Why You Shouldn't Put Cookies Too Close Together On The Baking Sheet

No matter how experienced you are in the kitchen, you have to agree: cookies are the quintessential baked good. Amateur chefs and experienced bakers alike can easily whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, which are as quick to pop in the oven as they are to devour.

Cookies are also incredibly versatile, with variations ranging from the gingersnap to the snickerdoodle to the chocoholic's beloved double chocolate chunk, notes COOKIE ... take a bite! If selecting a recipe isn't enough of a personal endeavor, you can switch things up even further by incorporating a bit of salt. Salt will enhance the sweetness of any batch.

Yet whether you prefer the convenience of store-bought dough or the creativity of unique cookie recipes, it's undeniably satisfying to watch your dough transform into a delicious baked treat. To truly perfect your cookie's shape, it's crucial to give your dough room to expand. Moreover, failing to give your cookies space to bake may be the only mistake worse than forgetting to chill your dough ahead of time.

Cookies expand

While it may seem most efficient to cram as many cookies as possible onto a baking tray, there's a reason recipes often specify spacing out your dough. According to Kitchn, the uncooked cookie dough should be placed roughly two inches apart on a baking tray.

Food52 similarly cites placing cookies too closely together as a major baking faux pas. You want hot air to circulate around your cookies on all sides, so your cookies will bake evenly. Serious Eats reccomends approximately eight balls — each amounting to roughly three tablespoons' worth of dough per baking sheet.

If you can't fit all your dough on one tray, bake your cookies in stages. There's no need to get impatient; cookies typically don't require much time in the oven. Plus, extending the process prolongs that just-baked cookie smell that will inevitably waft through your kitchen. Who needs a candle when you have an oven?