I have never made NFSCs but plan to here very shortly for a party. So I thought instead of a bunch of trial and error, I would go ahead and just ask all you experts if you have any variations in the recipe that work well or have developed any tricks to produce the best NFSCs. Any advice would certainly be welcome! TIA!
I'm sure everybody has their own "tried and true" tricks but this is what I do - 1/2 salted, 1/2 unsalted butter with 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond extract.
Makes for a very tasty cookie. And I roll mine out a little on the thick side (3/8") to keep them soft and I also bake frozen (@ 325'F for an additional minute or two).
I add 1t vanilla, 1/2t creme bouquet and 1/2t almond extract. I also roll mine out on the thick side. Don't let them brown if you are looking for softer cookies. I'll try the frozen cooking method next time and see what the difference is. This is by far the most reliable and tasy cookie to decorate with....and I've tried a BUNCH!
I just finished 150 Easter egg cookies that I decorated with Antonia's Royal Icing. That was my first time using that particular recipe. I will never use regular RI again! They have dried nice and hard, but are still soft when you bite into them. They also have a lovely sheen to them. I also added some vanilla and creme bouquet into the RI to give it some flavor. Customer loved them!
I use half butter and half shortening, I also omit ALL of the baking powder....I don't add ANY! I had lots of problems with the cookies losing their shape initially and this has alleviated that problem entirely. I do the freeze before you bake method as well. I also roll them out using lollipop sticks as a guide (while they seem really thin when cut out, by the time they puff up in the oven they're a perfect thickness...still soft and chewy on the inside) and when I use them for cookie bouquets I use 1/4 inch dowel rods as a guide for thickness.
Thank you everyone for the advice. I'm not the person that originally asked, but I too will be trying them for the first time tonight. WooHoo! Anyways, I wanted to find pointers before beginning. Does anyone know if you used softened butter? I assume you do, but I don't recall seeing that in the recipe. Thanks so much everyone,
... if you used softened butter? I assume you do, but I don't recall seeing that in the recipe. ... Melissa=)
Yes, soften it a bit or you could wear out your mixer.
Thank you. I just finished mixing it up. I'm leaving it in the fridge until morning. I already had the butter softening on the counter...so, it mixed up well, but it bogged down my mixer and I let the butter get really soft. It's still under warranty, so I'll probably be getting a replacement before it runs out anyway. I appreciate any tips I can get. I'm planning on painting the cookies after I use the cookie cutters that leave the impression. Hopefully it will work out well=)
I use the recipe as written , roll it out 1/4" thick, and chill before baking. Perfect every time!
Sooo...do you think it will be ok to refrigerate overnight before rolling out? Thanks in advance=)
I use this recipe for all my decorated cookies and here are my tips:
When mixing the dough add all of the ingredients as the recipe states but when it comes to the flour I add enough so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl (like bread dough) it might be more or less than it calls for but I go by sight not the recipe. This really takes a Kitchen Aid because the dough is very dense.
I then immediately roll out the dough and cut out my shapes, put them on parchment paper and put in the freezer for about an hour or two. I roll them 1/2 inch thick which makes for a huge cookie but they hold up well on sticks and people really think they are getting something substantial.
Then I just take out only what I can fit on my cookie sheet and bake at 350 till they look dry on top.
All of the cookies in my photos are the same thickness and were cooked using this method.
Hope this helps, it makes a great cookie.
I have never tried the freezer method but it sounds very promising. I also use half unsalted and salted butter. I perfect cookie every time.
I use Imperial brand Margarine ... I don't use "butter" in anything. I'm sure pure butter lovers can tell the difference, but we (and my customers) like the margarine version ok.
I also roll about 3/8" thick. Agree with JenWith on the thickness and with trixieleigh on the 'don't let them brown' ..... both of these tips keeps them soft, yet they are still firm enough for a stick.
I roll the dough out immediately between two sheets of parchment, cut the shapes, leave them on the parchment and put the parchment in the freezer while I roll/cut the rest of the batch. By the time I'm done rolling it all out, the cut shapes have chilled enough to pull out and bake.
I have two questions regarding everyone's tips:
1) For those of you who use half salted/half unsalted, do you add any salt to the recipe?
2) And for everyone who rolls them out thick but doesn't let them brown, what temp do you use and for how long do you cook them? I always have such a hard time getting them to cook on the inside without burning the outside.
I follow the recipe to the "t", including the hint of rolling it out between sheets of parchment as I find that to be the biggest trick to keeping them perfectly shaped. I keep the sheets frozen until I cut out the cookies, and even pop them back in the freezer a few minutes before baking (same as one would do with gingerbread.) As well, the cookie sheets stay cold at all times. I have 'never had them fail..." 'scuse the pun. : )
daisy, I lower my baking temp on everything by at least 25 degrees. I'm a "until it looks right" cook, so I can't tell you the time .... when my daughter asks "how long do I bake them?" she gets SO ticked off when I tell her "until they're done." They might appear to be "not done' in the center, but remember, they tend to continue to bake a little from their own internal heat after they've been removed from the oven. I take all of my cookies out of the oven when they look slightly underdone.
I use the NFSC recipe all the time and even have used it right away Its called no-fail for a reason !!! Loranns Flavor Oils are good for adding a bit of pizzaz as well. Have had great results.
Antonias Icing absolutely ROCKS!
I am a bake them until I start to smell them and then check for doneness girl. I always bake by smell and sight. Sounds wierd but I heard somewhere (maybe Alton Brown) that the smell is a good indicator of when its about ready to start checking. Between humidity and temperature changes, it has always worked better for me than the timer, even with cakes. Great results every time.
Anyway, that is my 2 cents
I am a bake them until I start to smell them and then check for doneness girl.
omg that is so funny that you say that! I bake so much (like most of us on here) that I just can't smell it anymore. People walk into the kitchen (home or shop) and comment on how good it smells and I say, "Really? You can smell it?"
But ..... When I do get a whiff of whatever it baking, then I know "it's done!"
Have y'all seen the movie Because I Said So? Anyways, your comments reminded me of the scene where Mandy Moore is about to go on a date and right before he comes to pick her up, she bakes chocolate chip cookies, only so the house will smell like cookies when he gets there. I am going to have to try this tactic once I know halfway what I am doing when it comes to homemade cookies! After all, they do say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach right?!?
I use this recipe all the time!!
I don't refrigerate the dough....I use it right away!!
I too roll out between parchment or waxpaper.I freeze the cookie over night before I ice them...for some reason they are stronger.
How far ahead can I bake the cookies? I need them for a shower this Saturday. Thanks.
You could go ahead and bake them now and they'd be fine for this weekend. I have eaten leftover cookies that were 7 days old and they were perfectly fine.