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Baking Cookies Tips: The Elf's Best Hints

Baking cookies tips: we've got them!

Here are some basic hints below to save time, save mess, and have fun.

Top Baking Cookies Tips from The Elf

Tips For Mixing Cookie Dough

Baking cookies tips with The Cookie Elf
  • Avoid over mixing the dough. Blend flour into the dough until just combined with the rest of the ingredients. Beating adds air to the dough, which allows gluten to expand leading to a denser, touch texture rather than a softer, more crumbly or flaky cookie.

  • Follow recipe directions for chilling the dough. Not all cookie dough must be chilled. Chilling dough promotes thicker, cakier cookies and prevents flattening and spreading. If you’re concerned that cookies will spread (or if you test batch flattens out in the oven), refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Tips for Preparing Cookies for the Oven

  • Make cookies a uniform shape and size so that they bake evenly. (More tips about scooping cookie dough.)

  • Follow the “Two-Inch Rule.” Unless the recipe states otherwise, place cookie dough at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets to allow room for spreading. (More tips for how to make drop cookies.)

Tips for Using the Oven

  • Bake a sample batch of just two or three cookies to test the dough texture, oven temperature, and baking time before baking the entire batch of cookies.

  • Place the cookie sheet in the center of the oven.

  • Set just one sheet of cookies at a time in the oven to help cookies bake evenly. If you need to bake two sheets at a time, rotate them between racks or 180 degrees half way through the baking time. Avoid placing one sheet above another sheet in the oven on separate oven racks, as this can cause uneven baking.

  • Use the oven light to check on cookies, since open and closing the oven door can create drafts into the oven and change the baking temperature.

  • Know your oven. When it comes to baking cookies tips, this one may seem obvious. Yet The Cookie Elf’s recipes are tested and written for baking in a regular oven, not a convection oven. If you use a convection oven, adjust your baking time and temperature as the oven manufacturer suggests.

Tips About Doneness

  • Do not over bake cookies. Check for doneness at the minimum time length stated in a recipe and increase baking time in increments as needed. Ovens vary and baking times given in a recipe are only guidelines. If you prefer softer cookies, remove them from the oven while they are still slightly under baked.

  • Most cookies are ready when they are just barely set. Touch the top of the cookies and it will indent just slightly.

  • Use visual cues to check for doneness in drop cookies, molded cookies, pressed cookies, and rolled cookies, with cookie edges are just beginning to turn a very light brown.

  • Use a clean toothpick to check for doneness in bar cookies. When a few moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan, the cookies are probably ready. Bar cookies continue to cook after you remove them from the oven.


Get more cookie baking tips and hints on our Pinterest board.

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