Cookies are generally easy to make and one of the first things a beginning baker makes. There are only six major types of cookies, each with their own particular methods. Below, I have listed all six types (plus a seventh) and some characteristics and tips to help you make each one.
Moulded cookies are made by hand-rolling the dough and forming them into balls. Like peanut butter cookies they can be pressed flat with a fork. To stop the dough from sticking make sure to dust your fingers and utensils with flour.
Dropped cookies are usually the easiest kind of cookie to make. Drop a teaspoonful of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet. Make sure you leave sufficient room between cookies for spreading. A space of about a couple of inches is usually best. If uniform size is important you may wish to use a cookie scoop.
Rolled cooked or cut out cookies is made with rather stiff dough. Roll the dough onto a floured board and cut with either a knife or cookie cutter to make the shape. Use only a small part of the dough at a time. And use only a small amount of flour as too much will make the dough tough. For soft, chewy cookies keep the rolled dough thick but roll it thin for crisper cookies.
A cookie press is used to make pressed cookies like spritz cookies. The dough should be soft enough to be put through a cookie press but must be stiff enough to hold a shape. If the dough is too soft, refrigerate for awhile. If the dough is too stiff, add an egg yolk and try again.
To make these cookies, roll the dough into a thick bar. Then refrigerate it until you're ready to bake. Keep the bars wrapped to stop them absorbing the odors of the other food in your refrigerator. The dough will keep for about a week. When you're ready to bake, cut the dough thinly with a sharp knife then bake.
Bar cookies are more like cakes and are softer than most other brownies. They can be chewy or crispy. And they can be filled or layered. A brownie is the best example of a bar cookie. Bar cookies are baked in a pan with sides. To make sure the bar cookies turn out perfectly make sure to use the correct size of pan. After baking, cut them into squares. But make sure to let them cool first.
No Bake Cookies
As the name suggests, these cookies don't need baking. To be honest, they're not really a cookie. They're more like candy. A good example is a no bake chocolate oatmeal cookie. They're made using a candy thermometer and double boiler.