Your Cookies Gain Unwanted Holiday WidthLumpy gravy, pasty potatoes, shredded turkey-what's a holiday cook to do? Find out how to avoid these and other holiday kitchen calamities with Cooking Light magazine's Most Common Cooking Mistakes.
Mistake #1: Your cookies gain unwanted holiday width.
Result: Sad gingerbread men.
Baking holiday cookies can go from a labor of love to an exercise in frustration when your gingerbread men come out more bloated than a Macy's parade float. The problem is too much heat-but not at the baking stage, at the mixing stage: Your butter is too warm.
The solution: Keep your butter cool, right until baking. Butter starts to melt at 68°, and once that happens, its water-fat emulsion breaks and there's no getting it back. Cold, emulsified butter helps give baked goods structure by taking in air when mixed with sugar. For cookies, you want butter well below room temperature; between 50° and 65° is optimal. Cut the butter into chunks, and let it stand at room temperature to soften (nix the microwaveRead More »from The Most Common Holiday Cooking Mistakes