That Fluffy White Stuff

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the subject of Flour recently.

As a dessert baker, it’s not as if the ingredient occupies my thoughts each and every minute. However, Dear Readers, I’m in the ‘should-we-bake-this-new-dessert-and-offer-it-to-our-customers’ frame of mind. And when that happens, I’m completely focused on the subject with recipe testing until excellent results are achieved!

You see, Dear Readers, Miss NiNi and Second-Born-Desserterie-Manager-Dear-Daughter are in recipe-creation mode. She is completing the details on a brand new yummy quiche (and believe me, It-Is-Yummy!) along with a signature Mac and Cheese to add to Miss NiNi’s lunch menu. (Oh, did you know lunch is offered at Miss NiNi’s Desserterie on Tues.-Sat.?)

A New Addition!

On the other hand, Miss NiNi is testing recipes for Tiramisu and rolled sugar cookies. The Tiramisu has been easy-peasey and will grace our dessert case ASAP.

However, it’s those rolled sugar cookies that are presently the core of my new-dessert frame of mind. After all, our team is beginning to rev up for our first holiday baking season, and we want to offer desserts that exclaim, “Celebrate!”, “Joy!”, and “Do You Remember When?!”

There was no doubt at our Miss NiNi Team meeting the other day that “Christmas Cookies” had to be in our holiday dessert lineup. The exuberant facial expressions and enthusiastic voices of my cohorts left no doubt of that!

I knew the exact recipe to use, Dear Readers. It has been part of my recipe library for almost forty years when First-Born and Second-Born Dear Daughters and I made so many cherished memories while baking together.

However, I want you to understand that just because the recipe is a sure thing for home baking doesn’t mean that it’s a recipe that can be well adapted to a commercial setting.

 

The Staple Ingredient

That, then, leads me back to the subject of Flour—the number one staple ingredient in rolled sugar cookies.

I have noted in a past baking chat about the importance of fluffing the flour to incorporate air into the ingredient for more exact measuring.

“Fluffing” has replaced “Sifting” for this dessert baker. As with you, Dear Readers, time is of a premium, and “fluffing” takes less time than “sifting” with quite similar results.

I love the phrase, “Fluff the flour.” I thought it was an originally created phrase by Miss NiNi. Low and behold, I discovered that the folks at kingarthur.com used that terminology, too. Their professionals offered the following instructions for measuring flour.

 

Step-by-step

“When measuring flour by volume, please follow these steps:

  1. Fluff up the flour with a fork or spoon.
  2. Sprinkle it into your dry-cup measure (the one that measures exactly a cup at the top).
  3. Scrape off the excess with a straight edge.”

Now for the tricky part in the rolled-sugar-cookie saga, Dear Readers. When making them, the surface on which the dough will be rolled must be lightly floured prior to placing the dough on it. It’s a touchy-feely thing that can be the deal breaker between a producing a tender or a tough cookie.

How much flour is enough so that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface? How much flour is too much so that the bottom of the cookie doesn’t look like it has been baked in a flour bin?

Some kitchen counter surfaces allow for easier rolling than others. Miss NiNi uses a silicone mat such as a Silpat into which a slight amount of flour has been rubbed to help with this cookie-rolling task. It’s a dreamboat!

Share With Me!

Dear Readers, do you have any cookie-dough-rolling tricks that have made the job easier for you? I would love to have you share them with me at nini@missnini.com so that I can pass them on to others within our baking circle of friends.

Whether it is grasping the techniques for baking a variety of cheesecakes or excelling in rolled sugar cookies, the goal is to create handcrafted excellence and deliciousness to share with others!

After all, there’s more to contemplate in life than the subject of Flour—even though my life is immersed in the white powder!

Miss NiNi