Hey guys!


doitlikelisa

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Hello! I'm Lisa. I'm new to baking and would want to connect with people who are also learning like I am. I have been trying to bake different cookie recipes, and they came out okay. Let me know what's your favorite baking recipe that a beginner like me can do.
 
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Norcalbaker59

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Hello! I'm Lisa. I'm new to baking and would want to connect with people who are also learning like I am. I have been trying to bake different cookie recipes, and they came out okay. Let me know what's your favorite baking recipe that a beginner like me can do.
Welcome. Are there any cookie recipes you are Particularly interested in? I have a slew of recipes.
 

doitlikelisa

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Welcome. Are there any cookie recipes you are Particularly interested in? I have a slew of recipes.
I'm interested in learning all kinds of recipes. I honestly have no idea where to start, so give me what you think is the most appropriate for my level of baking experience. Thanks so much! I really want to impress my boyfriend. He's waaaay better at baking than I am.
 

Norcalbaker59

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I'm interested in learning all kinds of recipes. I honestly have no idea where to start, so give me what you think is the most appropriate for my level of baking experience. Thanks so much! I really want to impress my boyfriend. He's waaaay better at baking than I am.
Oh so the boyfriend bakes. Game on. Do you have a food scale? If not I’ll revise a couple recipes to volume measurement.
 

Norcalbaker59

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No, unfortunately, I don't have any. Thank you, really, for being so helpful! I'll show him that I can be the baking queen of his life!
Ok I’ll covert a few recipes to volume measurements. It take me about a week.
 
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Becky

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Hello and welcome to the forum! :)
 

doitlikelisa

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Ok I’ll covert a few recipes to volume measurements. It take me about a week.
Thanks! I shall wait. I've been scrolling through Pinterest, and everything seems difficult. There is this fear that I'm going to buy expensive ingredients and then it will fail. I don't really like wasting money but I shall take some risks to improve.

Hello and welcome to the forum! :)
Thank you! I'm glad to be here. :)
 

Norcalbaker59

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Thanks! I shall wait. I've been scrolling through Pinterest, and everything seems difficult. There is this fear that I'm going to buy expensive ingredients and then it will fail. I don't really like wasting money but I shall take some risks to improve.


Thank you! I'm glad to be here. :)
With good instructions you should be fine:D
 

Norcalbaker59

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Just wanted to let you know I have not forgotten about you. I’m still working on converting some recipes.

I should have something for you in a few more days.
 
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Norcalbaker59

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@doitlikelisa,
I’m finishing up the conversions on four recipes: chocolate chip, peanut butter, samoa, and a biscotti

But there are some fundaments that will help make baking successful. I was making notes in the recipes, but then it was just cluttering then up, so I thought I should make a separate post.

Baking is best done with a scale. But if you do not own a scale, then how you measure your ingredients is very important. There are two types of measuring cups: liquid and dry. The design of a liquid measuring cup makes in near impossible to get a close estimate of weight. Since all other ingredients are based on the weight of flour, the amount of flour is critical to the success. So when using volume measurements always use a dry measuring cup for dry ingredients.


How the measuring cup is filled is also very important. There are two methods for filling a dry measuring cup:

  • Spoon and level
  • Dip and Sweep

Some sites insisted the proper way to fill a measuring cup with flour is Spoon and Level. Which is not a correct statement.

The accurate way to fill a measuring cup is the method used by the recipe developer. If the recipe developer used Spoon and Level, then you should use Spoon and Level. If the recipe developer used Dip and Sweep, you should use Dip and Sweep. The reason is the two methods result in different flour weights. Spooning flour into the cup does not force it in, so there is less flour in the cup. But when the cup is dipped and the flour is scooped up, the forced of pushing the cup through the flour pushes more flour in the cup. So there is more flour in the cup. When using multiple cups of flour, that difference adds up. And the ratio of the flour to the other ingredients is then out of proportion.

  • Spoon and Level: 1 cup flour = approximately 120 grams
  • Dip and Sweep: 1 cup flour = approximately 140 grams

Use the Dip and Sweep method to measure ingredients for volume for these recipes. The dip and sweep method also applies for recipes from America’s Test Kitchen, Cooks Country, Serious Eats, Stella Parks, Anna Olsen, Ina Garten. You could probably use the dip and sweep method for recipes from Dorie Greenspan since she uses 136g = 1 cup flour. All old cookbooks and recipes from the 1990’s and earlier will be Dip and Sweep.


Use Spoon and Level for recipes from King Arthur Flour, Baking Bites, i am baker, Sally’s Baking Addition.


====================================================================

DIP and Sweep - its important that you do not tap or pack it down after filling the cup. Dip the cup deep into the flour and let the force fill the cup.

To measure flour and granulated sugar:
  • Stir flour/sugar to un-compact it
  • Dip measuring cup deep into bag or canister and fill above the rim.
  • Do not tap or pack it down.
  • Level with a knife so flour/sugar is level with rim of measuring cup.
  • Do not pack down into measuring cup.


To measure brown sugar:
  • Dip measuring cup into brown sugar bag
  • Firmly pack sugar into measuring cup
  • Level with a knife so sugar is level with rim of measuring cup.


To measure baking soda and salt:
  • Dip measuring spoon into baking soda/salt
  • Level with a knife to make it even with the rim of the measuring spoon.


Mise en place: French culinary practice in which you organize all your ingredients before you begin to bake or cook.

  1. Read the recipe through. It’s important to know the order in which ingredients are added, and the method they are added. So read the recipe and understand the mixing method.
  2. Measure all of your ingredients before you begin
  3. Arrange all ingredients in the order in which you will use them


Flours: Brand of flour is very important. The protein content in flour and whether the flour is bleached or not determines how it rises and how tender the baked is. A bread, pizza, or rolls need an unbleached flour with more protein. A chiffon needs a bleached flour with low protein.


King Arthur Flours are all unbleached with 11.7% protein.
This flour is very good for chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, biscotti, oatmeal cookies, rolls, breads, quick breads, muffins.

King Arthur Flours are not a good flour for cakes, cupcakes, sugar cookies, shortbread, tart shells, or pie crust because they are unbleached with a high protein level. So cakes will not rise well; tart and pie crust will be tough; sugar cookies and shortbread will not be light and crisp.​



Gold Medal and Pillsbury flours are bleached with 10% to 10.5% protein.
These flours are good for shortbread, sugar cookies, pie crust, tart shells, some cakes, some cupcakes, muffins, quick breads. Gold Medal and Pillsbury can be used in most other cookies like chocolate chip, but lower protein bleached flour produces a softer texture.​



  • Most recipes that state “all purpose flour” are written for bleach all purpose flour.

  • Flour that is labeled “organic” is usually unbleached even if is not labeled unbleached. If you decide to bake a cake with organic flour, and you have problem with rise, this could be part of the reason. You can definitely make a good cake with organic unbleached all purpose flour, its just a matter of getting the lowest protein flour available.
  • If you are using a vintage recipe or cookbook, something out of the 50’s or 60’s, then you want to use bleached flour like Gold Medal or Pillsbury since theses were the common household flours of the day.


Butter Temperature: You will notice that I instruct you to use cold butter. Creaming butter and sugar is a form of leavening (mechanical leavening). If the butter is too warm, it will not produce the desired effect during baking. I don't know why recipes state room temperature butter since that is not taught in culinary school and its not used in bakeries. You can read a more detailed explanation at the link below if you are interested.


I am assuming you are not at high elevation—high elevation has different requirements because of the difference in air pressure. Water boils at lower temperature, so it changes how baking and cooking is done at higher elevations.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/12/cookie-science-creaming-butter-sugar.html
 

Norcalbaker59

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Biscotti

Adapted from King Arthur Flour


NOTE: Measure the flour using the spoon and level method


While I made changes to the leavening, flavoring, and add-in, this is essentially King Arthur’s base recipe. The amount of flour per cup is based on 1 cup = 120 grams = spoon and level method.


Tools

  • Mixer
  • Large baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Microblade zester
  • Cookie scoop, optional
  • Pastry brush
  • Serrated knife


6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, 65°F

Zest medium organic orange

2/3 cup (135g) sugar

1/2 teaspoon

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 tsp (2g) baking powder

3/4 tsp (3)baking soda

2 large eggs, cold

2 cups (250g) King Arthur all purpose flour, measured spoon and leveled method.

3/4 cup (85g) half raw pecans

3/4 cup (85g) Trader Joe’s dried montmorency sour cherry*


1 egg white for egg wash

Wilton Sparkling sugar for sprinkling on top, optional


Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet


Measure out all your ingredients before you begin.


Lightly toasted pecans in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove two a cutting board to cool.


Roughly chop and set aside.


Roughly chop sour cherries. Set aside.


Wash, dry and zest orange


Rub orange zest in to the sugar to release the oils. Let sit a few minutes to allow oil to infuse the sugar.


If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. Beat the butter, sugar, salt, flavor, vanilla, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minutes.


Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.


Beat in the eggs into the butter mixture. The mixture will look

curdled (lumpy). You want the eggs mixed in, but do not try to beat it smooth.


If using a stand mixer, turn it on on low, add the flour and mix until dough just combines; the dough will be very sticky. If using a hand mixer it may be easier to stir the flour in by hand.


Stir in the pecans and cherries by hand.


If using a cookie scoop, create two logs of dough by placing scoops of dough abutting each other in a line on the cookie sheet. Then wet your fingers and shape and smooth the top and sides of dough into a log.


Shape each log into a rectangle 10” long 2” wide and 1” high.


If you do not have a cookie scoop, use a large soup spoon to scoop the dough, and a table knife to scrape it off the spoon on to the baking sheet.


Leave space between the two logs as they will spread during baking.


Brush the logs with egg whites and sprinkle with the Wilton sparkling sugar. You can use other brands of sparkling sugar but I find the Wilton holds up best in baking.


Bake approximately 25 minutes at 325°F. The logs should be firm, but not hard. With biscotti it’s about feel. lYou don’t want it too soft or too hard. It should be just firm to the touch on top.


Remove from the oven when it’s firm on top.


Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F


Cool the biscotti on the baking sheet 10 minutes.


With a good serrated knife cut the biscotti crosswise into 1/2" slices. It is important that you cut in a gentle sawing motion


If you want a coffee house style biscotti cut on the diagonal.


Now here’s where I differ from most bakers. I set my biscotti up right. I don’t like my biscotti to brown. I want the interior to dry out. So I set them up right. I lined them up. In a lines.


And back in the oven at 300°F


And they bake until they are dry. I rotate the sheet every 10 minutes. It can take 40 to 45 minutes or longer to dry out. And you have to feel for dryness. If it does not feel dry and you take them out of the oven you will have a soft biscotti when it cools.

You can add whatever add-in you like to the dough. Almonds, pistachios, fennel seed, candied ginger, dried apricot. It’s really just limited by your imagination.

*Trader Joe’s has the best prices on dried fruit and nuts.

These are dipped almond and fennel seed dipped in dark chocolate

937E8299-2BEB-4F22-BB88-A5C231BBEFEE.jpeg
 

Norcalbaker59

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Chocolate Chip Cookie
By Cate


Mix the dough 2 hours before baking. For best flavor, mix dough day before baking. While I tested this recipe with King Arthur Flour, you could make this with Gold Medal or Pillsbury. But the texture of the cookie will be a little softer because of the protein level in those brand of flour are lower and those flours are bleached.


Yield: 24 cookies


2 cups (280g) King Arthur all purpose unbleached flour, measured by dip and sweep

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup (200) dark brown cane sugar such as C&H or Domino

1/2 cup (100) granulated cane sugar such as C&H or Domino

1 sticks + 6 tbsp (196g) unsalted butter Land O Lakes, cubed 65°F

1 large (53g) egg, cold, slightly beaten

2 tsp (10g) vanilla extract

10oz (285g) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped chocolate or chocolate chips



Dough must chill 2 hours before baking. For best flavor chill dough overnight


Measure all ingredients before mixing


Thoroughly whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside


Place brown and granulated sugars in bowl of stand mixer or large bowl if using hand mixer. with paddle attachment (hand mixer) mix to blend the two sugars together.


Add the unsalted butter cubes to the sugars and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes


Scrape sides and bottom of bowl


Continue to beat butter and sugar for an additional 2 1/2 minutes


Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until the egg is full incorporated into the butter, about 30 to 45 seconds


Add all the flour at once and mix until just combined. Some traces of flour will still be visible.


Mix in chocolate.


Place dough in air tight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours.


BAKE


Adjust rack to center of oven


Preheat oven 350°F.

Elevate cooling rack by placing a coffee mug under each corner


Line baking sheet with parchment paper


Portion dough in 45g balls, about 2” in diameter


Place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheet spacing 3’ apart. Do not flatten dough.


Bake 10 - 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet mid-way through the bake.


Cookies are done when lightly golden brown on the edges only



Let cookies cool for 1 full minute on the baking sheet, then remove to the cooling rack. Cookies left to cool completely on a baking sheet tend to be softer than cookies cooled on a rack. That is this any type of cookie, not just chocolate chip.



This is how the cookie tested from the recipe as I wrote the recipe on Thursday. Are used to Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips.
08B3FB09-F389-4E13-8D6C-94EAE2866EBE.jpeg


3C2C6DAE-0804-4374-ABFC-B5182FBF978A.jpeg
 
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Norcalbaker59

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Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve only made this peanut butter cookie once because I normally don’t make a peanut butter cookie. But a friend of mine loves peanut butter cookies. So I created this recipe last Christmas for him. I’m told this is an extremely good peanut butter cookie. This cookie was shipped to Southern California. And upon arrival I was told this cookie was still chewy. Which is very unusual for a cookie that was by then three days old. I don’t eat gluten so I can only go by the feedback I received on this cookie.

The flour I used when I created this cookie has 11.5% protein. So King Arthur all purpose flour will work in this cookie. I would not use Gold Medal or Pillsbury.

Also you cannot use natural peanut butter in cookies. Natural peanut butter does not contain any emulsifiers. When baked into a cookie, natural peanut butter separates, causing the cookies to crumble.

Peanut Butter Cookies
By Cate

Yield: 20 cookies

Dough requires 1 hour chilling before baking


1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) King Arthur all purpose unbleached flour, dip and sweep measuring method

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon Diamond brand salt

6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, 65°F such as Land o Lakes (I used Plugra)

1/2 cup (100g) light brown cane sugar such as C&H or Domino

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (80g) granulated cane sugar such as C&H or Domino

1/4 cup (100g) Jif extra crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup (100g) Jif smooth peanut butter

1 1/4 Tablespoon (25g) honey

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, cold, slightly beaten

sugar for rolling

  • Organize all of your equipment
  • Measure out all of your ingredients before you begin

To measure flour, stir the flour with a fork to un-compact. Dip the measuring cup deep into bag or canister to fill the cup. Do not tap or pack flour into the cup. Use a table knife to level the flour even to the rim of the measuring cup. Repeat with measuring spoon.


To measure peanut butter oil or stray with non stick spray a dry ingredient measuring cup; fill the measuring cup with peanut butter, taking care not to leave a gap inside the cup. Use a table knife to level peanut butter even with the rim of the measuring cup.

INSTRUCTIONS


Thoroughly whisk flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.


Place brown and granulated sugars in bowl of stand mixer or large bowl if using hand mixer. with paddle attachment (hand mixer) mix to blend the two sugars together.


Add the unsalted butter cubes to the sugars and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes


Scrape sides and bottom of bowl

Continue to beat butter and sugar for an additional 2 minutes


Add vanilla, honey, and peanut butters and beat until blended, about 45 seconds


Add egg and beat until the egg is full incorporated into the butter, about 30 seconds


Add all the flour at once and mix until just combined. Some traces of flour will still be visible.


Cover and Chill dough 1 hour


BAKE


Adjust rack to center of oven


Preheat oven 350°F.


Elevate cooling rack by placing a coffee mug under each corner


Line baking sheet with parchment paper


Portion dough in 32g balls, about 2” in diameter


Roll dough balls in granulated sugar


Place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheet spacing 3’ apart.


Gently flatten dough with tines of fork pressing once in one direction, then once in the opposite direction to create a cross-hatch pattern on the top of the cookie


Bake 10 - 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet mid-way through the bake.


Cookies are done when lightly golden brown on the edges only


Let cookies cool for 1 full minute on the baking sheet, then remove to the cooling rack.
 

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