This afternoon I have been testing out oven settings for baking my sugar cookies using the recipe from the amazing Sugar Belle. Her website gives all the instructions I followed for mixing and baking your cookie dough so I highly recommend you check it out.
Usually I would never be this anal about baking, but recent developments (which i'll share with you in due course!) have made me want to properly learn to bake and thus, I have created my own personal challenge of the perfect sugar cookie!
I made my dough in the electric mixer and then divided it into 3. I'll admit, I was a bit cocky and thought that the first batch (which was the largest quantity of cookies) would come out perfect because, it's only a cookie after all, how hard could it be? Errr... hard!
Batch one consisted of some scalloped edged circles, easter eggs and squares. On Sugar Belle, she recommends that the cookies are 1/4" thick but I didn't bother to check. Error numero uno.
I baked batch 1 in a pre heated fan oven at 200°C for 7 minutes, the equivalent of the settings she uses for her cookies. Everyones oven is slightly different, that's why the results of my cookies were awful and her's are perfect. Sugar cookies should not be brown. Mine are. They have also spread into each other and lost their shape and detail making them also too thin. FAIL.
For batch 2, I went with just the easter egg shape and baked these at 180°C for 7 minutes.
Colour wise these came out pretty good but again, they spread a little too much and were a bit too thin.
You can see the colour difference between the cookie on the left from batch one, and the cookie on the right from batch 2. Big difference in 10 degrees.
Finally, I made batch 3 thicker. The pastry was a little dry by this time so the dough wasn't as smooth but this was about colour and not finish at this stage so I wasn't really bothered. Once they are iced you wouldn't see this anyway. These were baked at 170°C for 9 minutes.
The cookies held their shape much better so it is clearly important to keep them 1/4" thick! I think I will reduced the baking time by 1-2 minutes next time and then they will be perfect. These, out of the 3, we're just right!
Once they cooled down they were a nice even colour, soft with a bit of a snap.
You can clearly see the difference between the 3 batches and the third cookie on the right is almost the exact same size as the cookie cutter was.
I've bought some icing supplies but I want to make another batch of cookies first to make sure they come out perfect! They then need to be left in a Tupperware container for a day before icing. As these won't be iced, me and mum have been dipping them in mugs of tea! Mmm!
I feel like Goldilocks and the three cookies!