room temperature 15 minutes. 

Mailing Cookies

Select only cookies that will hold up in the mail.  Bar and drop cookies are particularly good for mailing.

Wrap each cookie separately in waxed paper or saran.  Or put in pairs, and wrap each pair.

Line heavy-cardboard box with foil or waxed paper.  Pack cookies in box.  Stuff corners and any spaces with crushed waxed paper, cotton or marshmallows so cookies are secure; place crushed waxed paper on top of cookies.  Cover; secure with tape.  Wrap in heavy brown paper; tie securely.  Clearly print address and return address.  Attach “Fragile” sticker.

Drop cookies are made from a soft dough and dropped from the spoon directly onto the baking sheet.  Actually, “dropped” is a little misleading, as the mixture must be stiff enough to be pushed from the spoon.  Dropped cookies can be soft, with a cake-like texture; crisp; or even brittle.  Their shape is irregular, as they spread on the cookie sheet.  You can make them in a wide variety of delicious flavors.