The Six Major Kinds of Cookies

Cookies are generally easy to make and one of the first things a beginning baker makes. There are only six major types of cookies, each with their own particular methods. Below, I have listed all six types (plus a seventh) and some characteristics and tips to help you make each one.

Molded Cookies

Molded cookies are usually round in shape and are formed by rolling the dough with your hands. They may be pressed flat with a fork like peanut butter cookies. Keep your fingers or utensils lightly dusted with flour or sugar to keep the dough from sticking.

Dropped Cookies

Dropped cookies are usually the easiest kind of cookie to make. Dropped cookies are made by dropping soft dough by the teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet. Make sure you leave sufficient room between cookies for spreading. Usually 2 inches is a good rule of thumb unless your recipe specifies otherwise. If uniform size is important you may wish to use a cookie scoop.

Rolled Cookies

The dough for rolled cookies, or cut out cookies, is rather stiff. It is rolled into a sheet onto a lightly floured board and then cut into shapes with a knife or cookie cutters. Work with only a portion of the dough at a time. Use as little flour as possible to keep your cookies from getting tough. Rolling out thinner will produce a crisper cookie and thicker will make a softer and chewier cookie.

Pressed Cookies

A cookie press is used to make pressed cookies like spritz cookies. The dough should be soft enough to be put through a cookie press but must be stiff enough to hold a shape. If the dough is too soft, refrigerate for awhile. If the dough is too stiff, add an egg yolk and try again.

Refrigerator Cookies

Also known as sliced cookies, these cookies are made by rolling the dough into a thick bar. The dough is then chilled in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Make sure you wrap the rolls good so they won’t absorb other odors from your refrigerator. Dough may be kept up to a week like this.  After chilling, the dough is thinly sliced with a sharp knife and then baked.

Bar Cookies

Bars or squares are more like cakes and are a softer type of cookie. They may be crisp or chewy. They may also be layered or filled. Brownies are one good example of bar cookie. They are baked in a baking pan with sides. Make sure you use the proper size pan or your bars may not turn out right. When done these cake-type cookies are cut into squares. Most bars will cut better if allowed to cool first.

No Bake Cookies

These cookies don’t require the use of an oven. They are technically not a type of cookie. They are usually very rich and more like a candy. No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are a good example. These are best made like candy with a double boiler and a candy thermometer.

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