Tips for Baking Cookies at High Altitude

Cookies are the least affected when it comes to baking at a higher altitude, but there are some tweaks you should make to ensure your grammy’s chocolate chip cookies are perfect. Baking at a higher altitude can be tricky and cause your cookies not to look or taste good. Air pressure decreases as elevation increases. The closer you live to sea level means that the air pressure in your kitchen is higher. Ingredients must be altered some to bake some of the best cookies at a place with higher elevation. Chances are that the cookie recipe your grandma made was developed at sea level or close to it! Here are some tips for baking your favorite cookies while staying in Red River.

  • Temperatures and baking times may be increased when baking in Red River
  • Reduce the amount of leavening (baking powder and baking soda) by about 15% – 25% if you are between 3,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level. Decreasing baking powder and baking soda will keep your cookies from going flat fast. 
  • Use extra large eggs instead of large eggs to make up for the drier atmosphere. Beat your egg whites to a slightly foamy consistency.
  • Increase your flour by 2-4 tablespoons. This will help your cookies hold shape as they bake.  You may also substitute 25% of your flour with whole wheat flour. It has more protein and should be used in conjunction with lighter flours to help from collapsing.
  • When it comes to cookie dough, don’t be afraid to add liquid. Liquid evaporates faster at high altitudes, so you can add a touch more milk or water (1-2 teaspoons) to bring your dough together.
  • Increase oven temperature by 15 to 25 degrees, less than 15 degrees if the dough contains chocolate.
  • Decrease baking time by 20% – 25%; this means 5-8 minutes for every 30 minutes.
  • All cookies will continue to bake even after you remove them from the oven. Check the bottom of your cookies so that you do not overbake them or, worse, burn them!
  • Because higher altitude areas are drier, it is important to store your cookies in a container as soon as the cookies are cool. If you are baking these for Santa this winter, don’t worry, Santa is used to looking in the cookie jar for his Christmas cookies. 

You don’t have to worry about bringing cookie sheets, bowls, or utensils to bake your cookies as all of our kitchens at our properties are fully furnished and ready for you – if something you need is missing, please reach out to our office during business hours. Bring the ingredients you need to bake your favorite cookies or stop by Der Markt for your baking supplies.

With these tips, you should be able to adapt any cookie recipe while visiting Red River. Bring grandma’s cookie recipe and spend time with the kids and grandkids making cookies and memories this winter season. Here’s a high-altitude chocolate chip cookie recipe for you to try next time you’re in town!

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