Baking cookies and writing about it have confirmed my suspicion. Writing is indeed a joy when it is about a passion. Hours seem like minutes, and I am spending every minute thinking about how Baking Perfect Homemade Cookies With Five Essential Rules can best meet your needs.

I would love to receive your comments, suggestions on how to improve the site.

In the months ahead, I plan to continue expanding my collection of easy cookie recipes, especially those from the Old World. In addition, my commitment to increase popularity of the site is always an active and on-going effort.

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to reach you through Smart Cookies. Your subscription means a vote of encouragement. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to all the cookie lovers you know.

Best Wishes and Happy Easter,



Web Site Updates

Some of recent additions to our Web site include:

Quick and Easy Recipes – Preparing Drop Cookies

Three easy techniques to portion dough for drop cookies – spooning, scooping, rolling in addition to many quick and easy recipes.

Easy Recipe for Soft Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Tender with gritty texture, these soft peanut butter oatmeal cookies are easy to make and too good to resist. Views helpful images illustrating step-by-step preparation.

Oatmeal Cookies From A Quick and Easy Recipe

Making delicious oatmeal cookies that are both moist and crisp with this classic recipe. Directions and illustrative images are very easy to follow.

Cookie Recipes From The Old World

Using classic cookie recipes to prepare German pfeffernuesse along with detailed directions and images that illustrate step-by-step preparation.

Kids Bake With Easy Cookie Recipes

Letting kids bake cookies is giving them a practical exercise in time management, organization, responsibility. Easy cookie recipes encourage their creativity and keep them active.

Last but certainly not least, preparing savory, mouth-watering dishes for yourself and your family, with these fabulous recipes, is just as appealing as baking homemade cookies.

Types of Wheat and Its Flours – The Most Basic Building Block in Baking

The following types of wheat are classified based primarily on color, hardness of the kernel, and time of year the wheat is planted.

Hard white Soft White
Hard red winter Soft red winter
Hard red spring Durum

Generally, flours that are milled from hard wheat have high quality gluten and are considered strong.

Due to the difference in quality among many types of wheat, millers typically blend flours to achieve a consistent product time after time. Readily available to most home bakers, all purpose flour is actually a blend of hard and soft wheat flours.

Regardless of the type of wheat, milling the endosperm of wheat berries or kernels yields white flour. This process also removes so much natural nutrients and vitamins that later enrichment can never completely replace them.

Compared to whole wheat flour, white flour

  • Has a longer shelf life
  • Contains more gluten proteins per weight
  • Is more digestible

To produce whole wheat flour, the entire wheat kernels that include the fibrous bran, nutritious and fatty embryo or germ, and the starchy endosperm are ground uniformly.

Although whole wheat flour and graham flour are often used interchangeably, there is a minor physical difference. In the milling of graham flour, the outermost part of the wheat berries (bran) is not as finely ground as the germ and endosperm.

Finally, all flours tend to lose moisture during storage. Moisture content also varies by brands and seasons. Therefore, as bakers of homemade cookies, we may sometimes need to adjust the amount of flour used in a particular cookie recipe, in order to maintain a desirable flour to liquid ratio.

Recipe Comparison

This segment is to give you a general idea of possible taste and texture cookies might have before you actually bake them. It is not to determine that one recipe is better or worse than another.

In this issue, we will compare the amount of some ingredients used in baking snickerdoodles.

R 1 – Recipe 1 is from Betty Crocker’s Best of Baking: More Than 350 of America’s Favorite Recipes, first edition, published by Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company.

R 2 – Recipe 2 is from Joy of Cooking – All About Cookies by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker.

Amount Baker’s %
R 1 R 2 R 1 R 2
All purpose flour 2¾ c. 2 c. 100% 100%
Softened Butter ½ c. 1 c 18% 50%
Granulated Sugar 1½ c. 1½ c. 55% 75%
Eggs, 2 large 4 oz 4 oz 18% 25%
Shortening ½ c. 0 18% 0%

From the above table, you can suspect that recipe 1 does not spread as much as recipe 2 due to the presence of shortening. Its buttery flavor is probably less noticeable and it is not as sweet.

Compared to 2, recipe 1 should have a lighter, softer texture because it has a lower percentage of egg and sugar. Recipe 2 yields crispier snickerdoodles.

I hope that this basic analysis will give you confidence to revise a recipe according to your taste. If you prefer snickerdoodles with whole wheat, visit my collection of Low-Fat Cookie Recipes.

I’ll be posting my version of a snickerdoodle recipe on the Web site within a few days. Please stay tune!

Baking Tips

How to keep nuts and dry fruits from settling to the bottom of dough or batter during baking.

During baking, nuts and dry fruits are likely to render surface oil and water which pull them downward. You can reduce this effect by coating nuts and dry fruits with some flour that is to be used in the recipe. The coating will absorb some of the surface oil and water.

Published date: April 13, 2006

Copyright 2006 by Trinh Lieu. All right reserved.