How To Make Crunchy Cookies

how to make crunchy cookies
Image by splityarn on Flickr Creative Commons

If you're after a crisp cookie that isn't burnt, consider the ingredients you're using. Baking is an exact science and if you substitute one ingredient for another you'll get different results.

For instance, butter and sugar. The type you use will determine the type of cookie you get.

Crunch that Cookie!

Want a crunchy cookie? You can't just cook it longer to get the results you're looking for. That will make it overcook and be rock hard once cooled.

You want to use white sugar and real butter. White sugar versus brown sugar will give you a crunchy cookie. Use the butter at room temperature, but not melted, if you want crispier cookies. Cool them on a cooling rack after they come out of the oven.

Mmmm... Cookies!

Biscotti

If you want to bake gourmet cookies that are naturally crunchy, look into recipes for biscotti.

The name biscotti means "twice baked" and so you can expect that the result will be crunchy.

In fact, biscotti are some of the crunchiest and most delicious cookies in the world.

Making Biscotti - Mixing the Mixture

Here is a recipe for biscotti from About.com. Try it and you'll find that it's so easy, you'll always have crunchy cookies in the house. Artusi's Crunchy Biscotti: "These biscotti are quite refined, and I find that they leave nothing to be desired," he says.

How to make biscotti

Image by sheriwetherell on Flickr

Ingredients

  • 3 1/3 cups (400 g) flour
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 2/5 cup (50 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup two tablespoons almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons candied citron or melon
  • A pinch of powdered anise
  • 2 tablespoons aquavit
  • 1 scant teaspoon bicarbonate
  • 1 whole egg + 3 yolks

Instructions

  1. Peel the almonds, leaving them whole. Mince the candied fruit. Scoop out a depression in the mound of flour and fill it with the eggs, the sugar, the butter, the aquavit, and the bicarbonate. Form a dough without working the ingredients more than necessary, then make an opening in it, add the remaining ingredients, knead the dough lightly to distribute them evenly, and roll it out into a flat-ish snake a yard long.
  2. Cut the snake into four or five pieces so it will fit in a greased and floured pan, brush it with egg yolk, and bake it at 350 F (180 C) for about fifteen minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Once the bars are cooked, slice them into half-inch wide cookies, and return them to the oven to toast the cut surfaces.
  3. This recipe is from The Art of Eating Well, my translation of Pellegrino Artusi's La Scienza in Cucina.

Making Biscotti - The Re-Bake Process

timing for baking

Image by barbourians on Flickr

Don't Just Add Time

Whether you opt to make biscotti or another crunchy cookie like Springerle, you will find that it's not additional time in the oven that really makes a cookie crispy.

It's the combination of ingredients and the cooking methods used. Experiment!

Biscotti are especially amenable to additional ingredients like dried cherries, gourmet nuts, almonds, chocolate chips and more.

Once you find a recipe you like, make it your go-to recipe. Try variations of it. Test them out on friends and family. And when you make an addition that you really love, write it down so you know how much you used so you can repeat the cookie again.

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