Happy Mother’s Day to All Cookie Lovers!

Besides the opportunity to give thanks to Mothers, Mother’s Day reminds me of an ingredient that can be used in both baking homemade cookies and traditionally serving with them. Although it may come from a different source, it is the most nutritious gift that any infant could continuously receive from its mother since shortly after being born.

You are such a Smart Cookie to think that I am talking about MILK.

Types of Milk

Since cow milk contains 3 times more in protein than human milk, it is more likely to curdle when coming in contact with stomach acid. For this reason, mother’s milk is easier to digest, especially for an infant.

Goat’s milk, having very similar protein and mineral contents to mother’s milk, is healthier for human consumption than cow milk.

Buttermilk, called for in black and white cookies or cranberry chocolate biscuits, is produced from skim milk cultures. The milk is allowed to ferment while being incubated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 – 14 hours. The buttery flavor is a by-product of the fermentation process.

Undoubtedly, mamoul, sesame cookies, vanilla cookie pretzels benefit from the richness of whole milk which has about 50% in fat. 2% and 1% low fat milk contain 34% and 18% fat, respectively.

Besides powdered, there is also heat-sterilized evaporated milk which comes in cans as whole, low fat, and non fat. Sweetened condensed milk has about 40% – 45% sugar that acts as a preservative. This milk is thus not necessarily sterilized.

Antibiotics can successfully treat infections, but also inadvertently kill off many beneficial microorganisms that exist in our body. Consuming acidophilus milk will help replenish the supply of good bacteria. This milk is produced from either low fat or skim milk with a bacteria culture added to it. Digesting it releases these bacteria that become active at body temperature.


In Europe, milk is processed at ultra high temperature (UHT) to preserve nutritional qualities. This process enables it to stay un-refrigerated for up to 6 months. In the United States, however, milk should be stored at 34 degrees Fahrenheit or 1.1 degrees Celsius.

See-through plastic containers are not good for storing milk in because when exposed to light, it can lose up to 44% of vitamin A due to autooxidation.

Powdered whole milk does require refrigeration because of its high fat content. Evaporated milk, on the other hand, can remain at room temperature for up to 6 months.

Handling Tips

To prevent milk from sticking while being heated, spread a light layer of unsalted butter on the bottom of the pot.

When heating milk, you notice that a skin is formed on top. This skin, a result of water evaporation, is consisted of protein (casein) and calcium. By slowing down evaporation, you will reduce the formation of this skin. To do so, either cover the pan or rapidly stir for a few seconds to cause a small amount of foam to form.


You have heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I have also heard of another saying, “Milk and homemade cookies at bedtime keeps insomnia away.”

Do you know why? The answer is somewhere within the Web site. Please let me know when you find it by Friday May 23rd, 2008. There may be a surprise for you. Good Luck!

Until Next Time and Keep on Baking,

Some of the above information is common sense, but I learned about most of it from “10,001 Food Facts, Chefs’ Secrets & Household Hints” written by Dr. Myles H. Bader. First MetroBooks Edition 2001. Originally published by Northstar Publishing, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Published date: May 9, 2008

Copyright 2008 by Trinh Lieu. All right reserved