Stories / Interviews

The Bookshelf: Hedy Goldsmith's "Baking Out Loud"

JBF Editors

JBF Editors

January 24, 2013


James Beard Award winner Hedy Goldsmith

Hedy Goldsmith, the James Beard Award–nominated pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami, is known for her sophisticated and playful riffs on classic childhood treats, like the delicious peanut butter sandwich cookies on the cover of her new book, Baking Out Loud. Below are her five secrets to making a great cookie.

Have all your ingredients at room temperature.

This allows for the lightest and most delicate cookie. Creaming room-temperature butter traps more air, yielding a better-quality cookie.

Use great ingredients!

Period! Start with great quality and you’ll end up with great results: good-quality chocolate, vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract, good-quality butter, organic products if possible.
(I love organic peanut butter, honey, and, of course, produce.)

Sift all dry ingredients together for proper distribution prior to mixing in the moist ingredients.

Once the flour and liquid combine, gluten develops. Cookies eat better with less gluten development. Sifting first helps prevent overmixing.

Check that your oven is calibrated correctly.

An oven set on 350ºF may not truly be 350ºF. Get an oven thermometer and test the oven temperature before baking for the first time.

Most cookies bake best if the dough is chilled before baking.

Get a taste of Hedy's treats at our upcoming Sunday Supper at Chelsea Market.