10 Tips For Baking Perfect Cookies & Biscuits

Cookies and biscuits can be deceiving… a recipe might look oh-so-simple and foolproof, and yet you find yourself pulling out of the oven cookies that are flat and overcooked. Yep, it’s happened to all of us. So here’s my top 10 tips for perfect cookies and biscuits (and don’t worry – none of them are tricky or hard!!).

Perfect cookies

 

1. Read the whole recipe first

It might sound obvious, but how many times do you start a recipe, only to get partway through and realise you’re missing a key ingredient (or two). I’ve done that SO MANY times and it really can throw your cookie baking into chaos. Make sure you’ve read the recipe, have all of the ingredients on hand and know how long it will take before you get started.

Perfect cookies

Jam Drops

 

2. Know your oven

Some ovens run hotter than others. Get to know your own oven and adjust the cooking time of recipes accordingly. Don’t just assume that the cooking time in a recipe will be right for your oven (because it often won’t be!!). If you’re not sure of the temperature of your oven, buy an oven thermometer to get an accurate temperature reading.

Perfect cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie

 

3. Always pre-heat your oven

Speaking of your oven, make sure you pre-heat it approximately 10-15 minutes before baking your cookies. If a recipe calls for the temperature to be 180 degrees celsius, it needs to be at that temperature before your cookies go in (unless a recipe states otherwise).

Perfect cookies

YoYos

4. Check your ingredients

One of the most common reasons why cookies don’t turn out perfectly is because the bi-carb soda or baking powder used is out of date. Always check the expiry dates on your products. If you’re not sure (or if the box has been left open), you can test them by seeing if they bubble when:

  • you add baking soda to vinegar, or;
  • you add baking powder to hot water.

Perfect cookies

Classic ANZAC Biscuits

 

5. Room temperature ingredients

Unless a recipe tells you otherwise, have all of your ingredients at room temperature before baking. Yep, I know it’s so darn hard to remember to get those eggs out early, but it’s really, really important!

Perfect cookies

Perfect Florentines

 

6. Measure your ingredients correctly

How often do we just scoop the flour out of the container and pour it straight into a bowl, or use spoons that aren’t standard size? Yep, ALL. THE. TIME. If you want perfect cookies, you’ve gotta measure your ingredients properly. When measuring dry ingredients like flour, use a flat spatula or knife to level off the top. Pour liquid ingredients into a larger measuring jug than what you need so it doesn’t overflow.

Perfect cookies

Lemon & White Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

7. Using the correct baking tray

Generally the best tray to use when baking cookies is a flat baking tray with small or no sides. Flat baking trays will allow your cookies to cook more evenly.

Perfect cookies

Monte Carlo Biscuits

 

8. Preparing your baking tray

Lightly grease your baking trays with butter before cooking. If you don’t want your cookies to spread out during baking, it’s also a great idea to lightly flour the tray (and shake off any excess) after greasing – this is a particularly handy trick if you’re baking cookies with chocolate in them as the flour will help to prevent the chocolate from sticking and burning to the tray. If you’re not a fan of greasing your cookie trays, then you can always use baking paper or non-stick silicone mats instead.

Perfect cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

9. Cookie size

Whether you’re cooking large cookies or small ones, they need to all be the same size. This will ensure that they’re cooked evenly. Leave a good gap (approximately 5cm) between your cookies to allow for spreading.

Perfect cookies

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

10. Baking the cookies

Place the baking tray in the centre of your oven for more even cooking. If possible, bake one tray of cookies at a time (as placing trays above one another in the oven causes uneven baking). Rotate your cookie tray halfway through cooking. Check your cookies just before the time that the recipe states… and then watch them like a hawk! One or two extra minutes can mean the difference between perfect cookies and inedible ones (trust me on this one… I know from personal experience!). Remove your cookies from the oven, allow to cool for a minute or two and then carefully remove with a flat egg flip to a wire cooling rack. You don’t want to leave the cookies on the tray or they will continue to cook.

 

And there’s my top 10 tips for perfectly baked cookies! Do you have any more gems of wisdom to add to the list?

 

20 thoughts on “10 Tips For Baking Perfect Cookies & Biscuits”

  1. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages says:

    number 4 is a great tip – thanks from someone who is happy to get all the help they can get!!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thanks lovely!

  2. pearl - pretty mayhem says:

    Thank you so much for these awesome tips! Reading through your post I realzed just how many small mistakes I’ve been making whilst baking cookies. Especially #1 and #5, oops! I’m bookmarking this for future reference – hopefully my cookies will turn out as perfect as yours from now on 🙂

    ps. Your monte carlo cookies look divine!!!!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thank you lovely! Haha your baking always looks perfect by the way!

  3. Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side says:

    Yes, know your oven! I’ve moved around a fair bit and always manage to ruin a dish or two before I figure out the new oven. #TeamIBOT

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Absolutely!!!

  4. Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe says:

    Lots of great stuff here – do you know why a flat tray helps bikkies cook evenly? A friend of mine told me it is better for choc chip cookies to be a tad undercooked than overcooked – I think it was helpful advice for someone like me who is a bit overcautious with stuff being properly cooked

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      A flat tray allows for more even heat and therefore more even baking! Yep, I agree with your friend. I tend to undercook all of my cookies, because I prefer them that way! Mind you, I have a friend who loves hers the opposite way!

  5. Kirsten @ Treat Yourself Sweeter says:

    Fantastic tips Lucy… especially no 1. As an well practised home cook- I often just start a recipe and get half way through and think … Argh! Great post 🙂

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Definitely!!!

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