C is for Cookie: Recipes, Baking Tips and Packaging Ideas

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Cookie Recipes

Everybody seems to love cookies. Freestanding cookie businesses were unheard of until about 25 years ago.

Tennessee-based companies such as Christie Cookies, Whimsy Cookie Co. and other operations realized that a baker can zero in on one very special thing and bypass the standards of bread and wedding cakes.

The state of Tennessee allows ambitious bakers like myself to sell our wares from home or at farmers markets. I received my domestic kitchen certification through the state’s agricultural extension service, which involves taking a class, passing inspections, getting label approval and buying business licenses – all before baking a single cookie.

Cookies are small enough to grab with one hand, transport easily and stack neatly. They can be made of almost anything. And just in time for the holidays, they are the perfect gift to give or share.

Scroll down for five of my favorite cookie recipes that have been developed over years of hitting and missing. The traditional sweet favorites have a few new techniques and tips to make your homemade cookies stand up with the pros.

Cooking Baking Tips From the Expert

  • Use insulated baking sheets so the bottoms of your cookies will not burn.Airbake cookie sheet
  • Use a 1-ounce (2-tablespoon) ice cream scoop to ensure uniformity of cookie size.
  • A metal cake spatula is ideal for removing warm cookies from the baking sheet.
  • Place cookies in the center of the oven for the most even baking.
  • Clean hands are better tools than the finest mixer. The only way to be sure dough is not too sticky is to touch it.
  • In addition to butter, some of these recipes call for margarine. Hydrogenated fat (vegetable oil) enhances the texture in a way that butter cannot and creates a lighter cookie (not required for the denser consistency found in shortbread and sandies). I lean toward margarine over Crisco because I like the pre-measured ½-cup sticks.

Cookie Packaging Tips

  • Decorate a plain brown lunch sack with a simple bow.
  • Recycle old tins and boxes, or paint them to give them a new look.
  • Hole-punch the corner of a business card with a personal greeting, and attach to a bag or box with a decorative ribbon.
  • Make sure your cookies are airtight and well sealed for freshness.

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Hearty Breakfast Cookies

Hearty Breakfast Cookies are so packed with fruit, nuts and fiber that they leave power bars in their dust. Plus, who doesn’t want to start their morning with a nutrient-rich sweet?

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