You use the creaming method often when you bake, whether you know it or not. Today I’d like to share with you how to properly “cream” your ingredients, something I learned during my very brief time in culinary school.

The creaming method is a way to combine ingredients, typically fat and sugar, when making cookies, cakes, and occasionally other baked goods.To cream your ingredients means to vigorously mix them together while incorporating air into the batter.

So here’s what you need to do. Start out with softened fat—butter, shortening, etc.—and all sugars the recipe calls for. This one uses white and brown sugar.

Butter and sugars

It’s important that you use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment if you can. A handheld mixer can work too, but you really can’t achieve the same results mixing by hand.

Begin mixing on medium-high speed. The ingredients will start tocome together, but it will be pretty thick at first.

Keep mixing.

A lot of people stop mixing when it looks like this, at least that’s what I used to. You’re almost done, but not quite yet!

Keep mixing, and scrape down the bowl periodically so that all the ingredients are being creamed evenly.

This is what you’re looking for. After a few minutes, the mixture gets pale in color and becomes light and fluffy.

That’s some properly creamed butter and sugar!

The air incorporated into the batter will expand in the oven, helping with rise. The lighter and creamier the butter and sugar is, the more air you’ve got mixed into the batter, and the lighter the final product will be.

Now that you know how to cream properly, you can continue with the rest of your recipe. This mixture went on to become delicious White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies.

Note: I’m still on vacation! I hope you’re enjoying these pre-scheduled posts, but unfortunately I won’t be able to respond to emails and comments until I return.