Inaccurate Measuring May Be Ruining Your Cookies

It's always cookie-making season to us, but when the holidays roll around, you may find yourself mixing, measuring, beating, blending, stirring, and baking more so than at other times of the year. The smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, sugar cookies, and gingerbread can make a kitchen feel so warm and inviting. Per Martha Stewart, getting the texture just the way your cookie lovers like it is vital to the cookie-eating experience. Whether it's soft and chewy cookies your family craves or crispy and thin, meeting those preference expectations can make or break how you measure the success of your baking.    

But baking cookies is not without its perils. Per the Spruce Eats, fall into the trap of greasing your pan, and your cookies will spread more than you anticipated. Use a dark pan and you may be giving out burnt cookies at the next school PTO meeting. And if you forget to let the butter warm up a bit before you cream it, your cookies are going to be dense and cakey. But one of the biggest pitfalls to perfectly backed cookies is measuring the ingredients properly because if you get this step wrong, you're going to ruin your cookies before they even come out of the oven.

It's important to use the right tools

According to America's Test Kitchen, liquid measuring cups and dry measuring cups cannot be used interchangeably. Doing so can lead to varying results when you bake your cookies. The cooking site goes on to explain that while both types of measuring cups hold the same volume, each is designed for its intended purpose. 

Placing liquid ingredients in dry measuring cups can lead to pouring more liquid into the cup than the recipe calls for or spilling the liquid before it makes it to the mixing bowl. As Dessarts further explains a liquid measuring cup is not going to give you spillage problems because it has a little extra room at the top to ensure your milk and water can splash around a bit without dripping all over the place. 

Dry ingredients don't work in a liquid measuring cup either. If you've ever tried to level flour or sugar in a liquid measuring cup, you know it cannot be done with the precision and accuracy required when you are trying to bake perfect cookies. However, you might want to skip the measuring cups for dry ingredients altogether. When it comes to measuring flour for your beloved cookies, the Spruce Eats recommends using a food scale because if you are "scooping" the flour into the measuring cup, you are likely increasing the amount of flour you are using by a whopping 30%. 

It seems like a simple straightforward task, but measuring your dry and wet ingredients as accurately as possible will help insure you end up with delicious, chewy cookies rather than a mess destined for the garbage.