10 Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading

Nobody likes an overspread cookie. They are often burnt on the bottom and thin throughout. This leaves you with nothing more than an enjoyable version of a cookie crisp. Here are some tips to prevent cookies from spreading that are easy to implement and often require minor adjustments.

1. Chill the cookie dough.

The colder the dough, the less the cookies will over-spread into greasy puddles. After you’ve made the dough and let it rest for at least an hour, cut out your cookie shapes and place them in the fridge for at least another hour before baking. This method produces thicker, sturdier, and more solid cookies.

2. Use a Baking Paper

Cover your baking pan with baking paper rather than greasing your pan with any type of oil/fat. When cookies are placed on a greasy surface, they seem to spread/slide more. If you are looking to buy baking paper online, you should definitely check out the Asahi Kasei

. It is silicone-coated on both sides, making it a high-quality non stick baking sheet that allows you to bake without mess. This non stick baking sheet allows for even baking and keeps your cookies from spreading.

3. Cool the baking pans

Never place cookie dough on hot baking pans. Your baking pans should always be at room temperature. Placing dough on a too-warm baking pan will warm up the dough before it even hits the oven, resulting in spreading.

4. Correctly measure the flour 

Cookies spread because of the melting fat in the cookie dough during baking. If there isn’t enough flour to hold that melted fat, the cookies will over-spread. Spoon and level your flour, or better yet, weigh it. If your cookies continue to spread, add an additional 2 tablespoons of flour to the cookie dough.

5. Use Sugar and Fats only in the required quantity

Measuring is key in baking. Excess sugar or fat in your cookie will cause it to spread while baking. If your first batch of cookies spreads, try adding a few tablespoons of flour to the remaining dough to help thicken it.

6. Make tall doughs

Instead of rolling your cookie dough into a perfectly round shape, roll them into a tall ball-like structure. Taller balls of cookie dough ensure thicker cookies.

7. Avoid too warm or too cold butter

When the butter is too warm, your cookies won’t hold their shape well as it becomes too soft, making your cookies spread all over the baking sheets/mats. On the other hand, if the butter is too cold, it will result in strange consistencies as the butter fails to properly bind with the sugar in your dough.

8. Set your oven at the right temperature 

Check to make sure your oven really is at the right temperature by using an oven-safe thermometer. If your oven isn’t hot enough, the cookies don’t ‘set’ quick enough, and the cookies have more time to spread. Furthermore, when the temperature in your oven is too high, the butter (or other fat) in the cookies melts too quickly, causing them to spread.

9. Do not over-whip the butter and sugar 

Cream the butter and sugar only for as long as necessary, usually about 1-2 minutes. Overmixing the butter and sugar will result in an excessive amount of air being incorporated. Too much air in the dough will cause the cookies to rise more than they should and then collapse while baking. The best method is to only mix them until the ingredients are combined.

10. The Test Cookie

If you’re worried about your cookies spreading, don’t be afraid to do a test cookie. Just bake one at first. This helps to ensure that your cookies will turn out just the way you want them.

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