6. Chill the Dough
This next step is critical. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes before scooping it into balls. Placing the dough in the refrigerator prevents your cookies from spreading on the pan. It can be disappointing to pull your cookie sheet from the oven to discover your cookies have melted and spread into one another during baking. According to King Arthur Flour, chilling cookie dough also solidifies the fat and allows the sugar to absorb other liquids from the batter. Chilling improves the flavor and texture of your cookies—just don’t be tempted to sneak bites of the dough!
5. Use a Cookie Scoop
When dropping your dough onto the cookie sheet, use a cookie scoop to create uniform cookies. This not only makes your cookies look alike, but it also ensures they will each bake to perfection in the same amount of time. A cookie sheet containing cookies of various shapes and sizes will yield treats that come out of the oven in different stages of doneness. Pampered Chef makes cookie scoops in a variety of sizes. These scoops also come in handy for filling muffin tins, forming meatballs, and making stuffed pasta shells.
4. Line Your Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper
Always line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. These products provide an extra layer between your cookie dough and the cookie sheet. This prevents spreading and keeps the cookies from sticking to the pan. Check out this silicone baking mat from Crate and Barrel. If you prefer, you can find rolls of parchment paper at your local supermarket or big box store. Then, get to work baking up your favorite recipes for chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, or chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.