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This is the best way to recover your Drop cookies

Image for article titled This is the best way to recover your cookies

Photo: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

All cookies are beautiful as they are. Being one of my three favorite things, I would almost never turn down a cookie, and certainly not because of how it looks. But there’s a trend towards cookie beautification, and it has to do with making sure your cookies have perfectly shredded and crinkled tops. Turns out there’s a ‘better’ way to get your cookies to achieve this look.

Typically, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and often sugar cookies are dropped cookies. A drop cookie is any cookie that you don’t have to cut out or slice—you “drop” the dough onto the baking sheet in small mounds. You can also roll the portioned dough in your hands to form balls of dough before baking, ensuring perfectly smooth, circular cookies. I was raised believing the chocolate chip cookies had to look ragged and they were perfect in their irregularity. Most likely, my parents gave me a metaphor I could relate to in order to practice self-love, and ever since then I’ve always preferred picking up lumpy cookies over smooth cookies. Apparently I’m in fashion now.

My go-to method for getting wavy, jagged cookies was simple – scoop up the cookie dough with two forks, or as I like to call it, fork your dough. Take two forks and knead the dough a little. Use the tines of both forks to scoop as much dough as you want into one packet. Lift and place the stirred mound on the baking sheet. The dough is airy and textured by the teeth, and it’s a one-step motion, making it reliable and fast.

Image for article titled This is the best way to recover your cookies

Photo: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

I wanted to see how my method compared to other possible cookie-fall of lovers dough on a baking sheet. I have tested several different pre-cooked shaping methods. From a store-bought cookie dough log: sliced, sliced ​​and split (more on splitting later), rolled and split, and rolled. I also wanted to replicate cookie dough from a bowl, but didn’t want to compromise the experience with a different dough, so I put the other half of the same log of store-bought dough in a bowl and crushed it into a shapeless mound of cookie dough. From the bowl: forked, spooned, rolled and split, and rolled. I repeated the “roll and split” methods (on the second tray I wrote “roll and break” but it’s the same method), and the “rolled” methods on each leaf tray mainly to see side-by-side comparisons with the other four.

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Image for article titled This is the best way to recover your cookies

Photo: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Image for article titled This is the best way to recover your cookies

Photo: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

The “split” method I mentioned above is a shaping technique I had come across online that involves rolling the dough into a ball, tearing the ball in half, pressing the two halves together, with the torn sides, next to each other, then placing the dough, torn side up, on a cookie sheet. This is supposed to be the best way to get the much sought after, shredded and crumpled cookies.

I found that the “sliced ​​and split”, from a log, yielded one of the two more cavernous cookies. “Forked”, from a bowl, produced the other sharpest cookie. “Roll and Split” produced a wavy cookie and an almost smooth cookie on the other baking sheet. I found the inconsistency surprising, especially since I took care of both cookies to make sure I didn’t crush the cookies while ripping the ball in half. This was tricky because cookie dough can get quite soft after rolling in your warm hands for a few seconds. “Sliced ​​only” came with the next most wavy, followed by “spoon”, bowl, and the most evenly smooth cookies, log and bowl, were “rolled”. (No surprises there.)

My cookie-A shaping experiment has shown that there are three ways to get an appetizing, steep cookie, but only one is the fastest, easiest, and easiest. Although “sliced ​​and split” and “rolled and split” were crumpled-top contenders, if you have a bowl of cookie dough and want a spiky cookie over and over again, you have to fork it out. The bifurcation method is consistent and quick compared to the “roll and split” method, which takes two more steps. That’s extra time spent in these two areas, and depending on the heat of the dough, you could end up with very inconsistent textures on your cookies. (Note that this experiment is for small-lots, homemade cookies. High-volume production bakeries work with huge batches and will bake their cookies in different ways for speed and consistency.)

Image for article titled This is the best way to recover your cookies

Photo: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Image for article titled This is the best way to recover your cookies

Photo: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

If you happen to be working from a log of store-bought cookie dough, the “slice and divide” method is great, and I’d say as quick as bifurcating it. The dough doesn’t spend time heating up in your hands, or being compressed by the rolling step, allowing the material to stay airy and crack more irregularly. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can always pour the batter into a bowl and go with forks at any time.

While this discovery may have rocked your world, know that these are all ways to get beautiful drop-cookies. I even found a new appreciation for rolled cookies because they were the only ones that produced a nicely cracked surface. Depending on the recipe used and other factors, thicker or flatter cookies may result.