I'm only new to baking, and have just baked my third batch of sugar cookies, and each time they're still slightly under cooked on the bottom (edible and tasty, but obviously not what I want to present to others). The first two times I thought it was my oven because it's not working to it's full potential, so I tried my second oven (which works fine) and the same thing happened. I'm wondering if maybe it's the fact I'm using parchment paper. Should I try baking on a cookie sheet without paper?
Could it be the pan you are using? When I use my Pampered Chef cookie sheet (heavy gauge aluminized steel), it takes longer for the cookies to bake, and they never really brown at all underneath.
It could be! I just made another batch with a different cookie sheet. This time the bottom was a little golden brown on the edges, but the middle looked a little doughy/underdone. I even decreased the temperature and increased cooking time. Very frustrating as I have to make some for a baby shower in a week. I guess I'll be trying different recipes and techniques to get it right until then.
I just did finished another batch without parchment paper, just straight on the cookie sheet cooked at a lower temp for 5 mins longer.They seemed to be the best cooked of the lot. It's crazy how the smallest little details can make such a difference.
it is crazy -- glad you got it figured out
The last lot were still slightly soft (and probably a touch undercooked) in the middle, but much better. I'm using my second oven (which I rarely use), so I guess it's just a matter of getting used to it and it's different cooking times.
How do you tell when the cookie is done? Is there a particular "thing" to look for? Some recipes say when the edges are lightly golden, others state that golden means overcooked.
Is it possible that you need to lower your oven rack down a notch so the bottom bakes at the same rate as the top? Is your cookie under baked in the center or is it a recipe that is supposed to be slightly soft? My sugar cookies are firm enough to hold their shape, but they do not snap. I don't like hard cookies.
My favorite cookie sheet is called an air sheet because it is a double thickness of aluminum with a little more than 1/4 inch of airspace between the two layers. This prevents the bottom of the cookies from over baking and they brown lightly. Darker cookie sheets will over bake your cookies in a heart beat. I always use a sheet of aluminum foil on my cookie sheet instead of parchment paper....from long habit, I think.
I've been baking cookies since I was a little girl and I still find it tricky to take them out of the oven at exactly the right time. Just watch them closely.
The recipe didn't state that it was meant to be soft centered. (This is the recipe I used, particularly because I seem to have a sensitivity to baking powder, and anything I make with it leaves a metallic after taste that apparently only I can taste)
-I cup unsalted softened butter
-I cup sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 large egg
-1 egg yolk
-3/4 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp almond extract
-2 1/2 cups of sifted flour
(I'm thinking I might omit the egg yolk next time. I've seen similar recipes that just call for the 1 whole egg.)
I baked in the middle of the oven, so I'm not sure that was the issue. Though I'll try lowering by one shelf next time. I guess it's all just trial and error isn't it? I've read a few recipes that call for baking at 400 f (200 c) 6-7 mins. Anyone tried that? I baked my last batch at 320 F (160 c) for 15 mins, rather than the 8-10 mins at 350 (180 c). That seemed to work better. Could also be that I'm not used to this second oven.
I might buy another cookie sheet, that could be the issue. I tried two, and the older one (I've had for years) actually browned the bottoms but the middle was even softer that the cookies baked on the newer sheet. Boy! Baking is such a finicky thing! I much prefer the decorating side of things.
How does the aluminium foil go? I might try that too.
Also, I don't have a stand mixer, just an electric hand mixer if that makes a difference. I actually might try doing it the old fashioned way by hand next time, because the dough seemed to get jammed in the blades of the hand mixer very easily, and perhaps it didn't evenly beat the dough properly.
Your recipe is very close to NFSC except there is an added yolk and 1/2 cup less flour. NFSC would call for 3 cups of flour to that ratio of the rest of the ingredients (and no yolk, just 1 egg). Maybe try adding another 1/2 cup flour. The dough does get stiff. Even my KitchenAid gets angry, so I'd probably try the old fashioned way after adding the flour.
I’m amazied at how wonderful it is on this board that so much help is offered! Trying to find a good way to bake cookies or decorate something we all try our best to help As can be seen if one reads the posts there usually is more than one way to accomplish a task leaving one choices as to what works best for them It shows me how I could have improved my experience all those years ago yet I managed a good career OH how I miss it That’s why I help out on this board even some of my “old-fashion” advice is still helpful :)
kakeladi, your "old fashioned" advise is awesome! I am older than you and been baking all of my life, but I've learned so much from you and Lynne!
ash333, I don't know how to answer how the foil works. I've always used it, as my mama taught me when I was a little kid. I think it mostly keeps the pan clean and I have no trouble with cookies sticking to it. I had never used parchment paper before I started cake decorating, about five years ago.
Also, I've always made my cookies by hand. Most of my life, I only had a hand mixer and it never occurred to me to use it for stiff cookie dough. Now I have two KitchenAids, 5 quart Artisan and 7 quart Pro model, and I still make my cookies by hand. Old people get in a rut!
Thanks Jenny BakesAlot. I realized that because I'm in Australia, the conversion may be different. I found a Martha Stewart recipe that was in Australian measurements (basically the same, but with 3 cups of flour and only 1 egg), so I'm going to test that out today.
Kakeladi, I'm so grateful for all the help. I feel a bit silly having to ask so many questions, but since I have an order coming up this week I'm a little stressed about getting everything perfect (I'm a perfectionist). I've never baked until this year, and the only person in my family who could have provided me with guidance (my dear grandmother) passed a few years ago. So you don't know how appreciative I am to be able to get such kind guidance here. I'm learning so much from you all.
SandraSmiley, good to know you make your dough by hand too. Even though it's extra work, I feel like more love goes into things when they're done the old fashioned way.
Thank you all again so much! I'll let you know how I go with the batch I make later today :)
I was tempted to get one of those 3.5 qt ka the other day dot dot dot
I'd love one too K8memphis! I see you live in the home of the king. Memphis is at the top of my "to visit" list. I'm a bit of an Elvis fan (my Mum has been her whole life and I guess it rubbed off on me).
An Elvis fan?? A zillion yrs ago he preformed at my high school! :)
Wow! That would have been amazing kakeladi! What a memory!!
So I tried the Martha Stewart recipe today (basically NFSC but minus the baking powder) and they came out great! It was obviously my previous recipe and not my oven or cookie sheets causing the problem. Thank you all so much for your help and suggestions.
I'm going to decorate them tomorrow and I was just wondering how long (if at all) you should let the fondant dry before painting it? (I've got some edible rose gold paint (sweet sticks) to paint some accents)
It is not strictly necessary to let the fondant dry before painting, but since I am usually doing a whole painting, I let it dry for a few days. For your cupcakes, however, letting it dry for an hour or so should be sufficient to prevent bleeding.
Great, thanks Sandra! I made some test cookies (with fondant) today. Boy that glucose syrup was impossible to work with. I ended up using plain old water (and sugar glue for fondant to fondant). Is there any particular reason why using water to attach fondant to cookies isn't a good idea? Most tutorials I watch use water, and I've seen it suggested here. However, when I went to my local cake supply store, the lady there was almost shocked that I'd use water.
Well, if you use a lot of water, it would soften your cookie, but I know it only takes a small amount to attach the fondant, so I see no reason not to use it. A lot of people are really uptight about decorating, a whole lot of dos and don'ts. Personally, I am all for anything that works.
Oh yes, I've noticed that (so many dos and don'ts). Thanks once again for all your help :)
I attach my fondant to cookies with corn syrup thinned with vodka. I brush it on the cookie with a paintbrush... just a minimal amount. On another note, I don't use baking powder at all in NFSC recipe. AND, I've read about spreading and reasons why this happens. I've read about the flour being the culprit. Crazy thing. Last week, I bought a bag of Pillsbury All-purpose flour. It was clumpy. I even sent a picture to all of my neighbor girls. I used it to make cookies because I didn't want to use it for cake. The cookies came out perfectly. NO spreading whatsoever. The next week, I used another brand of flour to make cookies (fresh from a new bag). They spread.
Thanks Jenny BakesAlot. I can't seem to find corn syrup here in Australia (I've spend the last week trying to track it down). I don't use baking powder either. Mostly because I can always taste it in anything I use it in. I did find that my recent batch of cookies spread a little (even without the baking powder). I've never heard about flour being the culprit. But now I think of it, I used a different brand to what I'd used previously. I also didn't sift it this time, but the recipe never called for that. Not sure if that would have made a difference?
They didn't spread too much though, but it's still annoying when you can see the edge of the cookie around the fondant.
That is an idea, ash333. Jenny uses vodka to thin her corn syrup, so there is no reason why you couldn't thin your glycose with vodka. Since it evaporates almost immediately, less chance of making your cookies soggy.
Yes, that's a good idea Sandra! I'll give that a try, thank you!
yes sandra and ash I agree whole heartedly about all the dos & don'ts -- this is how I say it "one baker's never ever do is the next baker's I swear by this" ha!
I am just bumping all the posts to move them ahead of the stupid spam.
thank you, sandra -- might be a losing battle -- but one can go to their "my account" thing and get to forum posts that way -- or type in the member's name and do a search -- or go to photos and click on names and see posts too w/o the spam-oh-wham --
if jackie keeps this place going -- we'll keep on going too