When my dad makes cookies, it is a production. Ingredients are mixed in the biggest bowls you can find (the stand mixer won’t help – it’s not nearly large enough), baking sheets and cooling racks occupy every flat surface in the kitchen, and excitement fills the air as a several-month supply of cookies comes out of the oven.
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The recipe is a family secret, so I’m afraid I can’t share it. But I can share some tools and techniques that can help with any big baking job.
Most cookie dough freezes well. This is great, because I cut this recipe in half and still ended up with enough dough for 8 dozen cookies. If you’re already going through the effort to put the dough together, make more than you need and store in the freezer. In a couple of months, just thaw, portion and bake!
Though I, along with my baking assistant/husband, followed the instructions exactly, I added one step at the end — letting the dough hang out in the fridge overnight. This has two benefits. First, it broke up the task at hand. We could mix the dough and clean up the mess at night, and bake in a clean and clutter-free kitchen the next morning. Second, it’s science. Proteins, sugars, and enzymes break down and reconstruct, giving your cookies a deeper golden color and some more complex flavors.
Here are a few of my favorite tools that helped with the task:
- A food scale. Converting your favorite recipes from volume measurements to weight measurements can be a little tedious, but it’s worth it. Make your recipe as normal, then weigh your ingredients before adding them to the mix. This will help you make consistent cookies with every batch — and save time on cleaning those measuring cups and spoons.
- A cookie scoop (aka a tiny ice cream scoop). This made portioning the dough super easy and quick. Level the scoop, plop on the tray, and repeat. All of the cookies were the same size and already rolled into a ball shape. I used a 1.5 Tablespoon scoop for this task.
- Silicone baking mats. Trying to get baked-on chocolate off of a cookie sheet is no fun. These baking mats make cleanup a breeze. Nothing sticks to them, so they are easy to wash and my sheet pans stay shiny.
Happy cookie baking!