When it comes to baking, information is power. I put together a list of some baking tips and other helpful information to ensure you’re baking your best cookies (or muffins, or brownies, or bars).
10 helpful baking tips for every baker
Preheat the oven 20-30 minutes ahead of time. You want the oven to be up to temp before popping in the first batch of cookies.
Lining baking sheets with parchment paper helps with clean up, but also helps the cookies bake evenly and because it’s nonstick, it prevents the cookies from breaking or cracking when you transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Always use the correct size cookie scoop when scooping the dough. You want to make all of the cookies the same size, shape, and thickness, according to the recipe. This way, the cookies will bake evenly and be uniform in size once baked.
Measuring ingredients is crucial. If you have a food scale, make good use of it. Having the proper amount of each ingredient will ensure you end up with exactly the cookies you want.
Allow cookies to set up on the cookie sheet, but as soon as they are rigid enough to transfer, use a thin spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Always cool the baking sheets fully between cookie batches. You don’t want to scoop cookies onto a still warm or hot pan because it will cause the bottom of the cookies to melt and spread out, they’ll bake and brown unevenly, and will likely be too thin.
Oven temperature matters greatly. Use an oven thermometer or two and get to know your oven. Most ovens have hot/cold spots. Rotate baking sheets halfway through baking to ensure even baking.
Cookies bake most evenly in the middle of the oven. Only bake one batch of cookies at a time. If you have the space to bake two, adjust the oven racks to separate the oven in thirds with at least 2 inches of space from the edges of the cookie sheets to the oven walls. Move baking sheets from top to bottom as well as rotating them halfway through baking.
Allow cookies to cool completely before storing or freezing them.