In my business, people are always asking us “how do you get your cakes…cookies… breads…to always look, taste so good and consistent?” My answer is always the same… “weigh your ingredients!”
I often get a perplexed look so I go and fetch the scale. I love it when someone tells me that they took the advice and made the best cookies ever, which is why I am writing this article.
In baking, precision is a must. Any changes in a baked item recipe will create unwanted results. Too dark? Baked too long or your oven is too hot. Flat? Most likely not enough flour and/or too much butter. Too light in colour? Too much flour or not baked enough.
Number one rule — weigh don’t measure. By changing up to this method, you will be faster and your end result will be perfect. Here are some shortcuts to know:
1 cup all-purpose flour = 150 g
1 cup packed brown sugar = 250 g
1 cup butter = 225 g
1 tsp salt = 6 g
1 tsp baking soda = 5 g
1 cup granulated sugar = 205 g
1 tsp baking powder = 4 g
The following recipe is fabulous – follow the weights and you will have what I think is the near-perfect cookie.
Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
(Copyright from Bill Granger’s Bills Food Cookbook — one of my favourite Aussie chefs!)
Makes about 30 cookies.
150 g unsalted butter, softened
230 g soft brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract — yes, measure this one!
125 g all-purpose flour
4 g baking powder
a pinch of salt
235 g rolled oats
175 g chocolate chips
• Preheat your oven to 350 C. Line three large baking trays with parchment paper.
• Cream the butter and the sugar together in a bowl till fluffy and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until smooth. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix lightly. Add the oats and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
• Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on baking trays. Flatten the balls with a fork dipped in flour. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes or until a pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays for five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack for an additional 30 minutes.
Lara McCormack is one of the owners of From Scratch — A Mountain Kitchen in Fairmont Hot Springs where one can savour great seasonal food, sip from a selection of beverages including B.C. wines and enjoy the views of our gorgeous valley landscape.