I was writing my past post and realized that two of the toughest parts of baking cookies (and any desserts for that matter) is oven temperature and timing. Over the years, I have owned 4 different ovens. Each had its own issues, one would cook too fast, one too slow, if I opened the oven door too much, they would begin to burn on one side because of the heat flow. Just when you thought you had it figured the oven temperature, part two kicks in, cooking them too long or not long enough. I thought I would share two helpful hints that will hopefully make baking a bit easier.
1. Determine the degree that works best for your oven.
I had one oven that at 350 degrees burned my cookies in 8 minutes, but at 6 minutes the cookies weren't done. I realized when I baked at 335 degrees, 8-10 minute cookies were perfect. In another oven, it baked too slow, the happy medium was 375 degrees. You know your oven, set it to the temperature that will give you the best results.
2. Use a timer.
If I read a recipe that suggests 8-10 minutes, my first batch is set for 6 minutes. It allows me to see what the cookie looks like and be able to determine whether it needs another 2 or 4 minutes. If you have an oven light, use that, too. The less you can open the oven door, the more consistently the cookies will bake. The last thing you want is burned cookies; it's a waste of time and ingredients. Plus it adds to the feeling of "I can't bake."
So, as you get ready to make your next batch of cookies, test your oven and use your timer. For the effort you put into baking, I want your cookies to look as GREAT as they taste.