Measure all ingredients carefully and use the appropriate type of measuring cups. For dry ingredients, use nested cups with a flat top edge so you can level them off with a knife. For wet ingredients, use a glass measuring cup with a spout, set the filled cup on a flat surface, and bend down to the cup level to read the measurement line.

Prepare the cookie sheets. Grease the cookie sheet only if the recipe calls for it. Use butter or solid vegetable shortening, but don’t grease with cooking oil because it will bake on to form a hard-to-remove coating. Grease sparingly… too much grease will cause the cookies to spread too much. A better alternative… use parchment paper.

Make each cookie about the same size and thickness so they will bake evenly. To make drop cookies all the same size, fill a spoon or a small ice cream scoop.

Leave space between each cookie on the cookie sheet. I like to bake twelve cookies on a sheet, four down, three across, evenly spaced.

Let the cookie sheets cool after baking. It is easier to work with two or three cookie sheets, but if you have only one, let it get cool before you put more unbaked cookies on it… otherwise the heat still left in the pan will cause the cookie dough to spread.

Make sure your oven temperature is accurate. Purchase an inexpensive oven thermometer and check your oven, especially if you are using the recommended baking temperatures and your cookies are taking more or less time than the stated baking time.

Always bake cookies on the middle rack of your oven, or rotate two pans from the top to the bottom racks.

Bake cookies for the correct amount of time. Just before the stated recipe baking time is up, check the cookies for doneness by gently touching the top of one cookie with your finger. If you leave an indentation, the cookie needs to bake longer. If the cookie feels firm and no impression is left, the cookie is done.

When the cookies have finished baking, use a wide metal spatula to remove them from the cookie sheet. Do this immediately and the cookies will not stick. Place the cookies on a wire rack for cooling.

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This is very helpful. My cookies spread alot and I never knew it could be because I’m overgreasing the cookie pan. I will try greasing less and see if that helps. Thankyou for the wonderful advise.


Great tips! Timely too with Christmas baking getting so close. Luv your blog BTW. Thanx!


thanks alot the will help with my science fair project


Parchment paper really is the best alternative. I am never without it. I use those kind of cookie sheets that are layered and they can’t be washed if you want them to last. Mine have lasted about 25 years so far and are like new. When the cookies are done I simply slide the batch, paper and all, on to the kitchen counter and then use the spatula to put them on my wire racks that my mother always used. I bake hundreds of cookies at Christmas time so when I open a new roll of parchment paper I cut all the pieces to fit my cookie sheets beforehand and re-roll it back up. Saves time when you have an assembly line of cookies to bake.
I have started to prepare cookie dough this week for the holidays. Just make it up in batches and freeze it.
Cookies? Yum!
This blog? Priceless! Thank you Shirley! I think of you often.