Scraping the Bowl
Do some of the cookies in your batch of cookies end up looking like they came from different batches? Are some thinner or browner than the rest?
Read below to find out why, and how to fix it.
If you bake cookies a lot it’s not uncommon to encounter one or more cookies from the same batch of look drastically different. Some are larger, thinner, and browner than the rest. Sometimes these differences affect one cookie or one pan alone.
Recipes that combine creamed fat and liquids can be difficult to mix thoroughly, because the mixture sticks to the sides of the bowl. The only sure remedy for this is to stop mixing part way through and scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
I have a Tip Friday dedicated to Creaming your ingredients. This creaming method isn’t about mixing ingredients together, it’s about aerating them. Beating the butter and sugar not only mixes but also folds them together over and over. This actually creates little pockets of air with every turn.
Creaming transforms the butter and sugar from a dense, dark, and gritty mass into something light, pale and smooth.
But you need to scrape the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula along the way or a dense film of butter and sugar may build up around the bowl or worse clump in knots inside your paddle attachment.
Without proper scraping the clumps will create clumps of dough that will spread, brown, and rise at a different rate than the rest. This leads to cookies that spread and darken and are different than the others. the taste and crispiness is affected also.
There might only be a few such cookies in an entire batch that present this way depending on how much it clumps. It is easy to blame it on a hot spot in the oven. But this difference doesn’t come from uneven heat, it comes from uneven textures within the dough.
Those clumps of butter and sugar left over when not scraping the bowl and beaters is the culprit.
When the bowl and beaters are scraped along the way, these dense areas are less likely to form in the first place, and are soon mixed into the batter.
Along with scraping the bowl and beater as needed, scraping the bowl and folding the finished cookie dough a few times with a flexible spatula can can also stop the clumping, this allows the batter to become lighter and creamier also.
Seeing thick streaks of butter and sugar through a dough or batter may be a a hint that your ingredients are too cold or that the bowl to beater clearance of a stand mixer needs adjusting. pay close attention to the temperature of your butter.
If your stand mixer shakes and sounds really loud that is a good sign your beaters are at the wrong height. This is easily fixed with a simple adjust to the screw just below the mixer head when lifted. check out your mixer frequently asked questions to see what is needed.
I have to readjust the beater height a few times a year. this isn;t caused by anything you do. it happens when you frequently are mixing thicker dough such and batters you need to cream.
It’s normal to wind up with a weird cookie from time to time. no body makes a perfect cookie all the time. and But attention to detail can make these occasions rare indeed.
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