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How to Scoop Cookie Dough

Easy Baking Tips for Dropping Drop Cookie Dough

A drop cookie recipe says, “scoop cookie dough and drop it onto the baking sheet.”  

Simple enough. Right?

Then why does the spoon get so sticky? The cookie dough won’t release onto the baking sheet. You have to use your finger. The cookies end up different sizes.

Ick! This is supposed to be easy and fun.

Here's The Scoop

The more cookies you bake, the more you will find your favorite way to scoop cookie dough. You’ll also find that one method works best for you with a particular kind of cookie dough and you get better results using another approach with other recipes. Experiment and see what works for you. 

Try these options.

3 ways to scoop cookie dough from The Cookie Elf

Use a Cookie Scoop

Cookie scoops come in all sizes: teaspoon, tablespoon, and even ¼ cup (see a good assortment here). They look a lot like an ice cream scoop, with a spring release that releases the dough out of the well and onto the baking sheet. Hands down, using a cookie scoop is the easiest and most tidy way to drop cookie dough.

Clearly the advantages of using a cookie scoop to make drop cookie recipes are that you have:

  • Less mess. The scoop springs the dough for you so you don’t need to use your fingers.
  • Consistent size. The cookie scoop allows you to drop cookies that are similar in amounts of dough. There’s no guesswork. That means the cookies will bake more evenly, too, because each on the same tray the same amount of dough.  
  • Choices. Cookie scoops are available in different sizes.

You can also substitute an ice cream scoop for a cookie scoop when dropping cookies. But a heads-up: some ice cream scoops don’t have the spring mechanism. You can use an ice cream scoop to make uniform-sized cookies but you’ll need a way to get the dough out of the scoop well. Use a spoon. Or let your fingers get sticky.

Use a Spoon

This is my favorite way to scoop cookie dough when I make no-bake cookie recipes (like Birds Nest Cookies or Rocky Mountain Snowdrops), especially when the dough is chunky with fillers like mini marshmallows, whole pecans or peanuts, or chow mein noodles – and awkward to fit into a cookie scoop. Try this: use a soup spoon to scoop a cookie. Then press the filled spoon against the side of the bowl to compact the ingredients together. The dough will drop onto the baking pan easily because the spoon is shaped as a shallow well. You don’t need to dig it out.

Use a Small Measuring Cup

Jumbo cookies are bigger than other drop cookies. If you don’t have an extra-large cookie scoop, you can use a ¼ cup measure (here are some to check out.) Spray it with vegetable spray before packing the cup with cookie dough. Drop measured dough onto prepared baking sheets. If the dough is particularly thick, you may find you need to spray the inside of the measuring cup in between cookie drops or after a few drop repetitions.


See more Cookie Baking Tips on our Pinterest board.


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