Basic Cookie Types: Drop, Rolled, Molded, Pressed
Part of the fun of making cookies is trying out a new cookie recipe. Experimenting with different cookie types can also add variety to the joy of making cookies. Some basic cookie types are drop, molded, pressed and rolled cookies. These cookie types differ in the amount of preparation required, the consistency of the dough, and the method of forming the dough into a cookie. Drop cookies are the easiest to make — think the classic chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie.
Drop cookies have a relatively soft batter that is dropped by the spoonful onto a baking sheet. When making drop cookies, use a tablespoon to put the dough on the baking sheet, and space the dough about two inches apart to allow the cookies to spread and flatten as they bake. Molded cookies are made using stiffer dough than drop cookies. The dough is molded by hand into balls or shapes like wreaths, crescents or canes. Sometimes the formed balls are flattened by hand, or with the bottom of a glass, to produce cookies. Peanut butter cookies are considered molded cookies.
Pressed cookies are made from soft dough that is then pushed out of a cookie press or pastry tube into various shapes. Butter Spritz cookies are pressed cookies. Some tips to keep in mind when making cookies with a cookie press are to test the dough for consistency before adding all the flour specified in the recipe. To do this, put a small amount in the cookie press and squeeze it out. The dough should be pliable, not crumbly. Add one egg yolk if the dough is too stiff, and one to two tablespoons of flour if the dough is too soft. Dough should be chilled only when specified in the recipe; otherwise, use at room temperature. Be sure the cookie sheet is cool and do not force the press down heavily on the sheet or raise it before enough dough has been turned out to form the cookie. It is sometimes necessary to wait a moment to allow the dough to adhere to the sheet before lifting the press.
Sugar cookies and gingerbread men are examples of rolled cookies. They take some preparation, but they are especially fun to make because they beg to be decorated. Rolled cookies are made with stiff, sometimes chilled, dough that is rolled out thin with a rolling pin. Roll lightly and evenly to ensure that cookies bake evenly. (The thinner you roll, the crisper the cookies.) The dough is then cut into shapes by using a knife, pastry wheel or cookie cutter.
Whatever the cookie, a new recipe is bound to please the cookie eaters of your household.