Follow our techniques to ensure perfect drop, shaped, icebox, or rolled cookies.
Before dropping dough, make sure it's slightly firm. If it's too soft and sticky, chill in the refrigerator briefly.
Forming Drop Cookies
An ice cream scoop makes quick work of forming drop cookies and ensures even results. Be sure to use the scoop size the recipe calls for. As an alternative, two tablespoons will do the trick.
Spacing Drop Cookies
To ensure cookies remain separate and nicely shaped, follow the guidelines given in a recipe for spacing mounds of dough on the baking sheet.
Freezing Drop Cookies
You can freeze unbaked mounds of cookie dough on baking sheets, then transfer to resealable freezer bags or airtight containers for up to one month. There's no need to defrost; just bake as directed in the recipe, adding a couple minutes to the baking time.
Use a small ice cream scoop to make sure that each portion is the same size.
Keep Hands Cold
Warm palms can cause butter-rich dough to melt. Keep a bowl of ice water nearby. If dough gets too soft, dip hands in the cold liquid, dry them, and continue shaping.
Freezing Dough for Shaped Cookies
Place dough balls on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen; then transfer to a resealable bag. To make cookies, thaw, then shape, and bake according to recipe instructions.
Start by forming the dough into a rough log shape on a sheet of parchment paper. Place the dough off center; fold parchment paper over the dough. Push with a ruler to mold the wrapped dough into a narrow cylinder about the diameter of a paper-towel tube.
Chilling Dough for Icebox Cookies
Slip the parchment-wrapped rolled dough into an empty paper-towel tube to maintain its shape as it chills. Refrigerate at least three hours, until very firm. Store in the refrigerator or freezer, if desired.
Perfectly Shaped Icebox Cookies
To prevent cookies from getting misshapen, rotate dough as you cut off slices for cookies.
Cookie dough that is rolled between two sheets of parchment paper won't stick to the work surface or rolling pin and is easy to transport back and forth from the refrigerator or freezer to chill.
Tips for Rolled Cookies
For easy release, dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting. When moving shapes, pull scraps away so you can maneuver the spatula without damaging edges.