10 Easy Tricks You Can Do to Make Your Cookies Look Professional

Whether crunchy or chewy, there are ways to make that cookie taste just right!

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Bowl with cubes of butter on wooden background; Shutterstock ID 751443889; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Use butter, stick margarine (with at least 80% oil) or shortening.

Whipped, tub, soft, liquid or reduced-fat products contain air and water and will produce flat, tough, under-browned cookies.

Try this tip with the 40+ cookie recipes that deserve a place in your collection.

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Mixing egg, banana, cake flour in bowl with motor mixer, baking banana cake
Shutterstock / Chalermsak

Avoid overmixing the dough.

If it’s handled too much, the cookies will be tough. On that note, here’s how to avoid flat, pancake-thin cookies.

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Cookies in a Jiffy
Taste of Home

Use heavy-gauge dull aluminum baking sheets

With one or two low sides. When a recipe calls for greased baking sheets, use shortening or nonstick cooking spray. Dark finishes may cause the cookies to become overly browned. Here’s the best sheet pan for baking cookies, according to our Test Kitchen.

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Woman cooking in the kitchen, puts cakes in the oven; Shutterstock ID 580824481
Shutterstock / EvgenyZinoviev

Preheat the oven

For 10 to 15 minutes. Here’s why this step is essential.

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chocolate chip coconut cookies dough
Shutterstock / SewCream

For even baking

Make cookies the same size and thickness. Find our favorite cookie scoop.

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Close up on rows of chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
Shutterstock / VDB Photos

Place cookie dough 2 to 3 in. apart

Unless the recipe states otherwise,¬†place cookie dough 2 to 3 in. apart¬†on a cool baking sheet. Don’t make these 12 mistakes when baking your next batch of cookies.

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Fresh chocolate chip cookies being baked in an oven
SamaraHeisz5/Shutterstock

Leave at least 2 in. around the baking sheet and the oven walls

For good heat circulation. For best results, bake only one sheet of cookies at a time. If you need to bake two sheets at once, switch the position of the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. This is the best position for your oven rack when baking cookies.

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Hands open the oven in the kitchen
Shutterstock / Mangpink

Check the cookies when the minimum baking time has been reached

Bake longer if needed. Follow doneness tests given in individual recipes. There’s no need to keep an eye on the clock with these cute kitchen timers.

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Hot freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are cooling on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Shutterstock / LeeAnn White

Let cookies cool for 1 minute

Unless otherwise directed, let cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely before storing.

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Chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a baking sheet
Shutterstock / VDB Photos

Let baking sheets cool

Let baking sheets cool before placing the next batch of cookies dough on them. Otherwise, the heat from the baking sheet will soften the dough causing it to spread.