A Guide to Cookie Scoops

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Christmas cookie season is nearly upon us. Is your kitchen ready?

It's possible to bake cookies with nothing more than a sheet pan, a bowl, and a tablespoon, I suppose, but I wouldn't recommend it. A few specialized tools will make your frenzied weeks of baking a great deal more manageable and enjoyable.

First up is the cookie scoop. Some people insist on calling them "ice cream scoops" still, but I've honestly never seen anyone use one of these on a frozen dessert. No, these mini-dishers are made for raw dough, turning out perfect little mounds that bake up into uniform cookies.

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You can find cookie scoops at kitchen and craft stores, as well as in the kitchenware sections of many big-box retailers. Some, like mine, have wide handles you squeeze to push out dough, while others have side levers you press. Both work, and both are difficult to get perfectly clean. Go with what moves you.

Cookie scoops generally available in three sizes:

Small "teaspoon" scoops: These babies hold just about two teaspoons of dough, perfect for petite cookies. In the traditional system of scoop measurement, these would be size #100, as 100 level scoops with one of these dishers would empty a one-quart container. I do not own a small scoop myself, as I don't often seem to make recipes that call for a teaspoon of dough per cookie. Someday.

Medium "tablespoon" scoops: These dishers are my cookie-baking workhorses. Most drop cookie recipes call for one tablespoon of dough per cookie, and a medium scoop drops about one and a half tablespoons. That's OK - as King Arthur Flour's web site states, a generous tablespoon is what most cookie recipes expect people to measure out using the old-school two-spoons method anyway. By the way, a medium scoop is size #40.

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Large "bake sale" scoops: I find there's some variation here among manufacturers. Oxo offers a #20 scoop as its large size, which is the size of my Farberware scoop as well. The #20 holds about three tablespoons of dough, making cookies 3½-inches wide. King Arthur Flour sells Zeroll "jumbo" scoops that it says hold 3 tablespoons of dough but are size #30 (about 2 tablespoons). Norpro's scoop is the same. Whatever size you end up with, you'll make whopping big cookies you'll have to bake longer than the original tablespoon-scoop recipe calls for, checking regularly for signs of doneness.

Check out these cookie scoops if you're in the market. Happy scooping!

Great choices (all important varieties available):

Oxo Good Grips Cookie Scoop

Zeroll Universal Color-coded EZ Disher

Alternative choices:

Martha Stewart Collection Small Cookie Scoop

Norpro 35 mm Scoop Stainless Steel

1 comment:

bakers said...

Thanks for the mention. We use these scoops for EVERYTHING! Cookie dough, icing, filling, and yes, even ice cream.

Happy Baking!
MaryJane @ King Arthur Flour