Leave the dough to chill
Most cookie recipes require the dough to be chilled before being rolled into balls and placed in the oven for baking. This step is quite important so try not to skip it. Chilling the dough helps to make it nice and firm preventing overspreading. It also enhances the buttery flavour and adds a bit of caramel after taste as well to the baked cookie. If you chill the dough before rolling it, you will have to leave the dough to sit for at least 10 minutes before doing so as the dough will be quite tough to work with when cool.
Prevent excess spreading
Overspreading can make your cookies look like just sticky puddles on your baking tray when out of the oven. Now you don’t want this sort of trouble, so here are a few things you can do to prevent this.
- Chill your dough as mentioned earlier
- Using butter or non-stick spray to coat your baking sheet will create a foundation that’s too greasy, therefore, your cookies are sure to overspread. Try using parchment paper or silicone sheets instead for the perfect spread and even browning.
- When baking in batches, make sure you don’t place your rolls of cookie dough on the hot tray. Always cool your tray down to room temperature between batches.
- Do not overmix your dough. This can result in a crumbling cookie once baked.
- Measure your flour to the dot. Less flour will mean that there isn’t enough dry ingredient to absorb the wet ingredients and too much flour with result in a dry dough which will resist spreading altogether.
Temperature can make or break your cookies
The temperature of your oven and ingredients like butter and egg can also define the quality of your end result.
- Oven temperature – it is very rare that the temperature of your oven is accurate. For instance, even though your oven may indicate that it’s at 350 F, it might actually be at 325 F or 375 F. This might not seem like much of an issue, but it is when it comes to cookies. This can cause overspreading, excess browning, and uneven baking. The best solution would be to purchase an oven thermometer and leave it in the centre of your oven to check the temp before you add your cookies in.
- Butter & eggs – if your recipe says that you must use these ingredients at room temperature, make sure you bring them down to room temperature before you begin. Ingredients at room temperature emulsify better and add more volume to your dough. Keep in mind that room temperature for butter does not mean that it has to be warm. Instead, the butter must be cool and when pressed, you’ll see a slight dent.