Originally Posted by Ohioman1972
I just get so confused. My brain thrives on grilled meats, rubs, and marinades - I can make my own and do pretty well. I'm not too bad with pastas and sauces if I have a recipe. Pastries and desserts... uhhhm... not my thing but I wanna learn
Read the recipe through to understand the process. Then take the recipe one step at a time. Collect all the ingredients and measure them out before you start. Then follow the instructions.
If you break it down into smaller pieces, it's easier to deal with.
Keep in mind baking is not like other cooking. You can modify a rub recipe by leaving out one or more ingredients and adding others you like better.
You cannot do that with baking recipes. There is an interdependence among the ingredients.
Thoroughly creaming the butter and sugar together is important to creating a structure for the dough so it will rise properly. There are two leavening agents for the right amount of lift. Because there is baking soda, there has to be an acidic ingredient to activate it. That's why there is buttermilk in the recipe - to provide the acid. You are instructed to use AP flour. If you switched to cake flour, you'd have to change the quantity because cake flour has less gluten and cannot absorb as much liquid as AP flour. Also, less gluten in the flour can effect how much the cookies rise.
Baking takes more discipline to follow the recipe.