As delicious as they may be, homemade cookies don’t always come out the way you want them to. Unfortunately, you may overestimate cooking time, put the oven on too high, or simply forget about them and they end up getting burnt.
Before you declare them unredeemable and toss them, however, rest assured that you can still make use of them.
1 – Try Saving Them
If your cookies are burnt, they can still be saved. All you need to do is get a little bit creative. First, you can try and scrape off as much of the burnt part of it as possible. You can easily do this with a cheese grater or a butter knife.
Believe it or not, your cookies can soften up despite their current state of being solid as a rock. All you need to do is store them in an airtight container with a piece of bread in it. They won’t be as soft as they were when they came out of the oven, but they’ll soften up a bit.
2 – Make Ice Cream Sandwiches
Another great way to make use of your burnt cookies is to turn them into ice cream sandwiches. The ice cream will cover up the burnt taste of your cookies while also moistening them.
You can also crumble up the cookies and use them as a topping for your ice cream if you don’t want to make sandwiches.
3 – Make a Pie Crust
Pie crusts always come in handy and if you’ve got burnt cookies, they can easily be turned into a pie crust. All you need to do is cut off the burnt parts of the cookies and then crush them up by placing them in a resealable bag where you can proceed to crush them with a rolling pin.
Once you have your cookies sufficiently crumbled up, combine them with melted butter and sugar to create the crust. Then, place it in the fridge or freezer to keep fresh until ready to use.
4 – Cover Them in Chocolate
Chocolate goes great with just about any type of dessert, and it’s also a great way to cover up the fact that you burned your cookies. After scraping off the burnt parts of them, dip the cookies into a bowl of melted chocolate and then place on a parchment paper-lined pan for them to cool.
How to Get the Perfect Cookie
Although you now know how to save a burnt cookie from being tossed into the trash, learning how to make a good cookie from the start may be a good way to prevent having to deal with burnt cookies in the first place.
Although it might seem easy enough, making the perfect cookie is much more difficult than you might think. However, following these steps should serve as the perfect guide for you to make sure that you never have to deal with a burnt cookie again.
One of the first things that you should make note of is that chilling your cookie dough almost always guarantees that you’ll end up with the perfect cookie. This is because while it’s in the fridge, your cookie dough will firm up and thus decrease the chances of spreading on your pan.
Chilled cookie dough is also much easier to handle, so you may even end up with perfectly shaped cookies in the end.
Aside from making sure that your cookies don’t end up baking into giant saucers, chilling your cookie dough also improves its flavor. In fact, it ends up giving your cookies a much more buttery flavor, and who doesn’t want that?
Although chilling your cookie dough is a great way to prevent it from spreading, you can also use parchment paper or even a baking mat to control this. Oftentimes, recipes call for a greased baking sheet when baking cookies, but this only results in excessive spread due to how slippery the surface is.
Another way to prevent your cookies from spreading is to make sure that you don’t place cookie dough balls onto a hot cookie sheet. If you accidentally left your cookie sheet in the oven during the preheating process, let it cool down before adding your cookie dough to it.
To say that temperature is important in the cookie baking process would be an understatement. Unfortunately, many ovens aren’t accurate in terms of temperature. In fact, most are off by a few degrees, which can result in burnt cookies.
In order to prevent overcooking, be sure to buy an oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is set to the temperature that you need it to be.
As unimportant as it may seem, the temperature of the ingredients you use in your cookie dough are also just as important. Be sure to follow your cookie recipe as accurately as possible.
This means that if the recipe you are using calls for tempered butter and eggs, you are doing so. Having your ingredients at the same temperature makes them much easier to combine.
Baking time is another thing to take with a grain of salt. This is because not everyone has the same exact oven; therefore, the temperature may be different in your oven.
Instead of following the baking time that your recipe calls for, keep a close eye on your cookies. The best way to tell if your cookies are done is by checking the color.
If your cookies are a golden brown, it’s safe to take them out of the oven. However, some people may prefer a crispier cookie, which means leaving them in until their color gets a bit darker.
Cookies are much too delicious to throw out, no matter how irredeemable you may think they are. At the end of the day, there will always be some sort of way to use your cookies, regardless of whether or not they are burnt.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.