Cookie Baking Tips for Beginners: For Perfect Cookies Every Time!

It’s cookie season! Read through these cookie baking tips for beginners if you are new to the art of baking. When I was young, I was lucky enough to have a mom who loved to bake.  When I was about 6 or 7, I would go to school with my homemade lunch and kids would pay me a quarter just for me to give them homemade cookies from my mom.  It was quite a nice little side business for a while!  I love making cookies from scratch and am trying to instill that love of baking in my own kids.

Cookie Baking Tips for Beginners

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Cookie Baking Tips for Beginners

I know there are a lot of people who were not raised with Betty Crocker for a mom.  If you don’t learn from a mom, where do you learn to make homemade cookies?  The internet, of course!  I decided to share a few cookie baking tips for beginners in case a few of you need a bit of direction before getting started.

Making homemade cookies really isn’t that hard.  Be prepared and have the right supplies on hand and you are off to a good start.  Do not get sidetracked or forget to set the timer or you will end up with burnt and crispy cookies that no one will enjoy!  Follow these other cookie baking tips for beginners and your cookies will be a huge success!

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Make sure everything is at room temperature:  

Unless the recipes specifically says “cold butter”, you need to plan ahead and set things on the counter an hour or two before you start cooking.  This is honestly one of the most important cookie baking tips for beginners because cold butter does NOT ‘cream’ well and you will be left very displeased with your resulting cookies!

Read the recipe through before you get started:

Check your supply of ingredients and watch for any unusual steps. If the dough has to chill for 12 hours, you should know this before you start! Once you have read through the recipe, then you can start baking.  These baking tips for beginners won’t help a bit if you are in a hurry or don’t have the right ingredients.

Cookie baking tips for beginners

Do not attempt to roll out the entire batch of dough:

If you are planning on making a cookie that needs to be rolled out and cut out on a cutting board, start with small batches of dough.  Make up the whole batch and break off smaller chunks to roll out.  You will have a much easier time of things.  Make sure you use plenty of flour to dust the cutting board, cookie cutters, and rolling pins.  The cookies will stick if you don’t and you will be left with quite a mess! I find that easy bar cookies are fun to make and incredibly tasty with no rolling required.

How to Dye Frosting Green Naturally

Take care when frosting cookies:

Frosting things isn’t easy, but it gives a nice look to your sugar cookies.  Before frosting cookies, they must be completely cool to the touch.  If you go to frost anything that is even slightly warm, you will end up with crumbs in the frosting and a slightly melty look to the frosting.  Let cookies cool several hours after removing them from the oven.  You can make your own homemade frosting and dye it with natural food colors or learn how to dye frosting naturally with kale juice!  Sounds horrible?  It makes a pretty green color and you cannot taste the kale at all!

Christmas cookies Baking tips for Beginners

Choose your baking sheets wisely:

Cheap baking sheets are never a good idea.  Bake cookies on shiny, heavy aluminum baking sheets.  Dark sheets absorb heat, causing cookies to burn.  You can use a silicone baking mat to help prevent sticking of cookies to the pan,  but it may alter how they spread a bit.  If you plan on using a darker cookie sheet, just keep an eye on the cookies and set the timer for a minute or two less than the suggested time.  If they are already browning, they are probably done.

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Measure accurately and follow directions:

Baking isn’t really like cooking dinner.  Baking is a little bit of science and measurements matter.  Just throwing in a handful of something instead of 1/4 cup could really throw off your entire recipe. Measure carefully.  Use pyrex glass measuring cups for liquid and a standard stainless steel measuring cups for dry ingredients. Do not confuse the two or your ingredients will be off.

Baking tips for Beginners

Choose your grease carefully:

Be careful what you grease cookie sheets with.  Don’t use butter on them or it will burn. You can use a non-stick spray but I am not generally a fan.  I find that it creates a sticky residue on the pan.  A lot of sites say to use solid vegetable shortening, but I have been using coconut oil lately and it seems to be working fine.  Spread it on the pan with a paper towel just like shortening.  Use natural parchment paper for cookies that are very delicate or incredibly sticky. Recycle old cookie sheets and invest in some new ones so your cookies come out perfect!

How to store cookies and baking tips for beginners

Cool before storing:

Do not put warm cookies in a container with a lid.  You will end up with soggy cookies!  Cool cookies completely before storing them in airtight containers.

Select quality ingredients:

You will get OUT of your cookies exactly what you put IN.  Don’t skimp on ingredients.  Use real organic butter, high-quality chocolate, pure maple syrup, and farm fresh eggs.  Be very picky about your cookie ingredients!  While some ingredients can be bought cheaply, there are certain ingredients where quality really does make a huge difference.

Christmas cookie baking tips for beginners

Know your flour:  

Most cookie recipes call for all-purpose flour. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Do not sift the flour unless the recipe specifically says to do so.  Remember, you cannot substitute whole wheat for all-purpose in a cookie recipe.  You may be able to substitute a small amount, but it will definitely change the taste of the cookie a bit.

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Don’t expect your cookies to look like Christmas cookies on Pinterest:

The problem with food bloggers is that they only show you the PERFECT cookies.  You don’t see the other 300 that were burnt, broken, or defective looking.  No matter how many cookie baking tips for beginners you read, your cookies are not going to be perfect.  Remember, half the fun is in the process, not the final product.  Just enjoy your holiday baking and don’t worry about perfection! Start with something easy like homemade chocolate crinkles and don’t expect your cookies to look like they should be in a magazine.

Have any cookie baking tips for beginners to share?  Leave a comment!

Want an easy cookie to get started with?  Try these White Chocolate Dipped Chewy Molasses Cookies

White Chocolate Dipped Chewy Molasses Cookies


About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

Comments

  1. Great tips, especially having ingredients at room temperature. I have found my cookies turn out so much better if I remember to take the butter out of the frig a few hours before I start.
  2. Amber Edwards says:
    My problem is being impatient to frost the cookies and not waiting until they are completely cool. They still taste ok, but definitely don't look pretty. lol. I'm working on my patience.
  3. I agree with all of these, the best tip for me is having the right baking sheet… My cookies have come out so much better since I started using a new cookie sheet, with a better non-stick surface.

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