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Things you'll only know if you're a cookie queen

... according to Lexie Comstock, Strictly Cookies

Photograph: Yang Xiaozhe (Lexie Comstock, Strictly Cookies)
There’s a cookie for every time of the day

In the morning, you want a Breakfast Blast cookie, if you're looking for something hearty and healthy, or banana walnut or oatmeal raisin cookies – because those just feel kind of breakfast-y. The best teatime cookie is the Skinny Chocolate Chip, because the cake-like consistency makes it perfect for dunking in tea or coffee, it really soaks up whatever liquid you're dunking it into. Then the evening cookie is, for sure, the Brownie cookie, because it feels like a nice treat and is super decadent.

Cookies are a low-stress alternative to cakes

Cookies are great to work with because you can always test them. Making cakes for customers seems so stressful – you can’t try a slice of to see how it tastes if you’re selling that whole cake! But with cookies you can try one from the batch.

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Photograph: courtesy Strictly Cookies

Forget high-tech machinery, the cookie kitchen really couldn’t function without...

A good mixing spoon. Hand-mixed cookies are just better, so we do a majority of the cookies in small batches and hand-mix them. One of the big mistakes people make is over-mixing and the dough gets tough. You just don’t want to over-mix cookies.

The creation process is a mixture of random whims and intense scientific experiment

When it comes to thinking of the flavours, usually it’s a combination of ‘Ooh, I really want that [insert food here]’ and ‘let me see if I can make it into a cookie’. But there’s a lot of intense testing involved. Take the seasonal Caramel Apple cookie, a suggestion from my sister, it was actually really hard to get right because it has all these different components – like, how watery the apple is. It actually took a whole day of testing different types of apples, and different methods of cooking them – like roasting first – because the water content really affected the consistency of the cookies.

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Photograph: courtesy Strictly Cookies

Every cookie master has their own secret ingredient...

If it feels like it’s missing something, my go-to is adding some coconut oil. We don’t do it with every cookie, but if we’re running into a problem and something isn’t coming together, then that’s my first trick: adding a teaspoon of coconut oil and seeing how that changes things.

The biggest secret to success is who you work with

Not to sound cheesy, but the Strictly Cookies team is amazing. Because we’re dealing with such a fun and happy product, to me it’s really important that the team vibe matches that, and it does. Our baker, especially, cares so much about the product and I think you can really feel that in the cookie.

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