Most cut out sugar cookie recipes call for room temp butter (and usually eggs too). However I've come across a few recently that suggest using cold ingredients, particularly butter, since unsalted supposedly behaves differently when warm (which can cause spreading). The very first batch I ever made spread the least, and I used cold eggs and cool butter. However, ever since I started using a recipe that called for room temp ingredients, my cookies have been slightly spreading (nothing major, but still enough that the fondant going on top doesn't perfectly match.)
I like the flavour of my cookies, so I'm not ready to ditch my recipe yet, but I just wondered if the temp of the ingredients actually makes much of a difference. What do you all use? Room temp? Straight from the fridge? Cool?
cold is better -- cut in cubes -- the planetary action of most of our mixers now takes care of the rest
I find that cool, out of the fridge for about 10 or 15 minutes, butter works best for cookies. Absolutely, room temp will cause spreading and not just for sugar cookies. I usually use the eggs straight from the refrigerator for cookies.
in fact I re-freeze my loaded cookie sheets before I bake them
well I say re-freeze because I make the dough and roll it out on the same day -- I take big portions of dough and roll them the thickness I want and layer them between the parchment I rolled them out on -- place in plastic tubs with nice lids and freeze those to portion out the work load -- then whenever I want I cut them out -- gotta let them un-thaw a tad -- and either re-freeze or bake right away --
mmm I been craving sugar cookies too
Thanks guys! I'm going to try cool butter and cold eggs next time (I mix by hand (wooden spoon) so I need that butter a little less firm). I wasn't happy with the slight spreading the last few times.
Not sure I can even look at another sugar cookie for a while K8memphis. I just made a batch for a baby shower and I had heaps of leftovers... I reckon I ate at least 10 of them
enjoy it while you can!!
Haha, yes! I've got two lots to make over the next two weeks, so I'll be swimming in them again soon!
I always mix and roll mine out at little cooler than room temp. It’s too hard for me to roll out cold cookie dough. After cutting out I put the cookies on the cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes so they are cold going into the oven. That seems to help with the spreading.
Yes, I do that too momg9 with rolling the dough and refrigerating/freezing the cut outs. I've just noticed many cookie recipes call for ingredients to be at room temperature when preparing the dough. The one time I used ingredients from the fridge, I got perfect non-spreading cookies. Ever since, I've been following my recipe to a tee, abiding by the room temp ingredient specification, and my cookies have been spreading slightly. So I'm going to experiment with my next batch. I guess sometimes you have to be a "rebel" and chuck the recipe rules out the window, haha!!
Also, I've noticed the bigger my cookies are, the more they spread. The smaller ones seem to be almost perfect. So I'm wondering if maybe it has something to do with the larger cookies giving off more heat, and/or perhaps there being less room between cookies for the bigger ones?
I now understand why they call baking a "science". There are so many different components to get just right.