They’re questions I get quite often, so I thought I’d share a little bit here on rolling out cookie dough and a few baking tidbits too.
How thick (or thin) do you roll out your cookie dough?
If you take a look at the photos of cookies I’ve made here, you’ll probably notice that each batch of cookies isn’t rolled out to the same thickness.
Sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner. I don’t have a reason for it, I honestly roll out my dough to the thickness I feel like rolling it out. A general guideline would be between about 6 mm to 1 cm or about 1/4 inch to 3/8 of an inch.
In terms of cookies holding their shape during baking, I find it’s these tips which make the biggest difference, so the thickness of the cookie isn’t a factor for me with this aspect. That being said, I think cookies do spread a teensy bit less if they’re rolled thinner.
One thing to consider… Perhaps pretty obvious but thought I’d mention it in case you’re concerned about getting as many cookies as you can out of one batch of dough – if you make your cookies thinner, you’ll get more cookies out of it.
Crunchy or soft?
If you like your cookies crunchier, baking them thinner helps. In general, the longer you bake them the crunchier they get, but it’s harder to get a thicker cookie to have an overall crunch, without browning the edges too much.
How to tell when your cookies are baked:
When I first began baking roll out cookies, I’d look at the recipe for the exact minutes given and just go by that. Now I know that there are so many other factors to consider… Just a few examples; the size of the cookie shape, the thickness, the oven (each oven bakes differently), and the dough type.
I’ve come to rely on the following factors to tell when my cookies are done:
- The edges are golden brown (for lighter colored cookies)
- The surface or middle of the cookie no longer looks wet
I also generally bake them a few minutes longer after the middle no longer looks wet, especially for larger cookies, as sometimes the middle, underside is still under baked.
Use the oven light to “peek”. Opening and closing your oven during baking affects the baking process (oven loses heat quickly).
How to make the dough even:
Not all of my cookies are perfectly even, trust me. I could definitely improve that, and the good news is, is that it’s easy to do!
There are these things called “perfection strips“, which I have but don’t often use (hence my sometimes uneven dough), which come in 3 different thicknesses, and, placed on either side of your dough so that the rolling pin rests on them, help make your dough an even thickness.
Most of the time I just try and “eyeball it” when I’m rolling out my cookie dough and don’t pull my perfection strips out, but in the long run they really do save time (Think uneven cookie surface and royal icing dripping down a slanted cookie), and make the cookies look more polished.
Alternatives to Perfection Strips:
If you don’t want to buy the perfection strips there are other home made options. A trip to the hardware store and you can find lots of alternatives, such as dowels, strips of wood etc. Just buy the thickness you’re interested in and place them on either side of your dough, and voila!
Another store bought option is silicone rolling pin spacer bands. Choose the thickness you like and place the bands on either end of the rolling pin.
A great (and similar) option (thanks for the suggestions in the comments!), is this rolling pin with the adjustable options built in, along with a handy measuring guide!
Hopefully this tips are useful for you!
I have to say though, I’m having a little difficulty keeping up on all the lovely social media spots, so if you haven’t heard from me yet and have asked a question elsewhere, please feel free to leave a comment on my site, as I generally try to get to those first. Thanks for your patience – I love hearing from you and am grateful for you! You make baking and decorating even sweeter!
p.s. Here are the links to the cookies in the photos above, in the order that they appear:
Chocolate Sugar Cookies (New Recipe coming early Dec.)