Why You Should Always Chill Sugar Cookie Dough Overnight

Cookies are a favorite dessert for many. With so many types, from chocolate chip to oatmeal raisin, gingersnaps to peanut butter, and more, it's easy to find a flavor that resonates with you. Sugar cookies are an easy-to-make crowd favorite, and date back to 18th-century Pennsylvania, per Cheryl's Cookies. In fact, sugar cookies are the official cookie of Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

Whether you're a seasoned baker or only break out your stand mixer for holidays or special occasions, almost everyone has baked a batch of cookies at some point,  especially simpler recipes like the ever-versatile sugar cookie. The sweet treat is great for cutting into fun shapes and decorating with icing. That being said, baking is a very technical, process-oriented task, and there are lots of variables that can become difficult to keep track of. One way to solve a lot of issues with sugar cookies is to refrigerate your dough before baking.

Prevent cookies from spreading

Few things are more heartbreaking than pulling a tray of sugar cookies out of the oven and seeing that they've spread and melted down into unsightly blobs. This is why you should consider refrigerating your sugar cookie dough prior to baking.

According to Hy-Vee, cookies will spread when the butter or fat melts faster than the cookie bakes. To prevent this, you can use cooler butter, or simply pop your sugar cookie dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to baking, which hardens the fat. However, you can also make your sugar cookie dough a whole day in advance, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and cool it in your fridge overnight, advises Sally's Baking Addiction. The longer it's in the fridge, the colder the dough will be, which means it's less likely to melt or spread. If your dough is too hard to roll out, let it rest for roughly 10 minutes before rolling or cutting into shapes.