Ok... clearly I need some help. I've been doing cakes for a while, and I think I've got that down. Cookies are a new venture... one that's not doing so well. I've been reading around the forum and have some great tips but I think I'm specifically doing something wrong. I preheat my oven, I roll my cookies out onto parchment so I don't have to lift them and then bake them. When I take them out, they are giant cookie blobs of doom! They don't maintain their shape at all, they spread out like my butt at Thanksgiving! Should I put the cookies back in the fridge after rolling and cutting? Help!
Some sugar cookie recipes are made for "drops" not for cutting--not sure if that might be your issue? One Xmas I tried to make cut cookies from a drop recipe and they were awful...we ended up with some interesting shapes and made the best of it. Our gingerbread man looked like the Michelin man. There are several recipes on here that try to minimize spreading (lots use the No Fail Sugar Cookie recipe).
My basic technique is to make the dough, roll appropriate thickness onto parchment. If I have a really big batch of dough, sometimes the first one I roll is ready by the time I'm done with the last parchment piece. If not, I let them sit in the fridge for a few hours (or even overnight) then, roll out and bake. Also, at home, if my oven is out of space (like, I have a tray of cookies but no oven space to put them into) I stick it into the freezer, hoping that will help as well. Good luck!
They don't maintain their shape at all, they spread out like my butt at Thanksgiving!
You obviously have a gift for turning a phrase! It made my day! As for the problem...I can't really offer much help without knowing what recipe you're using. The one I use is very similar to the NFSC recipe on this site. I mix it up, roll it out, and bake right away. No chilling of the dough or of the cut-outs before popping them into the oven. And the chocolate version has virtually no spread whatsoever! Here's my recipe:
1 cup butter (I always use butter, not margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy (about 3 minutes on medium speed in a counter mixer). Add the egg and vanilla and mix. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture by thirds, mixing only until just combined. Lay a sheet of waxed paper on your work surface and lightly dust with flour. Lay a disk of the dough on the surface and lightly dust with flour. Roll to 1/4" thickness and cut out your shapes. Place the cut-outs on an ungreased cookie sheet (or one covered with parchment paper) and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges just begin to lightly brown. (The size of the cut-out will determine the baking time.)
For chocolate roll-out cookies:
Add 3 oz. of premelted, unsweetened baking chocolate when you add the egg and vanilla. For additional chocolate, fold in 1 cup of mini-chocolate chips once the flour has been added.
Thanks guys! Gemini- I will try your recipe. What I ended up doing was going back and using the cutter on the already baked cookies to get the shape back. It worked really well actually, but there was just a lot of waste... what to do with those scraps... I think the problem yesterday was that I used one of those logs o' dough, although it has happened to me when I've used a homemade recipe as well. We'll see how the new batch turns out!
LOL Yes it made my day as well! My butt tends to spread year round though......
Those grocery store logs of dough spread a LOT. I think they're useless, except for sliced hunk cookies. If your homemade dough spreads too much, try reducing the amount of the leavening agent in the recipe.
Ok, so I just made a new batch of the cookies and they turned out awesome! They're the One Cute Onesie cookies in my photos. Thanks for all your help!!!!