Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some Cookie Tips and Reminders

We like cookies.

We like cookies a LOT.

We like to make cookies. (If anyone's a Frog and Toad fan, then I would here direct you to the classic story "Cookies" in which Toad makes delicious cookies, and the two friends try to use some willpower to refrain from eating too many cookies....)

But cookies aren't good for us--at least not the quantity we would prefer to consume. So, how do we get around that small little fact? Make all our cookies "healthy?" Of course not--not all of them at least. There are some ways around this as well as some other tips I've learned over the course of the past few years of my cookie baking:

1. Make your cookies smaller--most older cookbooks have recipes that make 6 dozen or some other large amount. When your attempt only turns out 3 dozen, examine the size cookie you're making. Most recipes say drop by "teaspoonful." That's a pretty small amount--about a 1-inch ball. Then, it's easier to give your kids 2 cookies because the cookies are petite.

2. Freeze cookie dough: freeze in rolls of wax paper or flash freeze as little cookie-sized dough balls (my preferred method). Store in ziploc bag and pull out required number when you're suddenly needing a small dessert or cookie fix. This helps keep you from eating that 6 dozen cookies in 3 days....

3. Sub in half whole wheat in cookies like gingersnaps, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and the like.

4. Stick with the old classics: chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin, gingersnaps, sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, shortbread etc. They're usually less expensive than the really elaborate cookies, less time-consuming to make, and easier to make with your children. (And you'll always have the ingredients on hand for at least one of these)

5. Get over your healthy fix long enough to bake cookies and eat them with your children at least once a month. Especially at this time of year--schedule a cookie decorating party with some friends and let the kids go wild.

6. Pull cookies from the oven the second they look done and let them cool 1 minute on the cookie sheets. This will make them easier to remove with spatula to a cooling rack and help ensure they don't get overdone.

7. Teach your children self control and portion control. Sure it's okay to have a cookie once in a while or 2 small cookies for dessert. But don't go overboard. Share those monster cookies you get at bookstores, mall stores, and so forth; we divide those in fourths when I'm out with the kids and it's more than enough. Teach your children what a normal serving of sweets should look like. Then it's not a problem to have a cookie every now and then.

8. Make it a rule to make all of your own cookies. There are several benefits here: you won't eat quite as many because it will require a teeny bit more effort to provide them for dessert. You won't spend as much money. You won't consume preservatives and all sorts of questionable ingredients (hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, etc.). The cookies will taste infinitely better.

What is your favorite cookie or cookie tip? Leave a comment with any recommendations, tips of your own, favorite cookies, and so forth. I'll be posting my own favorite recipes in the next few weeks--we'll all need them when the holidays hit in full force!

2 comments:

bakermom said...

My number one tip is to always underbake the cookies by about a minute. As they sit and cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, they tend to get overdone. Also, always use parchment paper. More tips at www.LetsBakeCookies.com.

Bridgette Boudreaux said...

I hate making cookies because after you mix the dough I feel married to the oven. My favorite tip lately has been to scoop and flash freeze the unbaked cookie dough for later snacking!