Melanie, a reader and real-life recipe user, emailed me the following questions after making my Apple Jack Cookies:
Hi Greg! :)
I tried making the applejack cookies yesterday, they taste great! However, i couldn't get them to be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Was it because of the apples?
While baking, my mother and I had an argument on how long the butter should be creamed for, or to what consistency. how long do you cream the butter and sugar for? Does it make a difference if it is creamed longer?
I discovered something amazing, silicon baking sheets! These things are amazing! the cookies pop right off the mat! They're so easy to clean and wash too! but does the oven temperature have to be higher coz i use the mats? when i took the cookies off the mat, i found condensation on it, do you think the mat was the cause of my soft cookies? :o
thanks for listening to all my questions! I was so excited after i found a blog dedicated to making oatmeal cookies, i went out and bought a bag of oatmeal right away! hahah! would be trying golden girls next! wish me luck! :)
Love (all the way form Singapore!)
Hi, Melanie. Thanks for writing in! I'll take on your questions one by one:
1) I've found that baking with apples can be a little tricky because the moisture content varies from one piece of fruit to another. The key to getting the right texture when making apple cookies is to keep an eye on the oven...and a finger on the dough. To make sure these cookies are done and not too soft, leave them in the oven until they are nice and evenly browned, the edges are firm, and the tops give some resistance when you poke them with your finger. You might want to let them rest for up to five minutes on the baking sheets before you remove them so that the carry-over heat from the oven can finish up their bottoms.
2) When creaming creamables, you want to be careful not to overbeat. Depending on the temperature/softness of your butter, it should take you only a few minutes to cream together the butter and sugar. If you overbeat the butter and sugar, your creambles will be to airy, which--I've found--leads to a flatter, crispier cookie that spreads out a lot. (Which is fine...if that's what you're looking for.) You'll know your creamables are good to go when when you can't see chunks of butter, and you've got what looks like a paste with even texture. Take a look at my Picturing posts to see what my creamables look like.
3) The condensation you saw on your Silpat is nothing to worry about. I don't think the baking mat was the cause of the too-soft cookies. I think both the condensation and the texture of the cookies means that you've just got to leave the cookies in the oven a little longer...that's all.
I hope this helps. Good luck on the Golden Girls Cookies. And congratulations on buying that big bag of oatmeal! :-)