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Improving Your Cookie-Baking Technique

If your cookie-baking technique consists of supermarket slice-n-bake, consider making your own. You’ll know exactly what’s in your own dough, and cookie-baking techniques will get passed on to your kids — if you bake together.

Cookie dough can be dropped by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet, rolled into a log and sliced, rolled flat and cut out with cookie cutters, put through a cookie press, or molded by hand into balls. Here are a few general tips to help improve your chances of creating crowd-pleasing cookies:

  • Timing: Every oven is different, so the baking time for cookies is critical. Always check the cookies a few minutes before they’re supposed to be done. A slightly underdone (but not raw) cookie is usually tastier than a slightly overdone cookie, especially because cookies continue to bake for a short time after you remove them from the oven.

  • Baking sheets: Traditional aluminum sheets can produce cookies with burnt bottoms and pale tops. Consider insulated baking sheets, which have two layers of aluminum with air space between them, because they’re less likely to burn the cookies. For bar cookies, glass or aluminum baking pans both work.

  • Greasing the sheets: For recipes that call for a greased cookie sheet, you don’t need to regrease baking sheets after you’ve removed one batch of baked cookies.

    If you use a nonstick sheet, don’t grease the cookie sheet at all — doing so can make your cookies spread out too much and turn out too thin.

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