Published: 5-12-2010, 06:55

Tips for making drop cookies

Drop cookies are the easiest of the bunch. You just drop the dough by spoonfuls into mounds on the cookie sheet. For the first few “drops,” use the recommended spoon size to get a feel for the correct amount. After that, just eyeball it. In some recipes the mounds are flattened to a certain height or diameter to make the cookies slightly thinner and more uniform. (This is particularly useful if they’re going to be glazed.) Measure the first few with a ruler to know how thick or wide they should be.
Actually, the word drop is a bit of a misnomer because in most cases the dough doesn’t just drop from the spoon. It needs a little help. Use a finger of your free hand to push the dough off the spoon or use another spoon to do it.
Drop-cookie dough is generally soft—too soft or sticky to roll out, for example—which causes it to spread during baking. The most extreme example of this is the Lace Cookie. Space the cookies as suggested in each recipe to give them room to grow.
If you want to produce more uniformly round cookies, most drop doughs can be rolled into balls, but you’ll need to chill the dough first to firm it up.