Does It Really Matter If Your Cookies Are Evenly Sized When Baking?

Making cookies at home is as easy — or as complicated — as you make it. No matter what kind of dough you choose, perfecting your next batch of cookies is all about the technique. Homemade dough isn't worth the effort only for your brown butter chocolate chip cookies to burn in the oven; And even the cheapest store-bought dough can taste gourmet when properly baked.

To help your dough reach its full potential, you should be aware there is a laundry list of common cookie-baking mistakes you could easily make: from improperly measuring ingredients to forgetting to chill the dough before baking to over (or under) mixing. Once you overcome the hurdle of making — or procuring — cookie dough, you may think you're in the clear, but then your recipe calls for you to roll out or measure your dough into evenly sized pieces. But is this step actually important to the quality of your cookies or is is just a matter of aesthetics? 

Keep cookies the same size so they bake evenly

Cookie size may seem arbitrary, especially when you're making a batch for your eyes only. But keeping your cookies consistent isn't about uniformity in appearance, rather, it's all about that bake.

Think of it this way: cookies of different sizes require different baking times. If you put jumbo pieces of cookie dough beside bite-sized ones, the smaller ones will cook faster (via Kitchn). For the most impatient of bakers, such speed could seem like good news — it means you'll have cookies sooner! But if you take out the tray when the small cookies are ready, the larger ones won't be done quite yet; You'll have golden edges with raw centers. Meanwhile, if you opt to leave the baking tray in the oven, the larger cookies will continue baking to perfection, while the smaller ones will likely burn.

To prevent this from happening, Quaker Oats recommends shaping cookie dough with the same utensil, whether it's an ice cream scoop, teaspoon, or tablespoon. Eyeballing sizes can only be so precise, so it's best to forgo the hand-rolling for a more calculated approach to ensure your cookies not only look great but are perfectly — and evenly — baked as well.