5 Best Cookie Baking Tips to Improve Your Next Batch
Cookies are rather simple and easy to make, and most of them don't require any special tools or hard to get ingredients. They're also simple to eat, share, store, ship, freeze, and prepare ahead of time. Not only that, but cookies are portable, ideal for gift giving, and can be baked in large numbers for bake sales, parties, and so on. Nobody I've ever met hasn't enjoyed a freshly baked, handmade cookie. Have you?
So I want to share with you the following 5 cookie baking tips which guarantee a better batch. No more wasted time or ingredients!
1. Prevent Excess Spreading
Did your cookie dough turn into greasy puddles? I've also been there. Here are some steps you can take to stop it from happening again:
- Never put cookie dough balls onto a heated baking pan. Let the baking trays come to room temperature before baking in batches.
- The second tip to prevent excess spreading is to use a silicone baking mat. Coating your baking sheet with nonstick spray or butter creates an overly greasy foundation which leads to excess spread. Instead, I recommend lining your baking sheets with silicone baking mats. I prefer to use our KPKitchen Silicone Baking Mats for that– they grip onto the bottom of your cookie dough, preventing the cookies from spreading too much. These mats also promote even browning.
Refrigerate your cookie dough. See tip #2 below.
2. Refrigerate your dough
Let it chill for at least a couple of hours, or overnight, before baking. This is the single most useful tip!
Doing this prevents the butter from melting in the oven before the starch has time to set. It also improves the flavor.
Or, if you're impatient, scoop the dough balls onto the pan, then stick it in the freezer till the dough is cool and firm (about 15 min).
3. Cool your pans
Run baking sheets under cold water for a minute between batches. Never ever ever ever ever put dough onto a warm cookie sheet.
Again, butter melts too quick, cookies spread too fast. I recommend our KPKitchen Baking Sheet for that since it is made out of the highest quality aluminum which helps with regulating the temperature. (and as a bonus you get a cooling rack on which you can rest your cookies)
4. Preheat your oven
Completely preheat your oven, no impatience here!
For the same butter-melting reason as #2. Also, make sure your oven temperature is accurate... for the sake of all your baking! While this might not seem like a big deal, it poses a huge problem for your cookies such as over-browning, excess spread, underbaking in the centers, and/or uneven baking. If you think it may be off, buy a cheap oven thermometer.
5. Make sure you're following the recipe correctly
Measure or weigh ingredients meticulously. Make sure you're not adding too much butter, which can happen if you just use the ruler-guide on the foil wrapper.
A scale or really good measuring cups are the best option for accuracy - a cup of butter is 8 oz/227 grams. I recommend our KPKitchen Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons for this since the measurements are stamped right into the metal so you always see them and they never wear off.
Don't add too much liquid in the form of egg - typically recipes use large eggs; if you use extra-large you'll have too much. And don't be tempted to just add more flour! This makes cakey, not chewy, cookies.