Tips and Tricks from our Cookie Artisans!
Our most frequently asked question answered:
"I can't get the brown sugar out of the Jar... It's like cement! Help!"
The Brown Sugar is hard as a rock in your Jar. This is actually a good thing - here’s why. We use an uber-premium brown sugar to lend a rich molasses taste to our blends. Good Brown sugar has a high molasses content and that means moisture. Once layered in our Jars, the moisture will begin to evaporate and this is why the Jars still look pretty on their journey to you - the brown sugar keeps all the other ingredients in line so the Jar doesn't become a jumbled mess. But, it also makes it a challenge to get the ingredients out of the jar unless you follow these simple tricks:
First, empty out the add-ins on the top. Then, take a moist paper towel and place in in the open jar neck and place the Jar (LID OFF!) in the microwave for up to about 30 seconds. This will reconstitute the brown sugar enough to remove it from the jar and then as it is now softer the lumps will break apart more easily. Another trick is to take a pair of scissors or paring knife and carefully cut a few x’s throughout the top layer of the brown sugar - it'll make it easier to empty the jar and then continue breaking up the lumps with your hands.
There are other ways people soften brown sugar, but all of these mean you need patience and we have NO patience when we are jones-ing for cookies. But if you’re so inclined, you can remove your add-ins and put a slice of bread, or a slice of apple into the Jar and reseal the lid. In 24 hours or so the brown sugar will grab the moisture back from it’s new neighbors. To us, as fascinating as this is, we can’t be bothered so we recommend our scissor-slice or nuke options.
Our friends at TheKitchn.com have even more ideas for dealing with the natural hardening properties of brown sugar - have a look here!
More Baking Tips and Tricks from our Cookie Artisans!
- The very best way to mix your cookies is to get in there with your (clean) hands, like you would bread or pizza dough. Not only is it much more fun, but you will have a better, smoother cookie dough and really feel like your cooking from scratch. (plus its one less utensil to wash!)
- Although many people like to use simply softened butter, we suggest melting your butter in the microwave - it'll be SO much easier to combine the ingredients!
- We like to use a baking sheet with parchment or a neat thingy called Silpat which not only prevents the cookies from sticking, it also makes clean up a breeze (and we swear the cookies taste better too!)
- Some people aren’t wild about vanilla - in our recipes it’s completely optional. You might try to substitute lemon zest or maple syrup in its place for a flavorful twist, or nothing!
- We like to slightly underbake our cookies and they let them cool a little longer to set. This gives you a chewier cookie that tastes great if there are any left a few days later.
- Try sprinkling a little Sea Salt on your cookies as they emerge from the oven. In any cookie with chocolate in it, this is heaven. You might also try lavender, lemon zest or a little sugar cinnamon.
- Try popping your cookie into the microwave the next day for 15-20 seconds - it’s like they're right out of the oven again.
- Try making little balls of dough with half of your batch and putting them in the freezer in a ziploc bag. When the mood strikes you, you can grab one or two and use a toaster oven to make yourself some singles - just add a few minutes to the cooking time. Another way to do this is by making a perfect little log-roll of cookie dough and then slicing off the number of cookies you want to bake.
- Did you know that you can substitute many ingredients in our mixes, including the butter and egg? If you’re Vegan, or just want to avoid butter and egg, you can use something like Earth Balance Buttery Spread and Ener-G egg replacers 1:1 - it works great. Other substitutes are applesauce, pumpkin - even avocado! Check out our guest blog for more of these adventurous cookie experiments and if you have one of your own you like, please let us know!
- Did you now that in our Super Granola Mix you can add flavored honeys (our faves are orange blossom, jasmine or raspberry!) or a tablespoon of maple syrup to make it sweeter and give it a completely new personality?! Also, feel free to add an handful of goodies you might have lying around the kitchen - sesame seeds, nuts, even pretzels or cereal - to really make it a fun mix.