Frequently Asked Questions When Baking Cookies

We all have lots of questions when baking cookies.  Such as, can I use salted butter instead of unsalted?  Or can I substitute steel-cut oats for old fashion(rolled) oats? Baking I’m sure you have been told is a science and there are some things you just can’t do. Recipes are written with certain ingredients for a reason.  They have been tested over and over again and tweaked to what will work.  Below you will find frequently asked questions when baking cookies and the answers to those questions.

Frequently Asked Questions When Baking Cookies

Can I Use Salted Butter Instead Of Unsalted Butter?

Yes, you can use salted butter instead but be aware that you will need to decrease the salt measurement.  For example, the recipe below calls for 1/2 teaspoon.  You will need to decrease that amount to 1/4 teaspoon.  So in other words you need to decrease the salt measurement by half.

Otherwise, your cookies will be too salty. Nobody likes to bite into a salty cookie.  

What If I Don’t Have Any Eggs?

Eggs provide moisture and body to your eggs so please do not leave the egg out. Otherwise, your cookies will be dry, and crumbly, and may come out dense and hard.  

A great substitute for eggs is applesauce. It will provide the moisture that you need as well as body.  As a general rule for every egg use 1/4 cup of applesauce. 

I can understand not having eggs on hand.  Right now the prices are outrageous. Personally, I don’t have to buy eggs.  My husband’s boss has chickens so we get free eggs.  My problem is having too many eggs on hand and finding ways to get them used up. 

Can I Leave Out The Baking Soda?

In one word, No. Baking soda releases carbon dioxide gas which helps to leaven the dough which will turn your dough into soft fluffy cookies.  Leaving out the baking soda will leave you with dense cookies.  If you don’t have baking soda you can use baking powder instead. The general rule here is to use 3 times the amount of baking soda.  So for instance, in this recipe, you will need 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder for the 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

Can I Substitute Steel-Cut Oats For The Rolled Oats?

The answer is no.  While you can substitute quick oats for rolled oats (also known as old fashion oats) and vice versa you can not use steel-cut oats.  Why?  Steel-cut oats are the whole kernel of oat cut into 2-3 pieces by steel disks. They have a denser and chewier texture. and take longer to cook.

On the other hand, you can substitute quick oats for rolled oat or vice versa.  If the recipe calls for quick oats and all you have is rolled oats you can place the rolled oats in a food processor and give them a few pulses to get the texture you need for your recipe.

Rolled oats and quick oats are essentially the same.  But quick oats are processed further to decrease cooking time.  

Do I Need To Use Both White and Brown Sugar?

Most oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipes use a mixture of white and brown sugar.  They are both the same in sugar content but brown sugar adds moisture and chewiness to your cookie while white sugar helps with that slight crispiness on the edge of your cookie.

Using just white sugar will give you a drier cookie.

If you do not have brown sugar, no problem,  You can make your own.  1 cup of white sugar and 1 tablespoon molasses. Mix with a fork until all the molasses is incorporated into the sugar.  If you need dark brown sugar then use 2 tablespoons of molasses for every 1 cup of white sugar.

Do I Have To Chill The Cookie Dough?

No, you don’t have to chill your cookie dough but doing so will help your cookies from spreading  This will solidify the fat in the dough.  Wouldn’t you rather have a thick fluffy cookie as opposed to a thin crispy cookie?  I know I would.  So I say do this extra step.  It is well worth the extra time.

Can I Substitute Shortening For The Butter?

The answer is yes and you can also substitute butter for the shortening on a one-on-one basis. So for example you can substitute 1 cup of shortening for 1 cup of butter or vice versa.

Do Cookies Taste Better With Butter Or Shortening?

Cookies made with butter are more flavorful but they also tend to spread more and be crisper and flatter.  On the other hand, cookies made with shortening are less flavorful but will bake up taller and more tender.

Can I Use Bread Flour Instead Of All-Purpose Flour?

You may be surprised but yes you can!  It will not change the taste of your cookies but it will change the texture of the cookies. The end result?  You will end up with a chewier cookie.  Bread flour has a higher protein content which is great for making bread.  The higher the protein content the higher in gluten.  Gluten is what makes bread chewy.

Do Eggs Need To Be At Room Temperature?

No, they don’t really but you will have an easier time getting the egg to blend evenly into the butter and sugar mixture. Adding a cold egg will result in a lumpy batter/dough.  

Set your eggs on the counter when you start prepping.  I usually set mine out about 45 minutes before I start.  Short on time? You can speed up this process by filling a glass with warm water and adding your egg to it.  Your egg will be ready in about 10-15 minutes.

I am sure you are champing at the bit to try out your newfound knowledge of baking cookies, so here’s one of my favorite recipes.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies 

Oatmeal chocolate chip cherry cookies.  A mouthful isn’t it?  And a delicious mouthful as well.  They are a little crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside.  Just how I like my cookies.  I love the combination of chocolate and cherries.  Add in the oatmeal and you have the ultimate cookie.  My husband and I ate the first batch in a matter of days.  I did give my brother one and he loved it.  So I decided to make some more but I didn’t have any cherries so I just made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  To my surprise, my husband preferred the ones with cherries.  Go figure 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions when baking cookies

Ingredients You Will Need

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet)  I like to use the mini chocolate chips
  • 1 jar (10 oz) Maraschino Cherries (chopped)  


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside

In a large bowl or stand mixer beat the butter until fluffy.  Then add the sugars, vanilla, and egg. Add the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Add the oats and mix.  Then add the chocolate chips until combined.  Lastly, fold in the cherries. I also added just a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cherry juice as well.

 Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes but an hour is better.

Roll the dough into 11/2 inch balls and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  (I use parchment paper) about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  In my oven, it took the cookies 10 minutes to bake.  Leave on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

What are maraschino cherries and how are they made?  Check the video below

Final Thoughts

When it comes to baking cookies there are many questions such as can I use this instead of that?  It is best to follow the recipe exactly if you can. But there are times when you just want to make those cookies and don’t have all the ingredients on hand.  It can be tricky when using different ingredients than what is listed in the recipe. Many say baking is a science.

 I hope you found the frequently asked questions when baking cookies helpful.

If you like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies  without the cherries, you might  like this recipe

Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts and if you try this recipe I would love to hear about that as well.

And As Always

Keep On Baking


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