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Fried Cookies: Put Sizzle Into Your Treats

Fried cookies are drop cookies or filled cookies that are cooked in oil. Sometimes referred to as simply “fried dough,” these cookies are often dusted with powdered sugar after being cooked. They are best when served immediately.

Since electric home ovens were not commonplace until the twentieth century, preparing cookies in a frying pan was the norm for centuries. In that sense, little fried cakes led the way in cookie development. Over the ages, krusczyki (a Polish fried pastry), zeppole (an Italian fried pastry), rosettes (a thin, molded, and fried crispy cookie, hailing from Scandinavia) and fattigmann (a Norwegian fried dough cookie) – all traditional treats cooked in oil – paved the way for cookies to eventually become an everyday treat.

These days, cookies that are fried are becoming increasingly popular. When fried in properly hot oil, dough absorbs only a tiny amount of fat. Favorite cookie recipes (like chocolate chip cookie dough or oatmeal cookie dough) are modified to be suitable for frying by adding a bit of liquid. The dough is rolled in batter and deep fried to create a rich and crispy treat. The biggest mistake made in modifying a recipe to be a fried cookie is in adding too much liquid, making the dough too moist. Thin dough oozes out of batter when deep fried. Modified cookie dough is best moistened just beyond the dry and crumbly texture.

The Elf's Top Tips for Frying Cookies

Before you fry cookies

  • Have all equipment ready ahead of time.

  • Cut and shape cookies before beginning to fry them. Hot oil can be dangerous. It is important to stay focused and not be distracted when frying cookies.

Preparing the oil

  • Use a large pan with a cover to heat the oil.

  • Use 3” to 4” inches of oil to fry cookies.

  • Heat oil to temperature indicated in your recipe directions. You can moderate oil temperature easily with a variable heat controlled deep fryer. When heating oil on a stove top pan, use a candy thermometer to check oil temperature.

  • You can confirm that oil is hot enough by dropping a tiny piece of dough into the hot oil. If it rises to the surface and browns immediately, oil is ready.

Frying the cookies

  • Keep the oil temperature constant. Moderate the temperature throughout the frying process.

  • Brush off excess flour on cookies before frying so that flour will not accumulate and burn in the oil.

  • Fry just a few cookies at a time. Too many cookies in the oil lowers the oil temperature.

After frying cookies

When you’re finished frying cookies, remove the pan from the heat and cover it, allowing it to cool. Covering also prevents the kitchen air from further oil fume saturation.

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