Kainaz Messman, pastry chef and proprietor of Theobroma, and Mehernosh Khajotia of Celebrations Fine Confections, two of Mumbai’s most popular patisseries, share tips on baking cookies just right:
• For the best tasting cookies, allow the dough to rest in the fridge for one night.
• With the exception of crisp or hard-baked cookies such as biscotti, all cookies should be baked at a very high temperature, for a short period. About 150 to 180 degrees Celsius is fine, depending on the type of oven being used.
• If you’re looking for a gooey, fudgy centre for the cookies, leave them slightly under-baked.
• Baking powder and baking soda make cookies lighter.
• Make sandwich cookies by layering jam or ice-cream between two cookies. You can top cookies with sugar icing, caramel or make smiley faces with chocolate buttons and chocolate sauce. To make sugar icing, beat one egg white with 10 tsp sugar.
• Cooling properly is essential. Once baked, rest the cookies for 5 minutes. Use a non-serrated knife to pick them up and place them on a wire mesh. This allows air to circulate and releases moisture.
• Don’t cool cookies under a fan or in a fridge. Allow them to cool naturally. Press a cookie lightly in the middle; if it’s warm, then it requires more time to cool.
• If you want crisp cookies, replace 10% of the quantity of flour with rice flour.
• Some soda bicarbonate gives chocolate cookies a rich colour.
Get cookie cutters in quirky shapes at Arife Lamoulde store, Crawford Market, and Saria Stove Depot, Lohar Chawl, Mumbai; Pindi Crockery House, Khan Market, New Delhi. Arife also custom- makes shapes to customer specifications. Rs85 for six.