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Use heavy baking sheets that distribute heat evenly, creating uniformly baked cookies.

When a recipe calls for greased baking sheets, a light spray of Crisco® No-Stick Cooking Spray is ideal. Even nonstick baking sheets benefit from a light spray.

To keep cookies from spreading, chill the dough before baking.

Cookies become overdone quickly and will continue to cook for several minutes after being removed from the oven. Avoid baking them until they're fully brown. Look for golden brown edges instead.

Leave cookies on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes after they're out of the oven, and then remove them to a cooling rack. Lifting them any earlier leads to tears and breaks. Leaving them on longer can cause them to stick.

When adding nuts to a batter, do so at the very last moment and the nuts will have a crispier texture.

If you're chopping nuts in a food processor, use a portion of the sugar or flour specified in the recipe. It will keep the nuts from sticking together from their oils.

Raisins and other dried fruits are better if plumped before they are added to a dough or batter. Pour boiling water over the dried fruit and soak for 30 minutes. Then drain and blot well on paper towels.

Portion cookie dough into cookie-sized scoops (cut out rolled cookies) and freeze them, in a single layer, in resealable plastic bags. Write the oven temperature and bake time onto each plastic bag. You can enjoy fresh-baked cookies in no time by simply retrieving the desired amount and baking them straight from the freezer. Add a few minutes to the baking time for frozen dough.

To keep baking times consistent, be sure that all cookies are about the same size.

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Cookie Bars

For a professional straight-from-the-bakery look, line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray the paper or foil lightly with Crisco® No-Stick Cooking Spray. When the bars are done, set the pan on a rack until cool enough to handle. Using the parchment or foil as a handle, lift the entire bar cookie out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

Use a sharp knife to cut into the desired shape. For triangles, cut into squares; then cut each square in half diagonally. For diamonds, cut parallel lines across the length of the pan, and then cut diagonal lines.

When the bars are completely cool and all toppings are set, layer them between sheets of parchment or waxed paper into an old shoebox.

For soft bar cookies like brownies, use plain floss to cut clean, uniform squares — without the mess.

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Cookie Decorating

Before-You-Bake Cookie Decorating Ideas

Chill the dough. Let your kids roll it into balls, and then toss the balls in a plastic sandwich bag with colored sugars to coat them.

Beat an egg yolk with food coloring and let your kids paint designs or faces on cookies.

Let your kids use raisins to create faces on gingerbread cookies. Or they can use sliced almonds to create wings for angels.

Buy a selection of small candies, like cinnamon drops and miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces, and let the kids decorate before the cookies are baked.

After-You-Bake Cookie Decorating Ideas

Be sure to give the cookies plenty of time to cool, so your icing will perform best.

Use a small icing spatula to spread on an even layer of icing. Decorations such as colored sugars or candies should be applied while the icing is wet so it can act as a glue. If icing is to form the base for piped-on decoration, cookies should be allowed to dry completely before a second layer of decoration is added.

Place a few tablespoons of icing in one corner of a heavy-duty plastic bag. Snip off the corner to create an instant pastry bag.

Dip one side of a dark cookie, such as chocolate, into melted white chocolate for a two-tone look.

Heat your favorite flavor of jelly until melted, scrape it into a small bowl, and paint it on cookies with small basting brushes.

You may have done it when you were a kid, but new guidelines tell us that licking out the bowl or licking off the beaters can cause severe illness, because of the possibility of salmonella in raw eggs. Find out more about egg safety, and remember that it's better to be safe than sorry.

To keep baking times consistent, be sure that all cookies are about the same size.

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Cookie Troubleshooting

Problem

Possible Causes

Solutions

Cookies too dry

Overmeasurement of flour.

Use standard measuring cup and proper technique.

Under-measurement of liquid.

Use liquid measuring cup.

Overbaking.

Check cookies before end of baking time to prevent overbaking.

Use of small eggs.

Use large eggs.

Cookies spread too thin

Too much shortening.

Use standard measuring cup for accurate measure.

Too much liquid.

Use liquid measuring cup.

Use of extra large eggs.

Use large eggs.

Too little flour.

Carefully measure, using standard measuring cups.

Cookies bump into each other during baking

Cookie made too large.

Follow recipe for size.

Not enough space between cookies.

Allow 2 inches between small-to-medium size, and 3 inches for large or jumbo size.

Dough too thin and spreads too much.

Follow correct measuring procedures, so proper amounts of ingredients are used.

Uneven baking

Oven temperature is not correct.

Use separate oven thermometer.

Oven heat uneven.

Turn baking sheet halfway through baking time.

Baking sheet touching side of oven.

Allow 2 inches around baking sheet.

Cookies not all the same size.

Follow recipe for correct size.

Cookies stick to baking sheet

Baking sheet not greased.

Grease baking sheet with Butter Flavor Crisco.

 

Remove cookies from baking sheet immediately.

Cookies too brown

Oven too hot.

Use separate oven thermometer or have oven serviced.

Cookies smaller than recipe indicates.

Use recommended amount of dough for each cookie.

Baking sheet may be touching side of oven.

Allow 2 inches of space around sheet for proper baking.

Overbaked.

Set timer.

Over-brown bottoms

Baking sheet on bottom shelf of oven.

Bake in center of oven.

Oven is too hot.

Check oven temperature with separate oven thermometer.

Cookies break or crumble as they’re taken from baking sheet

Cookies stuck to sheet.

Grease with Crisco® Butter Flavor shortening.

Cookies left on baking sheet too long.

Remove from sheet at time recipe indicates.


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Homemade Cookie Mix Gifting Ideas

Here are some unique gift ideas that really areas much fun to give as they are to receive.

Fill a Pretty Mason Jar with Crisco® Homemade Cookie Mix

Fill a pint, quart, half-gallon or gallon jar with Crisco® Homemade Cookie Mix and embellish it with your own personal flair. Attach a recipe card or two with directions for completing one of the fun Homemade Cookie Mix recipes. Each recipe comes with its own gift tag, which adds an extra creative touch. Use the chart below for measurement.

Pint Jar
Holds 2 cups of mix

Quart Jar
Holds 4 cups of mix

Half-Gallon Jar
Holds 8 cups of mix

Gallon Jar
Holds 1 complete recipe of Homemade Cookie Mix (16 cups)

-OR-

Layer a Mason Jar with Cookie Mix Plus Other Ingredients

Here are some helpful tips for creating a spectacular, layered cookie gift.

1. Alternate colors when layering for maximum visual contrast.
2. Generally sugars go on the bottom, to prevent them from sifting through other ingredients, and nuts or chips go on the top.
3. A wide mouth jar makes layering easier.
4. Carefully packing each layer down will allow you to fit more ingredients than the volume measurement of the jar if desired.
5. Fill any air space in the Mason jar with crumpled cellophane orplastic wrap.
6. Attach recipe card with instructions for adding remaining ingredients.
7. Fill out gift tag.

FILL A MASON JAR WITH COOKIE MIX LAYERS

Quart Jar
4 cups

2 batches of Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie Bites (2 cups)
Fill jar with:
1 1/2 cups Homemade Cookie Mix
3/4 cups finely chopped peanuts
Attach recipe card and instructions to add remaining ingredients.
(These can also fit into a carefully packed pint jar.)

Layered Mix of Classic Gingersnaps (2 1/2 cups)
Fill jar with:
2 1/2 cups Homemade Cookie Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 batches of Peanut Butter Cookies (2.83 cups)
Fill jar with:
2 cups Homemade Cookie Mix
1/3 cup firmly packedt brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts

Layered Mix of Frosted Chocolate Drops (3 1/2 cups)
Fill jar with:
2 1/4 cups Homemade Cookie Mix
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 batches of Frosted Banana Nut Cookies (3 3/4 cups)
Fill jar with:
1 1/2 cups Homemade Cookie Mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup bran flakes, lightly
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Half-Gallon Jar
8 cups

3 batches of Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (4 1/2 cups)
Fill jar with:
2 1/2 cups Homemade Cookie Mix
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 batches of Orange Coconut Cookies (5 cups)
Fill jar with:
2 3/4 cups Homemade Cookie Mix
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut, divided

2 batches of Pecan Cookie Bars (5 1/2 cups)
Fill jar with:
3 cups Homemade Cookie Mix
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

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