Dry and tough cookies and cakes can be caused by badly measured flour.  Do not pack flour in (and shave with a knife) or shake your  measuring cup.  First aerate the flour with a spoon or whisk or chopsticks as Alice Medrich does.  Then lightly spoon flour into measuring cup – just filling it. A cup of flour should weigh about 4.5 ounces.  This will make a huge difference in the outcome of your sweets.

Too much mixing after the flour has been added to the moist ingredients in the batter can also result in a tough cookie or a heavy crumb in a cake – as well as a cake with a high rise – domed top.  Just mix in flour (unless stated otherwise) and really try not to over mix.

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