Weather Wisdom: Baking and Climate

Find out if you need to keep an eye on the weather before baking up a storm.


Nothing smells better than the scent of fresh-baked cookies straight out of the oven. But the taste? That not only depends on the recipe you use, but the climate as well.

On a cold winter day, baking cookies can be the perfect family activity. Keep in mind though that in freezing weather the air is often dryer, and that could impact your results. Flour, sugar, salt and baking powder may need more wet ingredients added to work together so that your cookies aren't crumbly and brittle when served.

What about baking in warm, humid weather? That poses a different set of challenges. Butter, a cookie recipe staple, will melt faster in a warm environment. The butter can even melt once it's inside the cookie dough, so make sure to time your baking preparation accordingly.

High humidity can cause dry ingredients, like flour and sugar, to clump together. These items can be stored in the refrigerator between use; just remember to bring them back to room temperature before you bake.

Even altitude can affect recipes. Baking cookies at 3,000 feet or higher above sea level may require you to make adjustments in temperature and cooking time.

So the next time you plan on baking, take note of the climate that you're in so that you end up with the taste you love.