Most recipes suggest that you flatten the dough balls before baking. In general, if you roll the cookie dough into balls, then your cookie dough probably needs to be flattened before baking. However, they are your cookies. If you like your cookies to be puffy and thick in the center, then leave them alone.
Just gently roll each portion of dough between your hands into a perfectly round ball before baking. … This method isn’t going to produce the most perfect cookies, but it’ll do a better job than just dropping spoonfuls of cookie dough onto the baking sheet.
And there are no baking police: If your recipe tells you to flatten your cookies before baking, you just go ahead and do that however you want. So long as they end up evenly flat, that is; squashing cookies haphazardly under your palm means they may bake and brown unevenly.
It is almost always best to bake cookies on the middle rack of the oven (almost always). In the middle rack, cookies bake consistently because of the high degree of heat and air circulation.
1. You added too much flour. One of the most common reasons why cookies didn’t spread out in the oven is because you added too much flour. Cookies rely on the perfect ratio of butter to flour in order to spread just the right amount when baked.
For most cookie recipes we recommend using a #30 or #40 scoop, which holds about 1½ Tbsp. of dough. To make a slightly larger cookie—like our favorite chocolate chip cookies ever—we recommend using a #20, which holds about 3 Tbsp. of dough.
Too much sugar, too much butter, or too little flour can all contribute to cookies that are on the run. (In the case of cookies that spread no matter how careful you are preparing the dough and/or the baking sheets, I’d probably turn to another recipe.)
Too Much Flour
The most common reason why your cookies don’t spread is that you’ve added too much flour. Adding more dry ingredients than the recipe calls for can result in a dough that is too stiff. Moisture and fat in the dough are soaked up by the excessive amount of flour which takes away its ability to spread.
The simple answer to this question is, meet in the middle. Cookies should (almost) always be baked on the middle rack of the oven. The middle rack offers the most even heat and air circulation which helps cookies bake consistently.
Baking and Testing for Doneness
Preheat oven 10 to 15 minutes before baking the first sheet or pan of cookies. Check oven temperature with an oven thermometer. … For softer, chewier cookies, bake for the shorter amount of time indicated in the recipe.
When using ovens with both fan-forced and conventional settings, it is best to use conventional when you are baking long and slow (like for cakes) and fan-forced for fast cooking at high temperatures.
- That fluffy texture you want in a cake results from beating a lot of air into the room temperature butter and sugar, and it does the same for cookies. …
- Use melted butter for a denser, chewier cookie.
- Play with the liquid ratio in your recipe. …
- Use all-purpose or bread flour.
- Increase the sugar content slightly.
When cookies don’t spread in the oven, it’s either because the dough was too dry or too cold. Dry dough doesn’t have enough moisture or fat in it to spread out, so it sets in that shape. Dough that’s too cold will start to firm up before the butter has a chance to melt completely.
30 minutes will do the trick if you’re simply looking to avoid your cookies spreading all over the place. If you have the luxury of chilling the dough overnight to develop flavor, go for it.