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13 Easy Tips to Make Your Sugar Cookies Fluffy

13 Easy Tips to Make Your Sugar Cookies Fluffy

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One of my favorite Christmas desserts is the simple yet remarkably brilliant sugar cookies. These buttery, chewy cookies are remarkably delightful and festive, especially when they’re fluffy and chewy on the inside.

But here’s the tricky part, in many cases, sugar cookies don’t come out as soft and buttery as we hope them to be, and that’s where this guide comes in for the rescue!

Today, I’ll walk you through some of the tried and true tips to make sugar cookies fluffy like professionally made ones. Let’s dive right in!

1 – Cream the Butter Before Mixing

One of the main techniques that professionals use to make their pastries lighter and fluffier is creaming the butter before mixing.

This form of mechanical leavening works by using your hand or mixer. In this technique, you need to mix the softened butter (not fully melted) for a few minutes while gradually adding sugar.

The secret here is that mixing the ingredients creates pockets of air inside the butter. This makes it lighter and fluffier, and therefore, the cookies become fluffy as well.

Ideally, 3 to 4 minutes should be enough creaming. You’ll know when the butter is ready as it becomes pale yellow instead of its deep yellow color.

After taking it out of the mixer, combine it with other ingredients as you normally do, but the results will be remarkably different.

2 – Try Bread Flour Instead of All-Purpose Flour

Although this one might sound quite weird, it’s surprisingly effective if you’re looking for chewy, fluffy sugar cookies.

Bread flour has a relatively higher percentage of protein than all-purpose flour used in sugar cookie recipes.

As a result, the flour will end up developing more gluten, which helps the cookies maintain their structure and creates a chewy effect.

That being said, you’ll need to substitute the flour at a rate of 3:4 to make up for the higher protein percentage and add more to the dough if necessary.

3 – Use Brown Sugar Instead of White Sugar

Another secret that greatly improves the quality of sugar cookies is the type of sugar you’re using for the recipe.

The trick here is that brown sugar has a relatively higher moisture content than white sugar. As this moisture evaporates while baking, it’ll expand more, compared to white sugar.

This results in fairly fully sugar cookies that also taste a bit sweeter, so you might want to use around 80% of the amount of white sugar the recipe calls for.

4 – Consider Using Corn Syrup

Making your cookies fluffy without adjusting the moisture content will make them unpleasantly brittle. For that reason, you should also try to add a bit of corn syrup to the mix.

Around 1/2 a tablespoon should be enough, but since corn syrup is quite sweet, you’ll need to adjust for the sweetness by reducing the amount of sugar you use in the mix.

As previously established, more moisture means more evaporation and expansion, making your cookies softer and more enjoyable!

5 – Add an Extra Egg Yolk to the Mix

In most sugar cookie recipes, you’ll need to add one to two whole eggs to the mix.

Egg whites are made of albumin protein, which is essential for structural integrity while egg yolk is made of fat, which aids butter in storing moisture, helping the cookies rise and stay fluffy.

For that reason, many professional pastry chefs recommend using an extra yolk while baking cookies.

Besides the extra fluff, the extra yolk will give the cookies extra richness and a more pleasant color after baking.

6 – Check Your Baking Powder

While we always try to keep our baking ingredients fresh, baking powder and baking soda also manage to slip through the cracks.

For that reason, if you don’t bake very often, you can end up with a fairly old package of baking powder.

However, as time passes, baking powder and baking soda gradually lose their leavening effect, causing your cookies to come out flat and dry.

To avoid this, check the production date of the cookies you’re using, and make sure that it’s still fresh and well-stored.

7 – Use Room Temperature Ingredients

When ingredients are too cold or hot (compared to other ingredients), they don’t mix well with the rest of the dough, forming hard lumps.

After baking, these lumps don’t expand as they’re intended, reducing the quality of the cookies.

For that reason, unless explicitly recommended by the recipe, all the ingredients used in baking recipes should be at room temperature, especially butter and eggs.

8 – Don’t Wait for a Golden Brown Edges

Whenever I’m baking or frying, I always use the browning effect as an indicator to know when the recipe is ready.

Unfortunately, this cue doesn’t work well here because, by the time the edges of the cookies are golden brown, the center’s consistency will be far from what you’re looking for.

Instead, you need to stick to the time recommendation in your recipe or focus on when the center of the cookies is set.

9 – Keep the Dough Balls Large

The thinner you spread out and press your dough balls after mixing, the quicker the cookies will bake.

Not only that, but they also won’t have enough dough at the center to stay soft and fluffy after baking.

For that reason, I highly recommend that you bake larger dough balls. Ideally, each dough ball should contain around 3 scoops of dough.

10 – Don’t Overmix the Dough When Using High Protein Flour

As previously established, developing gluten is a good way to achieve a relatively chewy dough, which complements fluffiness nicely.

However, too much gluten will make your cookies tough and brittle. For that reason, if you’re using flour with high protein content, you shouldn’t overmix the dough.

11 – Chill the Dough Before Baking

Although you might be tempted to use your dough as soon as you make it, it’s usually best that you let the dough chill in the fridge for some time before you start baking.

Chilling the dough will make it firm and prevent it from spreading out excessively while shaping it into cookies.

This also allows the cookies to regain their moisture content before baking, ensuring plenty of expansion while in the oven.

12 – Choose the Right Baking Sheet

Another trick that greatly impacts your baking style but not many people keep it in mind is the type of baking sheet you’re using while making cookies.

Darker-colored baking sheets typically conduct heat much faster than light-colored ones. If you use them with sugar cookies, the bottoms will burn by the time the top reaches perfection.

For that reason, you should use a light-colored pan here and line your baking sheet with parchment paper for even cooking and improved fluffiness.

13 – Allow Them to Cool Down Properly

Lastly, after the cookies are fully baked, take them out of the oven but don’t remove them yet. Instead, allow them to rest and cool down properly to circulate the remaining moisture inside.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Although these tips might seem simple, they’re surprisingly effective and will dramatically transform your sugar cookie skills.

That being said, baking cookies is always a learning experience, so it might take some practice before you master this skill.

Just remember to take your time with each step, use quality ingredients, and you’ll be ready to amaze your friends and family with your brilliant creations!

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