- Unbaked cookie dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours or frozen in an airtight container for up to 9 months.
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time on the middle oven rack.
- Decorate cookies with chocolate by placing cookies on a rack over waxed paper. Dip the tines of a fork into melted chocolate and wave the fork gently back and forth to make line decorations.
- Some cookies need indentations on top to fill with jam or chocolate. Use the rounded end of a honey dipper.
- Dip cookie cutters in flour or powdered sugar and shake off excess before cutting. For chocolate dough, dip cutters in baking cocoa.
- Tin coffee cans make excellent freezer containers for cookies.
- If you only have one cookie sheet on hand, line it with parchment paper. While one batch is baking, load a second sheet of parchment paper to have another batch ready to bake. Cleanup will be easier.
- When a recipe calls for packed brown sugar, fill the correct size measuring cup with sugar and use one cup size smaller to pack the brown sugar into its cup.
- Cut-up dried fruit often sticks to the blade of your knife. To prevent this problem, coat the blade of your knife with a thin film of vegetable spray before cutting.
Brownies & Bars:
- Instead of folding nuts into brownie batter, sprinkle on top of batter before baking. This keeps nuts crunchy instead of soggy.
- Only use glass or shiny metal pans. Dark or nonstick pans will cause brownies to become soggy and low in volume.
- When making bars, line pan with aluminum foil and prepare as directed. The bars can be lifted out, and cleanup is easy.
- Cutting bars is easier if you score the bars right as the pan leaves the oven. When the bars cool, cut along the scored lines.
- Use a double boiler for melting chocolate to prevent it from scorching. A slow cooker on the lowest setting also works well for melting chocolate, especially when coating a large amount of candy.
- Parchment paper provides an excellent nonstick surface for candy. Waxed paper should not be used for high-temperature candy.