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Baking: The Science Behind the Process
Bakers always say that baking is a science — and what a tasty one it is! A little bit of kitchen geekery goes a long way to make cookies that everyone will keep requesting. Here are basics that the chefs in our Food Network Kitchen keep in mind as they bake cookies at work or at home.
Read the recipe all the way through first. Preheat the oven, and organize all the ingredients and equipment before you begin baking.
How to Measure
For best results, measure ingredients the way the recipe author did. Food Network Kitchen tested the recipes in this collection by lightly spooning dry ingredients like flour or cocoa into dry measuring cups, and then leveling off using the flat side of a knife. Firmly pack down brown sugar into dry measuring cups. Place liquid measuring cups on the counter, and stoop down to read the markings at eye level.
Butter is the backbone of delicious cookies. Unsalted is better for baking, and it whips up best at room temperature (it should hold a thumbprint with a bit of resistance). If you need to bring it to temperature quicker, cut it into bits and spread them across a plate.
What Eggs Do
Eggs add texture and stability to cookies. Adding them one at a time to creamed butter helps keep the cookie's structure intact. Size matters — we use large eggs unless otherwise mentioned. Room-temperature eggs separate more easily and whip up into more voluminous foams — if you want to speed things up, put eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.