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Old 07-02-2008, 03:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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I can't make cookies right. help me!

Right basicially, my dad was a chef and stuff like that, and he says use bicarbinated soda or whatever its called in cookies and all the other recipes on the internet say baking powder.Is it also ok to use plain white flower? Yesterday I used baking powder and plain white flower to see what would happen, but i think i didnt make it doughey enough, so it came out a bit like a scon, is that usually what happens when u dont flatten it and make it doughy enough?

So yeh could you answer the bicarbinated question, the flower question, and the scon thing.

Much appreciated


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Old 07-02-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
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Perhaps if you posted the recipe you want to make, we could better help you.

BTW, bicarbonate of soda is "baking SODA", not baking powder. Two different ingredients.

Plain white flour is used in many cookie recipes, yes.


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Old 07-02-2008, 05:52 PM   #3
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Q-sis beat me to it - I was going to say the same thing.

Keep in mind that when baking cookies, there are two 3 basic rules to follow:
1. Make sure you're using the correct amounts of all ingredients
2. Make sure to mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, etc) and add to the wet mixture (butter, sugar, eggs, etc) in small batches (I like to do three), making sure to mix well between each dry batch, and scrape down sides too.
3. Make sure the oven is properly preheated, and between sheets of cookies, let the oven get back up to the correct temperature, since you loose heat when you take the cookie sheets out of the oven.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:37 PM   #4
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Your Dad is correct that Baking Soda is bicarbonate of soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, but you can not just indiscriminately switch it for Baking Powder, or use Baking Powder in place of Baking Soda. Read this explanation of what they are and then read this information on substituting one for the other (there is also info on substituting flours and other baking ingredients).

What you end up with depends on all of the ingredients (fat, sugar, acid, leavening agent, flour, liquid, temperature, method, etc.). Here are three recipes for chocolate chip cookies that will demonstrate how alterations to the recipe will give you 3 totally different results (compare the ingredients and the method of combining them) Thin, Puffy, Chewy (most people will instantly recognize these as the recipes from Alton Brown's episode Three Chips for Sister Marsha) - there is also a good indepth discussion of these three recipes in Shirley Corriher's book, Cookwise.

You can also find some good information on cookies and ingredients on the cookie pages at Baking911. There is a good section on basic "TIPS" that explain a lot is you should really read that section. There is also a "what went wrong?" section with how to correct your recipe.

One more thing about flours - if I remember correctly, in the UK what is called "plain" flour is what we in the US call "all-purpose" flour, and what they call "white" flour in the UK is what we call "self-rising" flour in the US - it comes with baking powder already mixrd into it, so if you were using it in place of plain flour you would have to eliminate the leavener called for in the recipe (and if the recipe called for baking soda you would have to make the adjustments for changing from soda to powder).

As for the scones - don't know what you changed in the recipe ... there is a good chance that you did make scones.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:08 PM   #5
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I cheat and buy em from the store, bring em home, break em apart and put em on a cookie sheet and bake!
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