Baking Cookies Everyone Will Enjoy

Closeup of a tray of fresh baked cookies, Chocolate Chip, oatmeal raisin Chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies on baking sheet and parchment paper -Baking Cookies Everyone Will EnjoyMost everyone enjoys a good cookie. But if you were to take a poll, and ask people what is a good baked cookie for them? Some might say, a cookie that is thin and crispy, another may say, soft and chewy, and yet another, light and cakey.

Crisp and Thin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Image Credit: Thin & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies by: Handle The Heat

Do you have cookie lovers in your home who may prefer a cookie that is made the way they like it, that is crispy, or chewy, and possibly light and cake like? We have the solution to please all cookie lovers in your life.

To get a Thin & CrispySoft & ChewyLight & Cakey cookie, you need to make a slight modification to the ingredients in the cookie recipe.

Let’s use a basic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. The following ingredients do not include the butter and sugar, as these ingredients are what determines what your cookies out come will be.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, room temperature

12 ounces chocolate baking chips

soft and chewy whole grain peanut butter cookie

Image Credit: Soft & Chewy Whole Grain Peanut Butter Cookies – by: An Oregon Cottage

If you want a Thin & Crispy cookie, you add this amount of butter, and sugar, with the addition of brown sugar.

2 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

If you want a Soft & Chewy cookie, you add this amount of butter, and sugar, with the addition of brown sugar.

2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

soft and chewy whole grain peanut butter cookie

Image Credit: Soft & Chewy Whole Grain Peanut Butter Cookies – by: An Oregon Cottage

If you want a Light & Cakey cookie, you add this amount of butter, and sugar, with the addition of brown sugar.

Take note, that in this adjustment you use unsalted butter.

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

Baking Cookies 101

How does sugar effect cookies? To answer, we will share a little Cookie 101.  All sugars, either granulated, brown, powder or confectioners, have the ability to attract water. By doing so, sugars attraction of moisture helps keep it away from structure builders of the cookie, like the starch and proteins that are present in the flour and eggs.

The adjustment in the amount of sugar you do or do not put will determine the structure or substance of your baked cookies.

Another suggestion that will help to please your cookie lovers is using room temperature ingredients, particularly the butter and eggs.

How many recipes have you seen that call for room-temperature butter and eggs? Quite a few. Bon Appetit says that it’s a step you should not ignore, as many baked goods start by creaming together butter and sugar, which is made infinitely easier with gently warmed ingredients.

Is creaming the butter and sugar a big deal? Yes it is. Bon Appetit says, “Creaming together butter and sugar with a handheld or stand mixer, for example, should be done before the addition of wetter ingredients, like eggs. Why? The fat in butter holds air, and when whipped, expands. In the creaming process, sharp sugar granules slice through the butter, creating air pockets that ultimately give the pastry lift. Skip that step (or do it half-heartedly) and your end result will be dense and heavy (BonAppetit).

Here is Amanda Grant, editor of The Co-operative Food magazine to show us how to properly cream butter and sugar together.

Now you know how to make a cookie, that all cookie lovers in your life will go for. And you may just become, the Master Baker At Baking The Perfect Cookie.

What Others Are Reading:

Cooking a Healthy Stir Fry

Cooking a Healthy Stir FryStir-fry makes for a complete meal that can be made in a short time when you are famished. The majority of kids, including the picky eaters, will be happy with a colorful stir-fry for dinner.

Let’s discuss the items you will need for your stir-fry, such as the cookware to use. What cooking oil is best, and also the vegetables and the use of protein in your stir-fry’s.

Cooking Stir-Fry

Types of woks for Cooking a Healthy Stir Fry Stir-fry can be made in a Wok, which is a great cooking method as it cooks this food properly without having to add a lot of oil. A wok is built to heat up in such a way that food cooks fast, meats get a nice sear and vegetables cook quickly so they are not overcooked and retain their nutrients.

But, if you don’t have a Wok, you can use a cast iron skillet, hard anodized or ceramic coated cookware, but make sure they are really hot before adding the ingredients.

Healthy Oil

To cook your stir fry for heart health, you need to choose cooking oil that has a high smoking point because of the high temperature of frying.

Chinese cooks normally use peanut oil, which has a high smoke point and a pleasant nutty flavor, for stir-frying (and deep-frying). The Peanut Institute states that highly refined peanut oil does not contain allergen-containing proteins and is safe for people with even severe peanut allergies.

Keep in mind that peanut oil is 18% saturated fat, not a healthy fat for the heart, according to the medical community.

Almond oil is suitable to stir-fry with as it has a smoke point of 420 degrees. Almond oil contains the second highest percentage of monosaturated fats, behind olive oil. This type of fat has a number of potential health benefits including lowering total cholesterol, normalizing blood clotting and controlling blood sugar.

Olive oil is also suitable to stir-fry with, but only when using extra light olive oil, because it has a higher smoke point at 468 degrees over EVO oil which is 350 degrees.

Avocado OilAvocado oil has many uses and is great for lowering blood pressure. Avocado oil has a smoke point to 500 degrees. This oil is great for searing meats and frying vegetables. When the food hits the hot oil, the sugar content in the food caramelizes and proteins will be denatured and form a thin coating. This allows the food not to soak up any oil. Also because it is thicker than olive oil, you will find yourself using less of it in the pan. In the USA, if you live near a Costco, the price of the avocado oil for 1 litter is about $10.99 (2014). It isn’t certified organic, but it does state non-gmo avocados used.

The flesh of an avocado, including its oil have 20 vitamins and minerals, which include B-6, an essential B-vitamin for healthy red blood cells, nervous system, gums and teeth. Other nutrients include iron, potassium, lutein and folate. Avocado oil also contains potassium, pantothenic acid, copper and the phytonutrient lutein, which helps boost eye health as we age.

Each serving of avocado oil, 1 tablespoon contains about 1.6 grams of saturated fat, with no omega-6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation in the body.

Vegetables – Low in Calories and Fat

vegetables for stir-fryOne of the best things about a stir fry is the variety of vegetables you can use, such as cabbage, broccoli, peas, green beans, mushrooms and peppers. Most vegetables are high in fiber, keeping you full for long periods of time. Vegetables are low in calories as well and have no fat and so they can be eaten in abundance.

Protein in Your Stir-Fry

You can choose to use meat, like pork, beef, or chicken. But if you want an all vegetarian stir-fry, you can still have protein as well, by adding nuts or seeds.

Peanut sauce is a high-protein food offering 8 grams per 2 tablespoons. Also 1/4 cup of slivered almonds adds 6 grams of protein or 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds adds 7 grams of protein.

However you choose your protein, make sure to add it to your stir-fry. Protein is an essential building block for healthy tissue and muscles in the body.

Enjoying a good stir-fry also ensures you are getting your daily need of vegetables that provide all of the amino acids you need plus fiber and phytonutrients for a long healthy life.

What Others are Saying About Stir-Fry and Cooking Oils:

Honey Roasted Nuts

Honey Roasted Nuts

A part from being a mouthwatering snack, honey roasted nuts have nutritional benefits as well.

Nuts have protein, fiber, antioxidants and mono-saturated fat. It’s the fat that protects you from chronic heart disease. Some studies have reported that consuming one ounce of nuts daily reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

To receive the value of 6 grams of protein in Almonds you need to eat one ounce (about 24 nuts). There is also the benefits of vitamin E and the trace mineral magnesium.

To get 4 grams of protein from Cashews it is also one ounce (about 18 nuts) along with these trace minerals: selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

Twenty halves of pecans will give you 3 grams of protein along with vitamin B-1 for energy and the trace mineral zinc.

Now let’s get to roasting!!

Here is what you will need:

ingredients for Honey Roasted Nuts

In a medium bowl pour in three cups of mixed nuts, almonds, cashews and pecans. Pour 1/4 cup of honey over the nuts. Cut up 3 tablespoons of butter into small chunks
and disperse over nuts. Add 3 teaspoons of orange zest and sprinkle in the 1/2 teaspoon mixed cinnamon and nutmeg. To make it a better choice snack for the health of your heart replace the butter with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (read our article about: Adding a Little Zest).

mixing all ingredients together for roasting

Next place bowl into microwave for 4 to 7 minutes. The time will depend on your microwave. I was able to roast the nuts in 4 minutes. Half way through the roasting stir
the mixture up. Place back into the microwave and continue to roast. While you are waiting place a sheet of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

preparing  finished roasted nuts for cooling

When nuts have finished roasting, remove the bowl and pour nuts out over parchment paper. Allow the nuts to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes.

adding sugar, dried cranberries and dried coconut
Next, with clean hands break up cooled roasted nuts and place into a large bowl. After you have broken apart the roasted nuts add about 1/4 cup or less of sugar (optional). The amount of sugar is to your liking. Mix up the nuts to coat them with the sugar. The amount of dried cranberries and shredded coconut is also to your liking. I added two handfuls of cranberries and two handfuls of coconut. Now mix in these additions until well incorporated.

Take your Honey Roasted Nuts and place them into a jar or container with a tight fitted lid. Enjoy!!

Honey Roasted Nuts packed into a Jar

You can have Honey Roasted Nuts with your next party or dinner gathering along with these other favorites Party Favorites .

What Others are Saying About Nuts:

Enhanced by Zemanta