Are you ready to bake some cookies? These cookie baking tips are sure to help your next batch turn out perfect.
Cookies are a well-loved treat the world over, and with good reason! They’re small, they’re sweet, and they come in an endless variety of flavors and textures. Plus, they’re easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients.
Even though cookies are relatively straightforward, there are still a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure your cookies have that “wow” factor that will have everyone reaching for seconds (and thirds!).
Follow these seven secrets, and your cookies will be perfect every time.
1. Gather Your Ingredients
Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. Room-temperature ingredients mix together more easily and produce a more consistent cookie.
Using room-temperature butter will also give your cookies a lighter, fluffier texture. Being able to cream the butter and sugar together properly is key to getting that desired lightness.
Eggs should also be at room temperature. If they’re not, you can place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to compensate.
2. Get Heated
Preheat your oven before you start baking. This will help your cookies bake evenly and prevent them from spreading too much. Most cookies should be baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but check your recipe to be sure.
Ideally, you should use an oven thermometer to check that your oven is actually preheated to the correct temperature. Many ovens have a tendency to run hot or cold, so this extra step is always worth it.
Also, keep in mind that ovens are hotter toward the back, so it never hurts to rotate the cookie sheet about halfway through baking. If you’re baking more than one sheet, you can also switch their positions in the oven.
3. Be Exact
Be precise with your measurements. Baking is a science, so making sure your ingredients are correctly measured is crucial to the success of your cookies.
While you can get away with being a little less precise when cooking, baking is not as forgiving. Each ingredient plays an important role in the overall texture and flavor of the cookie, so making sure they’re correctly proportioned is key.
Once you master baking, you will have a good idea of what each ingredient does and how it affects the final product. This knowledge will help you make tweaks to perfect your recipe.
If you’re just getting started, however, it’s best to follow a recipe to the letter until you get a feel for how everything works.
4. Get Uniform Cookies
Scoop your dough onto a baking sheet using a cookie scoop or spoon. This will help ensure that your cookies are all the same size. Uniformity is important not only for aesthetics but also for ensuring that your cookies bake evenly.
You can reshape the dough a bit if it’s not perfectly round, but try not to make the balls of dough too big or small.
Leave plenty of space between each scoop of dough, as cookies will spread while baking.
5. Bake Just Enough
Bake your cookies until they are just barely golden brown. They will continue to cook slightly as they cool on the baking sheet, so it’s better to err on the side of undercooked rather than overcooked.
If you need to pop them back in the oven for a minute or two, you always can.
6. Cool Them Completely
Nothing beats a warm cookie, but you should allow your cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before storing. This will help prevent them from going stale.
You can transfer them to the wire rack as soon as they’ve cooled on the baking sheet for a few minutes first.
7. Store Smart
Store your cookies in an airtight container. This will keep them fresh and delicious for longer! A cookie jar or Tupperware container with a tight-fitting lid works perfectly.
To keep soft cookies soft longer, you can put a slice of sandwich bread in the container with the cookies.
You can also freeze cookies to enjoy later. Just make sure they’re stored in a freezer-safe, airtight container. Large zipper-top freezer bags work well.
8. Avoiding Flat Cookies
Have you ever put in a tray of cookies to have them come out flat greasy cookies? It’s so disappointing!
Don’t despair! You can likely fix it before you bake the rest of the cookies.
It could be that the dough is too warm. Try chilling the dough for at least a half hour.
You can also put scoops of dough in the freezer for about 15 minutes to chill.
Firming up the butter a bit before baking the cookies will allow them to set before it melts and spreads.
If it isn’t the dough temperature, try adding a little bit more flour.
A Few Quick Bonus Tips
- Don’t put cookie dough on a hot cookie tray. If you are baking several rounds of cookies, let the sheet pans cool before you fill them with more cookie dough.
- If possible, bake only one tray of cookies at a time. Use the center rack. Baking more than one tray at a time can lead to uneven baking.
- Using parchment paper or silicone baking mats on your cookie trays will help the bottoms from over baking and keep the cookies from sticking.
- Try ripening your cookie dough in the refrigerator for a day or two before baking it.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be sure to bake perfect cookies every time! Experiment with different flavors and textures to find your favorite combination. Happy baking!
Is it better to bake cookies with butter or shortening?
Both have their advantages, so it depends on what you are going for. Butter has a better, richer flavor. Butter based cookies have more potential to spread, but that is part of what gives you those buttery crispy edges. Shortening holds its shape more and is less likely to need chill time, however it lacks that butter flavoring. You can experiment with both to find your favorite or use a mix for the best of both worlds.
Types of Cookies
Not sure what to bake? Cookies come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Chocolate chip: a classic favorite, these simple cookies are made with chocolate chips and simple ingredients
- Oatmeal raisin: a healthier option, these are packed with fiber
- Peanut butter: satisfying and flavorful
- Sugar: perfect for decorating
- Snickerdoodle: a cinnamon-sugar delight
- Macaroon: a chewy coconut cookie
- Monster: a large, chewy cookie with M&Ms, chocolate chips, and oats
- Biscotti: a crunchy Italian cookie that’s perfect for dipping in coffee
There are endless possibilities when it comes to cookies! Get creative and have fun in the kitchen.
Check out all of my great cookie recipes and pick a couple to get started. There are so many wonderful options.
Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!