Tips on How to Make Cookies that Taste Great Everytime

If you are just learning to bake you will need to know how to make cookies that you will be proud of. See our baking tips for successful cookie making every time. The secret is really in the cookie dough and the type of fat you use. Once you know how, you can then try our easy cookie recipes to follow.

There are 4 types of cookies:

  • Those that are thin and crisp when baked. The cookie dough for this type of cookies is made very stiff and is rolled out very thinly before it is shaped and baked. These are known as wafers or snaps.
  • Those that are thicker, but still crisp. This cookie dough is stiff enough to be dropped from the spoon, but too moist for rolling.
  • Those that are shaped with a cookie syringe. This cookie dough must be made thick enough to be pressed through the syringe but still hold its shape when placed in the oven. Butter cookies are in this category.
  • No Bake cookies that you can mix up in a jiffy, throw into the fridge, and slice them up with they are done.
A plate of my cantucci cookies2
A plate of my cantucci cookies, twice baked for crispness

Baking Tip: Cookies should be kept in plastic or tin container with a lid on in order to keep them fresh and crisp. If air gets to them they will soon go soft and loose their crispness. For additional crispness, line the container with kitchen paper.

How to Make Cookies Using the Right Amount of Flour

Flour is an important ingredient because you need to get the right consistency to your dough for your cookies to be successful. If you don't have enough flour in the dough, when you place them in the oven they won't hold their shape and spread everywhere leaving you feeling a bit fed up and disappointed.

So here's another baking tip: make sure that the last cup of flour that you add to the dough is done slowly. As you add the flour to your cookie dough you will need to see if your dough is stiff enough without adding all of it. If not, keep going until all the flour has been used.

You may also find that although you have the right amount of flour in your dough you added either too much butter, milk or the like. As a result your dough will not be stiff enough. Add extra flour until you get the right consistency. Don't add too much flour either.

So how do you know what the right consistency is for your cookie dough? Well if you leave your cookie dough for a few hours until it is cold it should stiffen up quite nicely. If it is still very soft you know that you need to add more flour.

Your cookie dough will benefit from being left overnight anyway. Make your dough in the afternoon or evening, place in the fridge and then roll out the following morning and make your cookies.

Baking tip: If you want to learn how to make great cookies then forget about using margarine or any other fat in your recipe other than butter. Using Butter will give your cookies the flavor that other fats won't.

How to Make Cookies Perfectly  when Rolling Out the Dough

Never take more dough than you can easily manage when rolling out. Rather divide the dough and place a manageable size onto a floured board. With floured fingers lightly press the dough flour out so that it forms a flat round of about 1/2 inch in thickness.

Now take a lightly floured rolling pin and starting from the center lightly roll to the edge. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process until the dough is 1/4 inch thick and as round as possible.

Baking Tip: You may need to re-flour the rolling pin if the dough sticks, however, try and not handle the dough too much or add too much flour as if you do you can end up with very tough, dry cookies.

If you are making snaps or wafer cookies, then you will need to roll out the cookie dough a lot thinner. However, 1/4 inch thickness is the usual thickness for cookies.

You will notice that after each round has been cut into rounds using a cookie cutter, that you have some dough left over. Don't put these scraps with the new round of dough that you will now work. Rather put the scraps aside until you have used up all the cookie dough and then, when you have the scraps from all the worked dough add them altogether and then you can roll them out as before.

Doing it this way means that you won't get too much flour worked into the dough which would give you those tough, dry cookies that you don't want.

How to Make Cookies and Using Cookie Cutters

You can still get tin cookie cutters, but nowadays you can also cookie cutters made from plastic. I perfer the tin cookie cutters, but that is just a matter of opinion; the plastic ones also work well, although I feel that you get a sharper edge with the tin cutters.

Anyway, when using cookie cutters you will come across some common shapes; stars, diamonds, circles and hearts. But there are also cookie cutters out there for special occasions and you can get cutters for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc.

The trick is to place the cookie cutter onto the dough in such a way as to minimize wastage and having to mix the scraps together again. Again, set aside all the dough scraps until you have finished cutting and then mix them altogether and roll them out again. However, the texture of these cookies will be different to the ones first cut out.

In cutting the dough, try to cut it to the best possible advantage, leaving as little space between the cookies as possible. Very often, for example, when diamond-shaped cookies are being cut, the line of one may be the exact line of the one next to it and then no dough is left between the cookies.

Baking Tips on How to Make Cookies Perfectly Every Time

You need to use a shallow baking tray to allow the heat to get to the cookies evenly.  Have the oven ready, the baking tray greased with butter and then dusted with flour. Shake out the excess flour and put the cut out cookies onto the tray using a spatula.

Make sure that there is enough space between them as you don't want them touching. If they are cookies that spread, you will end up with a shapeless mess.

Place your the tray onto the lowest rack in your oven for 3 minutes. This will help cook the bottom of the cookies and they will rise as much as they will. After 3 minutes are up, remove and place them on a middle rack allowing them to cook undisturbed until they are golden brown on the top. Don't allow your cookies to burn.

Remove from the oven and place them on a baking rack to cool. Allow your tray to cool before baking the next batch of cookies. Re-grease and flour your tin as before.

We have a number of cookie recipes for you to try, now that you know how to make cookies!

Go from How to Make Cookies back to Baking Recipes

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