technique

There are many different types of cookies, including two of our favorites: drop cookies and rolled cookies. We’ve put together tips and tricks to help you make the tastiest cookies, no matter which kind you bake!

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Cookie Basics

Use these three simple tricks to achieve cookie perfection.

Line Sheet

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Stagger Rows

Leave 2 inches between dough balls, arranging them in staggered rows so they do not spread into each other.

Cool on Sheet

Leave cookies on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes so they can firm up, then transfer cookies directly to cooling rack.

Storing Cookies and Bars

Cookies

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. To prevent cookies from turning dry and brittle, we recommend storing them in a zipper-lock bag with a half slice of sandwich bread.

Bars

Brownies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Granola Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Cheesecake Bars and Key Lime Bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Drop Cookies

Forming Drop Cookies

Drop cookies are American classics. Chocolate, oatmeal, peanut butter—these cookies typically have a lightly crisp outer edge and a soft, chewy middle. They are some of the easiest cookies to shape and bake.

Many recipes call for simply “dropping” (hence the name) a measurement of cookie dough onto the baking sheet, usually with two spoons. For the best cookies, we prefer to roll the dough between our hands into round balls. This creates cookies that are all the same shape and that bake evenly. With very soft doughs or sticky doughs (like our Oatmeal–Chocolate Chip Cookies) it’s difficult to roll them between your hands, so we just drop them straight.

Rolled Cookies

Rolled (or cutout) cookies require a little more work to form than drop cookies. The dough can become too soft to roll or it can tear, and the thin cookies can overbake. Here are the keys to achieving great-tasting rolled cookies.

Roll Between Parchment

Rolling the cookie dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper rather than on the counter minimizes sticking and makes it easier to transfer the cookies to the baking sheet; you simply remove the top piece of parchment, stamp out the cookies, and then transfer them to the baking sheet with a thin icing spatula instead of trying to get the cookies off the counter.

Start Rolling at the Center

When rolling out cookie dough, it helps to start at the center of the disk of dough and roll away from you, spinning the dough a quarter turn after each roll. This helps ensure every inch of dough is the same thickness. Try to apply even pressure as you roll.