Let’s talk about cookies!
It turns out that making cookies is not as simple as I thought. It turns out that a lot can go wrong when you make cookies. And it turns out that I am not very good at mixing cookie batter.
But: starting from the beginning. In order to make cookies, we use the creaming method of mixing. This means that we start by mixing the butter and sugar together. It’s important that the butter be soft (room temperature), but not fluid. It’s also important to measure out the correct amount of ingredients. This is harder than you think. In a moment, you might mix up tablespoons with teaspoons, or pounds and ounces. Double check everything!!!
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl, and mix on a low speed for NOT VERY LONG. Actually, you don’t even have to fully mix the two together, because it might already be too much. I found this out the hard way. The mixture shouldn’t change color: in other words, it shouldn’t become too light and soft and creamy. It should be more of a butter texture. I overmixed the chocolate chocolate chip cookies, and they spread all over the trays, so we couldn’t sell them. I got to take them home instead, which was also nice, but not a good option if your plan is to make money in your bakery. Or if you want to stay the same weight.
After this, you add the dry ingredients, which in some cases should be sifted together. The sifting basically makes sure that you will get a homogenous mixture instead of clumps of baking soda and flour in different cookies.
After mixing in the dry ingredients, combine the wet ingredients, and mix those in as well. I have probably cracked more eggs in the last four weeks than in my entire life before this. Amazing! The eggs for professional production come in large boxes, stacked as in the photo above. This one cardboard container is called a flat, and each flat contains 5×6 = 30 eggs. As you can see in the photo above, we measure eggs by weight (and all other ingredients) because it is more accurate than measuring by volume. The average egg weighs 1.6 ounces.
I got to make chocolate chip cookies two days in a row, which was incredibly fun. After all the dry and wet ingredients have been added, you add the garnish, in this case the chocolate chips. The garnish can also be nuts, dried fruit, or whatever else you tend to add to your cookies.
For the last task: transfer the cookie batter into a large bowl and use an ice cream scoop to portion out cookies onto the tray. This is an easy way not only to form the cookies, but also to ensure that each cookie is the same amount. This is important when you want to sell your product. After all, I want to pay the same price as anyone else to get a cookie, and I want each cookie to be the same size, otherwise jealousy might ensue.
The other kind of cookie I got to make was chocolate chocolate chip, which was probably even more fun than chocolate chip.
One thing you have to remember: the chocolate always wins! It is impossible to keep your uniform clean when working with natural cocoa.
As I mentioned above, in this case, it is important to sift the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda) together in order to get a homogenous mixture.
So, unfortunately, I overmixed the butter and sugar in the beginning and got a very soft, creamy mixture. This makes the cookies spread all over the tray when baking, and is not desirable to the baker.
Nevertheless, I had so much fun mixing cookie batter! Notice the big cocoa stain on my white apron. I spend lots of time doing laundry now. Speaking of which…. I need to check on my aprons that are currently soaking in bleach….