Rolling into a ball
After scooping the dough you need to roll it between your hands to finish rounding it.
Using a cookie scoop however makes portions of balls to start with.
Some cookies, like snickerdoodles, are shaped into balls before being rolled in sugar to coat them evenly.
Either method will work well.
Before dropping dough for making drop cookies make sure it’s slightly firm. If it’s too soft and sticky then briefly chill in the refrigerator. About 10 minutes should do it.
An ice cream scoop works well for forming drop cookies. The dough balls will be uniform when you do. Be sure to use the scoop size matches the size of the dough ball the recipe call for. If the size isn’t indicated use the default of two tablespoons.
To ensure cookies remain separate and nicely shaped, follow the guideline given in the recipe for spacing the dough on the baking sheet.
You can freeze unbaked cookie dough balls on baking sheets. Transfer them to resealable freezer bags or airtight containers for up to one month. There’s no need to defrost. Just bake as directed in the recipe, adding a couple minutes to the baking time.
Use a small ice cream scoop to make sure that each portion is the same size.
This is especially important when baking sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies and snickerdoodle cookies.
Warm palms can cause butter rich dough to melt. Keep a bowl of ice water nearby. Dip your hands into the water. Dry them and continue shaping the dough.
These shaped cookie balls can also be frozen. Place them on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen and then transfer to a resealable bag. To make cookies, thaw, then shape, and bake according to recipe instructions.
Cut Out Cookies
Start by forming the dough into a rough log shape on a sheet of parchment paper. Place the dough about 1/3 way down the paper and fold the parchment paper over the dough. Shape with your hands to mold the wrapped dough into a narrow cylinder about the 3” in circumference.
Wrap rolled dough tightly in plastic to maintain its shape as it chills. Refrigerate at least three hours, until very firm. Store in the refrigerator or freezer, if desired.
To prevent cookies from getting misshapen as they warm, rotate the dough as you cut off slices for cookies.
Sugar cookie dough that is rolled between two sheets of parchment paper won’t stick to the work surface or rolling pin and is easy to transport back and forth from the refrigerator or freezer to become chilled again.
To remove the dough from the parchment paper, dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting. When moving shapes, pull scraps away so you can maneuver the spatula without damaging edges.