Top 10 Cookie Baking Tips Article - Allrecipes.com
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Top 10 Cookie-Baking Tips

Secrets to perfectly delicious cookies!

Here are 10 smart things you can do to bake better cookies.

  • Use the best quality ingredients--they'll produce the tastiest cookies
  • Always use large-size eggs, unsalted butter and nuts, and pure extracts of vanilla or almond
  • Successful baking relies on the correct ratio of ingredients, so be sure to measure accurately
  • Most cookie recipes call for all-purpose flour. For the best results, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Do not sift unless the recipe specifically says to do so
  • Unless you are baking with non-stick pans and cookie sheets, use parchment paper for stick-free baking and easy clean-up
  • Chill dough for cut-out cookies, and soften it up at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling out
  • Leave at least two inches of space between cookies so they don't spread into each other
  • Adjust baking times to achieve the cookie texture you crave. A little less time produces chewier cookies; a little more time makes them crispy
  • Bake bar cookies in the pan size indicated in the recipe
  • Cool cookies completely before decorating


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Comments
bookworm 
Jun. 22, 2009 1:48 pm
Does it make a difference if you roll cookie dough with your hands coated with safflower oil instead of sunflower oil as the recipe in a Moroccan cookbook calls for? Went shopping for oil, thought I had the right kind and found out that it wasn't when I double checked the recipe. On first trying a recipe, I always follow the directions and then branch out later. Is there a difference? Can someone help with this, please?
 
jefferson d. martinez 
Oct. 9, 2009 2:48 am
can i use soft flour instead of all purpose flour for my butter cookie and sugar cookie? i want to make these cookies at affordable price
 
gimmie 
Nov. 6, 2009 12:01 pm
could you explain why you should not sift the flour for cookies?
 
Dec. 1, 2009 9:20 am
Sifting adds air to the flour hence making it lighter for cakes and baked good requiring a light texture. if you don't sift the flour is more packed and dense and produces a heavier batter for cookies.
 
Christine 
Dec. 1, 2009 1:10 pm
Why unsalted butter???? Is there a big difference in taste?
 
Dec. 4, 2009 4:55 pm
I have asked professionals about the unsalted butter (esp. in recipes that add salt), and their answer is that it allows them to control the amount of salt...your brand may have more or less than the one I get.
 
Dec. 4, 2009 4:57 pm
their is a difference between "soft" or cake flour and all purpose, made from hard wheat. You would need more of the soft flour to get the same consistency.
 
jeaneen7 
Dec. 5, 2009 4:54 pm
I want to make chocolate chip cookie dough ahead of time and refrigerate, how long will the dough keep in the "frig"?
 
Yvonne 
Dec. 7, 2009 7:23 am
salt draws water- hence unsalted butter less water more cream.
 
eileen1109 
Dec. 8, 2009 12:01 pm
What is the best way to freeze cookies? Are there some you can't /shouldn't freeze?
 
lisa 
Dec. 8, 2009 1:42 pm
I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe and I follow the instructions completly, but they still come out alittle flat. What to do?
 
itsbev 
Dec. 8, 2009 5:07 pm
To Lisa, I live in FL where it is humid. I had trouble with flat cookies until I started adding a little extra flour to the batter, no more than 1/4 cup. If they come out too puffy, use less flour the next time. :)
 
Nicky's favorites 
Dec. 10, 2009 6:53 am
can you sub butter flavored crisco for butter in cookies?
 
MITHRILFLOWER 
Dec. 10, 2009 2:48 pm
"Nicky" I found this on another alrecipes article "Perfect Cookies" : Fats Cookies are made primarily with butter, margarine or shortening. Fats play a major role in the spread of a cookie--whether a cookie keeps its shape or flattens in the oven. Shortening and margarine are stable, and will help cookies keep their original unbaked shapes. Butter melts at a much lower temperature than other solid fats--it melts at body temperature, resulting in a “melt-in-your-mouth” burst of flavor. Cookies made with butter tend to spread out. Butter is essential in certain cookies, such as shortbreads; if they don’t hold their shape, consider lowering the amount of butter, sugar, or baking soda in the recipe. The amount of fat also affects the cookies: in general, more fat equals flat, crispy cookies while less fat equals puffier, cake-like cookies. Whipped spreads are not suitable for baking: use solid sticks of margarine instead.
 
GIGI18202 
Dec. 11, 2009 9:18 am
can you freeze dough for cookies?
 
Amy 
Dec. 11, 2009 8:03 pm
I freeze cookie dough often and it works great for me. I don't really even let it thaw much. I generally grab it before dinner and cut it into slices. (I put the raw cookie dough into wax paper and roll it so that it is tube shaped). Then I bake it according to the instructions.
 
Dec. 13, 2009 7:32 am
does it matter much if you use fat free milk instead of whole milk when a recipe calls for whole milk?
 
VHSparer 
Dec. 13, 2009 3:58 pm
Any tips on using a cookie press? I have two kinds --a Mirro manual turn handle, and a "gun" style from William Sonoma. I have been having trouble getting the dough to release. Instead I am ending up with big blobs. I didn't have as much trouble when I lived at sea level, but now adjust my recipes for high altitude. I used to make dozens and dozens of press cookies at a time. Now it takes me forever to get one pan of cookies ready for the oven. Thanks.
 
Mom in Need 
Dec. 13, 2009 10:17 pm
I have found that when I use my cookie press to make my spritz cookies, I cannot use the parchment paper. The dough needs a surface it can stick to so that it will release itself from the press. Most recipes for the cookie press have enough shortening and wont stick to your cookie sheet.
 
Mom in Need 
Dec. 13, 2009 10:21 pm
If you make a lot of cookies like I do, ( last year the count was 75 dozen+ ) try this approach: I make all the doughs for my cookies in a day or two and store them in the fridge. I then get ready to just bake, bake, bake. Each dough can be taken out as a chilled dough or taken out long enough to use at room temperature. It's a lot easier to keep the rhythm if you don't have to stop and change gears constantly.
 
Carol Ann Balchunas 
Dec. 14, 2009 11:45 am
U should make a way so that people can save these tips also. I see NO WAY of saving this tip.
 
shannon 
Dec. 19, 2009 6:29 am
carol you can save them if you look right above the comments it will tell you a really easy way to save these "tips and advice" articles to your recipe box by copying the "url" to the weblink tab in your recipe box it's super easy and if you're like me you'll be grateful you saved it at a later date when you're up to your arms in flour and 3yr olds and can't remember that awesome way of doing something that you discovered on allrecipes!
 
Jenniferjp41 
Dec. 22, 2009 10:33 am
Does anyone know if using stick margarine or butter is best for cookies? Also, what about stick shortening instead? Merry Christmas! ~~Jennifer
 
yW 
Feb. 8, 2010 5:51 am
emm...i 'm just a starter for baking.... i've just made a chocolate sugar cookie batter...the batter is in a soft, smooth and sticky texture...but i need to cut it out with cookie cutters....is that possible?
 
ms.jean 
Dec. 12, 2010 1:29 pm
my first tyme making wedding cookies and the recipe did not call for any liquid or egg .followed exact .my dough is crumbly would not stick together.i did sift dry ingredients. can anyone help?
 
Claire Brown 
Dec. 19, 2010 12:11 pm
To yW Add a little flower until it forms a less sticky dough!
 
ronmar6 
Feb. 22, 2011 8:41 am
What is the best way to get the parchment paper to lay flat after it comes off the roll?
 
Mar. 15, 2011 11:47 pm
Lay it upside down with a phone book on top right on the pan you will be using...I do this first, then hit preheat THEN start measuring out ingredients. :)
 
Sandy B 
Apr. 9, 2011 11:40 am
What is the difference in using unsalted butter vs salted butter in a recipe? the recipe calls for 3/4 tsp salt as well. Could I just use salted butter instead? the amount of butter is 1/2 cup.
 
B34R51 
Jun. 23, 2011 9:59 am
I've been baking cookies for more than 30yrs and salt really makes no difference in the final product. Some recipes require it others omit it. Always taste and adjust as necessary. All recipes for cooking anything are based upon the use of Kosher salt not table salt. You may find if using table salt it may need to be doubled in some cases. Always tase and adjust.
 
I'mabakernotacook 
Sep. 6, 2011 9:11 am
I recently read that if you use salted rather than unsalted butter, omit the salt called for in the recipe. "All recipes for cooking anything are based upon the use of Kosher salt not table salt." Not true! If that were true, the recipe would be specific as to which type of salt. I always use table salt because I can get it with iodide in it. I've yet to find Kosher salt with iodide, although it's lower in sodium than table salt, but I use Salt Sense. As for salt really making little difference in the final product, other than perhaps a bit of a flavor difference, that's basically true. There have been times when I've inadvertently omitted the salt, and it really wasn't that big of a deal. Best way to get parchment paper to lay flat? Don't use it! I don't care for parchment paper myself. I prefer my trusty Baker's Joy non-stick spray.
 
I'mabakernotacook 
Sep. 6, 2011 9:17 am
I forgot to mention that if you prefer soft, chewy cookies, as I do, bake them the way Debbie Field (of Mrs. Field's Cookies fame) bakes them. Low and slow. Instead of the usual 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes, bake 'em at 300 degrees for almost a half hour, unless the cookie is supposed to be crumbly, like, for example, a gingersnap.
 
Nov. 10, 2011 8:09 pm
When I make cookies, I store the shaped cookies in the fridge on plastic cutting mats lined with parchment paper; the next day, I slide the cookies onto baking sheets; when they are baked, I slide them onto cooling racks & put the baking sheets aside to cool for another batch. Parchment paper is indispensable when you are baking lots of cookies!
 
Maureen 
Nov. 16, 2011 5:38 am
What oven shelf is the best to use for baking? I have always used the bottom shelf and it always worked the best for me. Now I'm hearing the middle would be best.
 
beaton 
Dec. 1, 2011 9:56 am
Can all cookies dough be frozen. I think that recipes should inclue this this.
 
Peggy Grant 
Dec. 7, 2011 5:48 pm
Baked rolled sugar cookies and didn't get the chance to icing them Until the next day, but when i took them out of container to icing Them , they became hard. Will Icing make them get softer again? or do I have to start with a new batch, Baked not as long? I have a very busy schedule and would prefer not to make a new batch unless this one isnt fixable. please help
 
Peggy Grant 
Dec. 7, 2011 5:52 pm
Also I Made Pizzelle's and they turned out perfect but after storing them a few days they got really soft, How can i get them crisp again? UGH! Everything is turning Less desirable after storing, Hard cookies getting soft, soft cookies getting hard...Please Help...Thanks
 
roankafarm 
Dec. 9, 2011 8:09 am
When you want to soften up hard cookies put a piece of bread or a slice of apple in an airtight container with the cookies.
 
jadakist 
Dec. 9, 2011 9:00 pm
I've always believed that butter temperature makes a big difference. For example cold butter=soft cookies, melted=crispier. Any truth to this? Also, when drooping cookies onto sheet, do leave it in a ball, or flatten them? I never know!
 
Dec. 11, 2011 4:55 am
what's the best nobrainer sugar cookie recipe?
 
Dec. 11, 2011 2:12 pm
H.orse I like the "best rolled sugar cookies" on this site. So yummy!
 
mary 
Dec. 16, 2011 7:11 pm
Baking cookies with love will also make them come out betteralso.
 
Lori M 
Dec. 19, 2011 4:08 am
Peggy, pizzelles should be stored in a brown paper bag. They will not go bad, just stay crispy.
 
arubaqueen 
Dec. 19, 2011 10:59 am
My husband is allergic to eggs when a recipe calls for an egg is there anything I could use in place of the egg? I cant even use egg by products. I thought about adding approc 1/4 cup of milk instead
 
Dec. 24, 2011 12:46 pm
arubaqueen: you can use ground flax seed in place of the eggs, read the package it'll tell you the measurements.
 
Virginia 
Dec. 25, 2011 8:00 am
I really enjoyed 24 days of cookies. I 0nly wish I could have tried every one of them. I always read comments before deciding which to make. Thank you for ALL recipes.com
 
Laura 
Feb. 3, 2012 1:07 pm
Peanut butter is a sub for egg as well. (As long as everyone is ok with peanuts)
 
kelliekitchen 
Feb. 25, 2012 2:39 pm
The best oatmeal cookie recipe I use is on the box of the Quaker Oatmeal box. It makes almost six dozen and I freeze half the batter for baking later. I cut the measures of the sugars off by a 1/4 C each to replace the sugars with applesauce. I also replace whole wheat flour with half the regular flour. Then bake convection oven at 325 for ten minutes. If you over bake they get too brown and dry out; under baking is better than over baking! They turn out thick and chewy. I also add a cup of chopped (minced so my teens do not notice) and a cup of chocolate chips instead of raisins sometimes! The best!
 
Mar. 27, 2012 2:42 am
Hi- I am a professional chef and have read so many different stories. You do use unsalted butter for one main reason. So that- when you do add salt( Cornish sea salt) ground in your hand is what brings the flavors out in anything your making. Whether it is a main course, canapé 's, pastries etc. it enhances the flavors that you want brought out! The differences in the flour are Huge! The All Purpose vs Self Raising, sponge, spelt, 00,000,000 Italian flours, whole wheat, whole grain....the choices are plentiful and endless. For cookies though- All Purpose is used so you don't have your cookies rising like you would in scones. For scones you use Plain and Strong white flour for texture, flakiness, yet density. The only cookies or pastries I know of that use different flours are Shortbread- which uses Plain flour and Corn flour to make it crumbly instead of chewy and some crunch, Brandy or Ginger snaps use Plain flour with golden syrup and unrefined caster sugar so that you can m
 
Linda54494 
Jul. 19, 2012 11:03 pm
I am getting alot of reaaly good recipes SO i MAKE MY OWN BREADS;PIES CAKES AND COOKIES ND ALSO BISCUITS. At the pantry I get baked bread and rolls and cookies or cake so I give that breaD nd store bought bread rolls AND SWEETS TO A SENIOR CITIZEN THAT LOST HIS WIFE. When I bAKE I bring him some of the baking too.
 
MsVal 
Oct. 9, 2012 9:44 pm
I hope this helps other asking... I get great results, and raves, when I use the butter flavored shortening baking "sticks" in lieu of butter or margarine. Perfect for when you just feel like whipping up your fave chocolate chip cookies without extra steps of measuring the shortening into the measure cups. Saves on cleanup, too! :) RAVES, I tell you!
 
Dec. 4, 2012 11:08 am
My cookie baking tips are to use confectioners sugar instead of flour when rolling cutout cookies. Also, parchment paper is not optional for me. And, buy those rubber band gadgets for your rolling pins for consistency.
 
Iameula 
Dec. 7, 2012 12:04 pm
I need to know what to use to roll cookies in nuts,before baking, the white syrup makes them harder, can I use egg white wash?
 
slavrich 
Dec. 8, 2012 8:12 pm
With making so many cookies in advance, what is the best.way to store them until Christmas?
 
Shiwara 
Dec. 12, 2012 4:00 am
When I make cookies, they sometimes stick to the spatula, which then gets a build-up of dough on it. Does anyone know why? I am assuming they need to be cooked longer, maybe at a lower setting. This usually happens when I make a type of merangue cooke. Thanks!
 
Shiwara 
Dec. 12, 2012 4:04 am
If you live in a northern climate, you can store them in an air-tight container outside in a secure location. Outside (or in a freezer if you have room) keeps them cold. Secure simply means somewhere where "crafty" animals won't be able to get to them. We use the grill after getting them into an airtight container.
 
ellisaana 
Dec. 12, 2012 8:02 am
The type of oil you choose could make a difference in the flavor of your cookies. Most of us know that margarine and butter give different flavor, but the different types of margarine do also. My family's favorite cookie, an oatmeal/chocolate chip variation I bake, doesn't taste right if made with anything other than soybean/cottonseed oil margerine. Corn oil margerine dramatically changes the flavor and butter spoils the consistency. Use the freshest ingredients and experiment. Find what works best for you.
 
ellisaana 
Dec. 12, 2012 8:10 am
I have been baking cookies for years, since my Mom let me make my own batch at age 10. But, I didn't start using parchment paper until a few years ago. Aside from the ease in clean up, I like the way the bottom of the cookies turn out when baked on parchment. Pressed cookies like Spritz don't work on parchment because they need to stick to a surface to form properly. They don't stick well on sprayed surfaces or non-stick surfaces either. A plain metal surface works best.
 
darlene 
Dec. 12, 2012 10:55 am
What is the best frosted soft sugar cookie recipe ?
 
Cory 
Dec. 13, 2012 6:38 am
Me & my SIL & MIL have been baking cookies from scratch for over 15 yrs. & over the years we've got some good tips. ASSEMBLE ingredients before you start & check expiration dates on items like baking soda & powder... We make approx. 15 different types of cookies mostly older traditional recipes like almond & pecan short bread, russian tea cakes, & other holiday favorites.. pb blossoms & we find if we make doughs ahead of time it saves a lot of time. We also make afew kinds of cookies ahead & freeze after baking. We also use silpats or silicone baking mats which are wonderful & reuseable! I got generic ones for $8 at aldi they worked fine. Cookie sheets stay cooler & cookies bake evenly, & release easier especially jelly cookies or sticky doughs.. PLUS it keeps cookie sheets staying nice..
 
Vivacious100 
Dec. 27, 2012 5:02 pm
i made recipe BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES,from this site. my daughter made them for xmas and they were delicious. mine flopped when they came out of the oven. i have been cooking and baking for years. i used all fresh ingreds,and cool sheets. any ideas why this happened? i was so dissappointed. ty, i want to try again.
 
 
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