Mrs Fields' top tips for baking cookies
The weak knees and utter bliss you experience when you bite into a Mrs Field's cookie is due to quality ingredients and special baking techniques. Even though their cookie formula is top secret, Rachel Matheus, Mrs Fields' baking expert and training specialist, shares the eight top tips to bake extraordinarily delicious cookies in the warmth of your own kitchen.
1. QUALITY INGREDIENTS"Mrs. Fields uses only the best ingredients – real butter, perfect walnuts, proprietary vanilla and quality chocolate chips, to name a few – and we never skimp. We follow the same formula today that Debbie Field's created in 1977," says Matheus, "and since then we have also bought the same ingredients." If you want to-die-for cookies, buy high-quality ingredients so your final product will look and taste top-rate.
2. START WITH COLD BUTTERCold butter is going to give cookies a better texture and shape. Warm butter will cause a cookie to spread flat instead of holding some height.
3. ROOM TEMPERATURE EGGSRoom temperature eggs will help dissolve the sugar into the wet ingredients.
4. KEEP DOUGH REFRIGERATEDMatheus suggests sticking cookie dough in the refrigerator. "When dough is consistently the same temperature," she adds, "all the cookies [on the sheet as well as in the whole batch] will be baked evenly." You can refrigerate the whole batch of dough or you can refrigerate individual prebaked cookies on the baking sheets.
5. KEEP IT UNIFORMYour whole batch of cookies will bake and look consistent if you use a small ice cream scoop (for standard or large cookies) or large melon baller (for mini-cookies). If the balls of dough you put on the sheets are all the same size, your cookies will bake evenly and be consistent in size, making you look even more like an expert baker.
6. LOWER THE TEMPERATURE"Bake low and slow," says Matheus. Turn your oven down 50 degrees from what your recipe recommends. "When you bake at a lower temperature, you will get that perfect cookie with a soft center and crisp exterior," she adds. Just make sure you increase baking time by a couple of minutes or you will end up with gooey underbaked cookies.
7. HALT THE COOKINGWhen your cookies are done baking, get them off the hot cookie sheet. "Transfer cookies to your counter or cooling racks as soon as they come out of the oven because they will continue to cook on the sheet – and potentially overcook," recommends Matheus. Also, let your cookie sheets cool before putting your next round of dough on them. Hot cookie sheets will cause the bottoms of your cookies to overbake and they will also cause your cookies to spread flat.
8. WATCH THE TIMENever walk away from the oven when you only have a couple of minutes to go on your baking time. Even a couple minutes too long can result in hard or burned cookies.
HEALTHY CHOICESYou know decadently rich cookies should be reserved for special indulgent occasions, however when you do take the cookie plunge, there are some health aspects you can appreciate. Matheus jokes, "We never claim our cookies are health-food – unless you mean healthy for the soul." She adds, "People can feel good that we use all natural ingredients and our cookies contain no trans fats. Also, our cookies that contain oats, dried fruit – like raisins – and nuts can be considered the healthier choices."
Regardless, all things in moderation, including Mrs. Field's cookies and the cookies you bake at home.
Put these baking tips into practice with this giant chocolate chip cookie recipe.