I’d like to thank all my family and friends for helping with the arduous task of tasting lots and lots and lots of cookies. Your dedication to helping me with this is truly appreciated. This book is dedicated to all children, young and old, who get smiles on their faces after biting into a delicious, freshly baked cookie.
If there are no concerns about dairy or parve (neither meat or milk), I always use butter in my cookies. But in almost all of the recipes that call for butter, you can substitute non-dairy margarine. The trick is to make sure you use a good quality, nonhydrogenated margarine. I prefer stick, as tub margarine is too soft.
Unless otherwise specified, all recipes in this book use all-purpose flour. I use the dip and scoop method for measuring flour, where you dip your measuring cup into the flour and scoop it out, using a knife or spatula to remove any excess flour from the top of the cup. My cups of flour measured this way weigh 5 oz (140 g). To get the same results from the recipes that I do, I recommend weighing your flour.
I always line my baking sheets with parchment paper as it keeps the cookies from sticking to the pans and over-browning. As an added bonus, it makes the clean-up much easier. Also, when I’m toasting things like nuts, seeds or coconut, it makes it much easier to transfer the items to a bowl or mixer by simply and carefully lifting up the
whole sheet of parchment and pouring it into the bowl.
Unless otherwise noted, sugar refers to white, granulated sugar. For brown sugar, I use light, soft brown sugar unless otherwise noted. You can use dark brown sugar instead, but the flavour will be slightly different. Powdered sugar, which is used in many of the recipes in this book, is also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar, depending on your location.
Toasting enhances the flavour of most nuts and it’s an easy thing to do. While there are a few recipes that call for raw nuts, if a recipe calls for toasted nuts, here’s how you do it. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven and toast for 8 to 9 minutes or until golden
brown. Let cool completely and use in the recipes as directed.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
For most ingredients in this book, I’ve included both weight and volume measurements. Depending on how you scoop or measure baking ingredients, there’s lots of room for error when using volumes (cups) rather than weights. When I measure half a cup of flour, I usually get 2 ½ ounces. But sometimes I’ll get 2 ¼, or some measuring cups will
make it closer to 3 ounces. Following the volume measurements will still give you a good product, but there is no question, you’ll get more accurate results if you use the weights. I urge you to invest in a small digital scale if you don’t have one. You can find inexpensive scales easily and I promise it’s worth the small investment.
WHY SWITCH PAN PLACEMENT WHILE BAKING?
Many recipes in this book instruct you to switch the positions of the pans in the oven half-way through baking. Very few ovens have even heat throughout and if you have more than one tray in the oven at one time, switching them around helps the trays cook evenly. At the same time you switch the pan positions, you should also rotate the pan so
that the side that was facing the front is now facing the back and vice versa. This willhelp the cookies bake evenly and compensate for any hot spots.