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 Cookie Baking Tips
by: Michael Paetzold

Making better cookies is a lot easier if you understand the difference between the average commercial bakery and the home kitchen. These tips will allow you to make better cookies at home whether it be for a special party or your annual Christmas cookie baking session.

There are 4 major things that are done commercially that are overlooked by the average home baker.

Number 1 is that the average home baker does not have a stone oven. Most commercial bakeries have stone shelves and that disperses the heat to the pan in a much more even manner. Obviously, buying a commercial oven for this alone is not feasible for most of us. (I have considered putting a commercial pizza oven in my laundry room but my better half vetoed that idea :-( . Thus I settled for going out and buying an oven stone for our regular electric oven. This serves the same purpose with no loss of space in our laundry room and at a huge savings versus the price of a commercial pizza oven (even the used one I wanted).

The second thing is the thickness and quality of the cookie sheet. The average commercial facility uses a sheet pan or half sheet pan which is probably 2 to 3 times as heavy as the ones used by the average home baker. This like the oven stone disperses the heat much better and makes it much easier for the cookies to bake evenly. I definitely recommend checking out your local restaurant supply house to get some half sheet pans which will definitely be better than the cookie sheet available at your local supermarket or Walmart.

The third item I use when baking cookies is parchment paper. It is much easier to remove the cookies from the paper, your tray doesn't get all cruddy and need to be cleaned between batches and you will have much less burning on the edges.

The fourth thing the average home baker misses is portion control. I have a variety of ice cream type scoops that I use for portion control. This allows each cookie to be the same size and allows them to all bake consistently. When i used a spoon I always ended up with a variety of sizes and the cooking was never quite even.

Hope these tips allow you to make better cookies in your house. I know using these tips has improved mine.

About The Author

Michael Paetzold is the owner of I Love Desserts (http://i-love-desserts.com) your source for all things about desserts.



Specialty Gourmet Coffee
by: Gary Gresham

Specialty gourmet coffee is a very hot commodity in today's market. The consumption of gourmet coffee has steadily grown with consumers enjoying the more sophisticated tastes of gourmet coffee beans.

Specialty gourmet coffee, sometimes called premium coffee, is exceptional coffee beans grown only in ideal coffee-producing climates. These coffee beans have unique characteristics because of the soil they grow in which produce very distinctive flavors.

Gourmet coffee has a more balanced flavor and richer taste than the standard mass-produced coffee. Gourmet coffee beans go through a rigorous process of certification that is stricter to help keep the quality high.

In the 1974 issue of the "Tea & Coffee Trade Journal", Erna Knutsen first used the term 'specialty coffee' to describe these unique coffee beans that are produced in special microclimates with these distinctive, exceptional flavors.

In 1982 the Specialty Coffee Association of America was created by coffee professionals to help set quality standards for the specialty coffee trade.

Since the 1990's the growing popularity of the coffee houses and specialty gourmet coffee retailers, have made gourmet coffee one of the fastest growing food services markets in the world. In the United States alone, it nets approximately $8.5 billion a year.

Some have compared specialty gourmet coffee to wine. The aromas and flavors have similarities in how the consumer connects with the two beverages. The characteristics of gourmet coffee however, are more even complex than wine. The coffee bean is more dependent on altitudes, climate and soil variation than with the grapes used for wine.

The history and tradition of the specialty coffee grower makes this a very complex beverage. So pour yourself a cup of your favorite specialty gourmet coffee, sit back and enjoy, you deserve it.

Copyright 2005 Perfect-Coffees.com. All Rights Reserved.

About The Author

Gary Gresham

This article is supplied by http://www.perfectcoffees.com  where you can purchase specialty gourmet coffee, tea, cups, mugs, coffee makers, delicious desserts and sugar free desserts online. For a free monthly coffee newsletter with articles like these go to: http://www.perfectcoffees.com/newsletter.html  


What Do I Have To Do To Become A Good Chef
by: Robert Smith

Being a chef is a very physical profession. You are required to remain on your feet almost constantly. Along with that, you must also be stirring, kneading, and chopping your foods.

Many times, you will have to do all of this while also having to ordering foods for hungry customers and critical customers.

A kitchen is almost scorching hot year round so you should be quite prepared for that. Even in the best conditioned areas, a kitchen is often as hot as 95 degrees or higher.

If that doesn't sound like enough to do, try doing it while you are also maintaining all of the rest of the kitchen staff. Choosing to be a chef for a living is a very rewarding and time consuming job.

Now do you see why being able to multi-task is so important? The road to becoming a chef requires much training and hands on experience.

Here's what you need to do to be a good chef.

A strong desire to be a chef is a good place to start. Having a good sense of smell, and taste will be necessary also. It would very difficult to prepare a good meal if you can't decipher the differences from one spice to another; or if you do not know which spices go well together and which ones don't.

Cooking is a lot different than being a chef is. If you are just cooking for yourself you have room for errors.

If you are cooking for a stranger, you will want to cook your food to perfection. Of course, you will also want to present the food in an enticing manner as well.

There are stages to becoming a chef. You have to start at the bottom, but becoming a chef is one of few occupations where you can get most of your training on the job. You do have to go to school and train as well, but much of the training is done in a working environment.

About The Author

Robert Smith

Find more articles and tips about becoming a chef by visiting

This article is available for reprint in your opt-in ezine, web site or ebook. You MUST agree not to make any changes to the article and the RESOURCE BOX MUST be included.

(c) 2002-2005 www.you-can-be-a-chef.com  All Rights Reserved



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