Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cookiease

I'm not an enthusiastic cookie baker. I always groan inwardly when asked to make cookies for any function - I find them to be a lot of work for little reward. Like all bakers, I do have my favorite cookie recipes, including what I consider to be the gold standard for chocolate chip cookies, but I rarely make them. So much waiting around for cookies to come out of the oven, so much angst when they get too dark or not dark enough, so much washing of awkwardly-sized cookie sheets, so much temptation to eat more of them than is wise, or even humanly possible...

However, recently I was asked to bring after-dinner nibbles to a Neighborhood Watch meeting so after a heavy sigh I decided to try out a new recipe to at least liven up the chore. I tried out a new technique, too, and one that I can heartily recommend.

I used parchment paper to line my cookie sheets instead of the usual cooking spray. I had read this tip in "Best Kitchen Quick Tips," a gift from my friend Wenirs. It is written by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine; some of their tips were new to me and very useful.

Using parchment paper is not only easier to clean up (you just crumple it up and throw it away after one use) but it also allows you to prep as many trays of cookies as your kitchen counters will hold. You just slip a new paper full of cookie dough dollops onto the cookie sheets as soon as you have slid the hot ones off onto the counter. Cool the cookies for a few minutes and they lift right off onto the baking racks for final cooling. Using parchment paper shortens the whole baking process enormously and saves you from having to wash the cookie sheets between each batch.

I made another serendipitous discovery this time, as well. I have always hated my tiled kitchen counters - they are ugly and the grout traps every crumb and spill. However, when I laid the parchment paper on it, it made a useful spacing grid for the cookie dough that I could see through the paper. At last, a reason to like my "cool, vintage" counter top!

Cookie baking will never be my favorite kitchen activity but I have to admit it was far less onerous this time. I'll share the lovely new cookie recipe tomorrow; it's worth stopping back!

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5 Comments:

Blogger Kailyn said...

I frequently use parchment paper when baking. It does indeed make clean-up so much easier. My favorite cookie recipe has a rolled dough. I have always used a plate to hold cookies that have been cut and are awaiting baking. Because when I've made this recipe in the past for holiday gifts I usually make a minimum of a gross.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Can I join your neighborhood watch group? Those nibbles sound delicious!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Another trick is if you rinse the cookie sheets under cold water for a few seconds it cools the sheets right down and you can put fresh dough on them without the cookie dough "melting" so much when it cooks. That also speeds turnaround time of the next batch going in the oven.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

*giggles* great header Ms Zoomie! Tres cheekie.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kailyn, a _gross_ of cookies! Auwe! You're kinder than I!

Nancy, you always make me giggle.

Melissa, yes, but then you have to dry it off, etc. I didn't have too much trouble with "melting" - I just popped the new filled parchment on and slid it right back in the oven. Presto!

Morgan, glad it gave you a smile.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009  

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