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Tips from Tiffany

Tiffany MacIsaac, pastry chef at Birch & Barley. (Dayna Smith for The Washington Post)

Have you read Jane Black's article on pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac, and checked out the chef's cookie recipes in today’s Food section? I think the Lemon Poppy Seed Sandwich Cookies with that quick cranberry jam filling are my favorite. But the Flooded Butter Cookies are tender and not too sweet. And her Homemade Graham Crackers make great little canvases for holiday decorating. . . .

Okay. They’re all good. Here are a few pointers from MacIsaac. -- Bonnie Benwick

* When baking chewy cookies, always pull them out of the oven 1 minute before you think they are done. Overbaking ruins their texture.

* When using a rolled cookie dough, re-roll the scraps just once. (It may help to roll out small portions of dough at a time.) Overworked dough can result in a dry, crumbly cookie. But you can pat any remaining dough onto a baking sheet. The baked and crumbled cookies are great for making cookie crusts or for sprinkling over ice cream.

* Get to know your oven. Find out whether it heats from the top or the bottom. An oven that heats from the bottom may have a tendency to burn foods baked on the bottom rack. To guard against burning cookies that are baked even on the middle rack, place a similarly sized empty baking sheet on the bottom rack, to absorb some of the heat.

* Preheat a gas oven at 25 degrees hotter than the temperature required for a particular cookie recipe. When the sheet of cookies goes in, reduce the heat to the proper temperature. (The oven temperature usually drops when you put something into the oven, causing the flame to ignite. Starting at a slightly higher temperature will allow the temperature to drop without further ignition.)

FYI: MacIsaac is joining us for our Free Range chat today; remember it's at a special time of 2 p.m.

By The Food Section  |  December 9, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Chefs  | Tags: Tiffany MacIsaac, chefs, cookies  
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Please note that the word is "tendency", not "tendancy".
Doesn't the WaPo have a spell checker ?

Posted by: observer31 | December 9, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

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